Page images

according to their value at the time of the rescision of the sale.

ART. 1873.—'The purchaser, on his part, in case of rescision, is accountable for all injuries and dilapidations arising from his neglect or fault.

ART. 1874.- The judge, in pronouncing the final decree, shall make compensation between the parties of their respective demands, and determine what balance shall be paid, and by which of the parlies, according to the principles stated in the preceding articles.


General Provisions applicable to Error, Violence

and Fraud in Contracts.

ART. 1875,-Engagements made through error, violence, fraud or menace, are not absolutely null, but are voidable by the parties, who have contracted under the influence of such error, fraud, violence or menace, or by the representatives of such parties.

ART. 1876.–They may be avoided either by exception to suits brought on such contracts, or by an action brought for that purpose.


Of the Object and Matter of Contracts. ART. 1877.—Every contract has for its object something which one or both of the parties oblige themselves to give, or to do, or not to do.

Art. 1878.–The mere use or the mere possession of a thing, may be, as well as the thing itself, the object of a contract.

ART. 1879.-All things, in the most extensive sense of the expression, corporeal or incorporeal, moveable or immoveable, to which rights can legally be acquired, may become the object of contracts.

ART. 1880.-An obligation must have for its object, something determinate, at least as to its species.

The quantity of a thing may be uncertain, provided it be capable of being ascertained.

ART. 1881.–Future things may be the object of an obligation.

One cannot, however, renounce the succession of an estate not yet devolved, nor can any stipulation be made with regard to such a succession, even with the consent of him whose succession is in question. ART. 1882.-Yet a future succession


become the object of a marriage contract; it may be stipulated that such succession shall be dotal or paraphernal, that it should be vested in real estale, or other covenants of the like nature, for the benefit of one of the parties or their children.

ART. 1883.-No one can, by a contract in his own name, bind any one but himself or his representatives; but he may contract, in his own name, that another shall ratify or perform the stipulation which he makes, and in this case he shall be liable in damages, if the contract be not ratified or performed by the person whose act he stipulates.

ART. 1884.-A person may also, in his own name, make some advantage for a third person the condition or consideration of a commutative contract, or onerous donation; and if such third person consents to avail himself of the advantage stipulated in his favour, the contract cannot be revoked.

ART. 1885.- The object of a contract must be possible, by which is meant physically or morally possible. The possibility must be determined, not by the means or ability of the party, but by the nature of things.

ART. 1886.-That is considered as morally impossible, which is forbidden by law, or morals. All contracts having such an object are void.


Of the Cause or Consideration of Contracts. ART. 1887.-An obligation withont a cause, or with a false or unlawful cause, can have no effect.

ART. 1888.-An agreement is not the less valid, though the cause be not expressed.

ART. 1889.-The cause is illicit, when it is forbidden by law, when it is contra bonos mores (contrary to moral conduct) or to public order.

ART. 1890.-By the cause of the contract, in this section, is meant, the consideration or motive for making it, and a contract is said to be without a cause, whenever the party was in an error, supposing that which was his inducement for contracting to exist, when in fact it had never existed, or had ceased to exist before the contract was made.

ART. 1891.-The contract is also considered as being without cause, when the consideration for making it was something which, in the contemplation of the parties, was thereafter expected to exist or take place, and which did not take place or exist. A gift in consideration of a future marriage is void by this rule, if the marriage do not take place.

ART, 1892.-Where the consideration or cause of the contract really exists at the time of making it, but afterwards fails, it will not affect the contract, if all that was intended by the parties be carried into effect at the time. The destruction of property sold, after the sale is perfected, without the fault of the seller, is a case governed by this rule.

ART. 1893.-But, if the contract consists of several successive obligations to be performed at different times, and the equivalent is not given in advance for the whole, but is either expressly or impliedly promised to be given at future periods; then, if the cause of the contract, cor

responding to either of the successive obligations, should fail, the obligation depending on it will cease also. Thus, in leases for years, the obligation to pay the yearly rent ceases, if the property which is leased should be destroyed.

ART. 1894. If the cause expressed in the consideration should be one that does not exist, yet the contract cannot be invalidaled, if the party can show the existence of a true and sufficient consideration.

Of the Effect of Obligations.


General Dispositions. ART. 1895.-Agreements, legally entered into, have the effect of laws on those who have formed them.

They cannot be revoked, unless by mutual consent of the parties, or for causes acknowledged by law.

They must be performed with good faith.

ART. 1896.--But a contract, in which any thing is stipulated for the benefit of a third person, who has signified his assent to accept it, cannot be revoked as to the advantage stipulated in his favour, without his consent,

ART. 1897.-The obligation of contracts extends not only to what is expressly stipulated, but also to every thing that, by law, equity or custom, is considered as incidental to the particular contract, or necessary to carry it into effect.

ART, 1898.—Contracts, as to their effects upon property or real rights, are of two kinds :

1. Such as purport a transfer of that which is the object of the contract;

2. Such as only give a temporary right to the enjoyment of it,


Of the Obligation of Giving. ART. 1899.-The term to give, in this division of obligations, is applied only to corporeal objects, that may be actually delivered from one to another; and it includes the payment of money as well as the delivery of any other article. A covenant, respecting an incorporeal right, comes under the definition of contracts to do or not to do, because some act, besides that of delivery, is necessary

for the transfer of such rights.

ART. 1900.-A contract for the delivery of a promissory note payable to bearer, or payable to order, and already endorsed, or any other negociable paper of the same nature, also endorsed, or transferable by delivery only, comes under the description of a contract to give; but a contract to transfer a note to order not endorsed, or any other debt that requires an act of transfer, is an obligation to do.

ART. 1901.--The obligation of giving includes that of delivering the thing, and of keeping it safe, until the delivery of it, the person who contracts to give, being liable, on failure, to pay damages to the person with whom he has contracted.

ART. 1902. The obligation of carefully keeping the thing, whether the object of the contract be solely the utility of one of the parties, or whether its object be their common utility, subjects the person, who has the thing in his keeping, to take all the care of it that could be expected from a prudent administrator.

This obligation is more or less extended with regard to certain contracts, the effects of which, in this respect, are explained under their respective titles.

ART. 1903.-If the obligation be to deliver an object which is particularly specified, it is perfect by the mere consent of the parties. It renders the creditor owner, and

« PreviousContinue »