Source: p 115, The Law of Contract, 5 ed (2012), by O’Sullivan and Hilliard
Lord Blackburn was even more troubled by the result [in Pinnel's Case (1602)], tantalisingly hinting that he had prepared a dissenting speech but decided against delivering it [in Foakes v Beer (1884)]:
What principally weighs with me in thinking that Lord Coke made a mistake of fact is my conviction that all men of business, whether merchants or tradesmen, do every day recognise and act on the ground that prompt payment of a part of their demand may be more benefi cial to them than it would be to insist on their rights and enforce payment of the whole. Even where the debtor is perfectly solvent, and sure to pay at last, this often is so. Where the credit of the debtor is doubtful it must be more so. I had persuaded myself that there was no such long-continued action on this dictum as to render it improper in this House to reconsider the question. I had written my reasons for so thinking; but as they were not satisfactory to the other noble and learned Lords who heard the case, I do not now repeat them nor persist in them.
How do you determine/deduce the right definition of action from the sentence?
1. [mass noun] The fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim:
5. Legal proceedings; a lawsuit:
Does Lord Blackburn mean that he found no measures in general (not just legal, but maybe legislative, politicial, or social) that opposed and repealed 'this dictum', so definition 1;
or that no lawsuits were filed to try to overturn 'this dictum', so definition 5?