The line of decision taken in Pennsylvania admitting such evidence on the ground of fraud has not, it is believed, been generally observed elsewhere, and in a note to Woolam v. Hearn, 2 White's Equity Cases, 561, Am. ed., the student will find the authorities collected and commented on.-r.
When a contract to do certain work is put in writing, and no time fixed for the completion of the work, or the payment of the same, the inference of law is, that the work is to be paid for when the labor is done; and an action for labor and service cannot be sustained therefor, until the work is completed or the contract in some legal way terminated. Parol evidence, showing a verbal agreement as to the time of payment, made when the contract was signed cannot be admitted: Thompson v. Phelan, 22 N. H. 339. See to the same effect, Whitney v. Lowell, 33 Me. 318; Conant v. Dewey, 21 N. H. 353; Rails-buck v. Turnpike Co., 2 Ind. 656; Norton v. Coons, 6 N. Y. 33. A mere receipt for money, or other things, it has always been held, may be explained or contradicted by parol: O'Brien v. Gilchrist, 34 Me. 554; Edgerlyv. Emerson, 23 N. H. 555; Wadsworth v. Allcott, 6 N. Y. 64; Deloach v. Turner, 6 S. C. 117; Weatherford v. Farrar, 18 Mo. 474; Richardson v. Beede, 43 Me. 161; Street v. Hall, 29 Vt. 165; Henry v. Henry, 11 Ind. 236; Hawley v. Bader,
15 Cal. 44; White v. Merrell, 32 111. 511. Parol evidence is admissible to vary the consideration expressed in a deed or to show that it has not been paid: Swafford v. Whipple, 3 Iowa, 261; Hall v. Perry, lb. 579; Holbrook v. Holbrook, 30 Vt. 432; Gordon v. Gordon, 1 Metc. (Ky.) 285; Andrews v. Andrews, 12 Ind. 348; Jones v. Jones, lb. 389; Swope v. Forney, 17 lb. 385; Speer v. Speer, 14 N. J. Eq. '240; Buckley's Appeal, 48 Pa. St. 491; Gibson v. Fifer, 21 Tex. 260.
The following cases may be referred to as illustrative of the general rule and its many exceptions.
Prior correspondence or contemporaneous verbal agreements are not admissible to contradict, vary or materially affect the terms of a written contract: Richardson v. Comstock, 21 Ark. 69; Oskaloosa College v. Stafford, 14 Iowa, 152; Hoxie v. Hodges, 1 Oreg. 251; Foy v. Blackstone, 31 111.538; Pilmer v. Branch of State Bank, 16 Iowa, 321; Herndon v. Henderson, 41 Miss. 584. In the absence of fraud or mistake of fact parol evidence is not admissible to contradict or vary the terms of a written contract, though the party has contracted under a mistake of law: Potter v. Sewall, 54 Me. 142; but it has been held admissible to show fraud or mistake: Pendexter v. Carleton, show that it was agreed next day, that, on payment of £10, he might, if he pleased, substitute Edinburgh for York; for, as there is no rule of law which requires such a contract to be reduced into writing, it might have been made by words merely spoken, and you are therefore allowed to give parol evidence-not that the written contract did not contain the *intention of the parties at the time of drawing it up-but that they subsequently altered a part of it by spoken words, and so, in fact, made a new agreement (k).1 This, you will observe, is no violation of the rule, or of the reason of it, which is that what the parties have chosen to confide to a written document, shall not be proved or varied by a kind of evidence to which, as appears by their conduct, they did not choose to trust. But though this may be done where the contract is one which the law does not require to be in writing, yet a little consideration will show that where a writing is necessary, it cannot be allowed; for, if it were, the effect of the verbal evidence would be to turn a contract which the law requires to be in writing into one partly in writing and partly in words. Therefore, in Goss v. Lord Nugent (l), it was decided that a contract for the purchase of land (which, by the Statute of Frauds, is required to be written) cannot be altered by a verbal arrangement, although made subsequently. The same reason would obviously apply to a contract for the sale of goods, or to any contract required by ]aw to be in writing (m). "Such an agreement (i. e., the one supposed to be altered by parol) must," said the Lord Chancellor (in Emmet v. Dewhirst), "be *proved; it cannot be proved by parol evidence, and the case affords no other; it cannot therefore be proved at all" (n).1
16 N. H. 482; Mallory v. Leach, 35 Vt. 156; Corlies v. Howe, 11 Gray, 125; Koop v. Handy, 41 Barb. 454; Hathaway v. Brady, 23 Cal. 121; Van Buskirk v. Day, 32 111. 260; Fisher v. Deibert's Adm., 54 Pa. St. 460; Murray v. Dake, 46 Cal. 644. When an indorsement of a note is in blank to show the actual to be reduced into writing at all. Thus, if in consideration of £50, I promise to go to York on the 1st day of January, and that contract be reduced to writing, verbal evidence would not be admissible to show that it was agreed, at the same time, that the contractee was to be at liberty, on payment of £10, to substitute Edinburgh for York; but verbal evidence would be admissible to agreement as to the indorsement, as that it was to be without recourse, on the ground that to fill the blank in any other manner is a fraud: Harrison v. Mc-Kim, 18 Iowa, 485. So to identify the subject-matter or parties: Noonan v. Lee, 2 Black (S. C.) 499; Baldwin v. Bank, 1 Wall. (S. C.) 234; Brooks v. Aldrich, 17 N. H. 443; Peabody v. Brown, 10 Gray, 45; Morgan v. Spangler, 14 Ohio St. 102; Farmers' Co. v. Commercial Bank, 15 Wis. 424; Wing v. Gray, 36 Vt. 261; Aldridge v. Eshleman, 46 Pa. St. 420; Abbott v. Abbott, 51 Me. 575; Rugg v. Hale, 40 Vt. 138; Locke v. Rowell, 47 N. H. 46; Reed v. Ellis, 68 111. 206; Pope v. Machias Water Power Co., 52 Me. 535; Marshall v. Gridley, 46 111. 247; Sargeant v. Solberg, 22 Wis. 132. So to show an independent or collateral contract or part not reduced to writing: Joannes v. Mudge, 6 Allen, 245; Koop v. Handy, 41 Barb. 454; Weber v. Kingsland, 8 Bos. 415; Harbold v. Kuster, 44 Pa. St. 392; Sessions v. Peay, 21 Ark. 100; Sweet v. Stevens, 7 R. I. 375; Van Buskirk v. Roberts, 31 N. Y. 661; Hahn v. Doolittle, 18 Wis. 196; Clarke v. Tappin, 32 Conn. 56; Silliman v. Tuttle, 45 Barb. 171; Randall v. Turner, 17 Ohio St. 262; Shepherd v. Wysong, 3 W. Va. 46; Branch v. Wilson, 12 Fla. 543; Perry v. Central R. R. Co., 5 Cold. 138; Field v. Mann, 42 Vt. 61; Hubbell v. Ream, 31 Iowa, 289; Weaver v. Fletcher, 27 Ark. 510; Basshor v. Forbes, 36 Md. 154; Babcock v. Deford, 14 Kan. 408; Polk v. Anderson, 16 lb. 243; Malone v. Dougherty, 79 Pa. St. 46. To show that party signed as surety and that known to the other party: Riley v. Gregg, 16 Wis. 666. Where a written contract for the delivery of certain articles on demand names no place of delivery, this may be afterwards verbally agreed on by the parties : Barker v. Barker, 16 N. H. 333.