CONTRACT. -- III. VOID AND VOIDABLS
The elements of fact necessary to call a contract into existence, and the legal consequences of a contract when formed, have been discussed. It remains to consider successively the cases in which a contract is said to be void, and those in which it is said to be voidable, -- in which, that is, a contract fails to be made when it seems to have been, or, having been made, can be rescinded by one side or the other, and treated as if it had never been. I take up the former class of cases first
When a contract fails to be made, although the usual forms have been gone through with, the ground of failure is commonly said to be mistake, misrepresentation, or fraud. But I shall try to show that these are merely dramatic circumstances, and that the true ground is the absence of one or more of the primary elements, which have been shown, or are seen at once, to be necessary to the existence of a contract
If a man goes through the form of making a contract with A through B as A's agent, and B is not in fact the agent of A, there is no contract, because there is only one party. The promise offered to A has not been accepted by him, and no consideration has moved from him. In such a case, although there is generally mistake on one side and fraud on the other, it is very clear that no special
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Publication information: Book title: The Common Law. Contributors: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. - Author. Publisher: Little, Brown. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1923. Page number: 308.