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COMMERCIAL LAW

CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY TOPICS

1. Importance of the subject. It is of great importance that every intelligent person should possess a general knowledge at least of his legal rights and obligations. So he may reap the benefits accorded by the law and avoid the penalties provided for a breach of it. In this connection an eminent teacher and writer says:

There is no branch of knowledge so essential to the proper discharge of the various duties of a citizen. This is especially true with respect to American citizens, whose high prerogative it is, by virtue of the doctrine of universal suffrage, to have a direct and personal participation in all public affairs. Surely that man is not fit to be the maker or the guardian of laws, who has never been educated in their first principles. But apart from public and patriotic considerations, self-interest should induce every man to understand his own rights and obligations. This proposition is almost too clear to need enforcement. As the subjects of law, certainly, if not as the makers, all ought to know enough to avoid its penalties and reap its benefits. Unquestionably, on the score of practical utility, no kind of knowledge can stand higher, for it comes into immediate application almost every hour we live. And yet how little provision has hitherto been made in our seminaries of learning for this so important department of instruction. 1

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