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a kind of novation, by which the original debtor, in order to be liberated from his creditor, gives him a third person, who becomes obliged in his stead to the creditor, or to the person appointed by him. It results from this definition that a delegation is made by the concurrence of three parties, and that there may be a fourth. There must be a concurrence, 1, Of the party delegating, that is, the ancient debtor, who procures another debtor in his stead; 2, Of the party delegated, who enters into the obligation in the place of the ancient debtor, either to the creditor or to some other person appointed by him; 3, Of the creditor, who, in consequence of the obligation contracted by the party delegated, discharges the party delegating. Sometimes there intervenes a fourth party, namely, the person indicated by the creditor in whose favour the person delegated becomes obliged, upon the indication of the creditor, and by the order of the person delegating. Poth. Ob. part. 3, c. 2, art. 6. See Louis. Code, 2189, 2189; 3 Wend. 66; 5 N. H. Rep. 410; 20 John. R. 76; 1 Wend. 164; 14 Wend. 116.
DELEGATION, contracts. The transfer of authority from one person to another. It is a general rule that an agent cannot delegate any portion of his power requiring the exercise of discretion or judgment; but he may transfer to others powers or duties merely mechanical in their nature. 1 Hill's (N. Y.) Rep. 501 ; Bunb. lfifi; Sugd. Pow. 176; and the article Authority.
DELIBERATION, legislation, is the council which is held touching some business, in an assembly having the power to act in relation to it. In deliberative assemblies, it is presumed that each member will listen to the opinions and arguments of the others before he arrives at a conclusion.
DELICT, civil law. The act by which one person, by fraud or malignity, causes some damage or tort to some other. In its most enlarged sense, this term includes all kinds of crimes and misdemeanors, and even the injury which has been caused by another, either voluntarily or accidentally without evil intention; but more commonly by delicts are understood those small offences which are punished by a small fine or a short imprisonment. Delicts are either public or private; the public are those which affect the whole community by their hurtful consequences; the private is that which is directly injurious to a private individual. Inst. 4, 18; lb. 4, 1; Dig. 47,1-; lb. 48, 1. A quasi-delict, quasi delictum, is the act of a person, who, without malignity, but by an inexcusable imprudence, causes an injury to another. Poth. Ob. n. 116; Ersk. Pr. Laws of Scotl. B. 4, t. 4, s. 1.
DELINQUENT, civil law, he who has been guilty of some delict.
DELIRIUM, mtd. jur., is a disease of the mind produced by inflammations, particularly in fevers, and other bodily diseases, specially when approaching tp a fatal termination. It is also occasioned by intoxicating agents. Delirium manifests its first appearance "by a propensity of the patient to talk during sleep, and a momentary forgetfulncss of his situation, and of things about him, on waking from it. After being fully aroused, however, and his senses collected, the mind is comparatively clear and tranquil, till the next slumber, when the same scene is repeated. Gradually, the mental disorder becomes more intense, and the intervals between its returns, of shorter duration, until they are scarcely, or not at all perceptible. The patient lies on his back, his eyes, if open, presenting a dull and listless look, and is almost constantly talking to himself in a low, muttering tone. Regardless of persons or things around him, and scarcely capable of recognising them when aroused by his attendants, his mind retires within itself to dwell upon the scenes and events of the past which pass before it in wild and disorderly array, while the tongue feebly records the varying impressions, in the form of disjointed, incoherent discourse, or of senseless rhapsody. In the delirium which occurs towards the end of chronic diseases, the discourse is often more coherent and continuous, though the mind is no less absorbed in its own reveries. As the disorder advances, the voice becomes more indistinct, the fingers are constantly picking at the bed-clothes, the evacuations are passed insensibly, and the patient is incapable of being aroused to any further effort of attention. In some cases, delirium is attended with a greater degree of nervous and vascular excitement which more or less modifies the above-mentioned symptoms. The eyes are open, dry, and bloodshot, intently gazing into vacancy, as if fixed on some object which is really present to the mind of the patient; the skin is hotter and dryer; and he is more restless and intractable. He talks more loudly, occasionally breaking out into cries and vociferations, and tosses about in bed, frequently endeavouring to get up, though without any particular object in view." Ray, Med. Jur. §213.
