SPONSIONS, international law. Agreements or engagements made by certain public officers, as generals or admirals, in time of war, either without authority, or by exceeding the limits of authority under which they purport to be made.
     2. Before these conventions can have any binding authority on the state, they must be confirmed by express or tacit ratification. The former is given in positive terms and in the usual forms; the latter is justly implied from the fact of acting under the agreement as if bound by it, and from any other circumstance from which an assent may be fairly presumed. Wheat. Intern. Law, pt. 3, c. 2, Sec. 3; Grotius, de Jur. Bel. ac Pac. 1. 2, c. 15, Sec. 16; Id. 1. 3, c. 22, 1-3: Vattel, Law of Nat, B. 2, c. 14, 209- 212; Wolff, 1156.

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24) This accords with Grotius, whose earlier definition also distinguished treaties from "contracts of private persons," "contracts of kings which are concerned with private affairs," and sponsions.
For we shall hunt in vain among sponsions and interdicts [bread and butter law suits] for magicians and plagues and oracles and stepmothers more cruel than any in tragedy, and other subjects still more unreal than these.