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DR. EDWARD FISCHEL.
TRANSLATED FROM THE SECOND GERMAN EDITION,
RICHARD JENERY SHEE,
(OF THB INNER TEMPLE.)
“Non omnis arctatio privat libertatem,
(Political Poem of the 13th Century.)
The present volume is substantially a translation of Dr. Edward Fischel's “ Verfassung Englands," a work which has obtained considerable popularity in Germany. The first edition, published in 1862, was speedily exhausted, and a second edition was urgently called for, upon which latter this translation is based.
Although the Author is thoroughly at home in his subject, having availed himself of the best text-books and, with great assiduity and laboriousness, consulted the most reliable authorities, he has, as might well be expected while treating of our complicated judicial system, fallen into occasional crrors. Το have allowed these to appear in the English translation, would inevitably have impaired the credit of an otherwise valuable treatise. Such modifications as were deemed necessary have accordingly been introduced.
It affords matter for congratulation that an impartial survey of that system which the enlightened efforts of Englishmen have secured for themselves should have been presented, with such completeness, to the admiration of a kindred race. The portions of the work, however, which were merely intended to impress
the German public with a reverential regard for those minutiæ of our Constitutional scheme which seem to have struck the Author as worthy of adoption, have been eliminated. Certain other omissions have likewise been made for the purpose of rendering the volume less prolix. The mode of treatment followed by the Author in mapping out his subject under distinct and separate heads, and treating each of them independently, has entailed an amount of repetition which it has been sought, to a certain extent, to obviate.
The opinions of Dr. Fischel have been retained intact; in certain instances, however, quotations from and references to authors who have arrived at different views have been supplied. Details of constitutional precedents which the Author has either wholly omitted or imperfectly narrated, have been incorporated with the text.
The book has been prepared not with the view of instructing the professional man, but with the object of affording to the citizen that information which is so absolutely necessary for the faithful discharge of the manifold duties of public life. How often does it happen that men, entering upon the "patrician profession of practical politics,” suffer from the want of that preparatory acquirement which a good institutional treatise might afford ?
It is hoped that the work before us may, in some measure, meet this want, and tend to spread constitutional knowledge, while producing a deeper attachment to those institutions which even foreigners are bent on naturalizing, as far as may be, in their own land.
The Translator has aimed at two things--to deviate as little as possible from the original text; and, at the same time, to present the work in a form agreeable to the English reader.