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the belief that the immense increase in the Reports made it difficult for any lawyers, and impossible for most, to have a Law Library approaching completeness; and this is now far more the case than it was then. I thought a book would be useful which, by a full and accurate reference to all important authorities, would enable any lawyer to find in the books he possessed whatever would be useful to him upon the question he was examining; while to those who were within reach of a complete library it would point out the way to a thorough investigation; and to those to whom few books were accessible, or who had not then the time to examine them, it would not only give the best conclusions to which a study of the question had led me, but, upon the most important questions, the very words in which different courts had stated the law.
This method I have pursued through many years and in many books; and the reception of them by the profession, while it calls for my grateful acknowledgments, justifies my hope that the method has been satisfactory, and my books useful. books useful. While I cannot hope that I have made no mistakes and no omissions, I venture to believe that no pains have been spared to make this book the exponent of the latest law, and as full and accurate a presentation of the authorities as the most thorough examination of a complete library could enable me to make. And I indulge myself with mentioning particularly the faithful and intelligent industry and valuable aid of Mr. J. A. L. WHITTIER of Maine, now Librarian of this Law School.
DANE HALL, Cambridge, August, 1868.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.