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SECOND AMERICAN, FROM THE LATEST ENGLISH,

EDITION.

PRINTED AT BOSTON,

For THOMAS AND ANDREWS, No.45, NewBURY-STREET,

DAVID WEST, No. 56,
AND JOHN WEST, No. 75, CORNHILL.

Sold at their several BOOKSTORES.

AUG. 1799

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TO THE HONOURABLE

SIR FRANCIS BULLER, BART.

ONE OF THE JUDGES OF HIS MAJESTY':

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

&c.

THE

SIR,
'HE venerable and illustrious person, to

whom the former impressions of this Work were dedicated, being now no more, I am desirous of inscribing this Edition to you, who, with the late Earl Mansfield, first patronized and encouraged me in the prosecution of this undertaking. Those early proofs of your attention and regard can never be effaced from my memory, and I rejoice in this opportunity of publickly deelaring my grateful sense of

your uniform and continued friendship. Neither can I omit to mention upon this occasion the obligations I am under, for many valuable improvements of this work fuggested by you, with that liberality and condescension, which are ever found to accompany extensive knowledge and eminent talents; and which demand from me

every

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every public and private testimony of unfeigned respect and gratitude.

It was my wish to have given a sketch of the judicial life and character of Lord Mansfield, by way of preface to this edition of a book, the contents of which might be considered as so peculiarly his own: and I was the more anxious to have done so, because no other person had undertaken to pay this sort of tribute to his memory, and because the idea was approved of by you. But when I came to reflect upon the subject, when I considered his extraordinary talents, his great penetration, his persuasive eloquence, and the greatness of his whole character, I found my powers very unequal to such an undertaking. However great my veneration and affection for his memory, and however gratifying such a Work 'might have been to my own feelings, I skrunk from attempting the portraiture of a man, who, for above: thirty years, had fo eminéntly diftinguithed himself in the administration of justice, asi to 'excite the general admira- . tion of Europe ;' who fixed the principles of Commercial Jurisprudence on the immutable basis of reason and natural justice ; and who, as it was well expressed by you, Sir, explained and commented upon those principles, till his hearers

were

were lost in admiration at the strength and extent of the human understanding.

A consciousness of my own inability, therefore, is the only cause for my declining a work, which I should have thought it my honour and my happiness to have accomplished. But when hereafter it shall be undertaken by some faithful hand adequate to the execution of it, Lord Mansfield will then appear to posterity to have been, what you well knew him to be, one of the wisest and best men of the age in which he lived,

I have the honour to be, with sincere respect and gratitude,

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