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Words Sufficient to Con Stitute the Promise


WORDS SUFFICIENT TO CON STITUTE THE PROMISE. It is not necessary that the words expressing the obligation to pay be confined to any particular form or expression. Thus a promise to "deliver," to be "accountable," to be "responsible," and the like, have been held sufficient promises to pay the amount stated in the note. And where the expression used was "Bor rowed of A. B. fifty dollars, which I agree never to pay him, or order," it was held that the word "never" should be rejected as surplusage, and the amount be deemed payable on demand. And the expressions, "I have agreed to pay," "I acknowl edge to owe," "I am content to pay," and the like, have been held sufficient in a bond.

In a bill of exchange the words used must create a distinct and certain obligation to pay the amount mentioned, but the expression "please pay" used in a bill directed to the drawee is considered a mere civility and does not destroy the effect of the order or command to the drawee. But a supplicatory request to another, the granting of which is a favor and not a right, does not constitute a bill of exchange, unless the words of command are indi cated by the use of words of negotiability.

The expression "pay" in a note or bill, may be replaced by the equivalent expression "deliver," "credit in cash," and the like. (Morris v. Lee, 2 Ld. Raym., 1396.) In a note the certain promise to pay may be indicated by any series of words that constitute a promise, and in a number of States a due bill, or acknowledgment of an existing indebtedness is held to be a promissory note, and especially when followed by words of negotia bility.

Negotiable con tracts, in general, are governed by the same rules which apply to all contracts as regards the capacity of the parties to enter into the contract or assume the obligation. Hence we shall merely observe at this time that infants, insane persons, married women, under the rules of the common law, and alien enemies are, as a rule, incapable of making, accepting, or indorsing a bill or note; and paper executed by such persons is either void or voidable. But, on the other hand, it is not only competent individuals who may become parties to commercial paper. Negotiable instruments may be executed and transferred by a firm or partnership, by public and private corporations, and by one person acting for another as an agent.

pay, bill, note and expression