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italics, and inclosed in brackets; where a word has been found manifestly wanting to sustain the sense, it has been printed in the roman character, and inclosed in brackets; and where an obviously wrong word has been used, it has been printed in italics, and succeeded by the word supposed to have been intended, in roman letters, and in brackets. By a careful comparison of this work, section by section, with the accumulated body of the public laws of twenty years, comprising nearly a thousand statutes, which are here condensed, a few instances have been discovered, of omissions of provisions of the existing laws, somewhat important, which were probably unintentional on the part of the revising commissioners and of the legislature. These, with other subjects, have been embodied in the act of amendment, passed by the present legislature, and inserted in this volume.
With a view to add to the usefulness and convenience of the work, we have subjoined to the marginal notes, references to statutes heretofore in force, containing corresponding provisions. We have also added, with considerable labor, references to the decisions in the Maine and Massachusetts reports, upon the various matters which are here made subjects of legislation. It will not be understood, however, that all the provisions of the former statutes have been substantially incorporated into, or that all the decisions are in accordance with, the sections, to which the references are affixed, though such is generally the fact; yet, in many instances, it will be found, that the former statute has been only partially retained, or wholly abrogated, or that a new principle is adopted, precisely the reverse of that contained in the statute or decision to which reference is made. The intention has been, to facilitate a reference, not merely to those laws and decisions, here re-enacted or confirmed, but also to the supposed deficiencies and desiderata in former laws, which are here intended to be supplied, and to the history of the legislation upon the subjects connected therewith.
The index has been to us a work of no small difficulty. It contains a distinct, alphabetical sub index to each chaper, and the chapters, so prepared, are arranged, in the general index, in the alphabetical order of their subjects. We have thought, that this plan, when understood, would facilitate research, especially in the long chapters. The abstracts at the heads of the several chapters in the body of the work will serve as a guide to those who wish to examine them in a more analytical method.
Though great care has been used in the correction of the proof sheets, a few errors have since been discovered, which are noted in the table of errata. We
have compared the text of the Revised Statutes, contained in this volume, with the originals in the office of the secretary of state, and, with these exceptions, they appear to be correctly printed.
It will not be out of place here to remark, in respect to the distinguished individual, who was at the head of the revising commissioners, and who had also been chairman of the board of jurisprudence by whom the revision of 1821 was prepared, and for fourteen years, until he arrived at the constitutional limit, the chief expounder of the laws of this state, that he entered upon this work, with the ardor of youth, the vigor of middle age, and a maturity of intellect, ripened by the suns, yet scarcely chilled by the frosts of seventy four years. By him the major part of this work was prepared. This crowning labor of his useful life, he was permitted to accomplish, and to witness its adoption by the legislature, but not its publication. On the thirty first day of December, 1840, he rested from his earthly labors, in the seventy seventh year of his age. The memory of the kindness of disposition, the shining social powers, the purity of principle, and the exemplary life of the late chief justice Mellen is embalmed in the hearts of numerous friends; and a monument of his industry and ability as a lawyer, a legislator and a jurist will ever stand in high relief upon the legal history of the state.
EBEN'R EVERETT. AUGUSTA, MAY 17, 1841.
OF THE SOVEREIGNTY, THE GOVERNMENT, REVENUE AND
DOMAIN OF THE STATE, ITS LIMITS AND DIVISIONS, AND)