ePub 版

edition, therefore, the latest act of Assembly bears date the 26th of I ber, 1794. In the present edition, the latest statute passed upon Febru 1802. This makes a difference of more than seven years; and the years appear to have been distinguished beyond every former period history of the commonwealth, by the multitude and importance of t which in that time were palled. To give a complete idea of this fact, only to observe, that the edition of Mr. Davis contained one hundred and one siatutes ; and that the present contains THREE HUNDRED THIRTEEN. Of these, one hundred and thirty-two additional statut hundred and twenty-fix were passed within those seven years. They co therefore, in point of number, more than two-fifths of the whole coll The other six laws, which make up the total additional number of or dred and thirty-two, had been passed long before the publication of the edition of “ The Revised Code.” Some of them are of very consi length. They were selected, and inserted by the special advice and d Governor Monroe. He was one of the gentlemen who had been app to revise the former edition ; and it was his opinion that these fix acts sembly had been improperly omitted.

Exclusive of the index, the title page and preface, the present volum tains four hundred and fifty-four pages. Of these, the additional laws hundred and twenty-four pages, which is not much less than a third

part whole text. It is not necessary to say how much more convenient this and perspicuous arrangement must be, than to have the trouble of wan through seven folio pamphlets, in quest of a statute.

These details, without any comment of ours, abundantly prove, had, i. other evidence been wanting, the propriety and necessity for a seconde of this book. It is now, also, condensed into a much more manageable siz it formerly assumed. No gentleman's pocket can, at least, in the preser contain a folio volume; and much less would it contain the enormous a dage of seven folio pamphlets. In riding ten, or fifteen miles to a c

court-house, a gentleman does not always think it worth while to take à portmanteau along with him ; nor, indeed, is every portmanteau large enough co contain such masses of print and paper. Upon this account, the present edition has been reduced to an octavo size, and printed as closely as possible. Hence, a lawyer, when he sets out for the county court-house, will no longer be obliged to leave his eight folios behind him, and, amidst a croud of competitors, to folicit the unfortunate clerk of the court to let him have a sight of the Revised Code. He can now put his hand into his pocket, and take out a genteel, portable, octayo volume, which comprehends his former library, disencumbered of all its rubbish. The type, on which the present edition is printed, is either the fame, or almost exactly the fame with that of the last, and most esteemed Lon.. don edition of Coke upon Littleton. This circumstance is mentioned here, because a complaint had been made, in one of the Richmond newspapers, by fome nameless writer, that the type was too small. You cannot, at the same time, enjoy the cool, bracing breeze of winter, and the verdant vegetation of summer. You cannot, in the same book, unite the advantages of a folio, and of an octavo. If this edition had been printed upon a type as large as that of Mr. Davis, it must have been one-third part dearer than it is; for the volume; including the new index, and the bottom notes, positively contains one third part more of matter than the former edition. The price, to subscribers, must have been raised to nine dollars ; and to non-subscribers, to twelve dollars. Very few purchasers will regret that the publication can be had at a price fo much more reasonable.

The former edition laboured under more than one material defect. It was often impossible to tell at what time a statute had originally palad. Put the cale, that a deed was to be contested, which bore date in 1760. It is clear that this transaction could not be affected by laws made posterior to its date. It became a question how long the law had existed, or, when a predeceffor to it, or to some part of it, had been passed in, perhaps, a different form. For instance, of chapter CXXVII. a considerable part appears to have been enacted at different periods; one part in 1785, others in 1791. In the old edition of the Re- ' vised Code, the law is dated December 26th, 1792.

The bottom notes of the new edition give notice, that various f were in force before, although the whole had been covered by the 1 statute of 1792. The fame notes give intimation, that this law has mended by another, of December, 1801. Again, chapter CXXV date the 26th of December, 1792, But we learn that the first clau Itacute existed in 1762, that is to say, thirty years before. The feco which is far the longest in the act, had been taken from a former statı Q&pber, 1776. From not knowing how far back the force of these tended, the court was often caft into irretrievable confusion, To disc far back a statute extended, was often a work of great time and d and perhaps the requisite apparatus of old laws could not always be ha tlemen of the bar allure us, that the bottom notes, which are to be the foot of almost every single page of this edition, are, themselv fairly worth the whole price of the book., We have neither received ked permission to publish the name of the supposed author of these note is, however,a gentleman whose name has long been familiar to every in Virginia. He has long filled inore than one interesting department fystem, and the science of jurisprudence. In point of legal knowle abilities, his reputation is inferior to none,


All the gentlemen of the law, with one voice, complained of the in tion of the former index. A new one has been entirely wrote over aga at a very considerable expence, for the present edition. In the former were, under the letter A, only twenty-six different heads, In this there are forty-nine. In the former, letter S contained only twenty five This has forty-seven. These particulars are mentioned, to shew the perspicuity and completeness of the present index; and how greatly it n cilitate an accurate examination of the contents of the volume. The contains seventy-two pages. The text of the laws, exclusive of the and title page, contains as above mentioned, four hundred and fifty so that there is one page of index for about every six pages of tex larger number of references would have been useless, and have ferved to embarrass, than afst, the reader, This laborious part of the worl

drawn up by Mr. James Rind, who had been employed as an affiftant, by the supervisors of the former edicion. We have every reason to think that his performance will give entire satisfaction.

months ago

This volume, the index excepted, was completely printed off several

. But it was impossible to deliver the book till this time, because the bad state of Mr. Rind's health did not permit him to furnish the index sooncr. This apology will, no doubt, be considered as sufficient for a long delay of publication, which it was imposible for the editors to prevent.

It would be the fummit of frivolity to expatiare upon the importance of a work like this ; because it is plain, that every family in the commonwealth, should, if possible, possess a copy of it. To judges, magistrates and lawyers, it is indispensably necessary; and every privare gentleman, who wishes to understand either his own rights, or those of his neighbours, ought to be conversant with its contents.

RICHMOND, Aretz ist, 1803

« 上一頁繼續 »