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is liable to the buyer not merely to the extent of the price paid for the seed, but for all the direct damage which he may have suffered therefrom, as the cost of preparing the field for the seed or the difference in value between the crop which he raised and the crop which would, with reasonable probability, have been raised upon the field if the seed sown had been what it was sold for. And the seller will be thus liable without any express warranty, even if he had been honest and had bought the seed as that which he sold it for, and believed it to be that, and the fraud or mistake was not his own but the man's from whom he bought it.
We have no doubt this rule would be applied in the same way where one who bought young grafted fruit-trees as of a particular variety, and they were sold expressly as such, was deceived and injured in a similar way.
3. Of FERTILIZERS.- A great deal of fraud has been practiced in the sale of fertilizers. This is now much diminished by the better knowledge of the subject possessed by farmers and gardeners, and also by the laws of some of the States. It would always be safer for the buyer to insist on a warranty. But this should not be a warranty of the general quality and character of the article, for such a warranty would be of little practical use except in extreme cases. The warranty should be as to the ingredients of which the article consists, and as to the percentage quantity of these. If it be a chemical fertilizer this is easily ascertained by a chemist. The most essential of these ingredients are phosphorus, nitrogen, and potash. These elements exist in artificial fertilizers under different forms. When the amount of each of them in a hundred weight of the article is known to the buyer, it is easy for him to acquire the knowledge necessary to judge of the efficacy anc' value of the fertilizer,
HIRING OF HELP.
1. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF HELP.-In England the law of master and servant some generations ago was strict, nor has it lost all this character yet. Our fathers brought over to this country much of this law, but it has entirely lost all its force in all our
States. Now the relation of the hirer and the hired is purely one of contract. The hired man agrees to sell so much of his time, labor, or skill to the hirer, and the hirer agrees to pay so much money for what he buys. It is a contract of help and of payment for help, and both parties are held to their contract, and neither beyond it.
In the first place, both parties may make just such a bargain as they like.
They may make a complete bargain concerning all items, or a partial one, or none at all.
In the next place, if a man works for a farmer with a partial bargain, or no bargain at all, but at the farmer's request or with his knowledge and acceptance, the law comes in and completes the bargain, or makes one for the parties. It does this on the principle that the working-man undertakes to do his work reasonably well, or according to any prevailing and acknowl. edged custom as to time and manner. And then that the farmer is bound to pay him a fair and reasonable price, measured by the custom of the time and place, if there is one applicable to the case, and by the judgment of the jury before whom the case comes.
A much more difficult question arises when a man who is hired to work on certain terms, for a certain time, works a part of the time as he ought to and then leaves his work and his employer. Can he recover from his employer payment for the work that he has done? There is some conflict in the law about this—that is, in the decisions of the courts on this question—and therefore some uncertainty as to the law. This difficulty springs from a rule of law relating to what is called
Entirety of Contract,” which rule is, that if a party to a contract in which he engages to do one whole thing does only a part of it, he cannot claim payment for that part. In most cases this is perfectly reasonable. If a man agrees to sell a farm of a hundred acres for the price of $10,000, he cannot say, I have concluded to sell only half my farm, and you must give me for that $5,000. But where the whole thing consists of divisible parts, and to each part a proportionate part of the money can be applied, the rule is of course modified. Thus if A agrees to sell to B, and B to buy of A, one thousand bushels of
potatoes of a certain quality at one dollar a bushel, f A deliv. ers to B five hundred bushels and refuses to deliver the rest, B can say, I want my thousand bushels or none, and may then return to A the five hundred bushels received, and A has no claim on him. But he may choose to keep the potatoes received, and then he must pay for them the price agreed upon, and so he must if he has sold the five hundred bushels and cannot deliver them. But, on the other hand, he has a valid claim against A for anything he may lose by A's failure to deliver him that other five hundred. If, for instance, potatoes have risen in value to one dollar and fifty cents a bushel, B has lost by not receiving that five hundred bushels two hundred and fifty dollars, and may deduct this from what he has to pay. If the same rule were applied to the case of a man who at the beginning of the year engaged to work for all that year at fifteen dollars a month, and who worked for five months and then left at the be. ginning of the hay-making season, and then wages were at thirty dollars a month, the hirer would pay him fifteen dollars a month for the time he worked, deducting therefrom whatever he lost by the necessity of paying higher wages, and whatever he lost otherwise by the hired man's failure to perform his contract. Such is the view taken of the question by some eminent judges. But the greater part of our courts apply the rule strictly. They hold that if a hired man engaged for a year, leaves without suffi. cient cause at the end of the eleventh month, he forfeits ali his wages and has no claim against the hirer for any part of them. All courts agree that if the hired man leaves because of insuffi. cient food, ill-treatment by the hirer, disabling sickness, or other sufficient cause, the hirer is bound to pay him for the time he worked.
