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THE THIRD EDITION.
The present edition was prepared for the press under the superintendence of the author in the year 1841; it embodies the successive supplements to the former edition, and contains much additional information, which he had been enabled to procure on many points of interest: the first sheets were printed, but unforeseen circumstances prevented its completion during the author's lifetime; it is now published, care having been taken to introduce the alterations required by subsequent enactments and recent circulars.
Military Library, Whitehall,
1st May, 1843.
THE SECOND EDITION.
When this treatise was first published, the author formed the design, upon which he has since endeavoured to act, of printing, as often as alterations in the mutiny act or other circumstances might dictate, such notes as might prevent it from becoming obsolete, and render it a work of permanent and safe reference as to the existing state of military law.
He would still have pursued that plan; but nearly two years having elapsed since the last impression was disposed of, the continued demand for copies renders it expedient to publish a new edition; and he is led to believe, that a revised and corrected work would be more generally useful than a reprint of the original, with a supplement containing the alterations introduced since its publication. It is, however, still the intention of the author, occasionally to publish such notes as may be called for by circumstances, and when these notes are not extensive, they will, as heretofore, be delivered without charge to the possessors of a copy of the work.
The author has been much flattered by the approbation which has attended his endeavour to render an acceptable service to the army. If the commendation conferred on his labours has led to no other result, it has, at all events, stimulated him to produce the present edition; the use of which, as a book of reference, is facilitated by an extension of the index and marginal notes.
It has been suggested to the author to introduce a detailed history of the progress and operation of military law, but however acceptable such undertaking, if well executed, he cannot see that it would be followed by any practical advantage to compensate for the enlarged size and additional expense which must inevitably attend the improvement: he has, therefore, confined his observations to the existing state of military law, except where reference to previous laws or customs appeared necessary to a clear understanding of the subject under discussion. He still desires to be favored with private communications for the progressive improvement of this edition by means of the occasional supplements; and, with the continued hope of promoting the interests of the service to which, from his earliest years, he has been devoted, and into which his sons have now entered, again launches forth his work, having endeavoured to repair its defects and render it less unfitted to contend with the waves of public opinion.
21st September, 1835.