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tected against even the defense of usury, the statute As the principles involved in this case are of unuagainst usury was practically alınost abrogated as to sual importance, we append the decision of the court negotiable paper.
of common pleas, above referred to, the opinion in "The precise question presented here, as applied to which was delivered by Mr. Justice Byles, and is as commercial paper in the hands of a bona fide holder, follows: etc., has, so far as we have been able to discover, been “This was an action by the plaintiff as indorsee of a presented in but one case, and that a very recent one, bill of exchange for 3,0001. against the defendant as viz. : the case of Foster v. McKinnon, decided in the indorser. The defendant, by one of his pleas, trayEnglish common pleas, in July, 1869, and reported in ersed the indorsement, and by another alleged that 38 Law Journal Reports, new series, page 310, which the defendant's indorsement was obtained from him case was very fully argued and carefully considered | by fraud. The plaintiff was a holder for value before by the court, upon examination of all anthorities maturity, and without notice of any fraud. There was which could be found bearing on the question. In contradictory evidence as to whether the indorsement that case the defendant was sued as indorser of a bill was the defendant's signature at all, but, according to by a bona fide holder, and it was in its circumstances the evidence of one Callow, the acceptor of the bill, quite similar to the case at bar, except that the present who was called as a witness for the plaintiff, he, Calis a somewhat stronger case for the defendant on the low, produced the bill to the defendant (a gentleman question of negligence. In that case the defendant | far advanced in life) for him to put his signature on proved, that though the instrument he indorsed was the back, after that of one Cooper, wbo was payee of in fact a bill when he indorsed it, and was upon a the bill and first indorser, Callow not saying that it paper having the ordinary shape and size of a bill, was a bill, but telling the defendant the instrument and had a bill stamp impressed upon the face, which was a guaranty. The defendant did not see the face impression was visible on the back, yet he, the defend of the bill at all, but the bill was of the usual shape ant, did not look at the face of the bill, and, when he and bore a bill stamp, the impress of which stamp was wrote his name upon the back, it was represented to visible at the back of the bill. The defendant signed him, and he believed it to be, a guaranty.
his name after Cooper's, he, the defendant, as the wit“Under these circumstances, the lord chief justice ness stated, believing the document to be a guaranty who tried the cause left it to the jury to say whether only. the signature was obtained on a fraudulent represent- “The lord chief justice told the jury that if the ination that the paper to which it was put was a guar
dorsement was not the defendant's signature, or if, anty, and instructed the jury that, if it was so being his signature, it was obtained upon a fraudulent obtained, and the defendant signed it, not knowing representation that it was a guaranty, and the defendit was a bill, and under the belief that it was a guar- ant signed it without knowing that it was a bill, and anty, and if he was not guilty of any negligence in under the belief that it was a guaranty, and if the writing his name on the bill, without ascertaining defendant was not guilty of any negligence in so signwhat he was signing, he would be entitled to their ing the paper, the defendant was entitled to the ververdict. This instruction was sustained by the whole dict. The jury found for the defendant. A rule nisi court, in an elaborate opinion delivered by Byles, J. was obtained for a new trial, first, on the ground of We are satisfied with the reasoning of the court in misdirection in the latter part of the summing up, that case, and we think any other rule would be and, secondly, on the ground that the verdict was fraught with great danger to the security of property. against the evidence. If, as to a party who can give evidence that he pur- “As to the first branch of the rule, it seems to us chased the bill for value and before maturity, and as that the question arises on the traverse of the indorseto whom the defendant is unable to bring home ment. The case presented by the defendant is, that notice, the question of liability is reduced to a mere he never made the contract declared on; that he never question of the genuineness of the signature, we do saw the face of the bill, and that the purport of the not see how a party would be able to escape liability, contract was fraudulently misdescribed to him; that as suggested by the court in the case referred to, when he signed one thing he was told and believed where he had written his name in a lady's album, or that lie was signing another and an entirely different for the purpose of franking a letter, or for any one of thing; that his mind never went with his act. It the thousand purposes for which a man is often called seems plain, on principle and on authority, that if a upon to furnish a signature without the intention of
blind man, or a man who cannot read, or who for some making a negotiable instrument. The true distinc
reason (not implying negligence) forbears to read, has tion was tersely stated by Bovill, C. J., in Foster v. a written contract falsely read over to him, the reader Mckinnon, interrupting counsel arguendo, who was misreading to such a degree that the written contract stating the proposition, that where the plaintiff proved is of a nature altogether different from the contract he is a bona fide holder for value, it is immaterial that pretended to be read from the paper which the blind the signature of the defendant was obtained by fraud. or illiterate man afterward signs, then, at least if there
-“That,” said the chief justice, ‘is where the defend- | be no negligence, the signature so obtained is of no ant intended to put his name to an instrument which force. And it is invalid, not merely on the ground of was a bill.' The exception to the refusal to admit the fraud where fraud exists, but on the ground that the evidence offered was well taken, A new trial must mind of the signer did not accompany the signature; be granted, etc."
