If an offer contains on its face the terms of a complete contract, the acceptor will not be bound by any other terms intended to be included, unless he knew those terms, or had their existence brought to his knowledge, and was capable of informing himself of their nature.28 Illustrations of this frequently arise in the case of contracts of carriage or bailment with a railroad company or warehouseman, evidenced by a ticket or other document containing terms modifying the liability of the company or warehouseman as carrier or bailee, though, of course, they may arise in the case of other contracts.
The law on this point was thus stated in an English case: "If the person receiving the ticket did not see or know that there was any writing on the ticket, he is not bound by the conditions; if he knew there was writing, and knew or believed that the writing contained conditions, then he is bound by the conditions; if he knew there was writing on the ticket, but did not know or believe that the writing contained conditions, nevertheless he would be bound, if the delivery to him of the ticket in such a manner that he could see that there was writing on it, was, in the opinion of the jury, reasonable notice that the writing contained conditions."27 In all cases, however, the question is the same, namely, have the terms of the offer been fully communicated to the acceptor? And the tendency of judicial decision is towards a general rule that, if a man accepts a document which purports to contain the terms of an offer, he is bound by all the terms, though he may not choose to inform himself of their tenor, or even of their existence.28
25 Taylor v. Laird, 25 L. J. Exch. 329. And see Bartholomew v. Jackson, 20 Johns. (N. Y.) 28, 11 Am. Dec. 237, In which it was held that a person who removed another's property without the latter's knowledge, to prevent its destruction by fire, could not recover for his services, because no offer was ever communicated. See, also, Thornton v. Village of Sturgis, 38 Mich. 639; Nagle v. McMurray, 84 Cal. 539, 24 Pac. 107; Burrows v. Ward, 15 R. I. 340, 5 Atl. 500; Brennan v. Chapin (Com. Pl.) 19 N. Y. Supp. 237; Mann v. Farnum, 17 Colo. 427, 30 Pac. 332. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 18; Cent. Dig. §§ 1,9-56.
26 In order that a prospectus of a proposed publication may become a part of the contract of a subscriber for the work to be published, so that he may take advantage of statements contained therein, It must appear that the contents of the prospectus were communicated to him, so that he may be supposed to have been influenced thereby. Tichnor v. Hart, 52 Minn. 407, 54 N. W. 309. Hee "Contracts;' Deo. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 18, 203; Cent. Dig. §§ 49-56, 913-915.
It has been said that an offer under seal constitutes an exception to the inoperative character of an uncommunicated offer, at least to the extent that the party making an offer in this form is bound to leave it open until the other party has had an opportunity to accept or reject it. This doctrine, however, is based on a mistaken conception of the nature and effect of a deed or instrument under seal. And an offer under seal is no •exception to the general rule that an offer is wholly without
27 Parker v. Railway Co., 2 C. P. Div. 423. See, also. Richardson v. Roun-tree  App. Cas. 217; The Majestic, 166 U. S. 375, 17 Sup. Ct 597, 41 L. Ed. 1039. Where a ticket by steamer from Dublin to Whitehaven contained on its face only the words, "Dublin to Whitehaven," it was held that the purchaser was not bound by conditions on the back of the ticket, which he had not seen, since the ticket was a complete contract on its face. Henderson v. Stevenson, L. R. 2 H. L. 470.
On the other hand, where a ticket had written on its face the words, "Subject to the conditions on the other side," and the person to whom it was issued admitted knowledge that there were conditions, but said he had not read them, the conditions contained on the back were held binding notwithstanding they were not read. Harris v. Railway Co., 1 Q. B. Div. 515.
In another case the ticket contained on its face the words, "See back," and the person to whom it was given admitted knowledge of writing on the ticket, but denied all knowledge that the writing contained conditions. It was held that he was bound by the conditions if the jury were of opinion that the ticket amounted to a reasonable notice of their existence. Parker v. Southeastern Ry. Co., supra. See "Carriers" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 62, 158; Cent. Dig. §§ 195-206 1/2, 687-690.
28 Burke v. Railway Co., 5 C. P. Div. 1; Watkins v. Rymill, 10 Q. B. Div. 178; McClure v. Railroad Co., 34 Md. 532, 6 Am. Rep. 345; Johnson v. Same, 63 Md. 106; Boylan v. Railroad Co., 132 U. S. 146, 10 Sup. Ct. 50, 33 L. Ed. 290; Durgin v. Express Co., 66 N. H. 277, 20 Atl. 328, 9 L. R. A. 453; Davis v. Railroad Co., 66 Vt. 290, 29 Atl. 313, 44 Am. St Rep. 852; Fonseca v. Steamship Co., 153 Mass. 553, 27 N. E. 665, 12 L. R. A. 340, 25 Am. St. Rep. 660; Schaller v. Railway Co., 97 Wis. 31, 71 N. W. 1042. But some effect until communicated. There can be no contract without mutual assent; and how may a party assent to that which has never been communicated to him?29