Meaning:The vigilant, and not the sleepy, are assisted by the laws.
In all actions, suits, and other proceedings at law and in equity, the diligent and careful actor is favoured, to the prejudice of him who is careless and neglectful. And this applies as well to the limitation of suits for the recovery of property in the possession of others through the default of the rightful owner, as to the refusing aid to suitors in respect of losses sustained by them through their own neglect or carelessness.
All statutes, also, made for the limitation of actions, whether as respects real or personal property, persons, or things, are made in furtherance of the principle of this maxim ; not so much, however, with a view to assisting the vigilant, as to discouraging those who sleep on their rights, by preventing their setting up stale demands, to the injury and annoyance of those who are apparently in the peaceable enjoyment of their rights.
As to the limitation of real actions with reference to this maxim, it is “said that there is a time of limitation of action beyond which no man shall avail himself of the possession of himself or his ancestors, or take advantage of the wrongful possession of his adversary ; for, if a man be negligent for a long and unreasonable time in the prosecution of what he considers to be his rights, the law refuses afterwards to lend him any assistance to recover the possession of that to which he considers himself otherwise entitled ; both with a view to punish him for his neglect, and also because it is to be presumed that the possessor or supposed wrong-doer has in such a length of time procured a legal title, otherwise he would have been sooner sued.
In the purchase of goods great care is necessary on the part of the purchaser in ascertaining that the goods contracted for are delivered according to the contract ; and if not, then immediately to return them and rescind the contract. If the nature of the goods require it, the purchaser should take care that they are wan-anted perfect ; for, unless the seller expressly warrant the articles sold, or knew of some defect and used art to disguise it, the purchaser cannot, in case of defect, recover back the price. Nor will a general warranty extend to guard against defects which are plain and obvious to a man's senses, or where the false representation is known to the purchaser. Therefore, if a man purchase an article with a visible defect, he has no remedy, although the vendor warranted it perfect. Nor does the law, on a sale of goods by sample, with a warranty that the bulk shall agree with the sample, raise an implied warranty that the commodity shall be merchantable ; and so, though a fair price be given for the goods, yet, should they turn out not to be merchantable in consequence of a latent defect which existed at the time of the sale, but which was unknown to the seller, the purchaser has no remedy against him. So, if on a warranty on the sale of goods, that the bulk shall accord with the sample, and no stipulation be inserted in the sale note that the goods shall be equal to the sample ; no parol evidence is admissible to make such verbal stipulation a part of the contract ; unless it can be proved that the sample was fraudulently' exhibited to deceive the purchaser, and that the vendor has declared upon a deceitful representation. And where goods are sold with all faults, the seller is not liable to an action in respect of latent defects which were known to him, but not disclosed at the time of sale ; unless he used some artifice to conceal them from the buyer.