1834 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Campbell

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Autobiography (1834) 1:99.



From this work [the Biographia Britannica] I began at eight or nine years old to contract my passion for bibliography. I had the work constantly in my hands during the holidays, which I almost invariably spent at home. The volumes always lay in one of the windows of the common parlour at Wootton; and how often have I rejoiced, when the rain and snow came, to keep me by the fireside, instead of mounting my pony, to follow all the morning my uncle's harriers! and when I was out, I counted the hours until I could return to my beloved books! The moment dinner was over I drew my chair round to the fire, and one of these large volumes was opened upon my knees. I grew peevish if anyone interrupted me; and was so totally absorbed in myself, that I was lost to all that was passing around me At that time I was much more delighted with this work than with all the books of poetry that offered themselves to me. With me they set my imagination at work, instead of merely loading my memory.