in other words, that he never intended to sign, and Presiding Justice Mullin read an opinion to the therefore, in contemplation of law, never did sign, the same effect.
contract to which his name is appended. The author
ities appear to us to support this view of the law. In lent mirapplication of that genuine signature to a Thoroughgood's Case, 2 Rep. 9, 6, it was held, that if an different purpose would have been a counterfeit alterilliterate man bave a deed falsely read over to him, and ation of a writing with intent to defraud, and would he then seals and delivers the parchment, that parch- | therefore have amounted to forgery. In that case the ment is nevertheless not his deed. In a note to Thor- signer would not have been bound by his signature, oughgood's Cuse, 2 Rep. 9, 6, in Frazer's edition of for two reasons: first, that he never, in fact, signed Coke's Reports, it is suggested that the doctrine is not the writing declared on; and, secondly, that he never confined to the condition of an illiterate grantor, and
intended to sign any such contract. In the present & case in Kelway's Reports, p. 70, is cited in sup- case the first reason does not apply, but the second port of this observation. On reference to that case, reason does. The defendant never intended to sign it appears that one of the judges did there observe that contract, or any such contract. He never intended that it made no difference whether the grantor were to put his name to any instrument that then was or lettered or unlettered. That, however, was a case
thereafter might become negotiable. He was deceived, where the grantee himself was the defrauding party ; not merely as to the legal effect, but as to the actual but the position, that, if a grantor or covenantor be
contents of the instrument. deceived or misled as to the actual contents of the
“We are not aware of any case in which the precise deed, the deed does not bind him, is supported by question now before us has arisen on bills of exchange many authorities (see Com. Dig. tit. “Fait,' b. 2), and
or promissory notes, or been judicially discussed. In is recognized by Bayley, J., and by the court of ex
the case of Ingham v. Primrose, 7 Com, B. R. (N. S.) chequer in the case by Edwards v. Brown, 1 Cr, and
83, and the case of Nance v. Davy, 5 Ala. 370; S. C., 1 J. 312. Accordingly, it has recently been decided in
Parsons on Bills, 114, n., both cited by the plaintiff, the exchequer chamber, that, if a deed be delivered,
the facts were very different from those before us, and a blank left therein be afterward improperly
and have but a remote bearing on the question. But filled up (at least if this be done without the grantor's
in Putnam v. Sullivan, 4 Mass. 45; S. C., 1 Parsons on negligence), it is not the deed of the grantor, Swan
Bills, 111, n., a distinction is taken by Chief Justice v. The North British Australasian Company, 2 Hurls.
Parsons between a case where an indorser intended and C. 175; 8. C., 32 Law J. Rep. (N. S.) Exch. 273.
to indorse such a note as he actually indorsed (being These cases apply to deeds, but the principle is equally
induced by fraud to indorse it), and a case where he applicable to other written contracts. Nevertheless,
intended to indorse a different note and for a different this principle, when applied to negotiable instru: purpose; and the court intimate an opinion that even ments, must be and is limited in its application.
in such a case as that a distinction might prevail to These instruments are not only assignable, but they
protect the indorser, guarding themselves, however, form part of the currency of the country. A qualifi
as the chief justice has done in the case now before us, cation of the general rule is necessary to protect inno
with the proviso that the indorser is not chargeable cent transferees for value. If, therefore, a man write
with “laches, negligence, or misplaced contidence his name across the back of a blank bill stamp, and
in others,” which last is but a species of negligence, part with it, and the paper is afterward improperly
The distinction in the case now under consideration is filled up, he is liable as indorser; if he write it across
a much plainer one, for on this branch of the rule we the face of the bill he is liable as acceptor when the
are to assume that the indorser never intended to instrument has once passed into the hands of an innn
indorse at all, but to sign a contract of an entirely difcent indorsee, for value, before naturity, and liable to
ferent nature. For these reasons we think the directhe extent of any sum which the stamp will cover.
