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The life history of a contract may be outlined as follows: First, preliminary inquiries and negotiations wholly inoperative as to legal consequences; secondly, a communication by one party called .an offer, an act operating to create in the offeree a legal power, and usually leaving in the offerer a power of revocation; thirdly, action by the offeree called acceptance, making what we are accustomed to call a contract (the rules as to mutual assent, consideration, form, and legality being complied with) ; fourthly, performance or breach; and lastly, discharge. Observe that this is a mere outline of history, covering all the contractual ages from embryo to tombstone. To fill in all the details of this outline would require from four to seven volumes.

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