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sages in the text books. The labour and difficulty in such a state of things were considerable : and the present work owes its origin to a conviction, that this labour and difficulty would be materially diminished by any attempt, however imperfect, to collect and to reduce into system the authorities on the subject, which were then scattered up and down in some hundreds of volumes.

This being the first work that has appeared on the subject, and the plan and arrangement of it having therefore been left in a peculiar manner to the author's own discretion, he trusts it will meet with the indulgence of the profession. Apprehensive that errors as well as omissions will be discovered, it is with unfeigned diffidence that he presents the result of his labours to the public.

In concluding, the author desires to express his thanks to his friend Edward John Lloyd, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn, for several valuable suggestions in the course of the work, of which he has availed himself,

Lincoln's Inn,
December, 1826.

PREFACE

TO THE FIRST AMERICAN EDITION.

In regard to the Treatise of Mr. Mathews upon the doctrine of Presumptions and Presumptive Evidence, it can hardly be necessary to say more, than that the author has collected and reduced into a system the numerous decisions upon this important branch of the law, and that it is the only book in the English language which treats exclusively upon this subject.

The American Editor has aimed to note all the

cases which have occurred in the American Courts, wherein any of the doctrines or principles contained in the original text have been discussed, and such English cases as have been published since the work of Mr. Mathews came from the press. In doing this he has thought it would best comport with the plan of the original work, to refer to the cases merely, rather than to swell the marginal notes with extracts, which would in most instances be but a repetition of the doctrines contained in the text.

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