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SECTION THE FIRST.

ON THE STUDY OF THE LAW*.

MR. VICE-CHANCELLOR, AND GENTLEMEN OF
THE UNIVERSITY,

THE

HE general expectation of fo numerous and refpectable an audience, the novelty, and (I may add) the importance of the duty required from this chair, muft unavoidably be productive of great diffidence and apprehenfions in him who has the honour to be placed in it. He must be fenfible how much will depend upon his conduct in the infancy of a study which is now firft adopted by public academical authority; which has generally been repu ted (however unjustly) of a dry and unfruitful nature; and of which the theoretical, elementary parts have hitherto received a very moderate fhare of cultivation. He cannot but reflect that, if either his plan of inftruction be crude and injudicious, or the execution of it lame and fuperficial, it will caft a damp upon the farther progrefs of this most useful and moft rational branch of learning; and may defeat for a time the public-fpirited defign of our wife and munificent benefactor. And this he must more

*Read in Oxford at the opening of the Vinerian Lectures ; 25 Oct. 1758.

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