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PROFEssor of MoRAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH, EDITOR
of BLAckwooD's MAGAZINE, AUTHOR of “THE ISLE of PALMs,” Etc.
WM. MAGINN, LL.D. J. G. LOCKHART, JAMES HOGG, &c.
ME MOIRS AND NOTES
110 AND 112 NAS S A U S T RE ET, NEW YOR. K.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Southern District of New York.
ED I TOR'S PR EFA C E.
ADDITIONAL interest is given, by the recent death of Professor Wilson, to the present work. A complete edition of the NoctEs AMBRosi ANAE (with notes and illustrations, necessary to a true understanding of the allusions with which the work is crowded, and the personal satire it contains) cannot be published in England for many years. In the lapse of time since the original appearance of “THE NOCTEs” in BLACKwood's MAGAZINE, persons, localities, and circumstances therein mentioned or glanced at, have been so forgotten, altered, or obscured, as to require brief but sufficient explanations. A literary life, the greater part of which was passed in England and Scotland, has given me familiar acquaintance with most of the individuals and events treated of in this work, and has qualified me, I think, for the editorship which I have assumed. Besides a History of BLAckwood's MAGAZINE, I have written memoirs of Wilson, Lockhart, Hogg and Maginn, the accredited authors of THE Noctes. The engravings consist of a fine portrait of Wilson, (after Sir J. Watson Gordon, President of the Royal Scottish Academy,) with characteristic fulllength sketches, by Maclise and Skillin, of the other writers. There is also the fac-simile of a page of THE Noctes in Professor Wilson's own writing. I have endeavored to render this edition complete, by introducing the celebrated Chaldee Manuscript, full of satire and libel, which first brought BLACKwood's MAGAZINE into notoriety—was suppressed as soon as published—was afterwards boasted of as a brilliant jeu d'esprit, and has been so scarce that the only copy I have ever seen, and I have long sought for it, was that from which I make the present reprint. In August and September, 1819, nearly two years antecedent to the first of THE Noctes, (which commenced in March, 1822, and closed in February, 1835) there appeared a series of articles entitled “CHRISTOPHER IN THE TENT,” never before presented in this country, in any shape, which I have here introduced as properly prefatory, because the interlocutors in THE TENT include the greater number of those who afterwards appeared in THE NoctEs. I have also inserted a satirical poem entitled “Metricum Symposium Ambrosianum,” (originally intended as an addendum to No. III. of THE Noctes,) in which there is a notice of every living British author of note, in the year 1822. This has never been reprinted in America, and I have copiously annotated it. The