Holt held, that if one buys upon a representation of so much rent, and relies upon it, and will inquire no further, if the representation be false, an action will lie; but if the vendor will inquire further, that is, if not relying upon the representation of rent made, he says, ' I do not rely upon the representation, but I will satisfy myself by my own inquiry,' then Lord Holt seems to have been of opinion that the action would not lie. Then there is the case of Dobell v. Stevens, 3 B. & C. 623, before Lord Tenterden. It was a question on the purchase of an ale-house, arising out of a misrepresentation of the receipts of the house,a very common case, - and Lord Tenterden, in directing the jury, said that he relied on the purchase of the ale-house having been made on the faith of the representation. Now suppose, instead of its having been made on the faith of the representation, the party had said, ' I draw so much beer in a month.' "But,' says the other, '1 will not be satisfied with your telling me that; you will have no objection to verify and corroborate your statement of the draught, by giving me access to your beer books, or to your brewer's account.' 'Oh, with all the pleasure in the world,' says the vendor of the beer-house; 'come, or send any person you choose.' And suppose the person had either gone and satisfied himself or sent his clerk, which clerk had made a report to him, and said, ' I have looked through the books, and I am perfectly satisfied;' or if the party, not satisfied with the clerk's report, had gone himself and looked at the beer books, and said, ' I see it is all right;' would he then be allowed, six months after that, to come and say, ' I will be off the bargain, because I find there is a less draught of beer than I expected ?' Or could he have come with any success into Lord Chief Justice Tenterden's court, and asked for damages on the ground of misrepresentation, because, instead of three butts, there were only two butts of beer drawn ? * No,' my Lord Chief Justice would have said, ' how can I say that the purchase was made upon the faith of that representation, when I know that the purchase was made upon your own examination of the books, and your clerk's report, which report of your clerk was confirmed by your own ocular inspection.' If yonr lordships look at the case of Ekins v. Tresham, 1 Lev. 102; s. c. Sid. 146, nom. Leakins v. Clissel, your lordships will find the pleadings there set out, and that the defendant made such a representation, to which representation the plaintiff ' adhibens Jidem, donne a lui £500;' so that 'adhibens fidem' appears to have been an old rule - a peculiar expression, to which representation the party in question lending faith, did, as Lord Tenterden says, in Dobell v. Stevens, upon the faith of that representation, pay this £500. In Edwards v. M'Leay, 2 Swanst. 287, a case in equity, those cases which I have mentioned being at law. Lord Eldon holds that the false representation must be a falsehood, which the other party had no means of knowing. It must be a falsehood which is not common to both parties to inquire into and ascertain, a falsehood which is not open to the eyes of either the one or the other the sale, should conceal it, the contract would nevertheless be valid; because, there being no special trust, there is no legal obligation for him to divulge it.1 Thus, where a person has received private information of an advance on the price of a certain article in a foreign market, and he thereupon makes a purchase of a quantity of it, without advertising the vendor of the fact, the sale is good. So., also, where the plaintiff, having private information of the treaty of peace signed at Ghent, purchased of B. a quantity of tobacco, without informing him of such fact, although B., at the time, asked him if there were party, but which is within the knowledge of one party, not within the knowledge of the other, and consequently to one party telling the other, who has no other means of satisfying himself excepting listening to what is told him by the party alone knowing it, he adhibens Jidem entered upon the contract, in which case equity will relieve him against it, because he had no other means of knowing, and he trusted to that representation alone, not to his own inquiry, and consequently it must be that which dedit locum contractui.
"Now, my lords, what inference do I draw from these cases ? It is this, that general fraudulent conduct signifies nothing; that general dishonesty of purpose signifies nothing; that attempts to overreach go for nothing; that an intention and design to deceive may go for nothing, unless all this dishonesty of purpose, all this fraud, all this intention and design, can be connected with the particular transaction, and not only connected with the particular transaction, but must be made to be the very ground upon which this transaction took place, and must have given rise to this contract.
" If a mere general intention to overreach were enough, I hardly know a contract, even between persons of very strict morality, that could stand; we generally find the case to be that there has been an attempt of the one party to overreach the other, and of the other to overreach the first; but that does not make void the contract. It must be shown that the attempt was made, and made with success, cum fructu. The party must not only have been minded to overreach, but he must actually have overreached. He must not only have given instructions to the agent to deceive, but the agent must, in fulfilment of his directions, have made a representation; and, moreover, the representation so made must have had the effect of deceiving the purchaser; and, moreover, the purchaser must have trusted to that representation, and not to his own acumen, not to his own perspicacity, not to inquiries of his own.
"I will not say that the two might not be mixed up together, the false representation of the seller and the inquiries of the buyer, in such a way as even then to give a right to relief. I do not find that there is any thing in this cause that makes it necessary to deal with that argument."