His Comoedies will remaine witt as long as the English tongue is understood, for that he handles mores hominum [the ways of mankind]. Now our present writers reflect so much on particular persons and coxcombeities that twenty yeares hence they will not be understood.
His father was a Butcher, and I have been told heretofore by some of the neighbours, that when he was a boy he exercised his father's Trade, but when he kill'd a Calfe he would doe it in high style, and make a Speech.
Sir Walt, being strangely supprized and putt out of his countenance at so great a Table, gives his son a damned blow over the face; his son, as rude as he was, would not strike his father, but strikes over the face of the Gentleman that sate next to him, and sayed, Box about, 'twill come to my Father anon. 'Tis now a common used Proverb.
His manner of Studie was thusAbout every three houres his man was to bring him a roll and a pott of Ale to refocillate his wasted spirits: so he studied and dranke, and munched some bread; and this maintained him till night, and then, he made a good Supper: now he did well not to dine, which breakes off one's fancy, which will not presently be regained: and 'tis with Invention as a flux, when once it is flowing, it runnes amaine: if it is checked, flowes but guttim [drop by drop]: and the like for perspiration, check it, and 'tis spoyled.
He was a learned man, of immense reading, but is much blamed for his unfaithfull quotations.
His complexion exceeding faire he was so faire that they called him the Lady of Christ's College.
Dr. Kettle was wont to say that Seneca writes as a Boare does pisse, scilicet by jirkes.
The parliament intended to have hanged him, and he expected no less, but resolved to be hanged with the Bible under one arm and Magna Carta under the other.
He had read much, if one considers his long life; but his contemplation was much more then his reading. He was wont to say that if he had read as much as other men, he should have knowne no more than other men.
There is to some men a great Lechery in Lying, and imposing on the understandings of beleeving people.