In preparing the present edition for the press, the text has been thoroughly revised, and large additions have been made thereto as well as to the notes. The doctrines originally stated have been expanded and pursued into their minuter ramifications, and the late cases by which they are modified or illustrated, have been cited. Many new branches of the subject of Contracts have been introduced, which were not treated of in the former edition, among which may be mentioned the law relating to usury, and to the contracts of Factors, Brokers, Auctioneers, Executors, and Administrators, Trustees, Seamen, Corporations, Guardian and Ward, and Masters of Ships. These additions (by which the bulk of the original work is nearly doubled) will, it is hoped, be thought to give to the treatise more completeness, and to render it more valuable to the profession. No labor has been spared in the endeavor to be concise as well as full, and not to encumber and confuse the subject by amplifying it.

It will be perceived that a change has been made in the arrangement of the subjects. The doctrines relating to Partners and Agents, which were before treated separately in the second part, as Special Contracts, are now placed under the head of Parties, and form a portion of the first part. This alteration was made with the belief that it gives a more logical development to the subject. In consequence of this fact, as well as of the great enlargement of the work, it became necessary to number the sections anew. But if it be borne in mind that the sections, in which the law relating to Agents and Partners is considered, followed, in the first edition, the chapter "On the Admissibility of Parol Evidence to control written agreements," it is believed that no difficulty will be found to arise from the new numbering.

The kind reception given by the public and the profession to the previous edition of this treatise has stimulated and encouraged the author to endeavor to render the present edition more full and complete, and it is submitted to them in the hope that it may, in its present form, be found to be better adapted to their wishes and better deserving their approbation.


Boston, August 27, 1847.