صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
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THE following compilation of the Laws of Alabama, embraces all the statutes of a public and general nature in force at the date of its publication, with the exception of those relating to the county boundaries, which it was found impossible to present in an intelligible shape, without the incorporation of many obsolete and local matters, totally incompatible with the scope of the work. It was undertaken early in the year 1832, in discharge of the duties of an appointment conferred by the general assembly for that purpose; and was, with much difficulty, completed in time to be laid before a committee of revision, who assembled at the seat of government, a few weeks before the meeting of the succeeding legislature. The commissioners, after a laborious and minute examination, which resulted in the correction of some redundancies, as well as an obvious and necessary improvement of the phraseology of most of the laws, made their report to the general assembly then sitting, in which they were pleased to notice the performance of the digester. in terms commendatory alike of the plan of the work, and of the scrupulous fidelity with which his task had been executed. The manuscript was afterwards referred to the judiciary committee of the house of representatives, by whom it underwent a cursory examination, without the detection of any errors. In including the acts of the last session, and in expunging from the original compilation, such laws and parts of laws as had ceased to be in force, although the benefit of this revision was necessarily wanting, yet it is believed the requisite means have been employed to ensure accuracy, both by an unremitting diligence on the part of the compiler, and such free recourse to the advice of eminent members of the bench and bar, as prudence recommended in cases of real or supposed difficulty. To attempt an apology, therefore, for any mistakes or deficiencies which may still exist, would seem to be a needless appeal to public courtesy and forbearance; as the errors, if any, are evidently not the offspring of haste or carelessness, but rather of that fallibility which attends every exercise of the human judg ment:-errors which no caution can obviate, nor counsel dispel.

As it respects the general plan and arrangement of the work, a circumstance upon which much of its utility must depend, and in which the merits or demerits of the digester will be most conspicuous, I am sensible, that an equal claim to the favorable opinion of the public, is not to be derived from these high testimonials. Of it, every one will judge for himself, and form his own estimate, how far it falls short of that standard of ideal perfection, which might have been more nearly approached, by the concurrence of abler hands and better materials. To win the praise that is due only to a faultless performance, is as far beyond my hopes, as the ability to deserve it would exceed the expectations of others. But yet, when the intrinsic difficulties of the undertaking are impartially weighed: when it is considered how much those difficulties were enhanced in the present instance by the brief time and inadequate powers allowed me, as well as by the great volume and mixed character of our laws, and the seemingly studied confusion in which they were involved, I may surely promise myself, that a slight difference of opinion, will not be hastily magnified into a ground of censure. All experience proves how chimerical is any attempt, even in regard to matters the most simple, to give universal satisfaction:-and when

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