tion of the lord chief justice was right, In these cases, however, the party signing knows
“With respect, however, to the second branch of what he is doing: the indorser intended to indorse,
the rule, we are of opinion that the case should ur. and the acceptor intended to accept, a bill of exchange
dergo further investigation. We abstain from giving to be thereafter filled up, leaving the amount, the
our reasons for this part of our decision, only lest date, the maturity and the other parties to the
they should prejudice either party on a second inquiry. bill undetermined. But in the case now under con
The rule, therefore, will be made absolute for a new sideration, the defendant, according to the evidence
trial." - Rule absolute.
IDEAL OF A CODE.
the written and the unwritten. The latter is written exchange. It was as if he had written his name on a
on the tablets of the heart. It is that portion of more sheet of paper for the purpose of franking a letter, or
ality which consists of duties of perfect obligation. in a lady's album, or on an order for admission to the A larger area may be marked off from general morTemple Church, or on the leaf of a book, and there ality, in some countries, than in others. But natural had already been, without his knowledge, a bill of or general jurisprudence is the same everywhere. exchange or promissory note, payable to order, The particular jurisprudence of every country ought inscribed on the other side of the paper. To make to be similarly homogeneous, though not equally the case clearer, suppose the bill or note on the other extensive; because it ought to follow the political side of the paper, in each of these cases, to be written model, and so vary with the constitution, as free or at a time subsequent to the signature, then the fraudu- arbitrary.
ty As law is a moral and deductive science, it is neces
The various sources of Roman as well as of English | present to be found on any particular point, will, law are, therefore, reducible to two. So are the fount- just like a little learning, he dangerous in proportion ains of law everywhere. The written law may be to the flickering twilight they shed upon the text. merely a republication of parts of the law of nature. They will thus tend to render the solution of a quesor it may reveal doctrines unknown to the common tion more difficult than ever, pouring forth only light law of mankind. In the latter case it is technical, and enough to display pit-falls and seeming contradicnot cognizable a priori. But, as its doctrines and defi- tions between the judgments already reported, withnitions cannot be innumerable, it admits, of course, out furnishing that complete rescue which is at present of codification. When civil law is technical, it is thus furnished by our exhaustive reports. After each warped from its moral constitution through military section of the code is overlaid with judicial frescoes, it considerations or motives of public policy. But law, will be sufficiently furnished to be comfortable for use. properly so called, ought to be free from all techni- But this is the very dificulty which is now sought to cality; and it ought to be the aim of every law be got rid of. We are going to prefer absolute poverty reformer to eliminate any technical elements in the to our present embarras des richesse. The judicial municipal system, and so make it coincident with the Sinbad, however, can only be overcome by plethora. ethical rule of life.
Else, all precedent must be eschewed, and nothing in Such being the nature of law, there ought to be no future cited but the code. This will certainly render difficulty in consolidating existing rules, or reducing future judgments, if not consistent with one all to ashes, and producing a new Phønix on their another, at all events aiming at consistency with the ruins. In either case, whether the code or consolida- | code. It will be carrying out Judge Talfourd's tion act merely re-expresses, or alters, the law, it ought | ideal of a legal system, since the rules will be flexible, not to enjoy exclusive authority. If any of its pre- and, moreover, known to the judges ; a condition precepts are technical, why should they not be construed cedent not always fulfilled under the present unwritby the light of old decisions or foreign similar enact- ten, or rather uncodified, system. But, if precedents ments? If its doctrines are purely ethical, why on the code are to be admitted, why reject those should they not be read with the glossary of moral | already made to order? and jural writers? This shutting out of evidence is A leading mistake as to the uses of a code, is the the most pretentious thing iinaginable, and may supposition that it will, or can, abridge legal studies. remind one of the conduct of the Indian prince, who It cannot. But, in the first place, the theory of the put out the eyes of the architect of the Taj Mehal, law is extremely easy. Any one can acquire a knowllest he might build any more similar structures, and edge of legal principles in a few months, sufficient so obscure the glory of his past achievements.
