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farmion:

A TALE OF FLODDEN FIELD.

IN SIX CANTOS.

Alas! that Scottish maid should sing

The combat where her lover fell !
That Scottish Bard should wake the string,
The triumph of our foes to tell!

LEYDEN.

NOTICE TO EDITION 1833.

of a limited hospitality. The situation is uncommonly

beautiful, by the side of a fine river, whose streams are SOME alterations in the text of the Introduction to there very favourable for angling, surrounded by the Marmion, and of the Poem itself, as well as various remains of natural woods, and by hills abounding in additions to the Author's Notes, will be observed in game. In point of society, according to the heartfelt this Edition. We have followed Sir Walter Scott's phrase of Scripture, we dwelt “ amongst our own interleaved copy, as finally revised by him in the sum- people;" and as the distance from the metropolis was mer of 1831.

only thirty miles, we were not out of reach of our The preservation of the original MS. of the Poem Edinburgh friends, in which city we spent the terms has enriched this volume with numerous various read of the summer and winter Sessions of the Court, that ings, which will be found curious and interesting. is, five or six months in the year.

An important circumstance had, about the same time, taken place in my life. Hopes had been held out to me from an influential quarter, of a nature to

relieve me from the anxiety which I must have other. INTRODUCTION TO EDITION 1830.

wise felt, as one upon the precarious tenure of whose

own life rested the principal prospects of his family, What I have to say respecting this Poem may be and especially as one who had necessarily some debriefly told. In the Introduction to the “ Lay of the pendence upon the favour of the public, which is proLast Minstrel,” I have mentioned the circumstances, verbially capricious ; though it is but justice to add, so far as my literary life is concerned, which induced that, in my own case, I have not found it so. Mr. me to resign the active pursuit of an honourable pro- Pitt had expressed a wish to my personal friend, the fession, for the more precarious resources of literature. Right Honourable William Dundas, now Lord Clerk My appointment to the Sheriffdom of Selkirk called Register of Scotland, that some fitting opportunity for a change of residence. I left, therefore, the plea- should be taken to be of service to me; and as my sant cottage I had upon the side of the Esk, for the views and wishes pointed to a future rather than an "pleasanter banks of the Tweed,” in order to comply immediate provision, an opportunity of accomplishing with the law, which requires that the Sheriff shall be this was soon found. One of the Principal Clerks of resident, at least during a certain number of months, / Session, as they are called, (official persons within his jurisdiction. We found a delightful retire- I an important and responsible situation, and enjoy a ment, by my becoming the tenant of my intimate | considerable income,) who had served upwards of, friend and cousin -german, Colonel Russell, in his thirty years, felt himself, from age, and the infirmity mansion of Ashestiel, which was unoccupied, during of deafness with which it was accompanied, desirous his absence on military service in India. The house of retiring from his official situation. As the law then was adequate to our accommodation, and the exercise stood, such official persons were entitled to bargain

who occup:

Published, in 4to, £1, 11s. 62., February 1808.

? Now Major-General Sir James Russell, K.C.B.-See Life a Scott, vol. viii. pp. 133, 318.

with their successors, either for a sum of money, which siderable income, at the time I obtained it, seemed to was usually a considerable one, or for an interest in assure me of a quiet harbour in my old age, I did not the emoluments of the office during their life. My escape my share of inconvenience from the contrary predecessor, whose services had been unusually meri- tides and currents by which we are so often encountorious, stipulated for the emoluments of his office tered in our journey through life. Indeed, the pubduring his life, while I should enjoy the survivorship, lication of my next poetical attempt was prematurely on the condition that I discharged the duties of the accelerated, from one of those unpleasant accidents office in the meantime. Mr. Pitt, however, having which can neither be foreseen nor avoided. died in the interval, his administration was dissolved, I had formed the prudent resolution to endeavour and was succeeded by that known by the name of the to bestow a little more labour than I had yet done on Fox and Grenville Ministry. My affair was so far my productions, and to be in no hurry again to an. completed, that my commission lay in the office sub-nounce myself as a candidate for literary fame. Acscribed by his Majesty ; but, from hurry or mistake, cordingly, particular passages of a poem, which was the interest of my predecessor was not expressed in finally called “Marmion,” were laboured with a good it, as had been usual in such cases. Although, there- deal of care, by one by whom much care was seldom fore, it only required payment of the fees, I could not bestowed. Whether the work was worth the labour in honour take out the commission in the present or not, I am no competent judge ; but I may be perstate, since, in the event of my dying before him, the mitted to say, that the period of its composition was a gentleman whom I succeeded must have lost the very happy one, in my life ; so much so, that I rememvested interest which he had stipulated to retain. I ber with pleasure, at this moment, some of the spots had the honour of an interview with Earl Spencer on in which particular passages were composed. It is the subject, and he, in the most handsome manner, probably owing to this, that the Introductions to the gave directions that the commission should issue as several Cantos assumed the form of familiar epistles originally intended ; adding, that the matter having to my intimate friends, in which I alluded, perhaps received the royal assent, he regarded only as a claim more than was necessary or graceful, to my domestic of justice what he would have willingly done as an occupations and amusements--a loquacity which may act of favour. I never saw Mr. Fox on this, or on be excused by those who remember, that I was still any other occasion, and never made any application young, light-headed, and happy, and that “out of the to him, conceiving that in doing so I might have been abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." supposed to express political opinions contrary to those The misfortunes of a near relation and friend, which which I had always professed. In his private capaci- happened at this time, led me to alter my prudent dety, there is no man to whom I would have been more termination, which had been, to use great precaution proud to owe an obligation, had I been so distin- in sending this poem into the world ; and made it guished.

