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APPENDIX OF FORMS,
EXPLANATORY OF PRACTICAL CONVEYANCING.
BY M. DAWES, ESQ.
Multum in parvo componere studui.
Si quid novisti rectius istis,
PRINTED FOR J. BUTTERWORTH AND SON.
PRE FAC E..
The contents of the ensuing pages are intended to simplify the subject proposed, and render it familiar to the student and practiser, by stripping it of abstruse learning, and technical language; which too often perplexes and wearies, rather than instructs and informs them. The reason seeins to be, that authors of works on Law amplify too much. If they said less, they would be better received, because better understood.
Law originally had little to work upon, and its elements were few. In itself it is the effect of human wisdom, acting on human experience for the general good; and in its commencement as a science it had no intricacy. It was governed by equity and good conscience, more than subtle principles, or profound reason and analogy ; but in the effluxion of time and human events, it became difficult in study, and more so in its acquisition. Our earliest writers upon it treat of customs, which is the common unwritten law of England. Among these, which are numerous, and handed down to us by, tradition, from time
immemorial, one is, that Land, by the positive law of civilized man, descends, or is continued, from ancestor to heir, as from a father to his eldest son; and that it may be bought and sold, or pass by will and devise. Their rules of decision are seen in our public records and printed reports. Glanville, Bracton, Britton, Fleta, llengham, &c. have written upon the old law; which, though antiquated, should be somewhat known, as a foundation for the superstructure of the new. The learned Littleton, who wrote under our Edward IV., treats of tenures; and so clearly, that Lord Coke was induced to give the profession his luminous, but immethodical comments upon them in his first Institute; which, with his second, third, and fourth, exhibit a fund of law learning, collected and compiled from previous writers. After this great, but mixed character, a variety of books have been published in the service of the student and practiser. All of them are more or less deserving; though the subject of many, from subsequent changes and improvements, have grown obsolete. Others are either deficient of elementary information, or superabound with foreign and unconnected matter, which uselessly overloads the pages, impedes the benefit of research, and is little more in perusal than loss of time. This, no doubt, influenced the immortal Blackstone, to reduce the study of the law into a system.
His arrangement is historical, and intelligible to readers of every description; well connected in matter, and beautiful in manner; elegantly chaste in language; expansive in subject; and captivating in study. Before he turned his mind to make the law known, no other book treated of it so obviously, but the Institute of Dr. Wood; which, probably, on its perusal by this admired commentator, was thc cause of his ever to be remembered compilation, contained and illus. trated in four invaluable books. He there gently leads his reader, like a scholar and a gentleman, into the deep and hidden recesses of English jurisprudence, and endeavours to accomplish him therein.
But after all these learned labours, which, to be well acquainted with, requires the utmost patience, attention, and a distinguishing mind, memory, and intellect, the complaint is, that with few exceptions, they make the science a mystery, incumber the shelves, and frown forbiddance on the enquirer, who may too hastily seek for ends, without a sufficient regard for the means of obtaining them. The first principles of the science are obscured in their bulk; a proficient is wanted to analyze them; and when the initiated have some knowledge of the old law, they discover that it is out of úse ; yet it is impossible to know the new with precision, with