1847 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Horace Smith, in "A Graybeard's Gossip about his Literary Acquaintance" New Monthly Magazine 79 (July 1847) 297.



The last time I encountered my friend was at his own house in Victoria-square, Pimlico, where he took great delight in showing me his library, — a projecting skylight room, built at the back of the premises.

"This is much better than your study," he said, rubbing his hands; "a library should be always lighted in this way; first, because it gives you the command of the whole wall for your books; and secondly, because, instead of being tempted to sit at the window, and look out upon living knaves and fools, you hold uninterrupted communion with the surrounding spirits of departed sages and philanthropists; or if you look upwards, you gaze out upon the pure and glorious heavens."

It will be seen that there was still a touch of misanthropy in his language; but it was literally a "facon de parler;" it never reached his heart.