CONSIDERATION. This is a Latin word, " consideratio," which, as well as the verb " considero," was used by Cicero and others to express " careful observa tion," or " reflection," or "deliberation before action." It has nothing to do with looking at the stars, as the Latin grammarian Festus states ; but it implies something which is nearer to the business of common life than stargazing: it im plies the sitting down of a man in a place alone or with others. The word "con sideration" means deliberation' in the English language of common life.
But consideration has also a legal and technical meaning, which seems to flow naturally from its primary and vulgar meaning. A consideration is something which enters into all contracts, and is a part of all transfers of property, except they are made by will or testament. The following are examples of expressed con siderations, from which examples the tech nical meaning of consideration may be collected :—If a man agrees to sell his land to another for 1001., the 100/. is the consideration for which he agrees to part with his land ; or if a man promises to give 1000/. to another man if he will marry his daughter, the man is entitled to the 1000/. if he does marry the daugh ter. There is an implied consideration in many cases where none is expressed. A man may undertake to do a piece of work for another without any express bargain that he shall be paid ; but if he does the work according to his agreement, the other man may be compelled to pay him. The implied consideration here is the implied promise to pay if the work is done.
The word consideration applies either to agreements about something which is to be done, which in England are gene rally called contracts, or to something that is done, some transfer of property, which is generally done by the act which is called a deed.
Contracts cannot be enforced if there is no consideration. A man may promise to give another 10001., but the promise cannot be enforced unless there is a con sideration, which has been defined to be a reason which moves the contracting party to enter into the contract. This is not a very good definition, but it will do : the meaning is, there must be a motive which the law considers a sufficient motive. A
consideration must of course be a thing lawful.
Considerations are sometimes divided into valuable considerations and good con siderations. Marriage, as in the instance just given, that is a marriage intended, and afterwards carried into effect, is a valuable consideration ; money, and any other thing which is of the nature of property, and has a money value, are valuable considerations. Therefore, if a man parts with his estate for a valuable consideration, the transaction is valid, and he who gets the estate has, so far as the consideration is concerned, a good title. A good consideration is the consideration of natural affection between blood relations, and a man may give his estate to another for such a consideration. But this kind of consideration is not sufficient to maintain the validity of a con veyance of property against the claim of a subsequent purchaser for valuable con.. sideration. Thus if a man after his mar riage settles an estate upon his wife and children in consideration of his natural affection, and then sells the estate for money, the purchaser will have the estate, and not the wife and children. (Hill v. Bishop of Exeter, 2 Taunt. 69.) Such a settlement after marriage is called volun tary or gratuitous. A settlement of pro perty made in consideration of a future marriage, which afterwards takes place, is a settlement for valuable consideration. The actual settlement may be made after marriage, if it is made pursuant to a written agreement entered into before marriage.
In the statute 13 Eliz. c. 5, the object of which is to prevent persons from cheating their creditors by disposing of their real or personal property, it is declared that the provisions of the act do not extend to estates or interests made or conveyed " upon good con sideration and bond fide," and the good consideration here means money, or money's worth, or a marriage which is then intended and afterwards takes effect. Good consideration here is therefore equi valent to what has been above defined to be a valuable consideration.