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PREFACE.

In the year 1842, Professor Wilson published in three volumes, under the title of “The Recreations of Christopher North,” a collection of his miscellaneous writings selected from Blackwood's Magazine. These volumes (which will be reprinted in this edition of his works), were, however, very far from exhausting the materials which his prolific pen had contributed to that popular periodical. A quantity of writing much greater than that which was re-issued under his own auspices, still survives for republication ; and it is now the business and duty of his Editor to place in the hands of the reader such a portion of these multifarious compositions as appears likely to amuse or interest him.

None of the Essays contained in the following volumes were prepared for republication by Professor Wilson himself. The advantage of his own deliberate selection and careful revision cannot be claimed for them : in this respect they labour under the same disadvantages which attach to the Noctes Ambrosiance. Nevertheless it is certain that Professor Wilson intended, at one time or other, to republish these articles, or at least a large proportion of them. Separate copies of all his contributions to Blackwood had been made

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for his use, and were in his hands for some years before his death. On the covers of these copies he has, in most cases, jotted down a memorandum expressing very briefly his opinion of the article in question, and signifying, either directly or inferentially, what pieces were, in his judgment, worthy, and what were not worthy, of republica

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