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To the average practitioner it matters little by what mental processes an author is induced to pursue any given line of investigation, so long as the results of his labor are embodied in practical form, are accurate in detail, and are to be relied on as stating the law. I shall therefore make no apology for presenting to the public this treatise on the law of "Marine Collisions."
The importance of the subject matter, the pleasure I have derived in pursuing this line of investigation, are the only justification offered.
I have endeavored to state what the general maritime law governing the navigation of shipping is, rather than what it should be, as viewed from my point of observation. I have, however, had occasion in a few instances to dissent from the established canons of the courts, where it has appeared to me the reasons for the same are obsolete, and that a different rule would be better. In all instances, however, I have stated what the weight of authority is, and have endeavored not to create confusion by substituting my own views for those entitled to greater consideration.
I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to the learning of Mr. Justice Brown of the Supreme Court, and of Judge Brown of the District Court for the Southern District of New York, from whose voluminous decisions I have not