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W. KNOX WIGRAM,
OF LINCOLN'S INN, BARRISTER-AT-LAW, J.P., MIDDLESEX.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
In launching a second edition of these Notes, my first duty is plain enough. I have to thank my many critics, one and all, professional as well as lay, for a reception more cordial and more kind than I could
ever have ventured to anticipate. If the present volume be not in some degree less unworthy than its predecessor of so much goodnature, I have taken a great deal of pains to little
Among other additions I have no longer trusted to mere alphabetical arrangement as an excuse for not furnishing an index. With all the good will in the world, this troublesome task is not one in which everybody need expect success. Any man with a certain amount of judgment and some perseverance may write a tolerable treatise. But nothing short of Genius will count for much when he comes to that epigrammatic schedule. I hope that, in their present form, these Notes may be of
use to Justices, both as an introduction to their ordinary business in the first instance, and afterwards upon the bench. I trust also that I may have done something for people who are neither Justices nor lawyers, but who have to look up these matters occasionally upon their own account, besides being expected to advise their neighbours. It may be for their advantage to make acquaintance with a few things which if not generally known' are only so because they have hitherto been written in what for the world in general are sealed books.
In a compilation of this nature it is obvious that much must be left unsaid. At the same time the reader has a right to expect that whatever is said should be stated with accuracy, and in a manner which cannot mislead when referred to in a hurry. Far be it from me to challenge anybody to pick holes. A diligent revise for the purposes of the present edition has not been without its lessons. But if any gentleman who may hit upon a blunder, or observe the omission of anything which ought to have been stated, will kindly give me the benefit of his criticism, he will confer a favour for which I shall be exceedingly grateful.
W. KNOX WIGRAM.
THE CHESNUTS, TWICKENHAM,
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
In every other profession and business under the sun, a man must serve an apprenticeship of some kind before he takes his turn at the honours and duties of a mastercraftsman. The exception is that of the Justice of the Peace. His appointment upon the Commission implies no acquaintance with the Statutes at large. He need never have heard a case tried. His sole credentials are the instincts and education of an English gentleman. Yet, both in volume and variety, the amount of work which in these days may be instantly forced upon his attention is enormous. He is called upon to encounter it at once. He must do justice, both to himself and to others, with no further training in the matter than such as he can accomplish by the way.
Text-books are, of course, at his command. To these useful and indispensable manuals I should be ungrateful indeed if I did not confess my own private obligations.