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The English law, which in this respect, has been adopted by us, frequently requires things to be done within a reasonable time; but what a reasonable time is it does not define: quam long-um debet esse rationabile tempus, non definitur in lege, sed pendet ex discretione justiciariorum. This indefinite requisition is the source of much litigation. A bill of exchange, for example, must be presented within a reasonable time. An abandonment must be made within a reasonable time after advice received of the loss.

The commercial code of France fixes a time in both these cases, which varies in proportion to the distance.