Nothing is better settled than that a promise in consideration of future illicit cohabitation is void : Walker v. Perkins, 3 Burr. 15G8; Rex v. Inhabitants of Withringfield, 1 B. & Ad. (20 E. C. L. R.) 912; Winnebrun v. Weisi-ger, 3 Mon. 35; Travinger v. M'Burney, 5 Cow. 253; and it is immaterial whether such promise be or be not backed by the solemnity of a seal: Walker v. Perkins. But where the sealed instrument is given in consideration of past seduction or cohabitation, it will be enforced: Turner v. Vaughan, 2 Wils. 339; Wye v. Mosely, 6 B. & C. (13 E. C. L. R.) 133; while a parol promise, based upon such a consideration, is worthless : Beaumont v. Reeve, 8 Q. B. (55 E. C. L. R.) 483; Singleton v. Bremar, Harp. 201. The distinction between these classes of cases is this: all contracts, whether sealed or parol, based upon future immoral connection, are void, because to enforce them would be to offer a premium for future immorality. And all parol contracts in consideration of past connection are void, on the simple ground of the consideration being executed, and the transaction not being such, as according to the rules already explained, the law would imply a promise to pay for. But a specialty given for past connection can be enforced, because there is a consideration, viz., that imported by the seal, and as regards the immorality, the injury having been already done, there is no principle of law that forbids its being remedied, and it has been latterly held that even if the connection be continued after the giving of the bond, that will not vitiate the instrument, if such continuance did not enter into the transaction: Hall v. Palmer, 3 Hare, 532; and in a trial at Nisi Prius, Best, C. J., left it to the jury to determine, whether at the time of giving such bond, the continuance of the connection formed part of the transaction, for if it did, the obligee could not recover; if it did not, there was nothing in the transaction prohibited by the law: Friend v. Harrison, 2 C. &P. (12 E. C. L. R.) 584.
There is a class of cases which determine that promises in consideration of a forbearance or compromise of a prosecution for bastardy, can be enforced: Haven v. Hobbs, 1 Vt. 238; Halcomb v. Stimpson, 8 lb. 141; Robinson v. Crenshaw, 2 Stew. & P. 276; Maurer v. Mitchell, 9 W. & S. 71; and these cases proceed upon the ground of the prosecutions being rather civil in their character.-R.
(e) Stockdale v. Onwhyn, 5 B. & C. (11 E. C. L. R) 173. (/) Walcot v. Walker, 7 Ves. 1.
(g). And, more recently, where the defendant contracted to let rooms to the plaintiff, but afterwards discovering that they were intended to be used for the delivery of lectures of a blasphemous character, refused to allow the use of the rooms: it was held, that he was justified in his refusal, as the contract was illegal, and could not therefore be enforced at law (A).
A large proportion of the examples of the application of this rule afforded by the books is, where illicit cohabitation or seduction has been brought forward as the consideration of the contract. These, if intended to be future, are illegal considerations (i);1 if already past, they are, as formerly explained, no consideration at all (k). Even the supplying lodgings or clothing (l), or a carriage to *a prostitute for the purpose of enabling her to carry on her practices, is illegal, and the creditor cannot recover the price (m).
Again, to quote the words of Cockburn, C. J., in Harrington v. Victoria Graving Dock Co. (n), "when a bribe is given, or a promise of a bribe is made, to a person in the employ of another by some one who has contracted, or is about to contract, with the employer, with a view to inducing the person employed to act otherwise than with loyalty and fidelity to his employer, the agreement is a corrupt one, and is not enforceable at law, whatever the actual effect produced on the mind of the person bribed may be. The tendency of such an agreement as this must be to bias the mind of the agent or other person employed, and to lead him to act disloyally to his principal. It is intended by the party who promises the bribe to have that effect, and the other party knows such is his intention. Such a bargain is obviously corrupt." In the particular case from which these words are cited, the defendants had contracted to pay the plaintiff a commission for superintending repairs to be executed by them on certain ships belonging to the Great Eastern Hallway Company. The plaintiff, at the time of such contract being *made, was in a position of trust in relation to the railway company, having been employed by them as an engineer to advise them as to the repairs, and the contract between defendants and plaintiff was made in part in consideration of a promise that the plaintiff would use his influence with the railway company to induce them to accept the defendants' tender for the repair of the ships. The jury found that the contract, though calculated to bias the mind of the plaintiff, had not, in fact, done so, and that he had not in consequence thereof given less beneficial advice to the company as to the defendants' tender than he would otherwise have done. But the Court held that the plaintiff could not maintain an action for commission under the contract, on the ground that, even although the plaintiff had not been induced to act corruptly, the consideration for the contract was corrupt.
(g) Clay v. Yates, 25 L. J. (Ex.) 237; 1H.& N 73.
(A) Cowan v. Milboum, L. R. 2 Ex. 230; 36 L. J. (Ex.) 124.
(i) Walker v. Perkins, 3 Burr. 1568.
(A) Bridges v. Fisher, 23 L. J. (Q. B.) 276; 3 E. & B. (77 E. C. L. R.) 642; Beaumont v. Reeve, 8 Q. B. (55 E. C. L. R.) 483.
(1) Girardy v. Richardson, 1 Esp. 13; Jennings v. Throgmorton, R. & M. (21 E. C. L. R.) 251; Bowery v. Bennet, 1 Camp. 348. See Feret v. Hill, 23 L. J. (C. P.) 185; 15 C. B. (SO E. C. L. R.) 207. See also Smith v. White, L. R. 1 Eq. 626; 35 L. J. (Ch.) 454; Taylor v. Chester, L. R. 4 Q. B. 309; 38 L. J. (Q. B.) 225.