1836 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Campbell

Isaac D'Israeli, in Curiosities of Literature (1836; 1881) 3:507.



Oldys never could forget the fate of this elaborate Dissertation on all the collections of English poetry; I am confident that I have seen some volume which was formerly Oldys's, and afterwards Thomas Warton's, in the possession of my intelligent friend Mr. Douce, in the fly-leaf of which Oldys has expressed himself in these words: — "In my historical and critical review of all the collections of this kind, it would have made a sheet and a half or two sheets; but they for sordid gain, and to save a little expense in print and paper, got Mr. John Campbell to cross and cramp it, and play the devil with it, till they squeezed it into less compass than a sheet." This is a loss which we may never recover.