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A POPULAR DIGEST OF
THE LAWS OF ENGLAND,
CIVIL, CRIMINAL, AND CONSTITUTIONAL:
INTENDED FOR PRACTICAL USE AND GENERAL INFORMATION.
« I wish every man knew as much law as would enable him to keep
himself out of it."-LORD BACON.
PREFACE TO THE TWENTY-THIRD EDITION.
The twenty-second edition of the CABINET LAWYER consisted of fifteen hundred copies, and was published little more than four years ago ; that edition, however, has been for some time exhausted, and the unabated demand for the work renders the publication of a twenty-third edition requisite.
No similar instance is believed to bave occurred of a Law-book proving so acceptable to the general public.
In preparing the present edition, care has been taken to incorporate in the text, with as much accuracy and minuteness as circumstances would admit of, the numerous changes that have been made in the Law since the publication of the last edition. The Editor desires to call particular attention to the articles on Bankruptcy and Stamps, in which the provisions of the important Consolidation Acts on those subjects that have been passed in 1869 and 1870. are given, it is believed, with greater detail than in any similar publication.
It would, no doubt, be vain to expect that a book of this description should be entirely free from errors or omissions ; but the Editor ventures to hope, that if any such should be found to exist, they will not be of a nature to impair the substantial usefulness of the work, which is sufficiently evidenced by the rapid sale of so many successive impressions.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
Taose who have attended to the details of administrative justice cannot fail to have remarked that the great mass of litigation results not more from the uncertainty of the law than the absence of the legal information which ought to be within the reach and comprehension of every member of the community. Of the ques. tions brought forward for the adjudication of a public tribunal, a larve proportion are referable to clear and settled determinations of law, with which the parties themselves ought to have been apprized, without the delay, expense, and anxiety inseparable from judicial proceedings.
A principal object of the present undertaking has been to lessen the occasions for an appeal to the Courts of Law; and, secondly, to render accessible to unprofessional readers a knowledge of the institutions by which individual rights, persons, and properties are secured.
As the primary design was a Popular Digest of the Laws of Eng. land, my first object has been compression and simplicity ; the former I endeavoared to attain by strictly avoiding everything extraneous to a distinct elucidation of the immediate question : the latter, by diresting the subject of technical obscurity, combined with an arrangement which I think will be found as natural and convenient as the English laws will admit.
The work is divided into Six Parts, and each part is subdivided into chapters and sections. The First Part comprises the chief points in the origin and jurisdiction of the laws of England, anci in the institutions and government from which they have emanated. Next follows the Administration of Justice, including a brief account of the courts of law, the mode of civil and criminal procedure, the constitution of juries, and the nature of evidence. The Third Part embraces the laws affecting Classes, comprising the laws and regulations principally bearing on the social and domestic relations of life, and exclusively referring to particular descriptions of