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PREFACE.

AN EXPERIENCE of several years in one of the most important of Her Majesty's Consulates, has impressed me with the opinion that a • Practical Guide for British Shipmasters,' in which the substance, without the crude legal phraseology of Acts of Parliament and Statutory Laws should appear, would be of service to that class of which Great Britain is so justly proud.

The object of the present work has been to bring familiarly, and at a comprehensive view, to the knowledge of Shipmasters their rights and duties.

A work of this nature must necessarily, to some extent, be a repetition of works upon the same subject which have preceded it. It has been my endeavour to extract from my predecessors such parts as have appeared to me to recommend themselves especially to attention, and myself to supply, from original authorities, such as have seemed to be wanting to the attainment of my object.

That part of my work for which a claim to originality may possibly-with greater apparent justice-be urged, is that embracing the substance of laws, rules, and regulations relative to British shipping in United States ports. So far as I am aware, this subject has never yet been reduced to such a form as to be of practical service to those to whom a knowledge of it is calculated to be of very great assistance.

If this object and no other has been now attained, I shall be fully satisfied with the result; and feel myself amply repaid if I have contributed, in ever so slight a degree, to lighten the arduous, and often unthankful, labours of the British Shipmaster.

January 1866.

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