MATTER AS AN ELE MENT IN A VALID CONTRACT. In general the parties may contract about whatever they choose. This freedom of contract is limited only in this, that public policy refuses to sanction the contracts of the parties made along certain lines, and though all other requi sites of a valid contract be present if the parties have in contemplation one of these prohibited objects it will not be enforced. Again, the law may prescribe certain formalities to be followed by the parties in cer tain contracts, and unless these are followed as pre scribed the contract is not enforceable. The classes of objects which the law refuses to sanction are those which are immoral, impolitic, or illegal; those for which it prescribes formalities and refuses to sanction if the formalities are not followed, come under the head of fraudulent contracts, and the statute prescribing the formalities is known as the "statute of frauds." The nature and effect of these objects and formalities we shall now discuss.