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O F Marmion, which he calls his “second experiment on
V the public patience," the Author says, in his Introduction of 1830,—“Particular passages of a poem, which was finally called 'Marmion,' were laboured with a good deal of care by one by whom much care was seldom bestowed. ... The period of its composition was a very happy one in my life; so much so, that I remember with pleasure, at this moment, some of the spots in which particular passages were composed. It is probably owing to this that the Introductions to the several Cantos assumed the form of familiar epistles to my intimate friends, in which I alluded, more than was necessary, or graceful, to my domestic occupations and amusements, a loquacity which may be excused by those who remember that I was still young, light-headed and happy.”
Regarding these introductory epistles, Mr Lockhart mentions —what he believes the Author may have forgotten when he wrote the above—that they were not, at first, intended to be interwoven with Marmion, and were actually announced as a separate publication in 1807, under the title of “ Sir Epistles from Ettrick Forest.” But the time is past for considering the propriety of a connection which no one would now wish to sever.
That the nature of Marmion's guilt, as regards the forgery, was not characteristic of the times, was admitted by the Author to be “a gross defect, which ought to have been removed;"