convenient at least, if not absolutely necessary, to By this arrangement I obtained the survivorship of hasten its publication. The publishers of “ The Lay an office, the emoluments of which were fully adequate of the Last Minstrel,” emboldened by the success of to my wishes ; and as the law respecting the mode of that poem, willingly offered a thousand pounds for providing for superannuated officers was, about five“ Marmion.” The transaction being no secret, afor six years after, altered from that which admitted forded Lord Byron, who was then at general war with the arrangement of assistant and successor, my col- all who blacked paper, an apology for including me in league very handsomely took the opportunity of the his satire, entitled “ English Bards and Scotch Realteration, to accept of the retiring annuity provided viewers."I never could conceive how an arrangein such cases, and admitted me to the full benefit of ment between an author and his publishers, if satisthe office.

factory to the persons concerned, could afford matter But although the certainty of succeeding to a con- of censure to any third party. I had taken no unu.

Such be their meed, such still the just reward
Of prostituted muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo's venal son,
And bid a long Good-night to Marmion.

BYRON'S Works, vol. vii. p. 235-6.

1 See Life, vol. iii. p. 4.
8“ Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan,

The golden-crested haughty Marmion,
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,
Not quite a felon, yet but half a knight,
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace ;
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think'st thou, Scott! by vain conceit perchance,
On public taste to foist thy stale romance,
Though Murray with his Miller may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade.
Let such forego the poet's sacred name,
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame;
Still for stern Mammon may they toil in vain!
And sadly gaze on gold they cannot gain!

On first reading this satire, 1809, Scott says, “It is funny enough to see a whelp of a young Lord Byron abusing me, of whose circumstances he knows nothing, for endeavouring to scratch out a living with my pen. God help the bear, if, having little else to eat, he must not even suck his own paws. I can assure the noble imp of fame it is not my fault that I was not born to a park and £5000 a year, as it is not his lordship's merit, although it may be his great good fortune, that he was not born to live by his literary talents or success." Life, vol. iii. p. 195.--See also Correspondence with Lord Byron, Ibid. pp. 395, 398.

jual or ungenerous means of enhancing the value of opinion, that corrections, however in themselves judimy merchandise I had never higgled a moment about cious, have a bad effect-after publication. An authe bargain, but accepted at once what I considered thor is never so decidedly condemned as on his own the handsome offer of my publishers. These gentle- confession, and may long find apologists and partimen, at least, were not of opinion that they had been sans, until he gives up his own cause. I was not, taken advantage of in the transaction, which indeed therefore, inclined to afford matter for censure out was one of their own framing ; on the contrary, the of my own admissions; and, by good fortune, the nosale of the Poem was so far beyond their expectation, velty of the subject, and, if I may say so, some force as to induce them to supply the Author's cellars with and vivacity of description, were allowed to atone for what is always an acceptable present to a young Scot- many imperfections. Thus the second experiment tish housekeeper, namely, a hogshead of excellent on the public patience, generally the most perilous,-claret.

for the public are then most apt to judge with rigour, The Poem was finished in too much haste, to allow | what in the first instance they had received, perhaps, me an opportunity of softening down, if not removing, with imprudent generosity,—was in my case decidedly some of its most prominent defects. The nature of successful. I had the good fortune to pass this ordeal Marmion's guilt, although similar instances were favourably, and the return of sales before me makes found, and might be quoted, as existing in feudal the copies amount to thirty-six thousand printed betimes, was nevertheless not sufficiently peculiar to between 1808 and 1825, besides a considerable sale since indicative of the character of the period, forgery being that period. I shall here pause upon the subject of the crime of a commercial, rather than a proud and “ Marmion,” and, in a few prefatory words to “ The warlike age. This gross defect ought to have been Lady of the Lake,” the last poem of mine which obremedied or palliated. Yet I suffered the tree to lie tained eminent success, I will continue the task whicb as it had fallen. I remember my friend, Dr. Leyden, I have imposed on myself respecting the origin of my then in the East, wrote me a furious remonstrance productions. on the subject. I bave, nevertheless, always been of ABBOTSFORD, April, 1830.

