John Aubrey, in his Brief Lives, records the appearance of the Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) at the court of Elizabeth I:
“This Earle of Oxford, making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares. On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart.”
In 1860, Charles Dickens recalls an encounter with a “gentleman of comfortable property” from the Midlands, Mr Grazinglands, who came down to London with his wife to complete some…
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