Presence

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PRESENCE. The existence of a person in a particular place.
     2. In many contracts and judicial proceedings it is necessary that the parties should be present in order to reader them valid; for example, a party to a deed when it is executed by himself, must personally acknowledge it, when such acknowledgment is required by law, to give it its full force and effect, and his presence is indispensable, unless, indeed, another person represent him as his attorney, having authority from him for that purpose.
     3. In the criminal law, presence is actual or constructive. When a larceny is committed in a house by two men, united in the same design, and one of them goes into the house, arid commits the crime, while the other is on the outside watching to prevent a surprise, the former is actually, an the latter constructively, present.
     4. It is a rule in the civil law, that he who is incapable of giving his consent to an act, is not to be considered present, although he be actually in the place; a lunatic, or a man sleeping, would not therefore be considered present. Dig. 41, 2, 1, 3. And so, if insensible; 1 Dougl. 241; 4 Bro. P. R. 71; 3 Russ. 441; or if the act were done secretly so that he knew nothing of it. 1 P. Wms. 740.
     5. The English statute of fraud, Sec. 5, directs that all devises and bequests of any lands or tenements shall be attested or subscribed in the presence of said devisor. Under this statute it has been decided that an actual presence is not indispensable, but that where there was a constructive presence it was sufficient; as, where the testatrix executed the will in her carriage standing in the street before the office of her solicitor, the witness retired into the office to attest it, and it being proved that the carriage was accidentally put back, so that she was in a situation to see the witness sign the will through the window of the office. Bro. Ch. C. 98; see 2 Curt. R. 320; 2 Salk. 688; 3 Russ. R. 441; 1 Maule & Selw. 294; 2 Car.& P. 491 2 Curt. R. 331. Vide Constructive.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The effect of his presence on me was so benignant, especially in those renewals of our old tete-a-tete wanderings, when he poured forth to me wonderful narratives of his professional experience, that more than once, when his talk turned on the psychological relations of disease, the thought crossed my mind that, if his stay with me were long enough, I might possibly bring myself to tell this man the secrets of my lot.
It happened that our family doctor was out on a holiday, an accident which made Meunier's presence in the house doubly welcome, and he apparently entered into the case with an interest which seemed so much stronger than the ordinary professional feeling, that one day when he had fallen into a long fit of silence after visiting her, I said to him -
"Kulan Tith commands your presence before him," he said.
Ah this time at last they WERE, the two, the opposed projections of him, in presence; and this time, as much as one would, the question of danger loomed.
Yet while so deeply demoralised he was capable again of an impulse denoting - at least by his present measure - extraordinary resolution; of retracing his steps to the spot where he had turned cold with the extinction of his last pulse of doubt as to there being in the place another presence than his own.
'I'll leave you, then,' said I; and I withdrew, and did not trouble him with my presence again that day, except for a minute or two at a time, just to see how he was and what he wanted.
The feeling of loneliness and isolation that had come to the young man in the crowded streets of his town was both broken and intensified by the presence of Helen.
But he seemed unmindful of the near presence of the great cat.
As he rang her bell, he seemed to himself to be announcing the presence of something wonderful that was separate from himself, and gave him power and authority over all other people.
``stay, though it be to curse and to revile me thy presence is yet some protection.''
Valentine could not reply; the voice which indicated the real presence of a being in the room, alarmed her so much that she feared to utter a syllable; still the expression of her eyes seemed to inquire, "If your intentions are pure, why are you here?" The count's marvellous sagacity understood all that was passing in the young girl's mind.
And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death.