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It has been thought that there is need for text books dealing with the important topics of the law, but which are confined to the law of a single state. This need is particularly great in the older jurisdictions, such as Pennsylvania, which by this time have accumulated a sufficient volume of decided cases to furnish a respectable body of jurisprudence.
It is perhaps superfluous for any author who has written on the topics treated in the pages which follow, to acknowledge his indebtedness to the masterly treatises of Mr. Gray. The difficulty, however, for the practitioner and the student in the use of these general treatises is, that they shed very little light upon the law of his own state. As the topics to be treated of deal with the technical law of property and wills, detailed and exact information is more than ordinarily necessary. This book has been written with the object of supplying this need, so far as the law in Pennsylvania is concerned, which law is, on many of the points to be discussed, confused in the extreme. One of the reasons why the subject in hand has been considered so immensely difficult is because it has been commonly discussed in terms of the involved limitations of the older English cases. Those limitations are unlike anything to be met with in Pennsylvania to-day, and it seems useless to require a student to master the subtleties of an intricate rule by studying obsolete limitations, when he can achieve the same result by considering limitations which he will meet with in everyday practice. In order that the book may be useful to both the student and the practitioner, discussions of the law have been separated from statements of the law, so that the reader can avoid whichever appears to be unnecessary to the matter he has under investigation. An examination of the topic headings of the chapters will indicate the relative position of these discussions. This method of treatment has perhaps produced a diffuseness to which some
1 Restraints on Alienation, 2 ed. (1895); Rule Against Perpetuities, 2 ed. (1906).