It may be added that it is important for the farmer to know and regard the rules pointed out in our chapter XII on the stat ute of frauds, especially in section III.
2. LIABILITY OF THE FARMER FOR THE WRONG-DOING OF HIS HELP.-This liability rests upon an ancient rule of law, “What a man does by another he does by himself." Thus if a farmer ordered his hired man to steal his neighbor's sheep or wood, the hired man would be held as a thief, and the hirer would be
responsible also. But the hirer would not be responsible for the thefts of his help without his order or assent. All this is plain enough. The difficulty comes afterwards. It comes from the extension of the rule which makes an employer responsible for the negligence or ill-doing of one employed by him while actually engaged in doing what he is lawfully employed to do. The cases on this subject are numerous and some of them severe. Thus, if a farmer sets his help to cutting his wood and tells him distinctly where his line is, and the man forgets or mistakes and goes beyond that line and cuts his neighbor's wood, the farmer is responsible. If the hirer directs his help to build a fire in a safe place to burn up his rubbish, and charges him to take thorough care of it, and the man goes to sleep and lets the fire run into his neighbor's land, the farmer is responsible for all that this fire destroys.
HIRING OP A FARM
We have considered the case of purchasing a farm. The great majority of farmers own their farms. But there are many exceptions. A man may hire a farm for a term of years, paying rent, or on shares, or on a tenancy which may be put an end to at the will of either party.
1. HIRING BY LEASE.—In our chapter on leases, page 610, we have given the general rules and principles governing leases, together with a variety of forms. We will now give some further rules and offer some suggestions upon points which it may be useful for a farmer to know and understand.
Any general description will suffice to put the tenant in possession of the land intended to be hired, if it be capable of dis. tinct ascertainment and identification.
And for this purpose certain words in common use, such as farm, land, house, field, wood-land, and the like, would be held to have a wide meaning. When such general and comprehensive terms are employed, all such things as are usually comprehended within their meaning will pass to the hirer by the lease, unless the language of the lease or the circumstances of the case show plainly that the intention of the parties was different. And inaccuracies as
to quantities, names, amounts, etc., will be rejected if there is enough left to make the purposes and intentions of the parties certain. If the parties have undertaken to make a written bargain and have not made it, the law will not undertake to make one for them. But it will do all that can reasonably be done to carry into full effect, and exactly as was intended, the written bargain they have made.
Nevertheless there is a rule, not of law, but of common sense and prudence, which is applicable to everybody in all matters, but to no persons more so than to farmers in relation to their farms. This rule is, that it is at once easier and wiser to make all bargains and contracts such as will avoid questions and doubts than it is to answer these after they arise.
2. RENEWAL OF LEASE.—The lessor is not bound to renew a lease without an express covenant to that effect, which may be in the lease or in a separate instrument. A mere understand. ing or verbal promise is not sufficient in law, whatever it may be in honor or in morals.
The law does not favor such covenants, because they tend to perpetuity. But if there be such a covenant, and it is definite and reasonable, the law will sustain it. A covenant to renew this lease under or with the same covenants does not require that the new lease should con. tain the same covenant of renewal. For this would make the lease indefinite and perpetual at the pleasure of the hirei. But the covenant to renew covers all the other covenants and agreements of the lease. A covenant to renew on such terms as may be agreed upon” is void for uncertainty.
3. REMEDY FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT.-Leases now in use almost always contain provisions on this subject, which are, generally, that the lessor may enter and expel the tenant if the rent be not duly paid, or that the tenant forfeits the lease and all rights under it by non-payment of rent. Provisions to this effect are expressed in various ways, but are substantially the same every • where, and no particular words are necessary for this purpose But it should be known and remembered that the law is exact and even punctilious as to the exercise of this right of re-entry. It may be said in general, that to justify re-entry in case of for