1 MARCH 1873, Page 23


Blackstone Economized, being a Compendium of the Laws of England to the Present Tints. By David Mitchell Aird. (Longmans.)—This is by no means the first abridgment of Blackstone, but it is one which has merits of its own, and will be especially useful to those for whom it is intended,—the elementary class of students. By simplifying much -of Black,stone's language, and breaking up his work into divisions which may be easily mastered, Mr. Aird has produced what may be called the First Book of Law. It is probably with a view to the utility -of such a work for educational purposes that Lord Selborne has nccepted the dedication of it ; and we think beginners will find its method thoroughly practical. Mr. Aird says in his preface that he has 'been engaged on the book for many years, yet the effect of the various changes introduced of late years by successive statutes is faithfully given. Perhaps the chief fault of the book is one which arises neces- sarily from the method pursued, the fault of too great dependence on the original commentator. There are instances in which the rules of Lew laid down by Blackstone have been rather modified than altered by subsequent legislation, and in these cases it is difficult both to retain the old rule and yet to mark how the limits of its application have been narrowed. Thus, to give an example, the law under which a bailee may be guilty of larceny does not exactly contradict Black- stone's statement of the law of larceny, but if Blackstone's statement is left by itself, it conveys a wrong impression. We hope Mr. Aird will have the opportunity of removing this impression in a second edition .of his book.