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PRINTED FOR WILLIAM WALKER, STRAND; COWIE, LOW, AND CO. POULTRY;
CHALMERS AND COLLINS, GLASGOW; J. PARKER, OXFORD; DEIGHTON AND
SONS, CAMBRIDGE; WILSON AND SONS, YORK; MOZLEY, DERBY; CUMMING,
AND MILLIKIN, DUBLIN; AND WAUGH AND INNES, EDINBURGH.

MDCCCXXVI.

PREFACE

TO

THE PRESENT EDITION.

THERE are some persons, even in the profession of the law, who avow themselves to be of opinion, that it is better for the student, and, in short, for every class of readers who may, from interest or curiosity, be desirous of perusing "BLACKSTONE'S COMMENTARIES," that it should be put into their hands as it was originally published, without annotations or additions. If this Work were intended merely as a history of English jurispru dence, having no other object than to inform the reader upon the facts and data of a past age, there would be some cogency in the notion to which we have referred; but when it is considered, that this Work is the only systematic depository of the law to which the non-professional portion of the community have been taught to look for the knowledge of their social rights and duties, and that it is the first book of instruction to which the attention of the student is directed, it surely cannot be disputed that it is desirable, if not of the first importance, that it should contain nothing to mislead-should convey no instruction to be afterwards unlearned-nor be silent upon any of those relations and interests in social, political, and commercial life, which have either sprung up since the time of the learned Author, or are modifications so elaborate and extensive of those which he has illustrated, that they can scarcely be recognized in their former state of existence...

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