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to be a testamentary witness; 30 to be a juror; at 16 a minor may devise one half of his property as if he were a major; the male cannot contract marriage till after the 18th year, nor the female before full 15 years. At 21 both males and females are capable to perform all the acts of civil life. Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. Liv. 1, Intr. n. 188. In the civil law, the age of man was divided as follows; namely, infancy as it regards males extended till the full accomplishment of the 14th year; at 14 he entered the age of puberty, and was said to have acquired full puberty at 18 years accomplished, and was major on completing his 25th year. The female was an infant until 7 years, at 12 she entered puberty, and acquired full puberty at 14; she became of full age on completing her 25th year. Lecons Elem. du Dr. Civ. Rom. 22. See Com. Dig. Baron and Feme, (B 5.) Dower, (A 3.) Enfant, (C 9, 10, 11, D 3.) Pleader, (2 G 3.-2 W 22.-2 Y 8.) Bac. Ab. Infancy and Age; 2 Vin. Ab. 131; Constitution of the United States; Domat, Lois Civ. tom, 1, p. 10; Merlin, Repert. de Jurisp. mot Age; Ayl. Pand. 62; 1 Coke Inst. 78; 1 Bl. Com. 463. See Wit .km.
AGE-PRAYER, in the English law, in practice. When an action is brought against an infant for lands which he had by descent, he may show this to the court, and pray quod loquela remaneat until he shall become of age; which is called his age-prayer. Upon this being ascertained the proceedings are stayed accordingly. When the lands did not descend, he is not allowed this privilege. 1 Lilly's Reg. 54.
AGED WITNESS. When a deposition is wanted to be taken on account of the age of a witness, he must be at least seventy years old to be considered an aged witness. Coop.
Eq. PI. 57; Amb. R. 65; 13 Ves. 56, 261.
AGENCY, contracts, is an agreement, express or implied, by which one of the parties, called the principal, confides to the other denominated the agent, the management of some business, to be transacted in his name, or on his account, and by which the agent assumes to do the business and to render an account of it. When the agency is express, it is created either by deed, or in writing not by deed, or verbally without writing. 3 Chit. Com. Law, 104; 9 Ves. 250; 11 Mass. Rep. 27; lb. 97, 288; 1 Binn. R. 450. When the agency is not express, it may be inferred from the relation of the parties and the nature of the employment, without any proof of any express appointment. 1 Wash. R. 19; 15 East, R. 400; 5 Day's R. 556. The agency must be antecedently given, or subsequently adopted; and in the latter case there must be an act of recognition, or an acquiescence in the act of the agent, from which a recognition may be fairly implied. 2 Kent, Com. 478; Paley on Agency; Livermore on Agency.
An agency may be dissolved in two ways: 1, by the act of the principal or the agent; 2, by operation of law.
1. The agency may be dissolved by the act of one of the parties. 1st. As a general rule it may be laid down that the principal has a right to revoke the powers which he has given; but this is subject to some exceptions, of which the following are examples. When the principal has expressly stipulated that the authority shall be irrevocable, and the agent has an interest in its execution: it is to be observed, however, that although there may be an express agreement not to revoke, yet if the agent has no interest in its execution, and there is no consideration for the agreement, it will be considered a nude pact, and the authority may be revoked. But when an authority or power is coupled with an interest, or when it is given for a valuable consideration, or when it is a part of a security, then, unless there is an express stipulation that it shall be revocable, it cannot be revoked, whether it be expressed on the face of the instrument giving the authority, that it be so, or not. Story on Ag. 477; Smith on Merc. L. 71; 2 Liv. on Ag. 308; Palev on Ag. by Lloyd, 184; 3 Chit. Com. L. 223; 2 Mason's R. 244; Id. 342; 8 Wheat. R. 170; 1 Pet. R. 1; 2 Kent, Com. 643, 3d edit.; Story on Bailm. § 209; 2 Esp. R. 565; 3 Barnw. & Cressw. 842; 10 Barnw. & Cressw. 731; 2 Story, Eq. Jur. § 1041,1042, 1043.—2dly. The agency may be determined by the renunciation of the agent. If the renunciation be made when it has been partly executed, the agent by renouncing it, becomes liable for the damages, which may thereby be sustained by his principal. Story on Ag. § 478; Story on Bailm. § 436; Jones on Bailm. 101 ; 4 John. R. 84.
