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“Principiis, Causis, et Elementis ignoratis, Scientia de qua ipsa sunt, penitus ignoratur."
Fortescue de Laud. Leg. Angl. c. 8.
(FROM SEVENTH ENGLISH EDITION)
BY CHARLES F. CHAMBERLAYNE
OF THE BOSTON BAR.
7. MAY 063
UNIVERSITY PRESS: JOHN WILSON AND Son, CAMBRIDGE.
In preparing the present American edition, the editor endeavors to remember that the author aimed rather to present the Principles of Evidence than add to practical treatises on that branch of the law. The feeling has assisted largely to determine the scope of a work which perhaps would not be fully intelligible without it. It has been considered that Evidence is utilitarian ; that its principles are its rules, and best illustrated through their application in actual law. Radical changes from previous American editions have therefore eliminated from treatment such subjects as seemed but remotely connected with these principles or their illustration. The more prominent changes in main are three. (1.) Positive law is usually referred to as such. (2.) The metaphysics of the author are not reviewed.
(3.) Statutory modifications in the Law of Evidence – as, for example, the Law of Depositions, Production of Documents, or Competency of Witnesses, — are not made the subject of critical examination. Where a general or important modification has required notice, reference has commonly been made to more exhaustive treatises on the topics
While, however, the effort has been to illustrate principle,
as such, has carefully been avoided. Wherever possible, use has been made of reported cases and text-book of recognized authority. As extended statement of thes cases was clearly impossible, the endeavor thus to support the propositions advanced has resulted in a comprehensive range of citation, and an unusual (though by no means complex) method of subdividing the general title References might possibly have been restricted to leading cases from so-called “ leading ” jurisdictions. Apart fron other difficulties in such a course, the controlling consideration has been that law libraries of the range required must necessarily be beyond the reach of many to whom the present work might prove of value. The citations, which accordingly embrace all sections of the country, are limited to one case from each jurisdiction, if strong reasons have not warranted a different course. Any notification of the inaccuracies that have escaped attention will be deemed an especial favor.
Novelty has also been avoided, with equal care. The text is that of the English (7th) edition, by J. M. Lely, Esq., (editor of “Chitty's Statutes of Practical Utility ”), who has carefully revised previous editions and added a Collection of Leading Propositions. No changes in this text have been made beyond correcting the typographical errors or verbal infelicities incidentally noticed. In further particulars, the most constant use has been made of the work of others. The standard treatises of Prof. Greenleaf (13th ed.) and Dr. Wharton (2d ed.) have freely been consulted, while peculiar value has often been received from Mr. Justice Stephen's eminently useful Digest. Especially is the editor under a sense of deep obligation to Professor James B. THAYER of the Harvard
Law School, without whose kindly encouragement the present work would certainly not have been undertaken, and to whose exact scholarship, patient research, and wellknown devotion to the Law of Evidence, such value as it may be found upon examination to possess should perhaps more justly be ascribed. To the many friends who have given the aid of counsel or other assistance, the thanks of the grateful editor are also due.
CAMBRIDGE, June 1, 1883.