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duty and patience, may hope to administer the law efficiently in this country for many years to come, although a knowledge of the principles of Jurisprudence generally cannot fail to make him infinitely more competent.
A consideration of these facts induced me to take up the Law of Evidence as the first subject of the Lectures which I had to deliveras Professor of the Law: and the present volume contains the substance of the course which I delivered.
My object was to produce a volume which should be a textbook for the Judge, the Practitioner, and the Student.* No such book, adapted to the wants of India, has hitherto been extant. English Law-books, such as the works of Starkie, Taylor, and the like, are very costly; and while they contain a quantity of matter which it is not indispensable that the indian Lawyer should know, they of course do not contain those points of practice, regulations, and cases, with wbich it is necessary for him to be familiar. The books of practice, such as Roscoe, Archbold, and the like, are too condensed and technical ; and both classes are crammed with a multitude of references to cases, which, from want of Law Libraries, are inaccessible in the Company's Courts.
I have sought to make the present work, as much as possible, self-contained. Having regard to the impossibility of the reader's referring to books of reports for himself, I have abstracted and introduced into the body of the text, those leading cases, or parts of them, that illustrate the point under discussion. As I do not write for the Supreme Court Bar, I have not thought it necessary to multiply my cases, or even to refer to the latest decisions in point of time, where they have not made any marked alteration in the Law, or rest upon fine distinctions. My chief aim has been to explain first princi
It would be desirable that the Law Lecturers at the various Colleges should be required to publish their Lectures at the earliest practicable period after delivery. As we have some four Professors at work, each upon a different subject, we should thus, by the time an entire curriculum of instruction is once run through, have a body of text-books on the most important subjects of Law.
ples ; in doing this, I have not attempted any originality, but copiously availed myself of the expositions of writers of acknowledged merit; and this form of conveying instruction was unavoidable in the Lecture room, where the pupils could only be furnished with references which they had to verify for themselves. I have endeavoured to be as little technical as possible, though I fear that some may think I might have been less technical still with more advantage.
A logical synopsis of the contents of the Lectures, which I placed in the hands of the class at starting, will be found at the commencement of the work. I would advise the student to refer frequently to this during the course of his reading; as he will thus see the dependence of one part upon another, and obtain a clear idea of his own progress as he proceeds.
Although I have bestowed much time and attention in preparing the present volume from my notes, and in passing it through the Press ; I am aware that there must be in it many faults and deficiencies of execution, for which I crave the forbearance of the critic. I offer this work to the Indian Legal Profession, as my contribution to those efforts, which many are now commendably making in this Presidency, to explain the Law ; in the sincere hope that it may aid in facilitating the administration of justice.
I cannot conclude without expressing my deep sense of obligation to Mr. John Maskell of the Revenue Board, who was one of my Students, and without whose kind aid I could not have got this book through the Press; his full and accurate notes of my Lectures have lightened my labors; his methodical care and accuracy have saved the pages
from being full of typographical errors; and to him are owing those copious Indices, without which, even the most valuable Law book is but as a costly tool without a handle.
MADRAS, 2nd April, 1858.