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THE present volume naturally follows the treatises which I have heretofore published upon Mortgages of Real Property and upon Railroad Securities. It completes the consideration of the general subject of Mortgages. The nature of personal property, as distinguished from real, is the foundation of broad distinctions between mortgages of the former and of the latter; and these distinctions extend through all the principal divisions of the subject. In many particulars, however, the same rules and principles of law are as applicable to mortgages of the one species of property as to those of the other. Wherever this is the case I have referred to my former works, both to show that the same rule applies to mortgages of real property and to call attention to a fuller statementwhich may sometimes be found in them of the point and the authorities upon it. I have thus, except in rare instances, avoided all occasion for citing in the present treatise cases which relate to mortgages of real property; and I have thus saved space which has been devoted to examining, more at length than otherwise would have been practicable, disputed and doubtful questions in the law of Chattel Mortgages. Of such disputed and doubtful questions there are many in the law of this subject, and some of them are of great difficulty. The matters, there
fore, which are peculiar to the law of Chattel Mortgages have been fully considered, while those which are common to this law and to that of Mortgages of Real Property have been passed over with a briefer statement, and a reference to my volumes on that subject.
I have regarded these volumes upon different phases of the subject of Mortgages as constituting in fact one work covering the whole subject; and I have therefore referred from one treatise to another as freely as I would to other sections of the same treatise. It is my purpose to follow this method still further, in the preparation of two other treatises, - one upon Pledges, including Collateral Securities, and one upon Liens, which, with those I have already published, will form a complete series of works on Property Securities. The three forms of security upon will then property - Mortgages, Pledges, and Liens be treated in works which are not only separately complete, but which will also have reference to the relations of the subjects to each other.1
1 In the preface to my treatise on the Law of Liens published in 1888, quoting this paragraph, I said: The task which I then set for myself I now complete in publishing the present work upon Liens. Much hard labor all of it, so far as authorship is concerned, being my own personal labor - has gone into these seven volumes. The favor with which the profession has received the works of this series heretofore published, I attribute largely to the fact that I have dealt with the subjects at close quarters, so to speak; that is, I have sought to examine the subjects in such detail as to enable me to state and discuss all the difficult and doubtful questions that have arisen and been passed upon by the courts. Many of these might have been hidden or passed by under a statement of an elementary principle; but as these works were intended for the practising lawyer, rather than the student, I have deemed it my province to find out the difficulties, doubts, and uncertainties in the law, and, if I could, to refer them to some principle, or to classify them, and at least to state them, if I could do no more.
There seems to be an advantage in writing upon all the different branches of a general subject, or in writing upon subjects of a kindred nature; for an author has thus an opportunity to note agreements and disagreements in the law applicable to them, and to observe the reasons for such agreements and disagreements. So far as he is able to do this, and to state the relations of the different topics to each other, and the modifications of general principles of law as they are applied under different circumstances, he does something to promote an orderly and rational development of the law. It has been with a hope that I might accomplish something in this direction, and at the same time provide for the profession books of a practical nature which should be useful in the business of every day, that I have undertaken and carried forward the preparation of this series of works upon kindred topics.
BOSTON, May 2, 1881.
L. A. J.