This language was quoted with approval in a later decision44 and may be regarded as expressing the present understanding of English lawyers on the matter in question.45 The alternalive stated as permissible in the first paragraph of Lord Cock-burn's statement is not allowed generally in this country. There is a line of cases running back to 1845 46 which holds that after an absolute repudiation or refusal to perform by one party to a contract, the other party cannot continue to perform and recover damages based on full performance. This rule is only a particular application of the general rule of damages that a is the earliest decision. In this case the plaintiff was employed to clean and repair a number of pictures, for which the defendant agreed to pay. After the plaintiff had begun work on them, the defendant countermanded the order. The plaintiff nevertheless completed the work and sued for the full price. The court held he could recover only for what be had done before the order was countermanded, with such further sum as would compensate him for interruption of the contract at that point.
42 L. R. 7 Ex. 1ll.
43 L. R. 7 Ex. Ill, 112.
44 Per Cotton, L. J., in Johnstone v. Milling, 16 Q. B. D. 460. See also Michel v. Hart,  1 K. 462.
45 See, e. g., Leake, Contracts (4th ed.), 618; Mayne, Damages (7th ed.), 184. It is also quoted and acted on in Dalrymple v. Scott, 19 Ont. App. 477; Cromwell v. Morris, 34 Dom. L. R. 306.
46 Clark v. Marsiglia, 1 Denio, 317, 43 Am. Dec. 670,
To similar effect are Kingman v. Western Mfg. Co., 92 Fed. Rep. 486,
34C.C.1 489; King v. Rhodes, 47 D. C. App. 316 (cert, denied, 248 U. 8. 660 39 8. Ct. 7); Faulk v. Richardson, 63 Fla. 608, 57 So. 666,
39 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1171, Ann. Cas. 1914 A. 277; Rounsavilte v. Leonard Mfg. Co., 127 Ga. 735, 56
S. E. 1030; Iistman Mill Co. v. Dufresne, 111 Me. 104, 88 Atl. 354;
Black v. Woodrow, 39 Md. 194, 216;
Heaver v. Innahan, 74 Md. 493, 22
Atl. 263; Cumberland Glass Mfg. Co.
v. Wheaton, 208 Mass. 425, 94 N. E.
803; Collins v. Delaporte, 115 Mass.
159 (aemftle); Hosmer v. Wilson, 7
Mich. 294, 74 Am. Dec. 716; Mayo v.
Irtfaam, 159 Mich. 136,123 N. W. 561;
Wigent v. Marrs, 130 Mich. 609, 90
K. W. 423; Tradesman Co. v. Superior Mfe. Co., 147 Mich. 702, 111 N. W.
343,112 N. W. 708; Gibbons v. Bente, 51 Minn. 499, 53 N. W. 756, 22 L. R.
A 80; American Publishing Co. v. Walker, 87 Mo. App. 503; Trinidad Asphalt Mfg. Co. v. Buokstaff Bros. Mfg. Co., 86 Neb. 623,126 N. W. 293, 136 Am. St. Rep. 710; Backes v. Schlick, 82 Neb. 289, 117 N. W. 707; Dillon v. Anderson, 43 N. Y. 231; Lord v. Thomas, 64 N. Y. 107; Johnson v. Meeker, 96 N. Y. 93, 48 Am. Rep. 609; People v. Aldridge, 83 Hun, 279, 31 N. Y. S. 920; Heiser v. Mears, 120 N. C. 443, 27 S. E. 117; Davis v. Bronson, 2 N. Dak. 300, 50 N. W. 836, 16 L. R. A. 655, 33 Am. St. Rep. 783; Coilyer v. Moulton, 9 R. I. 90, 98 Am. Dec. 370; Ault v. Dustin, 100 Tenn. 366, 45 S. W. 981; Chicago, etc., Co. v. Barry (Tenn.), 52 S. W. 451; Tufts v. Lawrence, 77 Tex. 526, 14 S. W. 165; Derby v. Johnson, 21 Vt. 17; Danforth v. Walker, 37 Vt. 239, 40 Vt. 257; Cameron v. White, 74 Wis. 425, 43 N. W. 155, 5 L. R. A. 493; Tufts v. Weinfeld, 88 Wis. 647, 60 N. W. 992; Ward v. American Health Food Co., 119 Wis. 12, 96 N. W. 388; Badger State Lumber Co. v. G. W. Jones Lumber Co., 140 Wis. 73, 121 N. W. 933. But see contra, Roebling's Sons Co. v. Lock Stitch Fence Co., 130 III. 660, 22 N. £. 518; McAlister v. Safley, 65 Iowa, 719, 23 N. W. 139 (compare Moline Scale Co. v. Beed, 52 Iowa, 307, 3 N. W. 96, 35 Am. Rep. 272); Martin v. Meles, 179 Mass. 114, 118, 60 N. E. 397. And see Southern Cotton Oil Co. v. Heflin, 99 Fed. 339, 39 C. C. A. 546; Home Pattern Co. v. W. W. Merts Co., 86 Conn. 494, 86 Atl. 19;'Lake Shore, etc., Ry. Co. v. Richards, 152 01. 59, 38 N. £. 773, 30 L. R. A. 33.
plaintiff cannot hold a defendant liable for damages which need not have been incurred; or, as it is often stated, the plaintiff must, so far as he can without loss to himself, mitigate the damages caused by the defendant's wrongful act. The application of this rule to the matter in question is obvious. If a man engages to have work done, and afterwards repudiates his contract before the work has been begun or when it has been only partially done, it is inflicting damage on the defendant without benefit to the plaintiff to allow the latter to insist on proceeding with the contract. The work may be useless to the defendant, and yet he would be forced to pay the full contract price. On the other hand, the plaintiff is interested only in the profit he will make out of the contract. If he receives this it is equally advantageous for him to use his time otherwise.
American decisions not infrequently quote either in terms or in substance Lord Cockburn's rule in its entirety, but it is probable that very few would actually decide that after repudiation the injured party might continue performance where such continuance would cause an enhancement of damages. The inconsistency of Lord Cockburn's rule with the rule of damages in question is often not observed. When it is apparently observed, sometimes in order to meet the difficulty the alternative of the plaintiff is expressed as merely the right after repudiation either to sue immediately or to wait until the time fixed for performance, omitting the statement that in the latter event the plaintiff must continue to treat the contract as binding upon him.47