Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/21

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9
THE STORY OF SCOTT'S RUIN

and it amused him to keep back the revelation. The whole system, however, put Scott in an unsatisfactory position, which soon became more marked.

In 1809 Scott took another step which made the situation far more serious. He was already connected in various ways with the great Constable, who had paid what was thought a fancy price for Marmion, had published Scott's great edition of Dryden, and was following it by the edition of Swift. Constable was also publisher of the Edinburgh Review, to which Scott had contributed many articles. But now Scott set up the firm of 'John Ballantyne and Co.' in direct competition with Constable. Jeffrey's review of Marmion in the Edinburgh and the offence taken by Scott at the language of Constable's partner are suggested as the special occasions of the breach. But there were other and deeper reasons. Scott's political zeal was at this time becoming militant. The beginning of the Peninsular war had stimulated party passions. It roused the Tories, who could now claim to be supporters of a patriotic uprising against military despotism. It alarmed the Whigs, who saw a boundless vista of new Continental complications, debt and taxation. The Edinburgh Review had