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respects be precisely and accurately set forth would be as senseless as to abstain from the study of pharmacy because its appliances cannot always cure.
· These Commentaries treat of The Rights of Persons, The Rights of Things, Private Wrongs, and Public Wrongs(6). Under the first of these heads are considered not merely the absolute rights of individuals, such as the right of liberty and that of property, but also the nature of those institutions, which, by the framers of our law, were deemed essential for assuring and maintaining them — the attributes of parliament, of the sovereign, and of minor magistrates are here passed under review — the states and conditions of the people are regarded — rights and liabilities incident to the ordinary relations of society are enumerated. Under the second of the above heads are included the classification and legal nature of real property, the tenures and titles of its occupants — the various species of estates — the modes of acquiring and transferring them. Personalty is likewise here noticed, the property in and title to it. The third division of this work is devoted to the redress of private wrongs — the courts which administer it — their jurisdiction and method of procedure ; while the fourth division exclusively concerns itself with acts which are criminal in kind, with offences against the crown, the commonwealth, the community — the manner of repressing and of punishing them. An epitome follows of the Rise and Progress of the Laws of England.
Excessive care has been taken in the compilation of these Commentaries, and though a reader may little heed the precise apportionment of such labour as between those who have bestowed it, somewhat should perhaps be said upon the subject. For those portions of the work which are irrespective of the Law of Real Property and Equity, responsibility attaches to him whose name first appears below; he has, however, been most materially aided in preparing them by several learned and accomplished friends ;-as regards some important chapters(c) in Volume I, by Mr. Geary of the Midland Circuit; as regards the account of an action at law in Volume III. (d), by Mr. JOSEPH PHILIPS of the Home Circuit; and as regards the account of the jurisdiction and practice of the Divorce and Matrimonial Court, the Probate Court, the Court of Admiralty, and the Ecclesiastical Courts, contained in the same volume(e), by Mr. INDERWICK, of the Home Circuit; to each of whom the sincerest acknowledgments are due.
(6) The organic arrangement of Blackstone has thus been adhered to, and the sequence of chapters in some of these volumes is the same, or nearly so, as in his own.
(c) Namely, part of chap. 8, and chaps. 9, 13--17. (d) Chap. 12. (e) Chaps. 1417.
To him whose name is secondly undersigned attaches responsibility for the disquisition on our Law of Real Property($), on the Redress of Private Wrongs by the operation of law (g), and on Courts of Equity, their Jurisdiction and Procedure(s).
In dealing with the above subjects historic changes have not been disregarded, but the especial aim has been to pourtray the living law.
May these Commentaries aid in spreading abroad a knowledge of our laws — in quickening the apprehension of such as would know them — in teaching to all the necessity of obeying them!
EDWARD A. HADLEY. LONDON, October 20, 1869.
(f) Vol. II.
(1) Vol. III., chaps. 4–6.
PREFACE TO AMERICAN EDITION.
EVERY student who enters upon the study of the law finds it necessary to begin with elementary works which give him an outline of the principles of the law, or a general view of the subject.
Among the works used for this purpose, Blackstone's Commentaries have long held a high place in the estimation of the student and of the legal profession. But, since that work was written, the laws have been so changed, even in England, that much of the text is now obsolete law. And it was found necessary to rewrite the entire work if it was to retain its place as a text-book. This task was assumed by Messrs. Broom & Hadley, and their labors are a monument to their industry and learning. They have omitted such matters as are not now regarded as law in England ; and have added such new titles as have become useful by reason of changes in the laws.
The latest authorities are given, so that either the student or the practitioner may rely upon the text as sound law. The American editor has added such notes as seemed desirable by way of illustrating the text. Where the English law is in harmony with the American, the cases cited in the notes will show that fact; and, if there is a difference between the American and the English law, the notes will point out the prominent distinctions or differences. In reading this work the student may feel confident that the text gives him the English law of the present day; and in reading the notes he will find such American authorities and illustrations as were supposed to be useful to the student or valuable to the practitioner. In the hope that it may prove a convenient and reliable assistant in the study or the practice of the law it is submitted to the profession.
WILLIAM WAIT. September 7th, 1875.