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In this manual an effort has been made to put the reader in possession of a summary of the well-settled elementary principles of the law, by stating them dogmatically in language as simple as the subject admits of. After all that is said derisively about the glorious uncertainty of the law, there are many rules of civil action regulating the political, business and domestic relations of life which may be said to be settled. It has been the effort in these pages to collect these rules from authoritative sources and print them in a form at once comprehensive and compact. What may be objected to as a defect I count one of the chief merits of the book, viz., the absence of notes and citations. There is no claim to originality except in the matter of the method of stating and arranging the materials which have been accumulated by the labors of others. The fruit of these labors has been appropriated with freedom and without compunction, and it is my belief that no rule of law is stated which is not supported by adequate authority. It would have been an easy matter to swell the size of the volume by a collection of foot-notes and a list of decided cases; but for the beginner I believe that such citations tend to confuse, rather than to instruct. Of course, this does not apply to advanced students, or to those who are pursuing a post-graduate or university course of technical professional instruction, but it is relevant to the vast majority of beginners who are to make up the bulk of the legal profession.

The book may have its use in other fields. The general reader may find here in outline a statement of the sources and foundations of the laws under which we live, as well as many rules and principles of business which may serve to admonish and guide him in the performance of the duties of citizenship. Some knowledge of these should form a part of the education of every citizen, and a familiar acquaintance with them will create in the minds of all a higher sense of the dignity and usefulness of the legal profession, and a better appreciation of the value of upholding a system of jurisprudence, the maintenance of which is essential to the progress if not to the preservation of society. W. P. F.

January, 1896.

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