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SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
EDITED WITH NOTES BY
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
Che Riverside Press, Cambridge
Copyright, 1884 and 1885,
All rights reserved.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A
Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.
This edition of Marmion has been prepared on the same plan as that of The Lady of the Lake which I made two years ago; and, as in that, the illustrations are selected from the publishers' elegant holiday edition of the poem. • In the preface to The Lady of the Lake I said that the poem had not been printed correctly for more than fifty years. Marmion, so far as I can learn, has never been printed correctly. Scott appears to have overlooked sundry bad misprints in the first edition (which I have compared minutely with the fourth and all the more recent editions, English and American, that I could get hold of); and these errors of the type have been perpetuated until now. Lockhart professes to have revised the text carefully, with the aid of the author's interleaved copy of the edition of 1830 ; and we must give him credit for restoring one line (v..947) accidentally omitted in the early editions, and for incorporating one or two trifling changes (as Badenoch-man for Highlandman in vi. 795) made by Scott in 1830; but he lias not corrected a single one of the old misprints, while he has overlooked a number of new ones due to his own printers. On the whole, he has marred the text far more than he has mended it.
As a sample of the corruptions that date from the first publication of the poem, see the opening of Canto II., where the printer put a period in place of the comma Scott undoubtedly meant to have at the end of the 5th line. He did not detect the error, and, so far as I am aware, it has been repeated in every edition except this of mine. As the reader will see, it alters the construction, and makes nonsense of the passage. Again, in ii. 617, the first edition has a period instead of a comma at the end of the line, spoiling the grammar and the sense; and the period (or the colon, which is equally bad) has been retained from that day to this.
Of corruptions that appear (so far, at least, as my collation of the texts enables me to decide) for the first time in Lockhart's edition, I may mention ii. 464, where Scott wrote and printed “They knew not how, and knew not where," while Lockhart reads “nor knew not where.” Scott is free in his use of archaic words and constructions, but I recall no instance in which he has indulged in this old “ double