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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the yoar one thousand eight

hundred and fifty-five, by

GOULD, BANKS & Co., In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of

New York.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred

and seventy-eight, by

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

1. 1024 JAN 9


I HAVE rewritten this treatise from a sense of duty to myself and to the Profession; with an interest in the theme which has been growing through several years; and with a design to state the law with clearness and without unnecessary discussion, in the belief that legal principles fairly stated vindicate themselves. The work covers a well defined branch of the law of contracts; including some classes which have received a marked development within a few recent years; notably, those relating to pledges or collateral securities, transportation, and telegraphic messages.

The work has been rearranged, as well as rewritten. It has been thrown into the form of sections, so as to secure an orderly treatment and separation of the subjects considered. My object has been, not to increase the volume, but to secure clearness and coinpactness of statement.

The work has cost me much labor, and I do not regret it. Justice being the supreme interest of mankind, the law established to ascertain and enforce it, is a most worthy object of labor and study. Aside from its value as the measure and conservator of our rights, the Law is one of the noblest of the applied sciences. It is beneficent in its purpose;

it aims to secure equity between men in their dealings with each other. It lies at the foundation of our system of government; it is both a source and a principle of authority, in our halls of legislation and in our tribunals of justice. It underlies our institutions, and conserves them. It outreaches the individual reason, and covers with its protecting power every social interest and every relation in life. It is the conscience of the State, everywhere present in the manifold activities of her citizens.

ALBANY, July 1, 1878.

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