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The demand for a second edition of this book within six months of its original publication encourages the hope that my attempt to survey the English Constitution from its legal side interests a class larger than the body of law students for whom my lectures were originally prepared.

Though the substance of the book is practically unchanged, care has been taken in preparing this edition for the press to correct every error of detail which has been brought to my notice by friendly critics. To no one among this class do I owe more than to M. Boutmy. His observations have enabled me to set right several oversights (pardonable I trust in an Englishman) with regard to special points in the French administrative system, and have given me ground to suppose that my general estimate of the nature of droit administratif does not disapprove itself to the judgment of a Frenchman whose Études de droit Constitutionnel prove him to be as capable as any living author of comparing and appreciating the distinguishing characteristics of English and French institutions.


March, 1886.

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“GREAT critics," writes Burke in 1791, “ have Lecture
“ taught us one essential rule ..... It is this, that
“if ever we should find ourselves disposed not to Optimistic

admire those writers or artists, Livy and Virgil for English
"instance, Raphael or Michael Angelo, whom all the tion.
“ learned had admired, not to follow our own fancies,
“ but to study them until we know how and what

we ought to admire ; and if we cannot arrive at
“this combination of admiration with knowledge,
“rather to believe that we are dull, than that the
“ rest of the world has been imposed on.

It is as good a rule, at least, with regard to this admired “constitution (of England). We ought to under“stand it according to our measure; and to venerate “where we are not able presently to comprehend"."

“No unbiassed observer," writes Hallam in 1818, “who derives pleasure from the welfare of his species,

can fail to consider the long and uninterruptedly increasing prosperity of England as the most beautiful phænomenon in the history of mankind.

Burke, Works, iii. p. 114.


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