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the confirmation or new promise of an adult, of a promise which he may avoid because it was made by him when an infant, must be in writing, it would always and everywhere be better and safer to have this new promise in writing. It should be in sub. stantially this form :
(1.) I, Henry Thompson, having promised Nathan Green, to (here describe the promise, whether by a note, or verbally, for goods bought, or the like, briefly, but so that there may be no mistake about it) and at the time of making that promise I was a minor, within the age of twenty-one years, now, in consideration of said promise, I do hereby confirm and acknowledge the same, and promise a full performance and execution thereof. HENRY THOMPSON.
It would often be easier, if both parties assented, simply to give a new note for the amount due. But it might, in many cases, be better that the new promise should tell the story of the oid promise for which it is given.
APPRENTICES. The contract of apprenticeship is generally in writing, and is also most frequently by deed, (or writing under seal,) and is to be construed and enforced as to all the parties by the common principles of the law of contracts. Usually, the apprentice, who is himself a minor, and his father or guardian with him, covenant that he shall serve his master faithfully during the term. And the master covenants that he will teach the apprentice his trade; but the instrument is not made invalid by the omission to specify any trade or profession as that to be taught. He also covenants to supply him with all necessaries, and at the end of the term, give him money or clothes. Slight informali. ties would not make the instrument void. Even if they are of sufficient magnitude to have this effect, the instrument will prescribe and measure the claim of each of the parties against che other, if they have lived under this instrument as master
and servant. But the apprentice's consent will not be interred from his mere signature, but must be expressed.
In case of sickness the master is bound to provide proper medicines and attendance. The master cannot transfer his trust, or his rights over the apprentice. He has no right to employ the apprentice in menial services not connected with the trade or business which he has agreed to teach him. And when he neglects to take due charge of the apprentice, the parent's or guardian's authority will revive.
The sickness of the apprentice, or his inability to learn or to serve, without his fault, does not discharge the master from his covenants, because he takes this liability on himseli. Nor will such misconduct as would authorize a master to discharge a common servant, release the master of an apprentice from his liability on his contract. But if the apprentice deserts from his service, and contracts a new relation which disables him from returning lawfully to his master, the latter is not bound to, receive him again if he offers to return.
Not only a party who seduces an apprentice from his service is liable, but where one employs an apprentice without the knowledge and consent of his master, the employer is liable to the master for the services of the apprentice, although he did not know the fact of the apprenticeship. It may be added that if an action be brought for harboring an apprentice against the will or without the consent of his master, the plaintiff is bound to prove that the defendant had a knowledge of the apprenticeship. But a defendant who did not know the apprenticeship when he hired or received the apprentice, and who being informed thereof continued to retain and harbor him, thereby makes himself liable.
(2.) A General Indenture of Apprenticeship, as sometimes
used in New England. This Indenture, Made the
by and between A. B of and C D. his son, of the age of years, of the one part, and R. J. of of the other part, witnesseth, that the said C. D., lvy and with the consent of the said A. B. (testified by his signing and sealing these oresents) hath bound out himself as an apprentice, to
to be taught in the said trade, science or occupation
which the said R. J. now uses, and to live with, continue, and serve him as an apprentice from the day of the date hereof (or from the
next coming) unto the full end and term of seven years from thence next ensuing and fully to be complete and ended. During all which said term of seven years, the said A. B. doth covenant and promise to and with the said R. J. that he, the said C. D., shall and will well and faithfully serve and demean himself, and be just and true to him the said R. J. as his master, and keep his secrets, and everywhere willingly obey all his lawful commands; that he shall do no hurt or damage to his said master in his goods, estate, or otherwise, nor willingly suffer any to be done by others, and whether prevented or not, shall forthwith give notice thereof to his said master; that he shall not embezzle or waste the goods of his said master, nor lend them without his consent to any person or persons whatsoever; that he shall not traffic, or buy and sell, with his own goods, or the goods of others, during the said term, without his master's leave ; that he shall not play at cards, dice, or any other unlawful games, whereby his said master may sustain any loss or damage, without his consent; that he shall not haunt or frequent play-houses, taverns or ale-houses, except it be about his master's business there to be done; and that he shall not at any time, by day or night, depart or absent himself from the service of his said master without his leave; but in all things, as a good and faithful apprentice, shall and will demean and behave himself to his said master, and all his during the said term. And for and in consideration of the sum of to him in hand paid, etc., the receipt, etc., the said R. J. doth covenant, promise, and agree to teach and instruct his said apprentice, or otherwise cause him to be well and sufficiently taught and instructed, in the said trade
after the best way and manner that he can; and shall and will also find and allow unto his said apprentice meat, drink, washing, lodging, and apparel, both linen and woolen, and all other necessaries in sickness and in health, meet and convenient for such an apprentice, during the term aforesaid ; and at the expiration of the said term, shall and will give to his said apprentice (over and above his then clothing) one new suit of apparel, viz., coat, waistcoat, and breeches, hat, shoes, and stockings, and linen, fit and suitable for such an apprentice.
