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with which its course is encumbered, which shall deal with the law of real property as a vital thing, having actual relations to the life of the community and not as an artificial system, invented to fasten the yoke of feudalism on a free people and perpetuated to preserve a monopoly of injustice to conveyancers,—this is the great desideratum of our legal education. The editor of this collection has tong contemplated the writing of such a book, not without a hope, however, that some more competent hand would render the service in more adequate fashion than he could expect to do. In the meantime, this collection of extracts from the writings of the masters of the law is offered to students. It will at least save them the labor of hunting through scores of volumes in search of the most authoritative and lucid expositions of the doctrines considered.

The gratitude of the editor is due to all those who have, by their generous contributions from their writings, made such a collection possible. He desires, however, to make particular acknowledgment of his indebtedness to Professor John C. Gray, of the Harvard Law School, whose ripe learning and indefatigable labors, not less than his stimulating example as a legal writer and teacher, have brought the scientific study of the law of real property within the reach of all earnest students.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, February, 1900.

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