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the author, are specified and explained by the Editor in the notes *.

The Commentaries on the Laws of England now, form an effential part of every gentleman's library; the beautiful and lucid arrangement, the purity of the language, the claffic eloquence of the quotations and allufions, the clear and intelligible explanation of each fubject, must always yield as much pleasure as improvement; and wherever any conftitutional or legal question is agitated, they are the first, and in general, the best authority referred to. In order to add to their utility in this refpect, the Editor has annexed fuch exceptions and particular inftances, as he thought would render the information ftill fuller and more complete. Where he has prefumed to queftion any of the learned Commentator's doctrines, he has affigned his reafons for his doubt or diffent; but where he has discovered an inaccuracy arifing merely from inadvertence, he has ftated it without fcruple or ceremony. We fhould expect more than human excellence, if we imagined that a work comprizing the whole system of English jurisprudence could be entirely free from mistakes. But it is a matter of great concern to the Profeffion, and to the Public at large, that in an Author fo univerfally read, fo defervedly admired, and in whom fuch confidence is repofed, every subject fhould be reviewed with fcrupulous and critical precifion. It will therefore in future be the Editor's peculiar ftudy and ambition to advance this learned

The Editor's notes are feparated from the Judge's notes and text by a line, and are referred to by figures, thus (1), and the pages of the former editions are preferved in the margin.

performance

performance to as great a degree of accuracy and perfection as his attention and ability can effect; and he will always be grateful for any correction of his own errors, or for any useful remarks, which may not have occurred to him in his examination of the Commentaries; and as often as he may be found to deserve cenfure for his prefent incorrectness, he has nothing to plead in extenuation, but the great variety of the fubjects, and that he has been able to find no learned friend with fufficient leifure to lend him any material affiftance.

The Editor difclaims all credit, but that which he may be thought to merit from the labour he has beftowed upon the notes and additions; and as he hopes that neither his tafte nor his judgment will be queftioned, where he has never been confulted, or where he had no right or power to control *, fo he wishes not to do the Proprietors the injuftice to deprive them of any portion of that praife, which they are defirous to obtain by accommodating the Reader with a mode of publication and with ornaments, of which the Editor must confefs the defign and execution are entirely their own.

GRAY'S INN,
May 28th, 1793.

The Proprietors had prepared the prints for this edition before their engagement with the Editor, who referved to himself no difcretion with regard to the manner of publication. A publication in numbers is in general not thought creditable to an author who takes upon himself any degree of responsibility in a literary work; but the Proprietors have found themfelves upon this occafion under the neceffity of adopting it.

CONTENT S

INTRODUCTION.

Of the STUDY, NATURE, and EXTENT of the Laws of ENGLAND.

SECT. I.

On the STUDY of the LAW. Page 3

SECT. II.

Of the NATURE of LAWS in general. 38

SECT. III.

Of the LAWS of ENGLAND.

SECT. IV.

Of the COUNTRIES Subject to the LAWS of ENGLAND.

63

93

BOOK I.

Of the RIGHTS of PERSON S

CHAP. I.

Of the abfolute RIGHTS of INDIVIDUALS.

CHA P. II.

Of the PARLIAMENT.

CHAP. III.

Of the KING, and bis TITLE.

CHAP. IV.

Of the KING's royal FAMILY.

CHAP. V.

Of the COUNCILS belonging to the KING.

CHAP. VI.

Of the KING'S DUTIES.

CHAP. VII.

121

146

190

219

227

233

Of the KING'S PREROGATIVE. 237

CHAP. VIII.

Of the KING'S REVENUE.

CHAP. IX.

Of Jubordinate MAGISTRATES.

CHAP. X.

Of the PEOPLE, whether ALIENs, Denizens,

or

NATIVES.

CHAP. XI.

Of the CLERGY.

CHAP. XII.

Of the CIVIL STATE.

CHAP. XIV.

Of MASTER and SERVANT.

281

CHAP. XV.

Of HUSBAND and WIFE

338

366

376

CHAP. XIII.

Of the MILITARY and MARITIME STATES. 408

396

422

433

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