§ 129. But if articles, however necessary in kind, be furnished to an infant, who is already supplied by his friends; or if things be furnished of too expensive a nature, or unsuitable to the infant's condition, no action can be maintained for their price. In order to charge the infant for necessaries, it is not only necessary to prove, that they were suitable in quality, but also that they were suitable in quantity.3 Thus, if a minor have been already supplied with ten coats by one tradesman, when the plaintiff supplies him with another, he cannot recover the price thereof, on the ground that it was necessary.4 It is cles supplied must be necessaries, and not merely comforts or conveniences. Then we shall arrive at the principle acted on in Brooker v. Scott, 11 M. & W. 67, where the court decided that it could not be necessary for an undergraduate to have dinners at his own lodgings, unless under circumstances furnishing an explanation. It cannot otherwise be necessary, though possibly convenient or proper. This rule imposes no hardship on tradesmen. If they do not intend to pander to extravagance, let them not give credit. In one of these cases, the bill was allowed to run on for two years and a half. That could have been done only, lest, if the bill were sent in earlier, the supply of such articles might be stopped. Tradesmen must understand that, if they choose so to act, they are trusting only to what they call the honor of the parties supplied."
1 Wharton v. Mackenzie, 5 Q. B. 611; Cripps v. Hills, ib.; Brooker v. Scott, 11 M. & W. 67; Harrison v. Fane, 1 Scott, N. R. 287; Stanton v. Willson, 3 Day, 37; Rainwater v. Durham, 2 Nott & M'Cord, 524; Bent v. Manning, 10 Vt. 225; Rundel v. Keeler, 7 Watts, 239; Phelps v. Worcester, 11 N. H. 51; Grace v. Hale, 2 Humph. 27.
2 Harrison v. Fane, 1 Scott, N. R. 287; Glover v. Ott, 1 M'Cord, 572.
3 Burghart v. Angerstein, 6 C. & P. 690; Johnson v. Lines, 6 Watts & Serg. 80, and cases cited above.
4 Story v. Pery, 4 C. & P. 526; Burghart v. Angerstein, 6 C. & P. 690. In Cook v. Deaton, 3 C. & P. 114, which was a suit by a tailor against a minor, Best, C. J., said, "the plaintiff ought to have made inquiries of the father. The father says he knew nothing about the plaintiff's supplying his son with clothes. As there were proper clothes provided by the father, those furnished by the plaintiff cannot be considered as necessaries." incumbent on the tradesman to satisfy himself, by due inquiry, that the articles which he furnishes are actually suitable, both in quality and quantity, and his ignorance or carelessness will prevent his recovery in an action upon the contract.1 But while an infant remains under the care of his father or guardian,2 and is supported by him, he is not liable, even for necessaries, upon the ground that otherwise the father would be deprived of the right of exercising his discretion as to the manner and degree of his support.3
§ 130. It has always been held that an infant is bound to pay a reasonable price for such necessary things as relate to his maintenance and education,-as for food, lodging, apparel, medical attendance, and schooling,4 - unless credit be given solely to the parent, which is presumed to be the fact, if it appear that the infant was placed at school, or is supported by him.5 But an infant can only be charged upon contracts relating to his personal wants of body or mind,6 and he will not be liable for expenditures or services in respect to his personal or real estate, nor for insurance on his stock in trade,7 nor for goods and wares supplied to him to furnish his shop, or to enable him to carry on his trade, even although he obtain his subsistence thereupon :1 for it is not sufficient in such cases to show that the contract was beneficial to him in a pecuniary point of view, - it must also be for necessaries.2 Yet if any articles supplied to him for the carrying on of his trade, or other purpose, be consumed by him as necessaries, he would be liable therefor, in an action of assumpsit.3 So, also, he is not liable for money borrowed by him to lay out in necessaries, and therefore the lender must, at his peril, lay it out for him, or see that it is so laid out by him.4 Nor is he liable for money advanced to relieve him from a draft to do military duty.5 For it is clearly established, that even if the infant do appropriate money so borrowed, to the procurement of necessaries, he will not be liable for it in law, inasmuch as the contract arises upon the lending, and its validity would, at best, be dependent on a contingency, namely, whether it was actually applied to procure necessaries; and if this contingency occur, it cannot, by ex post facto operation, make the contract absolutely binding.1 But if the money were borrowed for the express purpose of purchasing particularly specified articles, which are necessary, ought not the lender to be treated as having himself supplied the articles, through the agency of the infant, and so be permitted to recover, as for goods sold ? He would certainly be entitled to relief in chancery, in such a case.2
1 Charters v. Bayntun, 7 C. & P. 52, 55; Burghart v. Angerstein, 6 C. & P. 690; Bainbridge v. Pickering, 2 W. Bl. 1325; Ford v. Fothergill, Peake, 229; 1 Esp. 211; Mortara v. Hall, 6 Simons, 465; Guthrie v. Murphy, 4 Watts, 80; Kline v. L'Amoureux, 2 Paige, 419.
2 Kraker v. Byrum, 13 Rich. 163.
3 Angel v. McLellan, 16 Mass. 31; Wailing v. Toll, 9 Johns. 141; Connolly v. Hull, 3 M'Cord, 6; Kline v. L'Amoureux, 2 Paige, 419; Guthrie v. Murphy, 4 Watts, 80; Bainbridge v. Pickering, 2 W. Bl. 1325.
4 Manby v. Scott, 1 Sid. 112; Baker v. Lovett, 6 Mass. 78; Stone v. Dennison, 13 Pick. 1; Deane v. Annis, 14 Me. 26; ante, § 77 a; Tupper v. Cadwell, 12 Met. 563.
5 Crantz v. Gill, 2 Esp. 472; Duncomb v. Tickridge, Aleyn, 94; Bac. Abr. Infancy and Age, I. 1; Angel v. McLellan, 16 Mass. 28; Wailing v. Toll, 9 Johns. 141; Simms v. Norris, 5 Ala. 42; Phelps v. Worcester, 11 N. H. 51; Baker v. Lovett, 6 Mass. 78; Stone v. Dennison, 13 Pick. 1.