2. The agency is revoked by operation of law in the following cases: 1st. When the agency terminates by the expiration of the period, during which it was to exist, and to have effect; as, if an agency be created by the principal to endure a year, or till the happening of a contingency, it becomes extinct at the end of the year, or on the happening of the contingency.—2dly. When a change of condition, or of state, produces an incapacity in either party; as, if the principal, being a woman, marry, this would be a revocation, because the power of creating an agent is founded on the right of the principal to do the business himself, and a married woman has no such power. For the same reason, when the principal becomes insane, the agency is
ipto facto revoked. 8 Wheat. R174, 201 to 204; Story on Ag. § 481; Story on Bailm. § 206; 2 Liv. on Ag. 307. The incapacity of the agent also amounts to a revocation in law, as in case of insanity, and the like, which render an agent altogether incompetent, but the rule does not reciprocally apply in its full extent. For instance, an infant or a married woman may in some cases be agents, although they cannot act for themselves.—3dly. The death of either principal or agent revokes the agency, unless in cases where the agent has an interest in the thing actually vested in the agent. 8 Wheat. R. 174; Story on Ag. § 486 to 499.—Wily. The agency is revoked in law, by the extinction of the subject-matter of the agency, or of the principal's power over it, or by the complete execution of the trust. Story on Bailm. § 207.
AGENT, practice; an agent is an attorney who transacts the business of another attorney. The agent owes to his principal the unremitted exertions of his skill and ability, and that all his transactions in that character, shall be distinguished by punctuality, honour and integrity. Lee's Diet. of Practice. • The rules of the supreme court of the state of New York require that every attorney shall have an agent in such place where there is a clerk's office, except in the city or town where such attorney keeps his office; such agent must be an attorney of the court, or deputy clerk in the clerk's office. Rule 7; Graham's Pr. 34.
AGENT, contracts. One who undertakes to manage some affair to be transacted for another, by his authority, on account of the latter, who is called the principal, and to render an account of it. There are various descriptions of agents, to whom different appellations are given according to the nature of their employ.
ments; as brokers, factors, supercargoes, attorneys and the like; they are all included in this general term. The authority is created either by deed, by simple writing, by parol, or by mere employment, according to the capacity of the parties, or the nature of the act to be done. Vide Authority. It is said to be general or special with reference to its object, i. e. according as it is confined to a single act, or is extended to all acts connected with a particular employment. With reference to the manner of its execution, it is either limited or unlimited, i. e. the agent is bound by precise instructions (q. v.), or left to pursue his own discretion. It is the duty of an agent, 1, To perform what he has undertaken in relation to his agency. 2, To use all necessary care. 3, To render an account. Pothier, Tr. du Contrat de Mandat, passim; Paley, Agency, 1 and 2; 1 Liverm. Agency, 2; 1 Suppl. to Ves. Jr. 67, 97, 409; 2 Id. 153, 165, 240; Bac. Abr. Master and Servant, I; 1 Ves. Jr. R. 317. Vide Smith on Merc. Law, ch. 3, p. 43, et seq.; and the articles Agency, Authority, and Principal.
