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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six,
BY BANKS & BROTHERS,
CHARLES VAN BENTHUYSEN & SONS,
Albany and Castleton, N. Y.
EXTRACT FROM THE PREFACE TO THE FIRST
To those readers who are unacquainted with English law terms it may be desirable to explain, that the word Tort, handed down to us from our Norman jurists, is used in our law at the present day to denote a civil wrong, for which compensation in damages is recoverable, in contradistinction to a crime or misdemeanor, which is punished by the criminal law in the interests of society at large. Every invasion of a legal right, such as the right of property, or the rights incident to the possession of property, or the right of personal security, constitutes a Tort; and so does every neglect of a legal duty, and every injury to the person, or character, or reputation of another.
The Law of Torts, or civil wrongs, therefore, having for its object the protection of our property, and the security of our persons and reputation, is a branch of law of general interest and importance, and there are few persons of any property or station in the country to whom some knowledge of it does not become essential at some time or another, either for the purpose of maintaining themselves in their just rights, or for the purpose of ascertaining the nature and extent of their legal duties and responsibilities.
Torts, it has truly been observed, are infinitely various, and it would be an endless task to enumerate all the wrongs of which the law takes cognizance, and in respect of which redress, in the shape of compensation in damages, is afforded. It is not intended to treat herein of all civil wrongs of every sort and description, but of such wrongs and injuries to property, to the person, and to reputation, as constantly occur in the ordinary intercourse of mankind, and daily occupy the attention of the lawyer : such as wrongful infringements
of the rights and privileges incident to the ownership and possession, and use and enjoyment, of landed property; nuisances and injuries arising from the negligent use and management of such property; injuries to lands and tenements from waste, negligence, and fire; injuries from trespasses and unlawful entry on land, in disturbance of the possessory and proprietary rights of occupiers and landlords ; wrongful seizure and conversion of chattels; injuries from the negligent use and management of chattels, and the negligent performance of work; injuries from negligence and breach of duty on the part of bailees, common carriers, and common innkeepers; wrongful distress and sale of things distrained; assault and battery, and wrongful imprisonment; malicious arrest, malicious prosecution, and malicious abuse of legal process; trespasses and injuries committed in the execution of void or irregular legal process, or in the execution of warrants and orders of justices; injuries resulting from the exercise, or intended exercise, of statutory powers and authorities; injuries from libel and slander; fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit; fraudulent concealment, breach of warranty and false pretences; matrimonial and parental injuries; adultery and seduction.
In the following Treatise the Author has endeavored to present to the reader an accurate view of the present state of the law on the subjects treated of, without burthening his mind with technical legal learning which is now obsolete, or unnecessarily perplexing his judgment with contradictory and conflicting decisions; and it is hoped that the task has been faithfully and carefully accomplished.
PREFACE TO THE FOURTH ENGLISH EDITION.
The favorable reception which the last edition of this work, published only three years ago, has met with from the profession and the public, renders it unnecessary to say more as a preface to the present one, than that the same care has been exercised in preparing it for the press, to render the book worthy of being still considered the standard authority on the subjects of which it treats.
The alterations rendered necessary by the Bankruptcy Act, 32 & 33 Vict. c. 71 (which was passed after the last edition had passed through the press), have been made; and, although this edition contains the results of more than 470 new cases decided since the last edition was published, the size of the work has not been materially, if at all, increased.
The cases decided and statutes passed whilst the work was in the press, to the end of November, 1872, will be found, so far as they have not been incorporated in the text, in the Addenda; and by a fresh method of printing and arrangement of the Index it will be found, it is hoped, easier of reference than in the last edition,
TEMPLE, November, 1872.