"So closely does delirium resemble mania to the casual observer, and so important is it that they should be distinguished from each other, that it may be well to indicate some of the most common and prominent features of each. In mania, the patient recognises persons and things, and is perfectly conscious of and remembers what is passing around him. In delirium, he can seldom distinguish one person or thing from another, and, as
if fully occupied with the images that crowd upon his memory, gives no attention to those that are presented from without. In delirium, there is an entire abolition of the reasoning power; there is no attempt at reasoning at all; the ideas are all and equally insane; no single train of thought escapes the morbid influence, nor does a single operation of the mind reveal a glimpse of its natural vigour and acuteness. In mania, however false and absurd the ideas may be, we are never at a loss to discover patches of coherence, and some semblance of logical sequence in the discourse. The patient still reasons, but he reasons incorrectly. In mania, the muscular power is not perceptibly diminished, and the indi. vidual moves about with his ordinary ability. Delirium is invariably attended with great muscular debility; the patient is confined to his bed, and is capable of only a momentary effort of exertion. In mania, sensation is not necessarily impaired, and in most instances, the maniac sees, hears, and feels with all his natural acuteness. In delirium, sensation is greatly impaired, and this avenue to the understanding seems to be entirely closed. In mania, many of the bodily functions are undisturbed, and the appear ance of the patient might not, at first sight, convey the impression of disease. In delirium, every function suffers, and the whole aspect of the patient is indicative of disease. Mania exists alone and independent of any other disorder, while delirium is only an unessential symptom of some other disease. Being a symptom only, the latter maintains certain relations with the disease on which it depends; it is relieved when that is relieved, and is aggravated when that increases in severity. Mania, though it undoubtedly tends to shorten life, is not immediately dangerous, whereas the disease on which delirium depends, speedily terminates in death, or restoration to health. Mania never occurs till after the age of puberty; delirium attacks all periods alike, from early childhood to extreme old age." lb. § 216. In the inquiry as to the validity of testamentary dispositions, it is of great importance, in many cases, to ascertain whether the testator laboured under delirium, or whether he was of sound mind. Vide Sound mind; Unsound mind; 2 Addams, R. 441; 1 Addams, Rep. 229, 383; 1 Hagg. R. 577; 2 Hagg. R. 142; 1 Lee, Eccl. R. 130; 2 Lee, Eccl. R. 229; 1 Hagg. Eccl. Rep. 5>56.
DELIRIUM TREMENS, med. jur. A species of insanity which has obtained this name, in consequence of the tremour experienced by the delirious person, when under a fit of the disorder. The disease called delirium tremens or mania a potu, is beautifully described in his learned work on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity, by Dr. Ray, § 315, 316, of which the following is an extract.
"It may be the immediate effect of an excess, or series of excesses, in those who are not habitually internperate, as well as in those who are; but it most commonly occurs in habitual drinkers, after a few days of total abstinence from spirituous liquors. It is also very liable to occur in this latter class when labouring under other diseases, or severe external injuries that give rise to any degree of constitutional disturbance. The approach of the disease is generally indicated by a slight tremor and faltering of the hands and lower extremities, a tremulousness of the voice, a certain restlessness and sense of anxiety which the patient knows not how to describe or to account for, disturbed sleep, and impaired appetite. These symptoms having continued two or three days, at the end of which time they have obviously increased
in severity, the patient ceases to sleep altogether, and soon becomes delirious. At first, the delirium is not constant, the mind wandering during the night, but, during the day when its attention is fixed, capable of rational discourse. It is not long, however, before it becomes constant, and constitutes the most prominent feature of the disease. This state of'watchfulness and delirium continues three or four days, when, if the patient recover, it is succeeded by sleep, which, at first, appears in uneasy and irregular naps, and lastly in long, sound, and refreshing slumbers. When sleep does not supervene about this period, the disease is fatal; and whether subjected to medical treatment, or left to itself, neither its symptoms nor duration are materially modified.
"The character of the delirium in this disease is peculiar, bearing a stronger resemblance to dreaming, than any other form of mental derangement. It would seem as if the dreams which disturb and harass the mind during the imperfect sleep that precedes the explosion of the disease, continue to occupy it when awake, being then viewed as realities, instead of dreams. The patient imagines himself, for instance, to be in some particular situation, or engaged in certain occupations, according to each individual's habits and profession, and his discourse and conduct will be conformed to this delusion, with this striking peculiarity, however, that he is thwarted at every step, and is constantly meeting with obstacles that defy his utmost efforts to remove. Almost invariably, the patient manifests, more or less, feelings of suspicion and fear, labouring under continual apprehension of being made the victim of sinister designs and practices. He imagines that certain people have conspired to rob or murder him, and insists that he can hear them in an adjoining apartment. arranging their plans and preparing to rush into his room; or that he is in a strange place where he is forcibly detained and prevented from going to his own home. One of the most common hallucinations, is, to be constantly seeing devils, snakes, vermin, and all manner of unclean things around him and about him, and peopling every nook and corner of his apartment with these loathsome objects. The extreme terror which these delusions often inspire, produces in the countenance, an unutterable expression of anguish ; and, in the hope' of escaping from his fancied tormentors, the wretched patient endeavours to cut his throat, or jump from the window. Under the influence of these terrible apprehensions, he sometimes murders his wife or attendant, whom his disordered imagination identifies with his enemies, though he is generally tractable and not inclined to be mischievous. After perpetrating an act of this kind, he generally gives some illusive reason for his conduct, rejoices in his success, and expresses his regret at not having done it before. So complete and obvious is the mental derangement in this disease, so entirely are the thoughts and actions governed by the most unfounded and absurd delusions, that if any form of insanity absolves from criminal responsibility, this certainly must have that effect.
DELIVERANCE, practice, a term used by the clerk in court to every prisoner who is arraigned and pleads not guilty, to whom he wishes a good deliverance. In modern practice this is seldom used.