Agents are either joint or several. It is a general rule of the common law, that when an authority is given to two or more persons to do an act, and there is no several authority given, all the agents must concur in doing it, in order to bind the principal. 3 Pick. R. 232; 2 Pick. R. 345; 12 Mass. R. 185; Co. Litt. 49 b, 112 b, 113, and Harg. n. 2; Id. 181 b; 6 Pick.R.198; 6John. R. 39; 5Barn. & Aid. 628. This rule has been so construed that when the authority is given jointly and severally to three persons, two cannot properly execute it; it must be done by all or by one only. Co. Litt. 181 b; Com. Dig . Attorney, C 11; but if the authority is so worded as to be apparent the principal intended to give power to
either of them, an execution by two will be valid. Co. Litt. 49 b; Dy. R. 62; 5 Barn. & Aid. 628. This rule applies to private agencies, for in public agencies an authority executed by a majority would be sufficient. 1 Co. Litt. 181 b; Com. Dig. Attorney, C 15; Bac. Ab. Authority, C; IT. R. 592. The rule in commercial transactions is, however, very different; and generally when there are several agents each possesses the whole power. For example, on a consignment of goods for sale to two factors, (whether they are partners or not,) each of them is understood to possess the whole power over the goods for the purposes of the consignment. 3 Wils. R. 94, 114; Story on Ag. § 43.
As to the persons who are capable of becoming agents, it may be observed, that but few persons are excluded from acting as agents, or from exercising authority delegated to them by others. It is not, therefore, requisite that a person be sui juris, or capable of acting in his own right, in order to be qualified to act for others. Infants, femes covert, persons attainted or outlawed, aliens and other disabled persons for many other purposes, may act as agents for others. Co. Litt. 52; Bac. Ab. Authority, B; Com. Dig. Attorney, C 4; Id. Baron and feme, P 3. But in the case of a married woman, it is to be observed, that she cannot be an agent for another when her husband expressly dissents, particularly when he may be rendered liable for her acts. Persons who have clearly no understanding, as idiots and lunatics, cannot be agents for others. Story on Ag. § 7. There is another class who, though possessing understanding, are incapable of acting as agents for others; there are persons whose duties and characters are incompatible with their obligations to the principal. For example, a person cannot act as agent in buying for another goods belonging to himself. Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 33 to 38; 2 Ves. Jr. 317.
AGENT AND PATIENT. This phrase is used to indicate the state of a person who is required to do a thing, and is at the same time the person to whom it is done; as, when a man is indebted to another and he appoints him his executor, the latter is required to pay the debt in his capacity of executor, and entitled to receive it in his own right, he is then agent and patient.
AGIO. This term is used to denote the difference of price between the value of bank notes and the coin of the country.
AGGRAVATION, in pleading, is the introduction of matter in the declaration which only tends to increase the amount of damages, and does not concern the right of action itself. Steph. PI. 257; 12 Mod. 597. An example of which is found in the case where a plaintiff declares in trespass for entering his house, and breaking his close, and tossing his goods about; the entry of the house is the principal ground and foundation of the action, and the rest is only stated by way of aggravation, 3 Wils. R. 294; and this matter need not be proved by the plaintiff or answered by the defendant.
AGGRESSOR, crim. law. He who has begun a quarrel or dispute, either by. threatening or striking another. No man is justified to strike another because he has threatened, or in consequence of the use of any words. He is to seek his redress for such abuse by an appeal to the law, and not by a violation of it.
AGIST ATE, in contracts, 1. The taking of other men's cattle on one's own ground at a certain rate. 2 Inst. 643.-2. The profit from such feeding or pasturage.
AGISTMENT, contracts, is the taking of another person's cattle into one's own ground to be fed for a consideration to be paid by the owner. The person who receives the cattle is called an agister. As this is an interested bailment, the agister is bound to ordinary diligence, and of course responsible for losses by ordinary negligence; but he does not insure the safety of the cattle agisted. Jones, Bailm. 91;
1 Bell's Com. 458; Holt's N. P. Rep. 547; Story, Bailm. § 443.
AGNATES, in the sense of the Roman law, were those whose propinquity was connected by males only; in the relation of cognates, one or more females were interposed. By the Scotch law, agnates are all those who are related by the father, even though females intervene; cognates are those who are related by the mother. Ersk. L. Scot. B. 1, t. 7, s. 4.
