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S VI.

of Error as to the Nature and Object of the Contract.

ART. 1835.- Error as to the nature of the contract will render it void.

The nature of the contract is that which characterises the obligation which it creates. Thus, if the party receives property, and from error or ambiguity in the words accompanying the delivery, believes that he has purchased, while he who delivers, intends only to pledge, there is not contract.

ART. 1836,-Error as to the thing, which is the subject of the contract, does not invalidate it, unless it bear's on the substance or some substantial quality of the thing.

ART. 1837.-There is error as to the substance, when the object is of a totally different nature from that which is intended. Thus, if the object of the stipulation be supposed by one or both the parties to be an ingot of silver, and it really is a mass of some other metal that resembles silver, there is an error bearing on the substance of the object.

ART. 1838.-The error bears on the substantial quality of the object, when such quality is that which gives it its greatest value. A contract relative to a vase, supposed to be of gold, is void, if it be only plated with that metal.

ART. 1839.-Error as to the other qualities of the object of the contract, only invalidates it, when those qualities are such as were the principal cause of making the contract.

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Errors of Law. ART. 1840.--Error in law, as well as crror in fact,

invalidates a contract, where such error is its only or principal cause, subject to the following modifications and restrictions :

1. Although the party may have been ignorant of his right, yet if the contract, made under such error, fulfilled any such natural obligation as might from its nature induce a presumption that it was made in consequence of the obligation, and not from error of right, then such error shall not be alleged to avoid the contract. Thus, the natural obligation to perform the will of the donor, prevents the donee from reclaiming legacies or gifts he has paid under a testament void only for want of form;

2. A contract, made for the purpose of avoiding litigation, cannot be rescinded for error of law;

3. Error of law can never be alleged as the means of acquiring, though it may be invoked as the means of preventing a loss or of recovering what has been given or paid under such crror. The error, under which a possessor may be as to the illegality of his title, shall not give him a right to prescribe under it;

4. A judicial confession of a debt shall not be avoided by an allegation of error of law, though it may be by showing an error of fact;

5. A promise or contract, that destroys a prescriptive right, shall not be avoided by an allegation that the party was ignorant or in an error with regard to the law of prescription;

6. If a party has an exception, that destroys the natural as well as the perfect obligation, and, through error of law, makes a promise or contract that destroys such exception, he may avail himself of such error; but if the exception destroys only the perfect, but not the natural obligation, error of law shall not avail to restore the exception.

S VIII.

Of the Nullity resulting from Fraud. ART. 1841.-Fraud, as applied to contracts, is the cause of an error bearing on a material part of the contract, created or continued by artifice, with design to obtain some unjust advantages to the one party, or to cause an inconvenience or loss to the other. From which definition are drawn the following rules:

1. Error is an essential part of the definition, an artifice that cannot deceive, can have no effect in influencing the consent, and cannot injure the validity of the contract;

2. The error must be on a material part of the contract, that is to say, such part as may reasonably be presumed to have influenced the party in making it; but it needs not be the principal cause of the contract, as it must be in the case of simple error without artifice;

3. A false assertion as to the value of that which is the object of the contract, is not such an artifice as will invalidate the agreement, provided the object is of such a nature and is in such a siluation that he, who is induced to contract by means of the assertion, might with ordinary attention have detected the falsehood; he shall then be supposed to have been influenced more by his own judgment than the assertion of the other;

4. But a false assertion of the value or cost, or quality of the object, will constitute such artifice, if the object be one that requires particular skill or habit, or any

difficult or inconvenient operation to discover the truth or falsity of the assertion. Sales of articles, falsely asserted to be composed of precious metals, sales of merchandize by a'false invoice, of any article by a false sample, of goods in packages 'or bales, which cannot without inconvenience be unpacked or inspected, or where the pariy

making the sale avoids the inspection with intent to deceive, of goods at sea or at a distance, of slaves with a false assertion of their qualities, or a concealment of their vices or defects, are, with others of a like nature, referable to this rule;

5. It must be caused or continued by artifice, by which is meant either an assertion of what is false, or a suppression of what is true, in relation to such

part

of the contract as is stated in the second rule;

6. The assertion and suppression, mentioned in the last preceding rule, mean not only an affirmation or negation by words either writlen or spoken,

but
any

other means calculated to produce a belief of what is false, or an ignorance or disbelief of what is true;

7. The artifice must be designed to obtain either an unjust advantage to the party for whose benefit the artifice is carried on, or a loss or inconvenience to him against whom it is practised, although attended with advantage to no one;

8. It is not necessary that either of the effects mentioned in the last preceding rule, should have aclually been produced; it is sufficient to constitute the fraud, that such would be the effect of the contract, if it were actually performed;

9. If the artifice be practised by a party to the contract, or by another with his knowledge or by his procurement, it vitiates the contract; but if the artifice be practised by a third person wilhout the knowledge of the party who benefits by ii, the contract is not vitiated by the fraud, although il may be void on account of error, if that error be of such a nature as lo invalidate it; in this case the party injured may l'ecover his damages against the person practising the fraud;

10. In the words “loss or inconvenience” which may be suffered by the party, is included the preventing him

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from obtaining any gain or advantage, which, without the artifice, he might have obtained;

11. If the advantage to be gained by the parly, in favour of whom the artifice is practised, gives him no unjust advantage, that is to say, no advantage at the expense of the other party, and this latter would neither suffer inconvenience nor loss in consequence of the deception, if the contract were performed, the artifice does not vitiate it.

12. Combinations with respect to sales to enhance the price by false bids or offers, or to depress it by false assertions, are artifices, which invalidate the contract, when practised by those who are parties to it, or give rise to an action for damages where they are not.

ART. 1842.-Fraud, like every other allegation, must be proved by him who alleges it, but it may by simple presumptions, by legal presumptions, as well as by other evidence. The maxim that fraud is not to be presumed, means no more than that it is not to be imputed without legal evidence.

ART, 1843.-Some circumstances and acts attending particular contracts, are by law declared to be conclusive; and others, presumptive evidence of fraud. These laws will be found in the proper divisions of this Code, treating of these contracts.

SIX.

be proved

Of the Want of Consent arising from Violence or

Threats.

ART. 1844.—Consent to a contract is void, if it be produced by violence or threats, and the contract is invalid.

ART. 1845.-It is not every degree of violence or any kind of threats, that will invalidate a contract; they must be such as would naturally operate on a person of ordinary firmness, and inspire a just fear of great injury to

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