The Ancient Library
 

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Xll PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

" little time for other labour. The want of proper materials also was often felt, " and it would have been sufficient to prevent the writer from venturing on " such an undertaking, if he had not been able to avail himself of the library " of his friend, Mr. William Wright, of Lincoln's Inn. These circumstances " will, perhaps, be some excuse for the errors and imperfections which will be " apparent enough to those who are competent judges. It is only those who " have formed an adequate conception of the extent and variety of the matter " of law in general, and of the Roman Law in particular, who can estimate the " difficulty of writing on such a subject in England, and they will allow to him " who has attempted it a just measure of indulgence. The writer claims such <e indulgence from those living writers of whose labours he has availed himself, <; if any of these articles should ever fall in their way. It will be apparent " that these articles have been written mainly with the view of illustrating <c the classical writers ; and that a consideration of the persons for whose use " they are intended, and the present state of knowledge of the Roman Law in " this country, have been sufficient reasons for the omission of many important " matters which would have been useless to most readers and sometimes unin­telligible.

" Though few modern writers have been used, compared with the whole " number who might have been used, they are not absolutely few, and many of " them to- Englishmen are new. Many of them also are the best, and among " the best, of the kind. The difficulty of writing these articles was increased by " the want of books in the English language; for, though we have many writers " on various departments of the Roman Law, of whom two or three have been " referred to, they have been seldom used, and with very little profit."

It would be improper to close these remarks without stating the obligations this work is under to Mr. Long. It was chiefly through his advice and en­couragement that the Editor was induced to undertake it, and during its progress he has always been ready to give his counsel whenever it was needed. It. is therefore as much a matter of duty as it is of pleasure, to make this public acknowledgment to him.

WILLIAM SMITH.

London, April 2nd, 1842,

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