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WILLIAM T. BRANTLY
Reporter of the Court of Appeals of Maryland ; Author of the Law of
in the University of Maryland.
I have endeavored, in this revised edition of a book on the law of contract which was published some years ago, to set forth, with as much clearness and conciseness as I couli command, the leading principles in all parts of the subject. The treatment of some matters, concerning which the authorities are conflicting, has been more elaborate than that of cthers where there is no difficulty for this reason. In dealing with Conditional Contracts, I have borrowed from the civil law a classification not used by English or American writers, but one which seems to me to aid greatly in simplifying an important subject where the rulings are confused and the terminology perplexing.
Writers on the law of contract in this generation owe a debt of gratitude to the works of Sir W. R. Anson and Sir F. Pollock which I wish to acknowledge. Other books on the subject, both before and since these works, have successfully collected or digested the decisions of the Courts, but they lack the system and the steady grasp of principle of the writers I have named.
By means of his classification of the subject, Sir W. Anson has effected both a quantitative and a qualitative simplification of the law of contract. The substance of the law as formulated in the decisions of the courts for several centuries is admirably adapted to promote justice, and is a part of the intellectual capital of humanity. But these decisions are so numerous, so full of refined distinctions, so difficult of access, that the problem is how to state this established law in such a form that its application in practice is simplified and facilitated. In a discussion of what he calls legal technique by that very suggestive writer, Von Ihering, it is said that, to the question of how to state the law, common sense has no other answer than this—by a clear, precise and detailed compilation of the laws. But, he continues, the solution of the problem by jurisprudence, that is, by expe