Now, then, such being the effect of an infant's contracts with regard to the infant himself, it remains only to say a word or two as to the effect of those which are still voidable on the other *contracting party. And, as to him, the rule is (j), that he is bound
(h) The words " any promise or contract" in this section include a promise of marriage, and therefore a ratification of such a promise after majority affords no longer a ground of action on breach of the promise (Coxhead v. Mul-lis, 3 C. P. D. 439; 47 L. J. (Q. B., etc.) 761). There may, however, be a fresh promise made after full age, which will be binding (Ditchman v. Worrall, 5 C. P. D 410; 49 L.J. (Q. B., etc.) G88); and whether what has taken place subsequently to the coming of age amounts to a ratification or a fresh promise, is a question for the jury (Northcote v. Doughty, 4 C. P. D. 385; Ditcham v. Worrall, supra).
(i) We have already seen (ante, p. *152) that under this section a ratification made after the Act of a contract made in infancy before the Act is void.
(j) This seems unaltered by the Act in respect of those contracts which it though the infant is not; for, to use the words in which the rule is stated, in Bacon's Ab., "Infancy," I. 4, "Infancy is a personal privilege of which no one can take advantage but the infant himself; and, therefore, though the contract of the infant be voidable, yet it shall bind the person of full age; for, being an indulgence which the law allows infants, to secure them from the fraud and imposition of others, it can only be intended for their benefit, and is not to be extended to persons of the years of discretion, who are presumed to act with sufficient caution and security. And, were it otherwise, this privilege, instead of being an advantage to the infant, would in many cases turn greatly to his detriment."1 Thus, for instance, in Holt v. Ward (k), a gentleman of full age had promised to marry a minor. It was decided that she might maintain an action against him for breach of promise, though he could not have done so had she refused to perform her side of the contract.2 Again (/), an infant was allowed *to maintain an action on a contract to purchase a still leaves voidable. Those which it makes void are of course a nullity from the beginning, but there seems nothing in the Act to alter the infant's privileges, or the liability of the other party in respect of those contracts which are still voidable.
(k) 2 Str. 937.
(1) Warwick v. Bruce, 2 M. & Sel. 205; but qvmre as to his being able to do so, since the Infant's Relief Act, in this particular case, the contract being for goods supplied or to be supplied, other than necessaries.
1 Infancy is a personal privilege, and cannot be set up by third persons to avoid the contracts of the infant: Alsworth v. Cordtz, 31 Miss. 32; Wilson v. Porter, 13 La. An. 407; Jones ». Butler, 30 Barb. 641. The contract of an infant may be avoided by those only, besides himself, who are privy in blood or estate: Nelson v. Eaton, 1 Red. 498.-s.
2 The case was four times argued: see the report in Fitzgib. 175, 275, and the decision was recognized by Lord Hardwicke, in Harvey v. Ashley, 3 Atk. 610, and on this side of the Atlantic, the decisions in Hunt v. Peake, 5 Cow. 475; Willard v. Stone, 7 lb. 22, and Cannon v. Alsbury, 1 Marsh. 76, were based on its authority.-R.
Growing crop of potatoes, on which no action could have been maintained against him.1
I now come to the second class of persons on whose capacity to contract I think it necessary to observe. I mean that of married women. But their capacity in this respect has been so much affected by recent Acts of Parliament that it will be necessary to consider first the state of the Common Law upon the subject, and then the successive alterations engrafted on that law by the Acts referred to.
1 But liberal as is the law towards infants, it does not allow them to retain possession of property, and still repudiate the contract by which that possession has been obtained; and as by the avoidance of the contract the property revests in the vendor, the latter may bring trover, replevin, or detinue: Mills v. Graham, 4 B. & P. 140; Badger v. Phinney, 15 Mass. 359; Boyden ». Roy-den, 9 Mete. 519; Jefford v. Ringgold, 6 Ala. 544. And so with respect to real estate; he cannot disaffirm securities given for the purchase-money, and still claim the land under his deed: Weed v. Beebe, 21 Vt. 495. If, however, the goods have been wasted, sold or otherwise disposed of by the infant after the coming of age, these acts, as we have seen, amount to an affirmation of the contract, and he will then, the bar of infancy being thus removed, be liable upon the contract; but if the goods have been wasted or sold during infancy, neither trover nor detinue will lie, for a refusal after age to deliver, when he has not the goods, is no conversion: Fitts v. Hall, 9 N. H. 441; Boody v. Mc-Kenney, 23 Me. 517; and detinue does not lie where the goods have been parted with in a manner authorized by law : Pool v. Adkisson, 1 Dana, 110.
Upon the subject of an infant's liability for torts, the manner in which he is made a party to an action, and many other important branches of this subject, the student is again referred to the note to Tucker v. Moreland, 1 Am. L» C-R.
An infant cannot rescind a contract, and bring an action to recover the value of the property parted with, without restoring to the other party the value with which he parted: Bailey v. Bamberger, 11 B. Mon. 113; Womack v. Womack, 8 Tex. 397. In a suit by an infant for the consideration of a contract avoided by him he must show a return of the property sold to him, if it remains in his possession. But its entire consumption or great deterioration by him is no defence to the action: Price v. Furman, 27 Vt. 268; Manning v. Johnson, 26 Ala. 446; Craighead v. Wells, 21 Mo. 404; Burns v. Hill, 19 Ga. 22; Aldrich v. Abrahams, Hill & Den. 423; Tipton v. Tipton, 3 Jones, 552; Pitcher v. Laycock, 7 Ind. 398; Wllhelm v. Hardman, 13 Md. 140; Kilgore v. Jordan, 17 Tex. 341; Mustard v. Wohlford, 15 Gratt. 329; Locke v. Smith, 41 N. H. 346; Pursley v. Hays, 17 Iowa, 311.-S.