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The design of the present Work is to lessen the difficulty of acquiring a knowledge of drafting, by suggesting, in the first place, such rules as may assist the student in determining what ought to be " recited;" and then by a methodical collection of various forms, to show how Recitals should be framed.
Important as is this subject, and perplexing as it often proves to the student and young practitioner, it has nevertheless been hitherto treated of so slightly and incidentally, that to the anxious and embarrassed inquirer, books afford little or no help.
True it is, that we already possess several voluminous collections of precedents, some of which have obtained a deserved celebrity. They are guides, which no one who wishes to avoid being entangled in the cross-roads and bye-paths of practice, will hastily dismiss. And not the least of the advantages resulting from such works is, that they have given a sort of fixedness to the forms of conveyancing, producing an uniformity of practice that cannot be too highly prized. In none of these collections, however, do “ Recitals occupy the prominent place to which they are entitled: they are only subordinate to the main design, that of laying open the whole structure of established forms.
The materials of the present volume are principally derived from original sources; but it ought to be acknowledged, that, having the good fortune to possess the MS. collections of the late Professor J. J. Park, the labour of compilation was considerably lessened.
It can scarcely be necessary to apprise the reader, that he will not find in the following pages
every form of Recital that may be required in practice. New circumstances necessitate new forms; and no one could frame, by any conceivable arrangement of words, such models as would be universally applicable.
It is hoped, however, that little difficulty will be felt in adapting the present to any variation either in facts or forms that may occur; though, after all, much will depend on that practical skill which can be gained only amidst the details of business. To acquire this skill must be the eager endeavour of the student; for, where it is wanting, however familiar he may be with forms, or however conversant with the rules of practice, they will be to him but as the instruments of an art unknown. While, however, he is intent upon thus arming himself for the conduct of affairs, it should not be forgotten that, unless practical knowledge is united with sound principles, or rather, unless they are so fused together that in every principle we can see a case of application, and in every case its principle, the mind (to borrow a beautiful image,) will be too like a child's garden, where the flowers are planted without their roots.
In the Appendix is inserted an able lecture on Recitals, delivered by Professor Park, at King's College, London, only a few months before his untimely death. It will be found to contain much of that sort of information, (not to be prized the less because it is so rarely to be met with,) which, being gained only by experience in business, no one, unless nurtured in office, is competent to impart. To the student, such information is invaluable. As a lawyer, Professor Park deservedly ranked high-he was not unworthy of the master under whom he studied ; * and one cannot but regret that his promising career should have been so soon cut short-that when about to reap the harvest of his hopes, the sickle should have fallen from his hand.
• Mr. Preston.