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When the under-writer has never run any risk, it would be unconfciortable that he fhould retain the premium: Therefore after confidering those inftances, in which this is the cafe, it is natural next to ascertain in what cafes, the underwriter fhould retain, and in what cafes he fhould return the premium.

It would be in vain to tell a man, that he was entitled to the affiftance of the law, and that his cafe was equitable and right, without pointing out in what forum, and by what mode of proceeding he should feck a remedy. I have endeavoured to point out the proper tribunal, to which a perfon injured is to apply; the mode of proceeding, which he is to adopt; and the nature of the evidence he must adduce to fubftantiate his claim, with refpect to this contract : After the difcuffion of marine infurances, I have added three chapters upon fubjects, which, though they do not form a part of the plan, are fo materially connected with it in the rules and principles of decifion, that it seem ed to me the work would be deficient without them: Thefe are, bottomry and refpondentia, infurances upon lives; and infurances against fire.

When I planned this work, I intended to prefix an introduction, containing a fhort, hiftorical account of the rife and progrefs of infurances in this country. But, upon the fuggeftion of one, to whofe opinion I bow with deference, and whofe judgment will always


always command obedience; I was induced to enlarge my defign. The reader will now find a fhort account of fuch of the antient maritime ftates, as have promulgated any fyftem of naval jurifprudence; and alfo, of the progrefs of marine law among the various ftates of Europe. I have endeavoured to trace the origin of infurance to its fource; to point out thofe countries in which it has flourished, and the progrefs and improvement of it in our own. Such is the arrangement, which I have adopted, and on the propriety of which, the world and the profeffion are to decide.

As to the mode of treating the subject, it will be proper to obferve, that at the head of each chapter, I have ftated the principles, upon which the cafes on that point depend; and then have quoted the cafes themselves to fhew, that they are agreeable and confonant to the principles advanced. If there are any cafes, which feem to differ from the others, I endeavour to prove, either that they depend upon different principles, or that there are circumftances in them, which make them exceptions to the general rules. In quoting cafes, I have been careful minutely to ftate all the circumftances, and alfo the opinion of the court without any alteration, or comments of my own; convinced that the utility of a work of this kind confifts in the true and accurate account of what the law is, not in idle fpeculations of a private man, as to what the law ought to be. Befides, one main purpofe of fuch a compo

fitionis, to save the profeffors of the law the trouble of turning over vaft volumes of reports, by collecting into one book, all the cafes upon a particular fubject.

But, unless the cafes are fully and faithfully reported, recourse must ftill be had to the original reporters, and the end of such a compilation is defeated. At the fame time, it ought to be obferved, that sometimes, though not very often, several different points arife in one caufe; and then in order to preserve the system complete, it is neceffary to feparate them, and to affign to each its proper place. But ftill the opinion of the court is given fully on each of the points; and a reference is made from one part of the cafe to the other.

I had it in contemplation to have had a diftinct chapter for the confideration of the law relative to this fpecies of contract in other countries of Europe. But upon reflecting that infurances are founded upon the great principles of natural juftice, rather than upon any municipal regulations; and that confequently the law muft be nearly the fame in all countries, I relinquished the idea. Befides, I have throughout the work, which feemed to be a better plan,. taken notice in what refpects the positive inftitutions of other maritime ftates agree or difagree with those of our own: A plan, which ferves to illuftrate and confirm the English fyftem.


It remains to speak of the materials I have ufed. Conscious that the value of a law book depends upon the purity and excellence of the fources, from which its contents are taken, I have never advanced any pofition, without referring to the book in which it was found; unless it be upon fome unfettled point, where I have ftated the arguments that may be adduced on both fides, and left it to the reader to form his own conclufions. In my researches upon this occafion, I have confulted every foreign author that I could poffibly obtain; and have made as much ufe of their labours, as the nature of the plan would admit.

With respect to the decifions of the English courts of justice, I believe I have not omitted a fingle cafe, that ever has appeared in print upon the fubject: Befides which, this collection contains a great number of manufeript cafes, of which fome have been determined at Nifi Prius only, and many have been the fubject of deliberation in court upon cafes referved, or upon motions for new trials. For the latter, I myfelf am chiefly refponfible, and upon fome future occafion, I fhall be happy to correct any errors, which they may contain; as most of them were taken while I was a ftudent, merely for my private ufe, without any view to future publication. I have, however, by comparing them with fuch notes as I could obtain, done every thing in my power to render them worthy of the attention of the profeffion. As to the Nifi Prius notes, I am indebted for them


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them to the very liberal and generous communications of my young profeffional friends; and to fome alfo of thofe, who are in the first rank at the bar. Indeed, to name any one would be an injuftice to the reft; and therefore, I muft beg they will accept my general acknowledgments. I fhould, however, be undeferving of that attention and affiftance with which I have been honoured, were I to omit this opportunity of returning my fincere and grateful thanks to Mr. Justice Buller, whofe abilities are only equalled by his eafiness of accefs, his ready and liberal communication of that knowledge, which is the natural result of fuch talents, and fuch unwearied application to ftudy. The many valuable hints I have received from that learned judge, will no doubt contribute much to the utility of this work.

To those who are much engaged in the labours of the profeffion, a full and complete table of the principal matters is of the utmost confequence. I have ufed my endeavours to render this part of the work as ufeful as poffible, by stating each point under all the heads, that will naturally be reforted to for the folution of any doubt.

Having thus explained the nature of my arrangement, the mode which I have adopted in the difcuffion of each chapter, and the fources from which my information is derived, I prefent this volume to the public. The utility and neceffity of fuch a work are univerfally acknowledged; the attempt is


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