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present exalted station, to which you were invited by the combined voice of the guardians of the University, under the most flattering circumstances, every act of your life has conduced to establish the importance and wisdom of the choice. May you long continue to wear its honors with unsullied dignity. In the language of your own favorite Poet, I may say, Cura Patrum ... tuas virtutes in ævum per titulos memoresque fastos æternet. I have the honor to remain, most truly,

your obliged friend,

JOSEPH STORY. Cambridge, Massachusetts, October, 1835.

PREFACE.

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The present volume owes its existence to an unexpected request of the enterprising publishers, that I would permit them to print a collection of my miscellaneous writings. To such a request I could not but yield a ready compliance; and my chief solicitude has been to present to the public such only of my compositions, as might be deemed least unworthy of their favor. Some of them have never before appeared in print; and in regard to those, which have so appeared, I have availed myself of the present opportunity to correct many errors, by which they were unavoidably blemished, in consequence of my not having originally examined the proof-sheets, as they passed through the press. Although I am fully aware, that I can have little claim to ask the public indulgence for the defects, which may be discovered in these literary efforts, I trust, that I may be permitted in some measure to deprecate the severity of criticism by alluding to the fact, that they were all written, not in hours of literary leisure or ease, but in hours oppressed by the weight of professional business, and sometimes by anxious cares, at which the heart sickens, and the spirit faints.

Cambridge, October, 1995.

CONTENTS.

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