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to His MAJESTY.
1 You in a publick manner, this Edition of the Statutes, will I hope, be excused, when you consider that it owes in a great measure it's very Being to You.
WHEN the uncommon abilities with which You vindicated the right of the University to print Law-books, had so clearly refuted every objection, and dispelled every doubt from the mind of that Honourable. Court the King's Bench, that their noble Chief, who always breathes the Spirit of the Laws, would permit no unnecessary delays to fufpend their Justice ; – You applied it immeVol. XXV.
diately to the Honour of the University and the Public Utility, by suggesting such a publication of an intire body of the Statutes as was likely to prove of most general convenience : - my desire to make a thankful acknowledgment for the honour of being entrusted with the execution of your Plan, has been hịtherto awed by the fear of offending, but united with the inclination of the University, pardon me if it can no longer be reftrained in Silence,
THAT learned body, on your first appearance among them, saw You poffefsed of richer Stores of learning than many others are at their leaving it; and the more admired to observe You, indefatigable in the pursuit of new attainments, devote to Science that early season of life, too frequently resigned to pleasure and dissipation ; and that admiration became ripened into the highest esteem and friendship with it's most respectable members, whilst You were no less distinguished by your most regular observance of every thing that Academical authority requires, than by the most polished and amiable manners.
The Season that called you forth into Action, seemed only the Harvest due to the cultivation of such talents at the fountain of learning; and the mafterly skill with which You explained various questions of Policy and Law, in the Senate and at the Bar, not only fixed the
attention of all the men of business, but ata tracted the regards of a Sovereign, who being himself possessed of every virtue, feels the noblest Satisfaction in exalting modest worth ; and therefore called You to that important office, a Choice that reflects mutual lustre both on the Royal Donor and on the Receiver.
In the Character of Sollicitor General You endeavoured to destroy a Monopoly, and to extend the freedom of the Press to the University; because You foresaw that they would exercise it for the public good; and because neither the weight nor variety of business could ever interrupt the good offices of your antient friendship; on the contrary, You rendered it instrumental to the protection and honour of that body; - and it's particular Members, in the most difficult cases, ever found in You, at once an able adviser, and a generous Patron.
But I have been betrayed insensibly by the warmth of my own Sentiments and of others, into the danger of giving offence, where I intended the reverse :-- indeed, the delicacies of your Character demand an abler hand than mine, - I forbear therefore, - though not without a secret murmur, that You are continually deserving praises, yet are unwilling to hear them, though they afford the highest pleasure to every one beside. a 2
- At least, Sir, permit this Offering of the First-fruits of a Press, for which you pleaded with so much learning, spirit and force, that the University might almost call it Your's, and which under Your Auspices they propose to employ for the general service of the nation: — permit me to entreat Your Pardon for this intrusion, and Your favourable acceptance of this work, and to assure You that I am, with the sincerest Respect,