« 前へ次へ »
such a well-ordered relation of all the parts to one another, that the whole work shall give the impression of being one thing and not many things. “Marmion” is a series of pictures. Therefore, while, in the first place, as most essential, the student must look to see if the series form one harmonious group, he must also notice how the successive pictures are related to each other ; how some are intended to afford contrast with othersthe scene at the inn in Canto III., with the scene going on at the same time at the convent in Canto II. ; how one prepares the way for the next—the haughtiness of the Palmer at his first appearance, and his treatment of the apparition at Edinburgh, for the later revelation of himself; how figures or incidents in one scene are foreshadowings of their more perfect representation in others—the first mention, for instance, of Lady Heron. Again, the student must notice how far each picture is in itself a whole-whether it is clear or dim : this will open a study of epithets; whether the language, whether the rhythm of the verse, is in keeping with the thought intended to be conveyed. He must notice also the background—whether the scenery of nature, or architecture, with which the actors are surrounded, brings into due relief the spirit of the particular action.
But in music and in nature, difference is essential to harmony. There is a “ discord dear to the musician,” to the artist, to the poet. Let it be noticed, then, that variety is a sensible feature of Scott's longer poems. Here is a description of nature-Edinburgh, IV. xxx. : there a character drawn out-Sir David Lindesay, IV. vii. : presently a battle scene--Flodden Field, VI. : again, a picture of human action, where two or three figures fill the canvas—the Convent Trial, II. Some are simple, others more or less complex: here a character is sketched—Marmion's, Lindesay's, King James's; there merely suggested-Blount's, Lady Heron's. The
student should try to determine in which kind the artist best succeeds by pleasing most.
Furthermore, it would be well that the student should exercise his faculty of comparison. Let him compare or contrast Scott with any other poet whose works he knows: with Shakespeare for knowledge of life and portrayal of character, with Homer for his battlefield, with Macaulay for his easy flow of verse, or with Tennyson for his nature-painting.
Metre.—As there is no recognised work on English Prosody, it may be as well to add a few words on the metre of “Marmion.” One is obliged to employ the classical names for feet with a somewhat different sense. Greek and Latin verses are scanned by quantity, English verses by accent. Yet, as it has no other name, an English foot of two syllables, in which the accent is laid on the second, must be called an iambus, on the first a trocher.
"Marmion” is chiefly written in iambic lines of eight syllables (i.e. four feet), each couplet rhyming.* This is a very rapid metre, and excellently suited for rapid narrative. Scott described it as “a sort of light horseman stanza.” Its fault, however, is that when applied to a long poem it is monotonous : and Scott, recognising this fault, introduced occasional variations, the nature and use of which it will be well to notice. The monotony is relieved
(1). By variation of the metre. (a). In the feet employed. Substitution of a trochee for an iambus, generally at the beginning, as
Raised the portcullis". ponderous guard.—I. iv. 13. or of some other foot, an anapæst for instance, that is, a foot of three syllables, with the accent on the last, as in the second foot of I. iv. 1:
Now broach—ye a pipe-of Malvoisie. * The most perfect form of this metre is to be found in Coleridge's
(6). In the number of feet employed. The most remarkable variation is in the employment of two halflines, four-syllabled, in II. xxviii.
Their oaths are said,
Their prayers are prayed,
But the ordinary variation is to the six-syllabled iambic line, which is generally introduced to mark a fall in the sense, a full stop. Of this instances can easily be found.
(2). By variation of the rhyme. (a). In the use of triplets instead of couplets. See I. iii.
(6). In the rhyming of alternate lines, most commonly though not exclusively used, with the change to the sixsyllabled line. The best instance is
Still is thy name in high account,
And still thy verse has charms,
Lord Lion King-at-Arms.—IV. vii. 28.
(c). In the introduction of double or feminine rhymes. These are generally hypermetric, i.e., a syllable beyond the usual number; and are attached either to the eight or the six-syllabled line :
While chafed the impatient squire like thunder,
Of all the palaces so fair,
Built for the royal dwelling,
Linlithgow is excelling.-IV. xv. 1. This was the passage which Jeffrey described as evidently formed in the school of Sternhold and Hopkins.
(3). By the introduction of songs. (a). The fragment of a ballad in I. xiii. 11, of an anapæstic metre:
How the fierce Thirlwalls, and Ridleys all,
And Hardjriding Dick,
The anapæstic metre consists of two or four feet, and each foot either an anapæst, a dactyl, or a spondee.
(6). Constance's song, in III. x. xi., has a distinctly dactylic movement, which is happily varied : (a), by the fact that the second lines in each couplet are catalectic, or deficient of the final syllable (kara Inyw, to stop short); (), by the occasional introduction of one hypermetric syllable:
Her|wing shall the eagle flap, & variation which will be made perfectly harmonious by judicious reading; and (v), by an anticipation of the rhymo in two cases, the effect of which is to throw the final syllable of the first line into the second line of the couplet :
In the lost battle
Borne down by the flying,
With groans of the dying.
This also is an anapæstic metre, of four feet-the first a spondee, and the rest pure anapæsts :
O young Lochinvaris come out of the west.
One touch to her hand and one word in her ear. One peculiarity of this edition will be noted at oncethe omission of the Introductory Epistles. The poet himself originally intended to have published them separately, as “Six Epistles from Ettrick Forest.” Southey " wished them at the end of the volume, or at the beginning-anywhere except where they were.” Mr. George Ellis, to whom one was addressed, said that, “ though excellent in themselves, they are in fact only interruptions to the fable, and accordingly nine readers out of ten have perused them separately, either before or after the poem.” Lockhart also concurs in this wish for a change of their position. It is from no lack of belief in their intrinsic beauty that they are omitted here; even the fact that they disturb the flow of the story would
not have been a sufficient excuse for omitting them, and altering the poet's own decision on the subject. Their omission is defended only by the special object of the present edition. It is not right to tamper with a poem : it is allowed to make extracts for the purposes of education.
The distinction between the Notes and the Glossary was intended to be that, all account of words should go into the Glossary, and all other information into the Notes. It has not, however, been found always possible to observe this distinction; but where the account of a word occurs in a note, a reference to the note is given in the Glossary.
This edition was at first meant for the use of lower forms in schools, as an introduction to English for those for whom the Clarendon editions would be too hard. It has grown under my hands to be somewhat, in parts ai least, more ambitious, but I hope that I have nowhere lost sight of my original object.
I cannot conclude without acknowledging my obligations to Mr. J. S. Phillpotts, of Rugby, for kind assistance in the compilation of Notes and Glossary.
E. E. M.
RADLEY COLLEGE, ABINGDON :
April 17, 1869,