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SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, KNT.
RE-PRINTED FROM THE BRITISH COPY,
A M E RICA:
PRINTED FOR THE SUBSCRIBERS,
PHILADELPHI A. M DCC LXXI.
T HE inhabitants of this continent have now an easy and advantageT ous opportunity of effectually establishing literary manufactures in the British colonies, at moderate prices calculated for this meridian, the establishment of which will absolutely and eventually produce mental improvement, and commercial expansion, with the additional recommendation of possitively saving thousands of pourjs in and among the inhabitants of the British empire in America.—Thus— The importation of one thousand sets of Blackstone's Commentaries, manufactured in Europe, at ten pounds per let, is sending very near ten thousand pounds across the great Atlantic ocean. Whereas-One thousand sets manufactured in America, and sold at the small price of three pounds per set, is an actual fuving of scven thousand pounds to the purchasers, and the identical three thoutand pounds which is laid out for our own manufactures is still retained in the country, being distributed among manufacturers and traders, widie residence upon the continent of course causeth the money to circulate from neighbour to neighbour, and by this circulation in America there is a great probability of its 'revolving to the very hands from which it originally migraied.
American Gentlemen or Ladies who, at this juncture, retain any degrees of that antient and noble, but now almost extinguished, affection denominated patriotism, and are now pleased to exemplify it by extending with celerity and alacrity their auspicious patronage through the chcap mode of reposing their names and residences (no money expected till the delivery of an equivalent) with any Bookseller or Printer on the continent, as intentional purchasers of any of the literary works now in contemplation to be reprinted by subscription in America----will render an essential service to the community, by elia couraging native manufactures----and therefore deserve to be had in grali full remembrance----by their country---by posterity---and by their much obliyed, huinble servant, the Publisher--
ROBERT BEL L.
SUBSCRIPTIONS for Hume, Black Ronc, and Ferguson, are received by faid Bell, at the late Union Library, in Third-street, Philadelphia; and by the Booksellers and Printers in America,
Printed SPECIMENS, with Conditions annexed, for rsprintin the abovc Books by Subscription, may be seen at all the great Tortis in Amu-. rica.
P R E F A C
T H E following sbeets contain the substance of a
1 course of le&tures on the laws of England, which were read by the author in the university of Oxford. His original plan took it's rise in the year 1753: and, notwithstanding the novelty of such an attempt in this age and country, and the prejudices usually conceived against any innovations in the established mode of education, he had the satisfaction to find ( and he ackrowleges it with a mixture of pride and gratitude) that his ena deavours were encouraged and patronized by those, both in the university and out of it, whose good opinia on and esteem he was principally desirous to obtain.
THE death of Mr VINER in 1756, and his ample benefaction to the university for promoting the study of the law, produced about two years afterwards a regular and public establishment of what the author had privately undertaken. The knowlege of our laws and constitution was adopted as a liberal science by general
academical authority ; competent endowments were decreed for the support of a lecturer, and the perpetual encouragement of Audents; and the compiler of the ensuing commentaries had the honour to be elected the first Vinerian profesor.
IN this situation he was led, both by duty and inclination, to investigate the elements of the law, and the grounds of our ciwl polity, with greater asiduity and attention than many have thought it weceffary to de. And yet all, who of late years have attended the public adminiftration of justice, must be fenghile that of masterly acquaintance with the general Spirit of laws and the principles of universal jurisprudence, combined with an accurate knowlege of aur own municipal conftitutions, their original, reason, and hiftory, hath given a beauty and energy to many modern judicial decisions, with which our ancestors were wholly unacquainted. If, in the pursuit of these inquiries, the author hath been able to rectify any errors which either bimself or others may have heretofore imbibed, his pains will be sufficiently anSwered : and, if in some points he is fill mistaken, the candid and judicious rcader will make due allowances for the difficulties of a search fo new, so extenfive, and so laborious.
2 Nov. 1765.