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man on Wills; Wigram on Extrinsic Evidence in aid of the Interpretation of Wills ; Lord St. Leonard's Essay on Wills; and the Elementary treatises upon the Jurisprudence of Insanity, so far as testamentary capacity is concerned.
The Second Part of the work, which is confined to the practical detail of the Settlement of Estates, and the administration of Testamentary Trusts, including Devises and Legacies, is nearly ready for the press, and may be expected in a few months. Some few of the topics discussed in Jarman will more naturally fall into this portion of the work.
It is scarcely necessary for the author to say much of the character of his work, since that must depend more upon the work itself, than upon any thing which may be said of it, even by the most disinterested. But it may not be improper to give an outline of what has been attempted.
It has been the purpose of the writer to refer to all the leading, or important English cases upon the several topics discussed, and to give the precise point determined, either in the text or the notes. And where there was any conflict in the decisions, it has been his purpose to give the history of the different classes of authorities, in such a manner, as to present the true principle to be extracted from all the cases bearing upon the point. And upon every point to bring the cases down to the latest moment, so as to give the true state of the English law at the time of publication.
In this way, it is believed, the work will be found to present, in a compact and perspicuous form, the elementary principles involved; and at the same time such a digest of the decided cases, as to become a useful commentary upon the subjects discussed, and a reliable guide, both for the student and the practitioner.
The careful analysis of the entire work, which follows next in order after the preface; and which consists of the analyses of the several chapters and sections, will enable the practitioner, at a glance, to turn to the precise point, in any part of the work, upon which he may desire to consult the authorities; and will, at the same time, afford a valuable aid to the student, in fixing the important principles discussed throughout the work, methodically in the memory.
The extensive discussion of the Jurisprudence of Insanity, affecting testamentary capacity; and also of the effect of Extrinsic Evidence in aid of the Interpretation of Wills; as well as the Forms and Instructions for preparing wills; are new features, in respect of the works hitherto in use in this country, upon the subject of Wills; and it is hoped they will be found interesting to the student, and valuable to the practitioner.
The alphabetical Index has been carefully prepared, and will afford a ready guide to almost every thing contained in the work.
In regard to the American cases, it has not been possible to give the same perfect and thorough analysis as of the English cases, in consequence of the almost infinite number, and great diversity of the cases. But it has been attempted to give all that was valuable, or important, in the American law upon all the points discussed,
and especially where there was any considerable conflict in the English cases.
More attention has been bestowed upon the law of those States where the jurisprudence, being of earlier date, has become more settled ; and where the cases are more numerous, and more important, as well in regard to the principles involved, as the amount in controversy.
And in conclusion, it is proper to say, that notwithstanding every word of the work, both of the text and notes, has been prepared and revised by my own personal labor, I have received very essential aid in the collection and arrangement of the American cases, and in the verification of the references, from William A. Herrick, Esq., of the Suffolk bar; a gentleman already favorably known to the profession, both for industry and ability.
There will be found some typographical errors, and some, perhaps, of a more serious character; but it is hoped, with all its defects, the work will be received with the same kind indulgence, hitherto extended to the author, for which he desires here to express his sincere thankfulness.
I. F. R.
Boston, July 6, 1864.