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Further, the reading of these cases, it should be remembered, is intended to be accompanied by oral instruction, and therefore they are without the comments which would, on so difficult a subject, be desirable, if the cases were meant for solitary study.
As any one will find who attempts to compile a collection of cases, it is hard to make it small enough. I have tried to limit myself to the leading and illustrative authorities, and in the few notes no attempt has been made at a full collection of the decisions, — indeed, no case is ever referred to without a distinct reason for calling attention to it.
A special difficulty in dealing with the law of property, and particularly of real property, is to determine how much to dwell on parts of the law which have now become practically obsolete. No two persons would probably decide this question in exactly the same way. I have endeavored to bear in mind, on the one hand, that a real knowledge of the law as it is, requires a knowledge of the law as it has been; and, on the other, that I am working for men who are preparing themselves to be lawyers, and not merely for students of the history of institutions.
For the parts of the law of which he treats and for which it was impossible or undesirable to give cases, I have had recourse to the terse and exact sentences of Littleton.
I desire especially to acknowledge the aid I have received from Mr. Leake's Digest of the Law of Land. This excellent book (unfortunately not finished) has met with less appreciation than it deserves.
J. C. G.
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