The reason most strongly urged in support of the doctrine of anticipatory breach is, however, its practical convenience. It is said that if it is certain that the plaintiff is going to have an action, it is better for both parties to have it disposed of at once. It may be conceded that practical convenience is of more importance than logical exactness, but yet the considerations of practical convenience must be very weighty to justify infringing the underlying principles of the law of contracts. The law is not important solely or even chiefly for the just disposal of the litigated cases immediately before the court. The settlement of the rights of acommunity without recourse to the courts can only be satisfactorily arranged when logic is respected. But it is not logic alone which is injured. The defendant is injured. He is held liable on a promise he never made. He has only promised to do something at a future day. He is held to have broken his contract by doing something before that day. Enlarging the obligation of contracts is perhaps as bad as impairing it. This may be of great importance. Suppose the defendant, after saying that he will not perform, changes his mind and concludes to keep his promise. Unless the plaintiff relying on the repudiation, as he justly may, has so changed his position that he cannot go on with the contract without injury, the defendant ought surely to be allowed to do this.29 But if the plaintiff is allowed to bring an action at once this possibility is cut off. " Why," says Fuller, C. J., "should a locus pcmitentioe be awarded to the party whose wrongful action has placed the other at such disadvantage ? " 30 Because such is the contract the parties made. A promise to perform in June does not preclude changing position in May.31

27 L R. 7 Ex. 112, 114.

28 fieoecke v. Habler, 38 N. Y.

App. Div. 344, 58 N. Y. S. 16, affirmed without opinion in 166 N. Y. 631, 60

N. E. 1107. See also Honour v.

Equitable Soc., [1900] 1 Ch. 862;

Greenway v. Gaither, Taney, 227;

Flinn 9. Mowry, 131 Gal. 481, 63 Pac.

724, 1006. In Roehm v. Horat, 178 U. S. 1,

7, 44 L. Ed. 963, 20 Sup. Ct. 780, Quef Justice Fuller distinguishes the esse of a note on the ground that the doctrine of anticipatory breach only applies to contracts where there are mutual obligations. This has not before been suggested, though in fact the cases where the doctrine has been applied have been cases of bilateral contracts. Lord Cockburn's line of reasoning is certainly as applicable to unilateral as to bilateral contracts. It would be interesting to know what Chief Justice Fuller would say to the case of a promissory note given in exchange for an executory promise? or of an instrument containing mutual covenants, one of which was to pay money on a fixed day, the party bound to the money payment having repudiated his obligation before it was due.