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NEW LAW DICTIONARY
Institute of the whole Law.
FOR THE USE OF STUDENTS, THE LEGAL PROFESSION,
AND THE PUBLIC.
OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, BARRISTER-AT-LAW, M.A. EDIN, AND OXON.,
AND B.C.L. OXON ;
ANALYSIS OF SAVIGNY'S TREATISE ON OBLIGATIONS IN ROMAN LAW.'
“ Nosse quæ nunc aguntur in curiis, necque præterita ignorare."
It appeared to the Author that a new Dictionary of the Law would be useful, if it succeeded in presenting a complete Institute of the whole Law of England, expressing briefly, but without inaccuracy or meagreness, the rules and principles of the Common Law, of Chancery Law, of Real Property or Conveyancing Law, of Mercantile Law, of Constitutional Law, and of Public or General, i.e., International, Law, arranging these rules and principles, whether of doctrine, evidence, or procedure, in lexicographical order, and while giving prominence to what is modern, not ignoring what is ancient in the law, wherever the ancient principles or phrases were either valuable in themselves or serviceable in explaining the modern principles or phrases which are in numerous instances their equivalents. This scheme involving the observance of a double method, has not been very easy to carry through, but unsparing endeavours have been used towards accomplishing it. In the first place, it was manifest that if the dimensions of the Dictionary were to be convenient (and they were strictly limited to such convenience as was compatible with usefulness), much that was old and totally disused would have to be excluded altogether, and much more that was also old but not totally disused would have to be most succinctly expressed ; and in the second place, it was manifest that the vast details of the modern law would have to be compressed to the maximum degree in order to admit of being comprised within the limits of the Dictionary. Then, in the third place, the iteration of matter, which was in danger of creeping in through the combination of Institute and Dictionary, had to be watchfully excluded, and this want of iteration compensated by proper references, neither too numerous to be puzzling, nor too scanty to be imperfect. Lastly, all that part of the modern law which could point to an historical origin deserved to keep the merit of its lineage or pedigree, and some pains have been taken to be just in this respect. A table of contents to a Dictionary (which one might suppose is all contents) is probably a phenomenon ; but such a table has been prefixed in the present case, and for a reason in keeping with the purposo and character of the Dictionary, that is to say, to serve as a synopsis to the Institute of the whole Law which is embodied in the Dictionary, and at the same time to classify the whole law under its distinct compartments, rendering every such compartment (as nearly as might be) a complete epitome of the law upon that particular head.
How far the Author may be found to have accomplished the purposes (as herein before expressed) of this compilation, he must leave to the judgment of others; but without craving the indulgence of the public, whose servant he is, and to whom, therefore, if he serve up anything he should in all conscience serve up a proper dish, he is reluctant to acknowledge that an unaccustomed feeling of diffidence has once or twice assailed him, lest his work should not prove so absolutely faultless or so generally useful as it has been his wish to make it. But of one thing he is courageous, namely, of the service which his work will render to students preparing for the bar or for the lower branch of the profession. Of all persons who have to labour in the early hours of life, students of the law are probably the most deserving of compassion,--a compassion which should increase with each increasing year, inasmuch as Parliament is annually adding to the burdens of their already over-burdened shoulders. Surely, therefore, an Institute of the character that is here attempted should prove a welcome manual to such. The student's eye will also be materially assisted by the style in which the work is printed.
A. BROWN. 89, Chancery Lane, W.C.
N.B.—The references to titles in the Table of Contents are to the Table of
TABLE OF CONTENTS.