Johns. 28; or by doing additional work to a particular job: Hart v. Norton, 1 M'Cord 22.-r.
1 The statement in the text, although it is the commonly accepted form of definition of consideration, cannot be allowed to pass without criticism. The more careful analysis of some of the modern writers on this subject has eliminated one of the terms of the definition and only admits detriment to the promisee as a valid consideration. This of course refers to detriment in a legal sense, i. e, the doing of something which the promisee was not legally bound to do, or the omission to do something which he had the legal right to do. This constitutes a valid consideration for the promise of the other party made in exchange for it, and the contract is complete. But unless this element be present the contract is imperfect, for consideration is wanting; no matter how great the advantage experienced by the promisor, the promisee cannot enforce the promise unless he has contributed to that benefit by some voluntary act or forbearance, something done or suffered, on his part. In effect this is only another way of stating the rule (which is explained infra *175) that the consideration must move from the promisee-nothing done by C. will support a promise by A. to B. See Langdell, Summary of the Law of Contracts, §§ 62, 63; Wharton, Contracts, § 505; Holmes, Common Law, Lect. vii.
(o) 1 Taunt. 523.
(p) 2 Bing. (9 E. C. L. R.) 464; Shillibeer v. Glyn, 2 M. & W. 143.
1 Obviously, however, of equal disadvantage to B.
(q) Willatts v. Kennedy, 8 Bing. (21 E. C. L. R.) 5; Bunn v. Guy, 4 East, 190; Surtees v. Lister, 30 L. J. (Ex.) 369; Cooke v. Wright, 30 L. J. (Q. B.) 32; Scotson v. Pegg, 30 L. J. (Ex.) 225.
(r) Ante, p. *167.
(s) 26 L. J. (Q. B.) 322, 7 E. &. B. (90 E. C. L. R.) 872.
In strict agreement with what has been said, this consideration must proceed from the party to whom the promise is made. If it proceed from some third person, not in any way moved or affected thereto by the promisee, the latter is a stranger to the consideration, and a promise made to him is nudum pactum. Thus, in the case of Thomas v. Thomas (u), an action was brought upon an agreement between the executor of A. B. and the widow of the testator, which set out that the testator had declared his wish that his widow should enjoy certain premises for her life, and that it was agreed, in consideration of such desire and of the premises, that the executor should convey them to the widow, provided she would pay £1 towards the ground rent of those and certain other premises, and keep the premises conveyed in good repair; and it was contended, that the real consideration of the executor's promise was the desire to comply with the wish of the testator. The Court *considered this no part of the consideration. "Consideration," said Mr. Justice Patte-son, "means something which is of some value in the eyes of the law moving from the plaintiff. It may be of some benefit to the plaintiff, or some detriment to the defendant, but at all events, it must be moving from the plaintiff. Now, that which is suggested as the consideration here, a pious respect for the wishes of the testator, does not in any way move from the plaintiff; it moves from the testator, and, therefore, legally speaking, it forms no part of the consideration." The following case also proceeds on the same ground. Very soon after a marriage between the plaintiff and the daughter of A., the fathers of both parties agreed, in order to supply a marriage portion, to pay each of them a sum of money to the plaintiff, and that the plaintiff should have full power to sue for both sums, but the agreement was made by and between the two fathers only. After the deaths of both, the plaintiff sued the executor of A. for the sum which he had agreed to pay, but he was not allowed to succeed, as he was no party to the agreement, and no consideration moved from him (x).
(t) Mumford v. Gething, 29 I.. J. (C. P.) 105.
(u) 2 Q. B. (42 E. C. L R.) 851. See Price v. Easton, 4 B. & Ad. (24 E. C. L.R.)433.
Provided there be some benefit to the contractor, or some loss, trouble, inconvenience, or charge, imposed upon the contractee, so as to constitute a consideration, the Courts are not willing to enter *into the question whether that consideration be adequate in value to the thing which is promised in exchange for it.1 Very gross inadequacy, indeed, would be an index
(x) Tweddle v. Atkinson, 30 L. J. (Q. B.) 265.
1 Hubbard v. Coolidge, 1 Metc. 93; Osgood v. Franklin, 2 Johns. Ch. 23; s. c. 14 Johns. 527; Bedel v. Loomis, 11 N. H. 9. " If a contract is deliberately made without fraud," said Wilde, J., in Train v. Gold, 5 Pick. 384, " and with a full knowledge of all the circumstances, the least consideration will be sufficient."-R.
"A consideration is sufficient," says Judge Rogers, in Hind v. Holdship, 2 Watts, 104, " if it arise from any act of the plaintiff, from which the defendant or a stranger derives any benefit, however small, if such act is performed by the plaintiff with the assent, express or implied, of the defendant; or by leason of any damages or any suspension or forbearance of the plaintiff's right at law or in equity; or any possibility of loss occasioned to the plaintiff by the promise of another, although no actual benefit accrues to the party promising. It is not essential that the consideration should be adequate in point of actual value. The law does not weigh the quantum of consideration, having no means of deciding on that matter; and it would be unwise to interfere with the facility of contracting, and the free exercise of the judgment and will of the parties. The law allows them to be the sole judges of the benefits to be derived from their bargains, provided there be no incompetency to contract, of fraud, and might afford evidence of the existence of fraud; and fraud, as I have already stated to you, is a and the agreement violates no rule of law. There is no case where mere inadequacy of price, independent of other circumstances, has been held sufficient to set aside a contract between parties standing on equal ground, and dealing with each other without any imposition or oppression." And " the inequality," says Chancellor Kent, in Osgood v. Franklin, ' amounting to fraud, must be so strong and manifest, as to shock the conscience and confound the judgment of any man of common sense:" Troy Academy v. Nelson, 24 Vt. 189; Robinson v. Threadgill, 13 Ired. 39; Brown v. Budd, 2 Ind. 442; Tompkins v. Philips, boilers in the same condition as when he received that consent; and the Court held that the consideration was sufficient to sustain the promise. "We need not inquire," said Lord Denman, C. J., "what benefit he expected to derive. The plaintiff might have given or refused leave" (a). In the latter of these cases the defendant promised to give the plaintiff £1000 for the use of a letter which contained matters explanatory of a controversy in which the defendant was engaged, and the consideration was held not to be inadequate to support the promise.