to enable him to search the scriptures for any particuCases are useful, not only where they are founded Iar point afterwards. No one reads the reports as a on technical rules preserved in the code, but even methodical study. Now no science is so certain as whero the point in question is purely moral. A long mathematics, although its deducibles are innumerable. series of deductions will be more easily gone through, So with law: though not thoroughly known to the with the aid of a precedent. Either cases will, or will most learned, it is not necessary that it should be so. not, be applicable to a point under the code. If inap- Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. If a person plicable, the reports will be consigned to the care of knows enough of principles to be able to search and the spice merchant, or reground into new paper. No interpret the proper authorities, he has sufficient one will consult them. But, if applicable, they will stock in trade wherewith to commence business. All be useful, and will greatly narrow, in every case, and he requires is such moderate training as will enable in most annihilate, the sphere of judicial discretion. him to see through the legal telescope, though not to
The principles of cases are more important than count the stars. The multiplication of cases, therethe provisions of statutes, because they give the fore, is a bugbear. Law is as easily learned as if technical elements fitting with the ethical ; while the there were only one-hundreth part the existing letter of the statute may not fit the technical arch, and quantity of reports. A code, then, will not, and canso its ethical bearings may be neutralized. But, not, abridge legal study, since it will not omit any though case law is thus important, and, in fact, at the definition of principles with which alone the student present day comprises all law (being equal to statutes, is concerned. Once that he knows the meaning of plus judicial interpretations thereof), yet, they are the few technical terms used, and the leading only to be cited as deducibles, to exemplify the posi- | principles, he need only look into any law book on tion of the text, but to have no greater validity than if any particular subject. This will give him the last they found no place in the code. Their dicta and ver- case, whence he can ascend to the earlier authorities, biage should be dicta and verbiage still. The maxim, until he is lost in the transcendental mazes of jural Noscitur a nociis, should not apply. Cases are exploration. The other reports he need not mind; but specimens of the quartz from which the pure just as a person looking into a dictionary is not gold of the text is extracted. Not but that, at the embarrassed by the fact that his oracle contains a vast present day, they supply us with a complete and per- amount of unconnected, though useful, information fect text on every point. Still, they contain a vast on other points than those he is investigating. amount of farrago wbich is mere selvage or husk, and The popular notion of a code is of a huge statuto not properly either technical or moral law,
founded upon abstract jural principles, and not upon Cui bono, then, to give a code exclusive authority existing law, and outside of which no recourse is to when it will be in a few years encrusted with decis- | be had to legal authorities. Such a code would leave ions, which, though not as numerous as those at a highly artificial state of society bereft of its costly
legal experience, and would add to judicial discre- mon all the good incidents owned at present by either. tion what it took from its labor in searching for pre- At the risk of repetition, we may add, that the modes cedents. This state of affairs would be nothing of conveyance should be in every case the same; viz., better than an empty house, in which every unquiet by contract, gift, or will, accompanied, in cases inter judicial spirit might disseminate its own innovations vivos, by delivery, or a writing. The settlement of and revel with impuvity. Some difficult questions, both should be capable of being effected by the same at present, occasion much litigation. But this is owing words. There should be no need of a non-vesting to the want, not the accumulation, of cases in point. clause as to personalty; but a quasi entail of goods Besides, our attention is called to the number of the and chattels should be as potent to bear up a remainder wrecked, and not to the many whom decided cases as an entail of freehold now is. So as to the rules of preserved from having their rights disputed.
