Experience teaches me that whatever a fellow-guest may have of power to instruct or to amuse when he is sitting in a chair, or standing on a hearth-rug, quickly leaves him when he takes one out for a walk. The ideas that come so thick and fast to him in any room, where are they now ? Where that encyclopedic knowledge which he bore so lightly? Where the kindling fancy that played like summer lightning over any topic that was started?
Is "bore" here a poetic way to say "dig the encyclopedic knowledge" or the past tense of "bear", or something else?