: "Marmion was first printed in a splendid quarto, price time of its being included in the first collective edition of his one guinea and a half. The 2000 copies of this edition were poetical works, amounted to 31,000; and the aggregate of that all disposed of in less than a month, when a second of 3000 sale, down to the period at which I am writing (May 1836), copies, in 8vo, was sent to press. There followed a third and may be stated at 50,000 copies. I presume it is right for me a fourth edition, each of 3000, in 1809; a fifth of 2000, early to facilitate the task of future historians of our literature by in 1810; and a sixth of 3000, in two volumes, crown 8vo, with preserving these details as often as I can. Such particulars twelve designs by Singleton, before the end of that year; a respecting many of the great works even of the last century, seventh of 4000, and an eighth of 5000 copies 8vo, in 1811; a are already sought for with vain regret; and I anticipate no ninth of 3000 in 1815; a tenth of 500, in 1820; an eleventh of day when the student of English civilisation will pass without 500, and a twelfth of 2000 copies, in foolscap, both in 1825. curiosity the contemporary reception of the Tale of Plodden The legitimate sale in this country, therefore down to the Field"-LOCKHART, Life of Scott, vol. iii. p. 68.

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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION. It is hardly to be expected, that an Author whom the Public have honoured with some degree of applause, should not be again a trespasser on their kindness. Yet the Author of MARMION must be supposed to feel some anxiety concerning its success, since he is sensible that he hazards, by this second intrusion, any reputation which his first Poem may have procured him. The present story turns upon the private adventures of a fictitious character; but is called a Tale of Flodden Field, because the hero's fate is connected with that memorable defeat, and the causes which led to it. The design of the Author was, if possible, to apprize his readers, at the outset, of the date of his Story, and to prepare them for the manners of the Age in which it is laid. Any Historical Narrative, far more an attempt at Epic composition, exceeded his plan of a Romantic Tale; yet he may be permitted to hope, from the popularity of Tue Lay of the Last MINSTREL, that an attempt to paint the manners of the feudal times, upon a broader scale, and in the course of a more interesting story, will not be unacceptable to the Public.

The Poem opens about the commencement of August, and concludes with the defeat of Flodden, 9th September 1513.

ASHESTIEL, 1808.

Marmion.

INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FIRST.

TO

WILLIAM STEWART ROSE, ESQ.3

Ashestiel, Ettrick Forest.
NOVEMBER's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear:
Late, gazing down the steepy linn,
That hems our little garden in,
Low in its dark and narrow glen,
You scarce the rivulet might ken,
So thick the tangled greenwood grew,
So feeble trillid the streamlet through:
Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen
Through bush and brier, no longer green,
An angry brook, it sweeps the glade,
Brawls over rock and wild cascade,
And, foaming brown with doubled speed,
Hurries its waters to the Tweed.

No longer Autumn’s glowing red
Upon our Forest hills is shed ; 8
No more, beneath the evening beam,
Fair Tweed reflects their purple gleam;
Away hath pass'd the heather-bell
That bloom'd so rich on Needpath-fell;
Sallow his brow, and russet bare
Are now the sister-heights of Yair.
The sheep, before the pinching heaven,
To shelter'd dale and down are driven,
Where yet some faded herbage pines,
And yet a watery sunbeam shines :
In meek despondency they eye
The wither'd sward and wintry sky,
And far beneath their summer hill,
Stray sadly by Glenkinnon's rill:
The shepherd shifts his mantle's fold,
And wraps him closer from the cold;
His dogs, no merry circles wheel,
But, shivering, follow at his heel;
A cowering glance they often cast,
As deeper moans the gathering blast.

I Lord Montagu was the second son of Henry Duke of Buc-composed at Mr. Rose's seat in the New Forest, Ibid. vol. ii cleuch, by the only daughter of John last Duke of Montagu.

For the origin and progress of Scott's acquaintance with 8 MS.-“No longer now in glowing red Mr. Rose, see Life, vols. ii. ii. iv. vi. Part of Marmion was

The Ettericke-Forest hills are clad."

P. 10.

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