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THE

LAW OF CONTRACTS:

A COURSE OF LECTURES DELIVERED AT
THE LAW INSTITUTION,

JOHN WILLIAM SMITH, ESQ.

L ATE OF THE INNER TEMPLE, BARRISTER AT UW;

AUTHOR OP

"LEADING CASES," "A TREATISE ON MERCANTILE LAW,"

BY

JELINGER C. STMONS, ESQ.

OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, BARRISTER AT LAW.

LONDON:
WILLIAM BENNING AND CO., LAW BOOKSELLERS,

43. FLEET STREET.

London:

Printed by A Spottiswoode,

New- Street- Square.

PREFACE.

The following Lectures on Contracts were comprised in a Course delivered by the Author to a class of students at the Law Institution, and were designed to explain the elements of the law of Contracts. They embody the chief principles of that branch of the law; and it is trusted that they will be found equal to any of the former productions of the Author, for that clear, concise, and comprehensive exposition of his subject, which has characterised his works and ensured the vitality of his reputation. It appears to have been the aim of Mr. Smith to popularise a branch of law which peculiarly affects the ordinary business of life; to divest it of the superfluities with which it is often encumbered; to educe the great maxims and broad rules by which it is moulded; to free it from the meshes of technicality, and to unravel the perplexity in which an occasional conflict of judgments had from time to time involved it. In so doing, he has used Cases, not as the body of the work after the fashion of modern textbooks, but for the subordinate purpose of illustrating the spirit of the law.

The Lectures brought down the modifications introduced by late decisions to the Twelfth Volume of "Adolphus and Ellis's Reports;" and, consequently, left many points unnoticed which have been elucidated or altered by subsequent judgments. The recent growth of Public Companies, and the rapid development of commercial enterprize, have likewise combined to render the Lectures written in 1842 to this extent imperfect now. It fell to the lot of the Editor to supply this deficiency. Notes and an Appendix have been consequently added; it being obviously essential that the text of the Lectures should be given to the Public precisely as they were delivered by their lamented Author.

The Editor does not presume to hope that in these additions he has carried out the scheme of the Author, or approached the inimitable style of the text. He humbly claims credit alone for an earnest endeavour to collect and annex the requisite additions to the Lectures with the utmost expedition, in order to present another work by John William Smith, with the least delay, to the Profession which already ranks him as among the most gifted of its writers, and most learned of modern Lawyers.

J. C. S.

Aberystwiih, Nov. 20. 1846.

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