DELIVERY, conveyancing, is the transferring of a deed from the grantor to the grantee: or the delivery may be made and accepted by an attorney. This is indispensably necessary to the validity of a deed. As to the form, the delivery may be by words without acts; as, if the
deed be lying upon a table, and the grantor says to the grantee, "take that as my deed," it will be a sufficient delivery; or it may be by acts without words, and therefore a dumb man may deliver a deed. Co. Litt. 36 a, note; 6 Sim. Rep. 31 ; Gresl. Eq. Ev. 120; Wood. B. 2, c. 3. A delivery may be either absolute, as when it is delivered to the grantor himself; or it may be conditional, that is, to a third person to keep until some condition shall have been performed by the grantee, and then it is called an escrow, (q. v.) See 2 Bl. Com. 3U6; 4 Kent, Com. 446; Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 2, s. 87; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 523; 8 Watts, R. 1 ; and articles Assent ; Deed.
DELIVERY, contracts, is the transmitting the possession of a thing from one person into the power and possession of another. Originally delivery was a clear and unequivocal act of real possession, accomplished by placing the subject to be transferred in the hands of the buyer or his avowed agent, or in their respective warehouses, vessels, carts, and the like. This delivery was properly considered as the true badge of transferred property, as importing full evidence of consent to transfer; preventing the appearance of possession in the transferrer from continuing the credit of property unduly ; and avoiding uncertainty and risk in the title of the acquirer. The complicated transactions of modern trade, however, render impossible a strict adherence to this simple rule. It often happens that the purchaser of a commodity cannot take immediate possession and receive the delivery. The bulk of the goods; their peculiar situation, as when they are deposited in public custody for duties, or in the hands of a manufacturer for the purpose of having some operation of his art performed upon them, to fit them for the market; the distance they are from the house; the frequency of bargains concluded by correspondence between distant countries; and many other obstructions, frequently rendered it impracticable to give or to receive actual delivery. In these and such like cases, something short of actual delivery has been considered sufficient to transfer the property. In sales, gifts, and other contracts, where the party intends to transfer the property the delivery must be made with the intent to enable the receiver to obtain dominion over it. 3 Serg. & Rawle, 20; 4 Rawlc, 260; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 275; 9 John. 337. The delivery may be actual, by putting the thing sold in the hands or possession of the purchaser; or it may be symbolical, as where a man buys goods in a room, the receipt of the keys will be sufficient. 1 Yeates, 529; 5 Johns. R. 335; 1 East, R. 192; 3 Bos. & Pull. 233; 10 Mass. 308. As to what will amount to a delivery of goods and merchandize, vide 1 Holt, 18; 4 Mass. 661; 8 Mass. 287; 14 Johns. R. 167; 15 Johns. R. 349; 1 Taunt. R. 318;'2 H. Black. R. 316, 504; 1 New R. 69; ti East, R. 614.
There is sometimes considerable difficulty in ascertaining the particular period when the property in the goods sold passes from the vendor to the vendee; and what facts amount to an actual delivery of the goods. Certain rules have been established, and the difficulty is to apply the facts of the case. 1. Where goods are sold, if nothing remains to be done on the part of the seller, as between him and the buyer, before the article is to be delivered, the property has passed. East, R. 614; 4 Mass. 661; 8 Mass. 287; 14 Johns. 167; 15 Johns. 349; 1 Holt's R. 18; 3 Eng. C. L. R. 9.-2. Where a chattel is made to order, the property therein is not vested in the quasi vendee, until finished and delivered, though
he has paid for it. 1 Taunt. 318.— 3. The criterion to determine whether there has been a delivery on a sale, is to consider whether the vendor still retains, in that character, a right over the property. 2 H. Blackst. R. 316.—4.,Where a part of the goods sold by an entire contract, has been taken possession of by the vendee, that shall be deemed a taking possession of the whole. 2 H. Bl. R. 504; 1 New Rep. 69. Such partial delivery is not a delivery of the whole so as to vest in the vendee the entire property in the whole, where some act other than the payment of the price is necessary to be performed in order to vest the property. 6 East, R. 614.—5. Where goods are sent to order to a carrier, the carrier receives them as the vendee's agent. Cowp. 2«4; 3 Bos. & Pull. 582; 2 N. R. 119.—6. A delivery may be made in a very slight manner; as where one buys goods in a room, the receipt of the key is sufficient. 1 Yeates, 529; 5 Johns. 335; 1 East, R. 192. See also 3 B. & P. 233 ; 7 East, Rep. 558; 1 Camp. 235.-7. The vendor of bulky articles is not bound to deliver them, unless he stipulated to do so, he must give notice to the buyer that he is ready to deliver them. 5 Serg. & Rawle, 19; 12 Mass. 300; 4 Shepl. Rep. 49; and see 3 Johns. 399; 13 Johns. 294; 19 Johns. 218; 1 Dall. 171. —8. A sale of bricks in a brick yard, accompanied with a lease of the yard until the bricks should be sold and removed, was held to be valid against the creditors of the vendor, without an actual removal. 10 Mass. 308.—9. Where goods were contracted to be sold upon condition that the vendee should give security for the price, and they are delivered without security being given, but with the declaration on the part of the vendor, that the transaction should not be deemed a sale, until