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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about The Government Class Book.

Sec.11.  A contract, the consideration of which is illegal or immoral, may be avoided by either party.  A man can not be held to an agreement to do acts forbidden by the law of God or by the laws of the state.  But if an illegal contract has been executed; in other words, if the wrong has been done, the party in the wrong can not renounce the contract; for the general rule is, that no man can take advantage of his own wrong; and the innocent party alone has the privilege of avoiding the contract.  If both parties are guilty, neither can, in ordinary cases, obtain relief on a contract that has been executed.

Sec.12.  The rule that a consideration is necessary to a valid contract applies to all contracts and engagements not under seal, except bills of exchange and negotiable notes after they have passed into the hands of an innocent indorsee. (See Promissory Notes.) In contracts under seal, a consideration is necessarily implied in the solemnity of the instrument.

Sec.13.  It is declared by the English statute of frauds, which prevails generally in the United States, that an agreement which is not to be performed within one year from the time of making it, shall not be valid, unless such agreement, or some memorandum or note thereof, is in writing, and signed by the party to be charged.  The statutes of some of the states have adopted this provision of the English statute, and require further, that a special promise to answer for the debt, default, or misdoing of another person, and an agreement or promise upon consideration of marriage, (except mutual promises to marry,) shall likewise be void without such writing, in which the consideration shall be expressed.

Chapter LV.

Contracts of Sale.

Sec.1.  A Sale is a transfer of the title to property to another person for a certain price; or the exchange of a commodity for its equivalent value in money.  The exchange of one commodity for another, is barter.  Unless the absolute title is conveyed, the contract is merely a mortgage.  The same general principles of law which apply to contracts in general, are applicable to contracts of sale, viz.:  the competency of the parties to contract; the sufficiency of the consideration; its legality and morality; the assent of the parties; and the absence of fraud.

Sec.2.  To make a sale valid, the thing to be sold must have an actual or a possible existence, and be capable of delivery.  Thus, if A sells a horse or certain goods to B; and if, at the time of the sale, the horse is dead, or the good? are destroyed; the sale is void.  If the goods are partially destroyed, the buyer may either take them at a proportionate reduction of the price, or abandon the contract.

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