survivorship, dying without issue, the rule in Shelley's How then is discretion to be eliminated, precedent Case, etc., one uniform standard should be laid down observed, and yet a bird's-eye-view obtained of the for both descriptions of property. chain of cases, statutes, and principles bearing upon With these changes wrought, most of our past law each new state of legal facts? The remedies are to be would become obsolete. In abstracts of title, howfound, first, in the abolition of all rules peculiar to ever, the old law would appear for many years to remainders, and their conversion into executory in
Yet, as it was not destined to last all future terests, as aimed at by 7 and 8 Vict., now repealed; / time, a digest of it is but a decoration of the dead. secondly, in the transfer to real property of all the We are at a loss, therefore, to understand, not only rules now peculiar to personalty, leaving, however, to how the fusion of jurisdictions will eliminate pecuentails their present capacity to support remainders;
liarities of rights, but also how a digest of past decisthirdly, in the transfer to law of all the peculiar doc- ions will produce “a consistent body of law for the trines of equity; in other words, to make law follow guidance of a mixed tribunal,” if the digest faithfully equity in all its rules of construction. This it does at reproduces the conflicting rules of real and personal present in almost every case, else equity would not property; of law and of equity. A consistent body follow the law, as it does. This last reform does not of law, in the sense Mr. Fisher refers to, is not possiinvolve any extinction of trusteeships, but applies ble, where the materials to be digested are, as he only to a few rules and forms of conveyancing. All admits, inconsistent, interests in property, whether real or personal, are A digest such as he contemplates must work rights of the same nature, and are therefore reducible changes. It must be a code, and more than a code, to to one denomination. Our whole legal system could etfect this consummation. It must be a code with rethus be reconstructed in a very short time; while, forms; in other words, an essentially new system of though a great mass of existing law would be repealed, law. This revolution, or consequence of a jural revoluor rendered obsolete, yet the code would still rest on tion, is, indeed, possible and easy. If the distinctive past decisions. Stare decisis is not the worst of judi- peculiarities of real and personal property, of law and cial maxims, and should not be ignored by the equity, were annibilated, as regards the respective law reformer.
interests to which they are applicable, half — nay, fourA code, stating in logical order the principles of fifths - of our cases would become obsolete. The statutes and decisions, and referring, like the code equation of jural rights is, surely, possible. If so, a before us, to cases, but, like the Indian penal code of brand-new code may be at once produced. An 1860, providing that "the illustrations make nothing eclectic consolidation act of this kind, such as the law which would not be law without them,” would civil code of New York, being substantially new, yet appear to be the tripod we were in search of. Being founded on cases whose authority is unimpeached, an exhaustive consolidation act, with reforms, and will be like the first day of the month among the throughout constructed on scientific, and, therefore,
Greeks - it will be both new and old. The old luconsistent principles, it would condense the law, and minary fadeth away; but the new one grows accordyet not add to judicial discretion. It would afford a ing to well-known rules. The new promulgation will fulcrum whereon the future law reformer or codifier be founded on the old law. This simplicity will not could stand, while the legislature could impart to it, take away certainty, nor will the double-faced Janus when fully developed with amendments from time to indicate any thing but peace. time, exclusive authority. This latter point, however, Mr. Fisher's idea appears to be, that the labors of his is very apt merely to enlarge the sphere of judicial commission will operate as a gigantic statute of uses, discretion. Therefore, the chief uses of a code are to applicable both to personalty and realty, and extingive the whole law in the shape of a single consolida- guishing all legal rights, leaving only the equity, with tion act, philosophically distributed, and shutting out legal incidents attached. Our notion is, that equity no case or statute not necessarily repealed by its and law should be still administered in respect of the provisions; yet, in the course of time, rendering present respective subject-matter of each, but that the recourse to these extraneous authorities virtually peculiar incidents of each should either be eliminated unnecessary.
or transferred to the other side. This latter desideraThe law of England ought to be deprived of a great tum, however, cannot be effected by a digest, which variety of the rules peculiar to real and personal is, par excellence, a mere re-expression of existing property, before it is codified. The r’s on both sides law, but must be accomplished by organic and maof the equation, peculiar interests in both descriptions terial, and not merely formal, changes in the law. A of property, ought to be reduced to the common legal and an equitable right will, when thus redenomination of rights; each class possessing in com- modeled, be attended with the same incidents in ros
pect of conveyance, succession, etc., while each would act and nothing more. Cases will still be cited, but still be possessed by a distinct person.
