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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by
SAXTON , AND MILES, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for
the Southern District of New York.
In preparing this work the author has endeavored to present every important fact contained in the Constitution and Laws of the State of New York, in such a manner that the pupil will be able to understand, fix and secure it in his mind at once. If in the Roman Republic the very children, as Cicero informs us, were obliged to learn the twelve tables by heart, as a carmen necessarium, or indispensable lesson, to imprint on their tender minds an early knowledge of the Constitution and Laws of their country, should we not profit by their example ? Our Constitution and Laws are the charter of our religious and political liberty. The knowledge of them should be as diffusive as the sun-light. Every man should “teach them to his children, speaking of them when he sits in his house, when he walks by the way, when he lies down and when he rises up. He should write them upon the door-posts of his house and upon the gates."
A large majority of crimes are committed by those who are entirely ignorant of the penalty. Let our laws be thoroughly instilled into the minds of the young, and we may write on our State prisons and Bridewells, “ To Let.” It is much easier and much cheaper to prevent crime than to punish it.
In a country, and under a government like ours, where all, directly or indirectly, make, apply and execute the laws of the land—in a country inhabited by a “ Nation of Kings”-in a country where every native citizen is a member of the “ Royal Family,” and every young man “ an heir apparent to the crown,” the blush of shame should mantle the cheek of every child who does not understand our Constitution and Laws.
The Secretary of State, a few years ago, in his report to the Legislature, as Superintendent of Common Schools, uses the following language :
“ The primary schools are most intimately connected with the success and stability of our free system of government. Every citizen