« EelmineJätka »
believe that his Manual of Equity has been found of use even by Chancery Barristers, so, perhaps, some members of the Common Law Bar may find this Manual of Common Law useful for perusal, or for reference on circuit, where they may have no opportunity of consulting larger and superior works.
It may be also observed, that the General Reader would find it neither a difficult nor a disagreeable task, to collect from these pages a body of information which would be most useful to him in daily life, as calculated to preserve him from much expense, trouble, and annoyance, too frequently resulting from ignorance of this subject.
The student may not be able to resort to the treatises on the more specific heads of Law which are cited in these pages; but it will of course be necessary for him to pass on from the perusal of this book to the study of some other general Text-books. And from their comprehensiveness, and the very able, agreeable, and instructive style in which they are written, the Author would recommend him to select Broom's Commentaries on the Common Law, Addison's Contracts, Addison's Torts, the works of the late Mr. John William Smith on Leading Cases and on Contracts, Stephen's Commentaries on the Laws of England, and Best on Evidence. *
These works form a comprehensive and yet very compendious collection of general Text-books; and the student will find it highly desirable not merely to consult them occasionally, but to possess
peruse them. But perhaps the most expedient course for him to adopt, would be, first to read through this Manual once or twice by itself; and then to expand his knowledge, by consulting the passages in those works, as referred to in this book, when he peruses it for the second or third time. By adopting such a course, he will be enabled to enlarge, explain, and illustrate, by memory or manuscript additions, what he has read in the following pages, as well as to find the authorities for it.
* Mr. Broom's Commentaries extend to Practice, which is generally excluded from this Manual, except so far as regards the nature of the different actions and proceedings other than by action. And they include Criminal Law, which forms no part of the subject of these pages. The student will find these Commentaries, the work of Mr. John William Smith on Contracts, and the works of Mr. Addison, very interesting, as well as very profitable. And there is another book by Mr. Broom his work on Legal Maxims — which would be most useful to the student, though not cited in these pages.
Although, of course, this little book is not at all a substitute for those larger workscomprising, as each of them does, a mass of points, cases, and comments, necessarily
, excluded from this - yet it may prove a useful introduction to them; and may also serve as an epitome and nucleus of a great number of the points that are most fundamental, or most constantly recurring in daily life, and therefore most particularly important to be accurately known and well fixed in the mind.
As it is entirely different, in its nature and the purposes for which it is adapted, from the works on which it is founded, and from all other works on Common Law, and therefore cannot be regarded as competing with any of them; so, on the other hand, the writer believes that, for the same reasons, none of them would serve as a substitute for it; and that consequently it may be considered as simply an attempt to supply a vacant place.
The chapter on Bankruptcy is an original consolidated abridgement and arrangement of the leading provisions of the two great Bankruptcy Acts. In the present unsettled state of the subject, the Author did not think it expedient to trouble the Reader with more than this.
As to the rest (comprising the main body) of the work, on Common Law, great has been the expenditure of time and thought, in selecting, arranging, digesting, compressing, defining, distinguishing, and qualifying, which the preparation of it has involved. It bears the same relation to the text-books cited in it, as those books bear to the Reports and treatises on which they are founded. And in general, if the reader wishes to have the unabridged and unaltered language of the writers cited upon any point, he must turn to their pages, as referred to, for their precise language, as well as for the cases, reasons, illustrations, and other matter connected
with such point. To have added these, would neither have been right towards those Authors, nor compatible with the limited bulk, price, and design of this volume.
To his very learned friend, Mr. O. D. Tudor (who has done so much service to the Profession by valuable works on various branches of the Law), and to his College friend, Mr. George Miller, of Lincoln's Inn and of the Home Circuit, the Author is indebted for kindly perusing the proof sheets, and offering some useful suggestions.
For the imperfections of this Manual, the generous Reader will make allowance, when he considers how extensive is the field of legal lore which it has been necessary to traverse.
LINCOLN'S INN: Long Vacation, 1862.