A suit for specific performance will not lie if there is an adequate remedy at law. It will only lie where the loss cannot be compensated in damages.51 This rule is well illustrated by the different attitudes which the court has assumed in this matter towards contracts for the sale.of land and contracts for the sale of goods. One who has contracted to purchase a particular piece of land may be unable to get its exact counterpart elsewhere, with the same surroundings and conveniences. Courts of equity will therefore generally grant specific performance of contracts for the sale of land.52 On the other hand, goods of the kind and quality contracted for are generally to be purchased elsewhere. Hence specific performance of a contract for the sale of goods will not be decreed,68 except in the case of specific chattels, the value of which, either from their beauty, the interest attaching to them, or some other cause, cannot be represented by damages.54
50 Ante, pp. 73, 203, 292.
51 Campbell v. Potter, 147 I11. 576, 35 N. E. 3G4; American Box Mach. Co. v. Crossman, 61 Fed. 888, 10 C. C. A. 146; Gove v. City of Biddleford, 85 Me. 393, 27 Atl. 264; Porter v. Water Co., 84 Me. 195, 24 Atl. 814; McCarter v. Armstrong, 32 S. C. 203, 10 S. E. 953, 8 L. R. A. G25. See "Specific Performance" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 5; Cent. Dig. §§ 5-8.
52 Eastern C. R. Co. v. Hawkes, 5 H. L. 331, 359; Johnston v. Wadsworth, 24 Or. 494, 34 Pac. 13. But courts of equity will not even compel specific performance of a contract to buy land simply to enforce payment of the purchase money. Holley v. Anness, 41 S. C. 349, 19 S. E. 64G. See "Specific Performance" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 65; Cent. Dig. § 196.
53 Cuddee v. Rutter, 1 P. Wms. 569, 5 Vin. Abr. p. 538, § 21, 1 White & T. Lead. Cas. Eq. [4th Am. Ed.] 1063; Lining v. Geddes, 1 MeCord, Eq. (S. C.) 304, 16 Am. Dec. 606; Cowles v. Whitman, 10 Conn. 121, 25 Am. Dec. 60; Kimball v. Morton, 5 N. J. Eq. 20, 53 Am. Dec. 621; Rollins Inv. Co. v. George (C. C.) 48 Fed. 776. A contract for the sale of shares of corporate stock will not be specifically enforced unless their value cannot readily be ascertained, or there is some special reason for the purchaser's obtaining them. See Ryan v. McLane, 91 Md. 175, 46 Atl. 340, 50 L. R. A. 501, 80 Am. St. Rep. 438, in which specific performance was refused, and Hogg v. McGuffin, 67 W. Va. 456, 68 S. E. 41, 31 L. R. A. (N. S.) 491, in which it was granted. See "Specific Performance,'" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 68; Cent. Dig. § 199.