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Marmion by Sir Walter Scott
page 1 of 235 (00%)
edited by Henry Morley


The "Lay of the Last Minstrel," Scott's first romantic tale, was
published in January, 1805, and won for its author his first great
success. The writing of "Marmion" was begun in November, 1806.
Constable offered as publisher to pay at once a thousand guineas for
the copyright, when he heard that the new poem was begun, though he
had not yet seen a line of it. Miller and Murray joined, each
taking a fourth part of the venture, and John Murray said, "We both
view it as honourable, profitable, and glorious to be concerned in
the publication of a new poem by Walter Scott." Scott, thirty-five
years old, had the impulse upon his mind of a preceding great
success, took more than usual pains, and thoroughly enjoyed the
writing. On pleasant knolls, under trees, and by the banks of
Yarrow, many lines were written; and trotting quietly over the hills
in later life he said to Lockhart, his son-in-law, "Oh, man, I had
many a grand gallop among these bracs when I was thinking of
'Marmion.'" The description of the battle of Flodden was shaped in
the autumn of 1807, when Scott was out practising with the Light
Horse Volunteers, which had been formed in prospect of an invasion
from France, and of which Scott was quartermaster and secretary.
Scott at those gatherings was full of companionable mirth, and in
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