A GNATI, in descents. Relations on the father's side; they are different from the cognati, they being relations on the mother's side affines, who are allied by marriage, and the propinqui, or relations in general.
2 Bl. Com. 235; Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. tome 1, p. 139; Poth. Pand. tom. 22, p. 27.
AGNATION, in descents. Tho relation by blood which exists between such males as are descended from the same father; in distinction from cognation or consanguinity, which includes the descendants from females. This term is principally used in the civil law.
AGREEMENT, contract, is the consent of two or more persons concurring, respecting the transmission of some property, right or benefit, with a view of contracting an obligation. Bac. Ab. h. t.; Com. Dig. h. t.; Vin. Ab. h. t.; Plowd. 17; 1 Com. Contr. 2; 5 East's R. 16. To render an agreement complete, six things must concur; there must be, 1, a person able to contract i 2, a person Able to be contracted with; 3, a thing to be contracted for; 4, a lawful consideration, or quid pro quo; 5, clear and explicit words to express the agreement; 6, the assent of the contracting parties. Plowd. 181; Co. Litt. 35, b. As to their form, agreements are of two kinds, 1, by parol, or in writing, as contradistinguished from specialties; 2, by specialty or under seal. In relation to their performance, agreements are executed or executory. An agreement is executed, when one party has given the other the consideration for it; as if the buyer pay the price of the thing purchased. It is also executed when he performs the act required, and the party afterwards agrees to it. An agreement is executory when it is to be performed in future. Agreements are also conditional and unconditional. They are conditional when some condition must be fulfilled before they can have any effect; as if A B agrees to buy the house of C D at such a price as shall be fixed on it by E F, there is no agreement until E F shall fix the price; they are unconditional when there is no condition attached.
The writing or instrument containing an agreement is also called an agreement, and sometimes articles of agreement. Vide Contract; Deed; Guaranty; Parties to Contracts. .
AGRI. Arable land in the common fields. Cunn. Diet. h. t.
AGRICULTURE. The art of cultivating the earth in order to obtain all the divers things which it can produce; and particularly what is useful to man for his food, as grain, fruits and the like; or to his clothing, as cotton, flax, and all other things which are produced by the labour of man. Domat, Dr. Pub. liv. tit. 14, s. 1, n. 1.
AID PRAYER, English law, is
a petition to the court calling in help from another person who has an interest in the matter in dispute. . For example, a tenant for life, by the courtesy or for years, being impleaded, may pray aid of him in reversion; that is, desire the court that he may be called by writ to allege what he thinks proper for the maintenance of the right of the person calling him, and of his own. F. N. B. 50.
AIDERS, crim. law. Those who assist, aid or abet the principal, and who are principals in the second degree. 1 Russell, 21.
AIDS, Engl. law. Formerly they were certain sums of money granted by the tenant to his lord in times of difficulty and distress; but, as usual in such cases, what was received as a gratuity by the rich and powerful from the weak and poor, was soon claimed as a matter of right: and aids became a species of taxes to be paid by the tenant to his lord, in these cases: 1. To ransom the lord's person, when taken prisoner; 2. To make the lord's eldest son a knight; 3. To marry the lord's eldest dnugt her, by giving her a suitable portion. The first of these remained uncertain; the other two were fixed by act of parliament at twenty shillings each, being the supposed twentieth part of a knight's fee. 2 Bl. Com. 64.
AILE or AYLE, domestic relations. This is a corruption of the French wotdnieul, grandfather, avus, 3 Bl. Com. 186.
AIR, is that fluid transparent substance which surrounds our globe. No property can be had in the air, it belongs equally to all men, being indispensable to their existence. To poison or materially to change the air, to the annoyance of the public, is a nuisance. Cro. Car. 510 ; 2 Ld. Raym. 1163; 1 Burr. 333; 1 Str. 686; Hawk. B. 1, c. 75, s. 10; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t. Vide Nuisance.
AJUTAGE. A conical tube used