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FREDERICK D. COLSON
OF THE NEW YORK BAR
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
THE enactment of the Negotiable Instruments Law in several American States and its probable enactment in others, renders necessary a familiarity with that Code on the part of all law students. Founded as it is upon the Digest of Judge Chalmers, afterward enacted into the English Bills of Exchange Act, it presents the best statement available of the results of English and American judicial decisions. Even before its adoption by the legislatures in Great Britain and the United States, Judge Chalmers' Digest had been edited for use in law schools, and had met with much favor for purposes of study and instruction.
A Digest or Code is, however, but a set of abstract rules. The student needs to see the rules in operation upon concrete facts in order to appreciate their force and effect. It is the purpose of this book to set over against each important rule a case or a selection of cases from which the rule might be deduced did no Code exist and in which the rule, as embodied in the Code, may be studied in its application to concrete facts. In this way it is hoped to give vitality and interest to what are otherwise mere abstract propositions of law. As to the relation of the cases to the Code, the reader is referred to Judge Chalmers' remarks, found on page 119  of this work, and to the opinion of Lord Herschell on page 127 , and of Lord Russell of Killowen on page 442 (396).
Under the sections of the statute will be found references to the Cases and Authorities” which make up Part II  of this work. Conversely there is set opposite the title to each case the section number of the statute which is applicable to it. Under this arrangement the student has constantly before him the enactment of the legislatures and the decisions of the courts.
In Article I, dealing mainly with matters of historical interest, the editor has made free use of the Introduction to Chalmers' Digest and of the first two chapters of Mr. Scrutton's Elements of Mercantile Law. Elsewhere in the book, two or three chapters of Byles' Treatise on Bills of Exchange have been reprinted, where a selection of cases would have occupied space out of proportion