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THE Author has endeavoured, in the present volume, to offer to the reader a view of the Law of Fire Insurance as it now exists, and as applied to the practice of Insurance Offices. He imagines that such a work is wanted, and he trusts that it may be useful. This is, indeed, the only consolation of the text-writer—for, like a child digging castles in the sand, he sees each succeeding wave of judicial decisions obliterate his labours, until the lapse of a few years renders his book all but valueless, and it sinks like an old newspaper into a mere record of the past. It is very true that the same fate awaits with increasing certainty the writer in almost every other department of knowledge. The extension of education, and the advances that are every day made in science and criticism, have so multiplied books and authors, that it is only at very rare intervals that the pulião, can be expected of a standard work, that will not at no distantige be superseded by some more perfect production. The labours of the text writer have, however, many uses, not only in informing th: 'student, and assisting the practitioner, but in so bringing together the authorities as to detect anomalies and absurdities in the law, and thereby aid in their

correction. And this will be the case, whether we adhere to our

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