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The text chosen is that of the seventh London Edi tion, prepared by Mr. Lewis W. Cave, barrister-at-law. With the exception of that gentleman's addenda and corrigenda, (which has been incorporated), his text has been suffered to remain intact, even in portions where consideration has been given to peculiar statutory contracts in England, for which our own jurisprudence, at present, furnishes but slight analogies. of the profession will approve of this course, as preserv ing Mr. Addison's plan and treatment throughout, and as tending to the completeness and value of the Edition.
It is believed that the judgment
June 21, 1875.
JAMES APPLETON MORGAN.
229 Broadway, New York.
TO THE SEVENTH LONDON EDITION.
IN preparing this edition for the press, I have ventured to make very considerable alterations in the arrangement of the work, which I trust will be found to be improvements. In the former editions, after a chapter on the different kinds of contracts, and another on the mode of authenticating them, the consideration of particular contracts was at once entered upon; and it was not until after the contracts of sale, mortage, demise, service, bailment, carriage, insurance, suretyship, agency, partnership and marriage, with all their complications, had been discussed, that the consideration of those wide principles which are applicable to contracts generally was resumed. I have thought it best to depart from this somewhat unscientific arrangement, and to adopt one which seems more logical.. I have divided the works into three books-the first treats of the law of contracts generally; the second deals with particular contracts, and points out how in these the general law is developed or modified; and to the third is consigned the subject of stamps, a portion of the book which, although without much interest for a student of jurisprudence, has its necessary value in the eyes of the practicing lawyer. It was not until after this
arrangement had been decided upon that I saw the Indian Contract Act of 1872, and found that a similar arrangement had been adopted in that Act by my friend Mr. Fitzjames Stephen, Q. C., on whose authority alone I would be content to rely.
The cardinal alteration thus resolved on necessarily drew with it several minor changes; and these were made somewhat more numerous by the passing of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, which, although it deals with the law of procedure rather than with the substantive law of contracts, has yet enabled the latter to be stated in a clearer and more concise manner.
The scheme of the present edition may be stated shortly as follows:-The first book being, as already explained, devoted to the law of contract in general, is divided into six chapters. Of these, the first deals with the principles gov. erning the formation of contracts, which are comprised in three sections relating respectively to the several kinds of contracts known to the law, the parties to contracts, and the mode of authenticating contracts. Having ascertained by whom contracts can be made, and how they must be authenticated, the work proceeds in the second chapter to deal with the interpretation of contracts in two sections, one of which expounds the general principles of interpretation, while the other deals with a question which has given rise to much litigation, namely, how far oral evidence is admissible for the purpose of adding to or explaining a contract which the parties have chosen to put into writing, and which is alleged by one party or the other not to express the whole agreement between them. It is not, however.
every contract, although made by competent parties, duly authenticated, and clearly expressed, which the law will enforce; and the third chapter, therefore, treats of contracts which the law will not enforce, either on the ground that they are absolutely void, or that, although not absolutely void, they have been made under circumstances entitling one of the parties to avoid them. Assuming that parties competent to contract have duly bound themselves by a clear contract of such a nature as the law will enforce, the next question is how this contract or obligation is discharged, a subject considered in the fourth chapter, which, in the first section, deals with the performance of contracts; in the second, with their discharge by the consent of the parties; and in the third, with their discharge by operation of law. Hitherto we have dealt with contracts on the assumption that the original parties to the contract remain parties thereto until it has been discharged; but not unfrequently, by assignment, or by the death, marriage, or bankruptcy of one of the parties, another person is substituted in his place while the contract is yet unsatisfied. The complications thus introduced form the subject of the fifth chapter. The sixth, which completes the first book, deals with the remedies for actual or contemplated breaches of contract by an action for damages, or by enforcing specific performance.
The second book, which treats of the law of particular contracts, is divided into eight chapters. The first of these is devoted to the contract of sale, or complete alienation of property and is broken up into three sections confined respectively to the sale of immovable, of movable and of incor
poreal property. The second chapter discusses the contract of letting or partial alienation of property. The third treats of contracts for services, which, by some writers, have been likened to contracts of sale, and by others to contracts of letting, but which really appear to have but a superficial resemblance to either. Of this chapter, the first section deals with the general principles regulating contracts for services, while the second and third treat respectively of the relation of master and servant, and of consignor and carrier. The fourth chapter contains a summary of the law relating to the different modes, such as mortgage, pledge, or lien, by which property may be charged with, and made a security for, the payment of money. For the want of a better term to include these different varieties, I have ventured to call them contracts of security. This chapter, dealing as it does with a similar subject-matter, is divided similarly to the first chapter. In the fifth chapter I have included the contracts of suretyship and of marine, fire, and life insurance, which I have termed contracts of indemnity, the contract of life insurance, although, perhaps, not strictly speaking a contract of indemnity, presenting so many analogies to the other contracts of insurance, especially to the insurance of a ship by a valued policy, as to warrant, I venture to think, its being included in this chapter. In the sixth chapter I have treated of mercantile instruments, such as bills, notes, and cheques; and in a separate section, bills of lading. The seventh chapter groups together as contracts of association, the law regulating the relations inter se of partners, members of jointstock companies, and husband and wife. The eighth and last