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BY JAMES MACKINTOSH, Esq.
OF LINCOLN'S INN,
THE SECOND EDITION.
PRINTED FOR T. CADELL, JUN. AND W. DAVIES, IN THE
PORTUGAL STREET, LINCOLN'S INN.
BEFORE I begin a course of lectures on a science of great extent and importance, I think it my duty to lay before the Public the rea. fons which have induced me to undertake such a labour, as well as a short account of the nature and objects of the course which I propose to deliver. I have always been unwilling to waste in unprofitable inactivity that leisure which the first years of my profession usually allow, and which diligent men, even with moderate talents, might often employ in a manner neither discreditable to themselves nor wholly useless to prhers. Defirous that my own leisure should not be consumed in Roth, I anxiously looked about
for some way of filling it up, which might enable me, according to the measure of my humble abilities, to contribute somewhat to the stock of general usefulness. I had long been convinced that public lectures, which have been used in most ages and countries to teach the elements of almost every part of learning, were the most convenient mode in which these elements could be taught; that they were the best adapted for the important purposes of awakening the attention of the student, of abridging his labours, of guiding his inquiries, of relieving the tediousness of private study, and of impressing on his recollection the principles of science. I saw no reason why the law of England should be less adapted to this mode of instruction, or less likely to benefit by it, than any other part of knowledge. A learned ģentleman, however, had already occupied that ground *, and will, I doubt not, persevere in the useful labour which he has undertaken. On his province it was far from my wish to intrude. It appeared to me that a course of lectures on another science closely connected with all liberal professional studies, and which had long been the subject of my own reading and reflection, might not only prove a most useful introduction to the
* See " A Syllabus of Lectures on the Law of England, “ to be delivered in Lincoln's-Inn Hall, by M. Nolan, Esq.' London, 1996,