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PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
SINCE the appearance of the second edition of this work, the Uniform Sales Act has been adopted by nine states. As originally drafted, it was, in the main, a reproduction of the English Sale of Goods Act. It was modified, however, in many respects by the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and its enactment changed not a few of the legal rules theretofore prevailing in several states.
It seemed desirable, therefore, to prepare an edition, which should set forth in their proper connection the modifications of the law of sales effected by the American statute. Accordingly, the text has been revised with a view to noting such modifications; and the Uniform Sales Act has been reprinted as Appendix IV, accompanied by notes containing cross references to pages of the text. As the section numbering of the Act is not uniform in the various states, a Table of Corresponding Sections has been prepared, in the hope that it may save the reader the task of referring to the Session laws of the different jurisdictions.
Many additions have been made to the text and portions have been rewritten. Moreover, the attempt has been made to cite all of the decisions reported under the new Statute, as well as to note the most important and the best reasoned cases on Sales, which have appeared during the last ten years. The notes, however, are not intended to serve as a cyclopedia of judicial authorities on this branch of the law.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
This book is intended especially for law students; and its characteristic features have been determined largely by the writer's experience in the lecture-room. As a rule, questions are discussed with a fulness proportioned to the trouble which they have given to the student, or to his aptness to misapprehend the principles which they involve. On the other hand, a few topics which are found in most treatises on sales have been omitted, upon the assumption that the student has already mastered them. A discussion of such subjects as consideration, mutual assent, the capacity of parties, illegality and fraud, helongs to the study of pure contracts and of torts, and its repetition ought to be unnecessary during the investigation of a branch of applied contracts.
The provisions of the Statute of Frauds, bearing upon the sale of goods, have been treated in connection with the common-law topics to which respectively they relate. It is believed that this method has resulted in an economy of space in the book, and will conduce to a like economy of time and perplexity on the part of the student.
In the Appendix will be found the present British Factors Act, following the statutory provisions of France and Germany towards which British legislation has been tending. The American statutes which are reprinted, when considered in connection with the sketch of their history and of their strict construction by the courts, undisturbed by the legislature as that construction has remained, show that the mercantile community bas not been as sensitive in this country as in Great Britain, to the pinch of the common-law rules on this subject.