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inbefore released, of the said hereditaments hereinbefore described.” Again, in the recital of the parties to a deed, we may find the addition to each of the names of " therein particularly described,” which conveys no additional information whatever, since every one knows, that a party to a deed is described in it. And when we proceed to the operative part of the instrument, in the recitals of which we have seen this affected accuracy, we meet with a declaration, that the trustees shall stand possessed “ of the share in the trust-monies of the said A. B.," as if the monies and not the share belonged to A. B. Of course, it is obvious, that the expression should be, “ of the share of the said A. B. in the said trust-monies” (a). Another absurd instance of ungrammatical arrangement occurred in a marriage settlement, which was lately before the editor, and which had been prepared in the office of a solicitor of fair consideration in the profession. It was a direction, that, on failure of children, the funds should be in trust “ for such persons as would be entitled thereto, in case the said [intended wife had died intestate and unmarried, according to the statute for the distribution of the personal estate of intestates.” Of course, this would

(a) In a modern conveyancing stantly happens that all parties work of considerable merit, there did not execute, and the draftsis a recommendation to the stu- man can seldom tell what was dent, that, in reciting an inden- the fact, it is more accurate to ture, he should avoid describing mention the indenture as exit as “ made, or expressed to be pressed to be made, than simply made between” the parties. But as made, between all the parties. this is a mistake; for as it con

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be taken to mean what it was intended to express,
namely, that the funds should be in trust for such
persons as would have been entitled thereto accord-
ing to the statute, in case the wife had died intestate
and unmarried. But, according to the grammatical
construction of the words, it would seem that the
wife was to die according to the statute. The
est part, however, of the inaccuracies and mistakes
which abound in the productions of careless drafts-
men, are either mere superfluities or such utter non-
sense, as not to work any serious mischief.

In most of them it is obvious what the intention of the parties must have beer., however absurdly that intention may have been expressed. But, occasionally, instances of want of accuracy occur, which lead to the necessity of a judicial interpretation, and bewilder the court itself to conjecture the meaning of the language. Thus, in a recent case, (Lucas v. Bond, 2 Keen, 136), the subject of controversy was a deed, by which, after recitals, shewing that A. B. was entitled to a reversionary interest in a moiety of a sum of 2,0001., part of a sum of 20,0001., then invested in 31.

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per cent. consols, A. B. assigned to C. D. “ all that the said sum of 1,0001. sterling, being one moiety of the said legacy or sum of 2,0001.” Of course, a proportionate share of the consols did not, on a sale, produce exactly 1,0001.: there was, in fact, a surplus, and the suit was instituted for the purpose of determining, whether the vendor or the purchaser was entitled to that surplus.

No general rules can be laid down for the conduct of the draftsman, in his attempts to attain the ha



bitual use of correct language. He must, of course,
be well acquainted with the rules of English gram-
mar, and the meanings of English words, and must
pay attention to the expressions he uses ; and he will
here, also, derive the greatest benefit from the study of
correctly drawn precedents, and from the habit of pre-
paring drafts, under the superintendence and revision
of skilful draftsmen : but, in general, he must, in
great measure, be guided by his own tact and taste.
Constant vigilance is essential: there is no habit which,
when indulged in, or not strenuously resisted, more
grows on the draftsman, than that of slurring over a
difficulty of expression, with the reflection, that his
meaning, though improperly expressed, cannot be
mistaken. But this is a most dangerous and discre-
ditable practice; for not only does it render his
drafts hard to understand and disagreeable to per-
use, but it puts him in imminent danger of thought-
lessly introducing inaccurate expressions, on occa-
sions on which they may produce serious mischief.
The observation which has been previously made, in
reference to the arrangement, applies, with equal
force, to the language of drafts ; namely, that the
habit of accuracy and precision is of the first conse-
quence, and cannot be too eagerly sought after : no
brilliancy of talent, no ingenuity can, in the ordinary.
detail of business, compensate for the want of this in-
valuable habit.

It only remains to explain the plan upon which the manner in the following collection of precedents has been lection of preformed, and to indicate in what manner, in the tended to be opinion of the editor, the forms may be most use

which the col.


cedents is in


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fully employed. These volumes are not intended to present an immense variety of precedents, from which the draftsman

may select one very nearly resembling each draft he has to draw. For such a purpose, a much larger space would be required than two or three octavo volumes afford; and therefore, the object of the editor, in accordance both with the plan originally projected by Mr. Martin, and with the editor's own views, has been to present a collection of models of drafts, sufficiently complete to enable any person who has studied it thoroughly, and is competently acquainted with the general rules of law and of framing legal instruments, to construct for himself those fresh forms which fresh combinations of events call for. Collections so Jarge, that their owner is acquainted only with a small portion of the precedents, and refers to the rest from the Index, on the spur of the moment, are of little practical use. The draftsman has always recourse to those few with which he is acquainted, and leaves the rest untouched.

The present Collection is intended not merely to be referred to when a precedent is wanted for business; but also as a series of forms, to be studied and impressed on the mind. The Precedents, with very few exceptions, have been taken from the drafts of a very small number of draftsmen, and those men all acting on the same principles, and habituated to the use of the same language and forms. Those differences, too, of form and language, which, to some extent, always exist in drafts prepared by different persons, have, as far as possible, been removed in the course of preparing the precedents for the press, so


the notes.

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as to make the language and arrangement of the
whole collection as nearly uniform as may be, and to
render any part of one precedent capable of being
easily united with any other in the construction of a
fresh draft.

The notes are designed to be chiefly of a practical Character of
character, not so much dealing with the points of
law, which are discussed in a former part of the work,
as tending to elucidate the forms and language of
the precedents, and explain the duties of the drafts-
man. They are not to be considered elaborate or
complete disquisitions on the points of law to which
they refer, but simply as suggestions for the guidance
of the draftsman, and references to the cases bearing
on the draft in hand.

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