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SOME years ago I was strongly impressed with the need of a
book which would expound, within a convenient compass,
and in as systematic a form as the subject-matter might
admit, the chief general considerations that enter into the
rational discussion of political questions in modern states.
Though there were many valuable treatises dealing with
particular portions of this subject, no English writer
far as I knew-had, since Bentham, attempted to treat it as
a whole: and though such a comprehensive treatment must
necessarily be brief, it appeared to me that even this brevity
would have some advantages. For such a general treatment
as I had in view, however full, must be for practical pur-
poses incomplete ; and an exposition severely confined by
limits of space would at any rate have the merit of keeping
this inevitable incompleteness steadily before the minds of
both writer and readers. The present work is the result of
an attempt to satisfy the need that I have just described.
The plan upon which it has been composed I have en-
deavoured to explain in the first chapter: it only remains
for me here to record the chief debts that I am conscious
of owing to previous writers from whom I have derived
ideas, and to express my gratitude to the friends who have
aided me with criticisms and suggestions.

My general view of Politics was originally derived from the writings of Bentham and J. S. Mill; and the earlier

portion of the book, which deals with the principles of legislation, is to a considerable extent composed on the lines of Bentham's Principles of the Civil Code. But before composing it I have endeavoured to profit by the study of several more recent works on Jurisprudence and the Principles of Law ;-among which I may mention especially Austin's Theory of Jurisprudence, Holland's Jurisprudence, and Pollock's Principles of Contract. In later chapters (xv. and xvi.) of my first Part, which deal with international relations, I am under special obligations to Hall's International Law. I ought to add that in two or three chapters of this first Part—especially x. and xi.--I have had more or less to go over ground already traversed by myself in my Principles of Political Economy. So far as this has been the case, I have not hesitated to borrow from my earlier work ; though I have tried as much as possible to introduce such differences of treatment as appeared to me appropriate to the different scope and aims of the present treatise.

In the second Part of this book, which deals mainly with the structure of Government, the views that I have expressed have been partly derived from so great a variety of sources that I find it difficult to estimate closely how much I owe to any one previous writer. Still, among the English books that I have studied with profit, I am conscious of special obligations to J. S. Mill's Representative Government, Bagehot's English Constitution, Todd's Parliamentary Government, Dicey's Law of the Constitution, and Bryce's American Commonwealth. I have also found Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, and Anson's Law and Custom of the Constitution, most useful for reference. Among the foreign books from which I have derived ideas and information, I may specially mention the works of Gneist and Holzendorff, and Bluntschli's Lehre des Modernen Staats; also the series of monographs that make up Marquardsen's Handbuch des öffentlichen Rechts, as

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