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J. H. BALFOUR BROWNE, Esq.,
Of the Middle Temple and Midland Circuit, Barrister-at-Law, Registrar to the Railway
WITH REFERENCES TO THE SCOTCH AND AMERICAN DECISIONS.
SUMNER WHITNEY & CO.
THIS SECOND EDITION, AS I DEDICATED THE FIRST,
TO MY FATHER,
W. A. F. BROWNE, Esq., M. D.,
LATE COMMISSIONER IN LUNACY FOR SCOTLAND,
WITH MY MOST AFFECTIONATE REGARDS
AND SINCERE ADMIRATION.
The Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons with reference to the Homicide Bill of last session, contained these words: "It would seem that a code aiming, like the Homicide Bill, to reduce a large and complicated subject to a few abstract propositions, can hardly be made intelligible to the nonlegal mind without the use of illustrations by putting particular cases, an important innovation which your committee recommend to the favourable attention of the House."
When I undertook, in the first instance, to write a work upon insanity and its legal relations, I was impressed with the truth of the proposition which the Select Committee embodied in their report; and I endeavoured to arrange the abstract principles of law with regard to Responsibility and Capacity in relation to actual illustrations drawn from the facts of defect and disease. That effort has, I believe, been crowned with some success. The work received kind encouragement, and at the hands of every reviewer, save one, most generous criticism. It is due to the fact that the medical and legal press in England, Scotland, and America, received the first edition with more favour than perhaps it deserved, that a second edition has been called for; and it is because of the praise which was bestowed upon that earlier work that I have endeavoured to make the present edition more complete and more practically useful. I have rewritten and rearranged the book, and reconsidered, and, in some instances, recast every proposition.
Since the publication of the first edition, several important cases have been decided, and several works upon the subject of