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PREFACE.

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present design was to be concife and useful; to add no ir-
relevant matter ; and to keep strictly to the points in the
forms. In this view it was thought adviseable, for the
convenience of students, to select and arrange in notes
such authorities and principles as invalidated or substan-
tiated the precedents. In this respect, the head of abate-
ment may appear unnecessarily copious. But when it is
considered, that few of the printed Entries are on this
head copious and correct; that these pleas are necef-
farily drawn in haste amid the hurry of the fittings;
that, being dilatory pleas, they are odious, and of course
the greatest accuracy and precision in form is required;
and that the law respecting them has on many important
points been but lately settled ; it is presumed, that the an-
notations will be found neither inconvenient nor super-
fluous.

The sources, whence the work has been drawn, are manuscripts of accomplished pleaders, records of adjudged cases in our own courts, and, where these failed, the English entries and reporters. Whenever it was practicable in selection, the ancient pleadings have been preferred for their technical brevity and legal precision. In these respects, Raftall is an admirable model, and worthy of the attention of every lawyer. The Clerk's Aliftant, the Instructor Clericalis, Herne's Pleader, the. Entries of Coke, Raftall, Levinz, Brownlow, and Thompson, among the ancient pleadings, and Lilly, Morgan, and Wentworth, -among the modern, have been chiefly consulted. The reporters, particularly the late ones, have supplied many useful forms. But to the very valuable edition of Saunders' Reports by Serjeant Williams the highest obligations are due. From the text of this very able pleader, and from the numerous comments of his late editor, copious extracts are in every part of this compilation. Even where notes had been previoufly prepared, references have been added to this edition of Saunders to sanction opinions, or add weight to authorities,

THE reader is not to conclude, that all the pleadings, which are here inserted, are exact in form, or sustained in

principle.

principle. Some were adopted from the authority of names, fome from the authority of books, and some from the respect due to living pleaders.* Though occasionally a quere is added to guard against supposed error, yet it would have illy become the Compiler to have amended by his own judgment, or questioned on legal presumption. As the authorities, however, are generally annexed to the pleadings, the reader is left to decide for himself on their validity. Any other responsibility, than for the general accuracy of transcription, is wholly disclaimed.

Such are the pretensions of the work, and the profesfion must decide on its execution and utility. The Compiler is duly sensible of his inadequacy to the talk; but the proffered assistance of eminent counsel, and the encouragement of professional benefit, have insensibly led him to the prosecution of it. Those alone who can command legal experience competent to perfect the design, elevated to the higher grades of juridical honor, feel not the desire, or want the leisure, to smooth the intricate paths of special pleading.

HUMBLE and confined as this Compilation may appear, it has not been made without very considerable labor. In fubmitting it to public candor, the words of Lord Coke, in his preface to his fourth Report, are offered for confideration :-Illud a docto lectore peto, vel ut corrigat ficubi erratum invenirit, vel faltem ne partem aliquam reprehendat, donec totum ftudiofè perlegerit, unde forté fiet, ut pauciora criminetur.

SALEM, 1804.

. Most of those drawn by living characters in this Commonwealth, have been inspected by them previous to publication. Indeed the whole work has been perused by several learned Counsel, for whose valuable comments and kind advice, I entertain an unfeigned gratitude.

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It may not be unnecessary to inform the reader, that the letter D. stands universally for the Defendant ; and that "the Plaintiffis substituted universally for the real name of the party in the original pleadings. It was thought, that this would tend to perfpicuity, as well as be conformable to the practice of some of our belt pleaders. Other flight variations are made from the precedents abstracted from the English books ; such as the substitution of Commonwealth' for our lord the king;' common highway' for king's highway,' &c. But, except where it is otherwise noticed in the text, the pleadings are in general exact transcripts; though it was conceived, that very many admitted of retrenchments and alterations. These may be made at the discretion of every gentleman in his own particular practice.

The Editions of the books quoted are in general those in common use. That of Raftall is of A. D. 1596; and when that of A. D. 1566 is used, the former is quoted between brackets

, [thus] : Morgan's Pleader from the Dublin Edition A. D. 1792, except when otherwise noticed, or included be. tween brackets : The Instructor Clericalis from the Edition A. D. 1921: Saunders' Reports from the Edition A. D. 1799; and Plowden's Commentaries from the Edition A. D. 1792. The citations marked M. S. S. [G.] are from a Manuscript of Pleadings of the late John Gardner, Esq., abfra&ted apparently from records of the English Courts. For the use of them I am indebted to the politeness of a gentleman of high official character.

The notes, which are quoted between commas without any particular authority being adduced, have been supplied by the gentlemen to whom the whole work has been submitted; and the general accuracy of the whole annotations has, in the Compiler's opinion, acquired weight from their juridical talents and eminent stations in the profeflion.

It is presumed that the errors of the press will be found neither numerous nor important. For such as occur, the distance of the Compiler from the press, and of course the difficulty of immediate communication, will, it is trusted, be deemed a sufficient apology in a work, which, from the peculiarity of legal language, must embarrass the ordinary employments of printing.

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