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the Board was most meritorious, as well as faithful to the limitations of their authority, need hardly be stated as it is so well known.
The Consolidated Laws make a new edition of this work imperative, for the new consolidated Real Property Law of 1909 not only changes the entire form of the old Real Property Law of 1896, but it omits the old article on the Descent of Real Property and adds other new articles, not contained in the former Real Property Law. Much of the commentaries has accordingly been rewritten; the changes made in the law have been noticed, and all the authorities have been brought to date. That this demanded much labor upon the part of the author must be apparent to the most cursory reader.
The author trusts that the valuable matter contained in the various appendices to this volume will be found useful by the diligent and painstaking lawyer. What such lawyers most need are original documents. Appendix II contains the entire substance of the original Real Property Law of 1896 and also the valuable report and notes on that law by the Board of Statutory Revision which framed the General Laws, now superseded by the Consolidated Laws of 1909. Appendix III contains the fundamental and indispensabie notes of the original revisers, who prepared the Revised Statutes of 1829 and 1830. It is needless to remark that the Revised Statutes are the source from which not only this act but all the later revisions in this State are derived. Indeed, the Reviseu Statutes have become to the modern statute law of this State what some glorious ruins of antiquity have proved to the neighboring cities of the old world, a quarry out of which to build many subsequent fabrics, sometimes nearly as meritorious as the original, but unhappily sometimes the opposite.
Perhaps no other modern book contains more citations of cases than this. While this feature is not one which is particularly pleasing to the author, for it involved persistent and regular labor covering many years, yet he realizes that it is one which lawyers at large most appreciate. They desire all the cases on a given point; then they feel that they can analyze, sift and arrange them to suit themselves. Personally, the author would have preferred to cite only leading cases, and as there can never be but one controlling authority on any one proposition of law, to confine his commentary to such a 'judications. A desire to make t'is work useful is the only excuse for cuch a multiplication of citations as it contains. The modern habit of 'reporting all decisions of courts of record must be deferred to, even if not approved.
New YORK, September 15th, 1909.
TO SECOND EDITION.
The very gratifying reception accorded this treatise by the Courts and the Bar has induced the publishers, after an interval of more than five years, to issue a second edition, containing among other changes and additions all statutory amendments to “ The Real Property Law," down to the close of the 127th session of the Legislature in 1904.
The author determined that this edition of “ The Real Property Law” should not be a mere reprint, but a virtually new work. He has taken occasion, therefore, in this edition, not only to correct the original text, but to amplify it in every way which he conceived would make it more useful to those for whom it was designed. Thousands of citations have been added to the very full citations contained in the first edition, while many new topics, such as “The Law of Waters," " Charge on Lands," " Covenants Run
“ ning with the Land,” are included and discussed.
The original design of the author was to furnish a systematic treatise on the text of the greatest of the real property statutes of this State, showing the history and the development of such statute, its connection with the old law, and the substance of the leading adjudications on its text. In so considerable an undertaking, it will not be extraordinary if the result fall short of the author's design. NEW YORK, October 15, 1904.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION,
This volume contains, among other material, not only all the text of the existing statute of this State, designated “The Real Property Law," but also the entire text of all the other statutes from which that most important act is taken. It was believed by the editor that it would conduce to a more orderly arrangement of the subject matter and to an easier reference, if the various sections of The Real Property Law might be uniformly placed at the head of successive pages; thus subordinating the prior repealed statutes and the mere notes and comments of the editor to the text of the far more important and living law. The paramount importance of The Real Property Law itself seemed to justify such an arrangement, if it were feasible. The place of emphasis is always the place of beginning, and each section of The Real Property Law is in reality treated by the editor as the subject of an independent chapter of this work, and, therefore, should be placed at the head of a page. To be sure, some of such chapters are necessarily most brief, and it would have been improper from their nature to extend them. Consequently, and rot infrequently, a succession of short pages, very disturbing to the publishers, is one result of the editor's arrangement. But to the mind of the editor, the appearance of a volume of this character is of less consequence than its utility, and so he ventured to persist in his own plan of arrangement, without regard to custom or the æsthetical canons of the printer's art. How far the arrangement actually adopted will be justified by the legal profession, only their use of the book can ultimately determine.
Of one thing at least the writer feels entirely confident — that the reader will, if he fairly examine the subject matter, admit that the arrangement actually adopted was not designed to enlarge the volume beyond its normal limits. The arduous labor of the editor, which is so readily apparent, ought at once to acquit him of any motive to extend the work beyond the barest limits dictated by professional and technical necessity.
The editor feels also assured that the generous reader will, upon reflection, not complain that many of his notes and comments, contained in this work, dwell upon the early stages of the law of real property. Without an exact knowledge of the history of a statute, the younger lawyer, at least, is poorly equipped for argument on even the “last case” involving it. Aside from this consideration, the constant reference to the origins of the law of real property in late cases, it is confidently submitted, justified the writer in adopting the historical method of exposition. In a like connection, it has been well said by Bryce, in his masterly and probably greatest work, The Holy Roman Empire (p. 3], "to explain a modern act of Parliament, or a modern conveyance of lands, we must go back to the feudal customs of the thirteenth century.” No abler jus
. tification than this can be adduced.
The reader may readily find in this one volume the text of The Real Property Law, the text of the original statutes displaced by that law or consolidated in it, and also all the existing reports and notes of the framers of all such laws. This collection of original matter, in itself, it is thought, will result in a considerable saving of professional labor and time. The reports and the notes of the several revisers to the Legislature, together with the original text of “The Law of Real Property,” are contained in the appendices.
As this volume is the result of prolonged labor on the part of the editor, it is perhaps natural for him to express the hope that it may, in some small measure, fill the place it was designed to occupy — that of a ready-reference book. If it do this, the writer will feel abundantly repaid for what cannot but prove to him an otherwise unprofitable, though not wholly unpleasant, task.
NEW YORK, January, 1899.