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À TALE OF FLODDEN FIELD
SIR WALTER SCOTT
EDITED WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
FOR THE USE OF STUDENTS
GEORGE B. AITON, M.A.
STATE INSPECTOR OF HIGH SCHOOLS FOR MINNESOTA
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THE usual word may be said to the effect that this edition of Marmion has been prepared for the use of students in secondary schools. The notes are intended to aid the student in seeing from Scott's point of view. No attempt has been made at rhetorical analysis. Through the study of such a poem, the student's ear should become sensitive to the pleasure of a word finely chosen, of a thought fitly spoken; the student should become alive also to the pain of a jarring word, of an ignoble expression. But these are delicate processes of feeling rather than of judgment. They must be conducted opportunely or it were better not at all. They must be left to the instructor, while the editor contents himself with helping the student to get the author's thought. Some critics lament that so little is done to give students an idea of proportion and a sense of order in the arrangement of the parts of a composition, but we must plead again that literary structure is the province of the teacher. In fact the only excuse that can be offered for annotation is the difficulty of providing the members of a class with sufficient material for individual reference work. In the present edition no apology is needed for presenting a large part of the notes which Scott added to the last edition which passed under his own eye.
amas not a great as a neighboed world of
If Marmion be read well, the poem will serve as an open door for many a pleasant hour with the other poems and with the novels of Walter Scott. Carlyle says Scott was not a great man. Perhaps not. But he drops into one's library as a neighbor drops in from over the way. In this densely populated world of books we can truly say, though we have many, many callers, we have few old neighbors like Walter Scott.
GEORGE B. AITON. MINNEAPOLIS, September, 1899.