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would offer greater facilities to convert real estate into moveables.
It is, therefore, from considerations of public order that the law has refused to assimilate, in every respect, the promissory note to the bill of exchange, but at the same time, it has consulted the peculiar interest of commerce, which has always been the object we bave endeavoured to attain.
With this view the law provides, article 639. that the tribupals of commerce shall decide definitively all causes in which the sum demanded shall not exceed a thousand francs ; (200 dollars ;) also, all those in which the parties justiciable by these tribunals, shall have declared their willingness to be judged definitively and without appeal.
With this view, the law grants to the tribunals of commerce a very extensive jurisdiction in failures, the judgment of oppositions to a composition, when the rights of the opponent are founded on acts or operations cognizable by them, the ratification of a composition between the insolvent and his creditors.
With this view, the tribunals of commerce shall have cognizance of actions against factors, merchants' clerks, or servants, on account of acts solely relating to the traffic of the merchant for whom they have acted, or to whom they are attached; of actions arising from bills drawn by the receivers, payers, collectors, and other persons accountable for public money.
With this view, in short, the bills subscribed by a merchant are presumed to have been made on account of his commerce, and those of the receivers, payers, collectors, and others accountable for public money, are presumed to have been made for their administration, when no other cause is specified on the face of them.
It remains for us, gentlemen, to call your attention to the provision of the law, which excepts, from the competency of the tribunals of commerce, the actions brought against a landholder, cultivator, or farmer, for the sale of the produce of his farm; it justifies itself, for it is evident, that these sales are not similar to those made by a merchant.
of the Project of the Law firing the period in which the Com
mercial Code shall be in force.
SITTING OF THE EIGHTH SEPTEMBER, 1807.
GENTLEMEN, The code of commerce rises by the side of the Code Napoleon. New benefits are now to be conferred upon France. Whilst victory was marching under the French eagles, on the borders of the astonished Vistula, commercial legislation in silence received inprovements which experience had dictated.
Commerce is going to take a new direction; the laws will be in harmony with its wants, with its habits, with its real interests. These laws will be simple and easy; they display no severity but against fraud; they will correct imprudence; they will chastise miscosduct; they will relieve misfortune. The insulting disgrace of failures will no longer exist, to revolt the just and virtuous map. Commercial transactions will be protected under the ægis of probity, and the security of enlightened tribunals, which will themselves do honour to commerce. The industrious artizan in his shop, the honest merchant in the midst of his operations, the intrepid navigator, from the bosom of the tempests, will bless the august and cherished name of the great man, who, after having recompensed and avenged our country, prepares for it all the sources of a permanent prosperity, who knows repose only in the change of labour, and whose happiness consists only in the felicity of his people!
But it is time, gentlemen, to accelerate these benefits. His majesty has thought that the first day of the ensuing year ought to be distinguished as the era of the execution of the commercial code.
The period is, undoubtedly, not distant, when victory or peace will again open the seas, and the ordinary channels of commerce, to the nations of the world. The code which you will have adopted will then become the common law of Europe.
Associated for a long time in the pacific labours of the greatest of princes, you will doubtless eagerly elevate this new monument to bis glory; and what greater recompense than to be able to say to yourselves we have contributed to the good of our country, under the auspices of Napoleon !
CODE DE COMMERCE.
DU COMMERCE EN GENERAL.
Article 1. Sont commerçants ceux qui exercent des actes de commerce, et en font leur profession habituelle.
Art. 2. Tout mineur émancipé de l'un et de l'autre sexe, âgé de dix-huit ans accomplis, qui voudra profiter de la faculté que lui accorde l'art. 487. du Code Napoléon, de faire le commerce, ne pourra en commencer les opérations, ni être réputé majeur, quant aux engagements par lui contractés pour fait de commerce, 1° s'il n'a été préalablement autorisé par son père, ou par sa mére, en cas de décès, interdiction, ou absence du père, ou, à défaut du père et de la mère, par une délibération du conseil de famille, homologuée par le tribunal civil; 20 si, en outre, l'acte d'autorisation n'a été enregistré et affiché au tribunal de commerce du lieu où le mineur veut établir son domicile.
Art. 3. La disposition de l'article précédent est applicable aux mineurs même non commerçants, à l'égard de tous les faits qui sont déclarés faits de commerce par les dispositions des articles 632. et 633. du titre deuxieme du livre IV.
Article 1. Merchants are they who carry on commerce and make it their habitual profession.
Art. 2. Every emancipated minor,(1) of either sex, of the age of eighteen years complete, who desires to avail himself of the right granted in article 487. of the Code Napoleon, to carry on trade, must comply with the regulations hereinafter mentioned, before he can commence mercantile business, or be considered as having arrived at majority with respect to any commercial engagements contracted by him; 1st. He must be previously authorized by his father, or by his mother, in case of the death, interdiction,(2) or absence of the father, or in default of both father and mother, by the consent of the family council,(3) approved by the civil tribunal; 2d. The act of authorization aforesaid, must be registered and posted up in the hall of the tribunal of commerce of the place where the minor intends to fix his domicil.
Art. 3. The provisions in the preceding article are applicable to minors, even though they are not merchants by professiou, with respect to all acts which are declared to be commercial by articles 632. and 633. of Title II. of Book IV. of this code.