not past statutes, except where they are in the same To return to the Sibylline policy of burning our words or substance as the code, and then only as a books -- a device that might perhaps be also deemed glossary on the consolidation act. If, after a few years, applicable to the one hundred forthcoming oracles the code is found sufficient, then let all past note and promised by Mr. Fisher -it may be asked, If our judi- comment be strictly forbidden, But, if it is found decial tyrants are not to be thus disposed of by a code, fective (and every work of human art is so), let a fresh what are its uses? We reply, that, first, it will be of edition be published embodying the casus omissi of immense service to local tribunals (as pointed out in
the first issue, and also all such other rules as are conEd. Review, Oct. 1867, Art. “Codification”), which, sidered necessary. Thus will our legal system grow though having only a limited jurisdiction, yet, in the with our growth, and not be a cast-iron feudatory of main, administer the same difficult laws as the superior the middle ages, or a relic of the Medes and Persians, courts. Secondly, a compendious consolidation act of admitting neither of expansion nor retrenchment. our whole law, written and unwritten (so far as the A permissive consolidation act, such as we have latter has been already marked off from general moral- described, as it ought to be the first stage of codificaity by reported cases), will afford a fulcrum for future tion, so ought it to be the last. A code never should law reforms, consolidation, and systematized jurispru- have exclusive authority, nor interdict recourse to dence. It will tend to bring the technical elements of law treatises, or even dictionaries, unless, like the our law into clear relief, so that they may be the more Roman or the promised English digest, it be so volueasily excised, and it will thus lead to a pbilosophic minous as really to comprise all past decisions. structure at last, which will be almost as deduc- This reduction of law to symbol and hieroglyphics tive as the definitions of a strictly scientific treatise. is the negation of all philosophy. We think we have It will suggest new phrases for its sections, and shown a more excellent way. But, though we do not new condensations of its parts. Comparative juris
claim as much authority for our code as the English prudence will thus be encouraged, and a system of commission does for its one hundred volumes of civil law excogitated, which may be adopted by all handy-book, yet we are not sure that the merits of the other states in the Union, or even throughout the British Pharisees are thus in any way increased. The world. A late, recent, periodically improved, homo- | legislature cannot confuse the law in any way by the geneous, and consistent act of parliament ought constitutional and mild remedy we propose. It surely require no recommendation, especially when it remains to be seen whether they can deliberately consolidates not merely statutes, but every branch of ignore the honorary engagement which they inherit law.
from their predecessors, or hesitate in issuing to the Yet the supposed uses of a code in abridging legal public a code prepared with so much toil, yet stamped study are futile. Each section must still be read by only with the authority of its inherent value. the light of decided cases, It is not statute or case law that a student should read. A treatise is what
CURRENT TOPICS. alone will give him the jural milk, which, and not the strong meat, he first requires. A code, however, being It is a notable fact that most of the members of the a treatise, will facilitate, not so much, indeed, his stud
French national committee of defense are lawyers. ies, as his early practice. If the code obliterated all M. Favre, who may justly be considered as the most past cases, his studies might be confined to the code. influential member of that committee, was a celebrated But, unless he was familiar with the unseen founda- advocate, and has taken part in some of the most contions of principle on which the code rested, he would spicuous causes celebres of the French bar. He was a merely be burdening his memory with what no mne- law student in Paris, afterward practiced in Lyons, monic faculty could retain. Besides, as the annihi- and came to the Paris bar in 1835.
He was noted for lation of the authority of cases would reduce the code the ultra-republicanism of his opinions. When called
new kind of light, which, by ignoring tradition, upon to plead in a great cause involving the liberty simply meant chaos and judicial discretion, we depre- of the press, he commenced a famous speech by the cate such a consummation as a wanton disregard of
words: “Je suis republicain.” It heightened the the experience of ages. It would be a weak code impression entertained of his vigor and courage to that could shine only in utter darkness, and separated
know that that speech, which lasted four hours, was from the judicial atmosphere. However, as cases
made when he was suffering from dangerous illness should be cited in practice, in respect of rights arising within the period allowed by the statutes of limitation, Some of the newspapers have queer ideas of law. past decisions cannot possibly be avoided for sixty All the botels in Rutland, Vt., have "shut up shop,” years to come or more, as many rights will not accrue because the authorities would not permit them to sell to persons now living until then. If consulted for intoxicating drinks. The Tribune thinks the proone part of the abstract, then, how can labor be prietors ought to be compelled to open their doors. It abridged for the next sixty years, by looking for says: “A licensed innkeeper has voluntarily conarguments in support of the other parts of the ab
tracted with the public to furnish certain lawful stract only in the recondite labyrinth of moral accommodations in consideration of his license. The ratiocination.
bargain is not wholly one sided. He covenants to do The course, then, we would recommend to the legis- something,” etc. This is hard law. To say that a lature is, to adopt the code at once, just as it passes any man is bound to keep his hotel open at a loss would consolidation act, giving it the authority of such an be cruel. The town authorities are bound to furnish