Promise by a debtor that he will not pay a debt then past due until a future day named, and that he will then pay the same with interest, is held not to be a good consideration for the promise of the creditor to extend the time: Kellogg v. Olmsted, 25 N. Y. 189-s.
12 Ga. 52. The doctrine that inadequacy of consideration will not vitiate an agreement does not apply to a mere exchange of sums of money, whose value is exactly fixed, but to the exchange of something in itself of indeterminate value, for money, or perhaps for some other thing of indeterminate value. The consideration of one cent will not support a promise to pay six hundred dollars: Schnell v. Nell, 17 Ind. 29; Shepard v. Rhodes, 7 R, I. 470. It is enough to support an executory contract that upon the contingency of its performance the requisite consideration must necessarily arise : Poughkeepsie Co. v. Griffin, 21 Barb. 454. The execution of a deed which conveys nothing is not a sufficient consideration to support a promise by the grantee to the grantor: Murphy v. Jones, 7 Ind. 529. It is not necessary that the consideration should pass from the person claiming the benefit of the promise: Cailleux v. Hall, 1 E. D. Sm. 5. A subscription to a common object with others, though gratuitous, creates a legal obligation: McDonald v. Gray, 11 Iowa, 508; Norton v. Janvier, 5 Harring. 346; Trustees v. Robinson, 21 N. Y. 234. An agreement by which one party is subject to trouble, loss or inconvenience is not a nudum pactum: Findly v. Ray, 5 Jones, 125; Carr v. Card, 34 Mo. 513. A promise by one to pay part of another's debt in discharge of the whole does not discharge it, and is therefore without consideration unless that other be a party to the agreement: Whelan v. Edwards, 29 Ga. 315. A promise to induce one to comply with an existing valid contract with a stranger is without consideration: Johnson v. Sellers, 33 Ala. 265. Doing that for which a reward is offered with knowledge of the offer is a consideration for the promise to reward : Morrell v. Quarles, 35 lb. 544; Ryer v. Stockwell, 14 Gal. 134. A subscription on the faith of which expenses or liabilities have been incurred, is binding: Doyle v. Glasscock, 24 Tex. 200; Wayne Institute v. Smith, 36 Barb. 576. An existing liability is a good consideration for a promise, whether express or implied, to pay money on request: Baily v. Bussing, 29 Conn. 1. Payment by a debtor of a part of a sum already due and payable, is no legal consideration for an agreement to extend the time for the.payment of the residue: Hunt v. Bloomer, 5 Duer, 202; Stryker v. Vanderbilt, 27 N. J. 68; Gibson v. Irby, 17 Tex. 173; M'Cann v. Lewis, 9 Cal. 246; Liening v. Gould,
13 lb. 598; State v. Davenport, 12 Iowa, 335. The payment of interest in advance is sufficient consideration to support an agreement for further forbearance: Dickerson v. Commissioners 6 Ind. 128; Warner v. Campbell, 26 111-282. Making a payment on a note before it is due is sufficient consideration to support a promise to extend the time: Newsam v. Finch, 25 Barb. 175. A ground on which the performance of any contract may be resisted. But if there be no suggestion that the party promising has been defrauded or deceived, the Court will not hold the promise invalid upon the ground of mere inadequacy; for it is obvious, that, to do so, would be to exercise a sort of tyranny over the transactions of parties who have a right to fix their own value upon their own labour and exertions, and would be prevented from doing so were they subject to a legal scrutiny, on each occasion, on the question whether the bargain had been such as a prudent man would have entered into. Suppose, for instance, I think fit to give £1000 for a picture not worth £50; it is foolish on my part; but, if the owner do not take me in, no injury is done. I may have my reasons. Possibly, I may think that I am a better judge of paintings than my neighbours, and that I have detected in it the touch of Raphael or Correggio. It would be hard to prevent me from buying it, and hard to prevent my neighbour from making the best of his property, provided he did not take me in by telling me a false story about it. Accordingly, in the absence of fraud, mere inadequacy of consideration is no *ground for avoiding a contract. You will see two remarkable instances of this in the cases of Bainbridge v. Firm-stone (y) and Wilkinson v. Oliveira (z), in the former of which the defendant in consideration that the plaintiff had consented to allow the defendant to weigh certain boilers of the plaintiff, promised to deliver up the
(y) 8 A. & E. (35 E. C. L. E.) 743. (z) 1 Bing. N. C. (27 E. C. L. R.) 490.
There is an old case upon this subject, involving so singular a state of facts that I cannot forbear mentioning it. It is called Thornborow v. Whiteacre, and is reported 2 Ld. Raym. 1164.
It was an action in which the plaintiff declared that the defendant, in consideration of 2s. 6d. paid down, and £4 17s. 6d. to be paid on the performance of the agreement, promised to give the plaintiff two grains of rye corn on Monday, the 29th of *March, four on the next Monday, eight on the next, sixteen on the next, thirty-two on the next, sixty-four on the next, one hundred and twenty-eight on the next, and so on for a year, doubling on every successive Monday the quantity delivered on the last Monday.
The defendant demurred to the declaration; and upon calculation, it was found that, supposing the contract to have been performed, the whole quantity of rye to be delivered would be 524,288,000 quarters; so that, as Salkeld the reporter, who argued the demurrer, remarked, all the rye grown in the world would not come to so much. But the Court said, that though the contract was a foolish one, it would hold at law, and that the defendant ought to pay something for his folly.1 The case was ultimately compromised. I presume., however, that if, instead of demurring, the defendant had pleaded that he had been induced to enter into the contract by fraud, he would have been able to sustain his plea; since it seems obvious, on the face of the thing, that the plaintiff was a good arithmetician, who, by a sort of catch, took in a man unable to reckon so well. Probably, the plaintiff had taken his hint from, the old story regarding the invention of the game of chess. But, by demurring, the defendant admitted that there was no fraud, and, consequently, the only question was on the validity of the contract in the absence of fraud; so that the case presents a strong example of the reluctance *of the Courts to enter into a question as to the adequacy of consideration.