In Witness Whereof, The said parties have interchangeably set their hands and seals hereunto. Dated the
in the year
of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and
(Signatures.) (Seals.) (Witnesses.)
(3.) Shorter Indenture of Apprenticeship. This Indenture Witnesseth, That by and with the consent of
hath put himself, and by these presents doth voluntarily, and of his own free will and accord, put himself Apprentice to to learn the art, trade, and mystery of and after the manner of an Apprentice to
serve the said for and during, and to the full end and term of next ensuing. During all which time the said Apprentice doth covenant and promise, that he will serve his master faithfully, keep his secrets, and obey his lawful command; that he will do him no damage himself, nor see it done by others, without giving him notice thereof-that he will not waste his goods, nor lend them unlawfully—that he will not contract matrimony within the said term—that he will not play at cards, dice, or any other unlawful game, whereby his master may be injured-that he will neither buy nor sell, with his own goods or the goods of others, without license from his master—and that he will not absent himself day nor night from his master's service, without his leave—nor haunt ale-houses, taverns or play houses, but in all things behave himself as a faithful Apprentice ought to do during the said term. And the said master on his part doth covenant and promise, that he will use the utmost of his endeavors to teach, or cause to be taught or instructed, the said Apprentice in the art, trade or mystery of and will procure and provide for him sufficient meat, drink, clothing, lodging, and washing, fitting for an Apprentice, during the said term, and will give him quarters schooling during the said term.
And for the true performance of all and singular the covenants and agreements aforesaid, the said parties bind themselves each unto the other, firmly by these presents,
In Witness Whereof, The said parties have interchangeably set their hands and seals hereunto. Dated the day of in the year of ou Lord one thousand nine hundred and
Executed and delivered before (Witnesses.)
MARRIED WOMEN. By the original common law of this country, a married woman is wholly incapable of entering into mercantile contracts on her own account. By the fact of marriage, her husband becomes possessed of all her real estate during her life, and if a living child be born of the marriage, he has her real estate during his own life, if he survive her. This life-right in her real estate is called, in law, his tenancy by the curtesy.
All the personal property which she has in actual possessic
Decomes by common law, absolutely his, as entirely as if she had made a transfer of it to him.
But by property in possession the law means only her goods and chattels; or things which can be handled; and which actually are in her hands, or under her direct and immediate control. If she have notes of hand, money due her, or shares in various stocks, these are not considered as things in possession, but as things in action.
Things in possession are those things which one has now in his hands, and things in action (called in law choses in action), those which are so called because he who owns them cannot get possession of them without an action, if other persons choose to resist him. All debts, and evidences of debt, as bonds, notes, and all shares in stocks, whether national or State, or of incorporated companies or other companies, are things in action. But bank-bills are usually regarded as money, and therefore as things in possession. The common law makes a wide difference between things in possession and things in action in many respects.
The common law of husband and wife as to things in action is this. The husband may, if he pleases, reduce them to his possession, and so make them absolutely his own.
In general, he does this by any act which is distinctly an act of ownership; as if he demands and collects the debts due to her, or indorses her notes—which he can do in his own name—and sells them, or has the stock transferred to his own name, or, in general makes any final and effectual disposition of these things in action. Then they have become absolutely his own.
If, however, he does not reduce them to possession, and dies, and she survives him, her whole right and property revive at his death, without any interest whatever in his representatives. And even if he disposes of them by will, this is ineffectual, unless he had reduced them into his possession while he lived.
If, however, he survives her, he will be made, if he wishes it, her administrator, and then can collect all her things in action, and hold them or their proceeds as his own. And if she dies, and then he dies before he has collected these things in action, administration on his wife's effects will be granted to his next of kin, and not to hers; and when collected, they will belong to his estate.