Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER X.: OF THE INTELLECTUAL CAUSES OF CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS IN TESTIMONY, WITH THEIR OPPOSITES. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 6
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CHAPTER X.: OF THE INTELLECTUAL CAUSES OF CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS IN TESTIMONY, WITH THEIR OPPOSITES. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 6 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 6.
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OF THE INTELLECTUAL CAUSES OF CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS IN TESTIMONY, WITH THEIR OPPOSITES.
When a statement given of a matter of fact is an exact picture of it—agrees with it in all points, it is then correct, and as correct as it can be: when it fails of coinciding with it in any point, in proportion to the degree of such failure it is incorrect. Correctness, properly speaking, is not susceptible of degrees: whatever degrees there are in the scale, are degrees of incorrectness.
A statement which, without any intention on the part of the testifier to depart from the truth, is incorrect in any respect, may, as already observed, be either false in toto, or false only in circumstance. When it is false in toto—when the picture which it exhibits has not for its original any real fact whatever, or any feature or circumstance of any fact,—it is in that case the mere work of the imagination: of which afterwards. When it is false only in circumstance—when, though it departs from the original in some points, it has an original from whence it was taken,—the cause of the departure lies, in this case, in one or more of the intellectual faculties—perception, judgment, memory, or expression—enumerated above.
In the case of perception, where sight was the sense through the medium of which the cognizance of the fact was obtained, the light in which the object was placed may have been faint; or a part of it only, and not a sufficient part, may on that occasion have presented itself to his eye.
In the case of hearing, in like manner, the sounds which reached his ear may have been faint; or, of those which on that occasion were produced by the sonorous body, parts only, and those broken and interrupted, reached his ear: in the case of words spoken, the voice of the speaker may have been faint, the distance at which he stood considerable, and, from one cause or the other, of the words of which the discourse was composed, some excited, some failed of exciting, a distinct perception. And so on through the less instructive and less constantly active senses—the touch, the smell, the taste.
So intimate is the connexion between the two phenomena,—the perception, the impression made on the organ of sense,—and the act of the judgment performed in consequence, the inference drawn from the impression, the inference made by the judgment in relation to the supposed cause of it; so prodigious is the rapidity with which, in most instances, the consequent judgment succeeds to the antecedent perception;* that, by him who has not by some special motive been led to the making of the analysis, the distinction will be apt to pass unperceived.
Among the topics of disputation, which, having been handed down from past ages, are agitated, or used at least to be agitated, in the logical schools at the English universities, one is, the question whether sense is or is not capable of being deceived? To give a just answer to this question, the process conveyed to the mind by the words sense, sensation, requires to be decomposed as above. Deception is an attribute of the judgment only: to have been deceived, is to have passed an erroneous judgment, a judgment more or less disagreeing with the fact. So far, then, as judgment is not concerned in sensation, sensation is not capable of being deceived: so far as judgment is concerned in sensation, sensation is capable of being deceived. An impression either has been received, or it has not: if it has, there is no deception in that case; it it has not, neither is there any deception in that case. The impression is, in case of sight, the sort of sensation produced by the striking of rays of light arranged in a certain order upon the retina; in case of hearing, the sort of feeling produced by the vibration given to the air by the sonorous body, and from the air communicated to the auditory nerve.*
When the judgment has been rendered erroneous by want of attention, and that defect of attention has been produced by want of interest—that is, of motive—this modification of the cause of error in testimony is to be considered under the head of moral, not of intellectual, causes.
Perception may have been rendered faint or indistinct by old age: attention may have been rendered indifferent, judgment hasty, negligent, and erroneous, by want of knowledge, general or particular, absolute or relative—the fruit of relative experience, observation, information, and meditation. Want of relative knowledge may be indicated by condition in life, by immaturity of age, and by insanity. False opinion, a still more powerful cause of incorrectness than simple ignorance, may be indicated in some instances by the like marks.
Where the chemist and the physician see a dangerous poison, the kitchen-maid may see nothing more than an immaterial flaw in one of her pans; the cook may behold an innocent means of recommending herself to the palate through the medium of the eye.
Where the botanist sees a rare, and perhaps new, plant, the husbandman sees a weed; where the mineralogist sees a new ore, pregnant with some new metal, the labourer sees a lump of dirt, not distinguishable from the rest, unless it be by being heavier and more troublesome. The same distinction may be pursued through the whole field of social occupation, and through every walk of science.
Under insanity are included idiocy and lunacy: the former a permanent disorder, and thence indicated by permanent marks; the other an occasional one: the former, therefore, presenting itself with greater certainty to the cognizance of the judge. Lunacy does not so much weaken the judging faculty, as disturb and delude it with false opinions, the product of the imagination; and thus belongs to an ensuing head. In both shapes, insanity may differ from itself in strength, by an infinity of shades—few, if any, distinguishable by any exact criterion, or measurable by any applicable scale.
Another intellectual cause of incorrectness in human testimony, is failure of memory. A failure of this sort may have had for its cause, either some original faintness or indistinctness in the act or acts of perception, as above described, or else the lapse of time—the length of the interval between the point of time at which the fact presented itself to the conception of the witness, and the point of time at which it happens to him to exhibit his statement of it for the information of the judge.
From the weakness of the memory may result two different, and in some respects opposite, effects: non-recollection, and false recollection.
Though the correctness of the conception entertained of the fact admits of no gradations upwards, yet this is not the case with regard to the vivacity of it—the quality on which its correctness at any subsequent and widely distant point of time so materially depends. Perfect correctness of conception may be stated as a result more usual, more ordinary, perhaps, than any degree of incorrectness: but were it possible to determine the most ordinary degree of vivacity, we should find as many gradations above that mark, perhaps, as below it. The highest point in it might be described as being immediately below that at which a morbid suspension of the sensitive faculty, or a morbid disturbance of the reasoning faculty—insanity, in a word, transient or permanent—would ensue.
Importance in the fact, as above described, is the quality with which the degree of this vivacity will have been connected. This, like the vivacity which is its effect, will be susceptible of all manner of degrees—above, as well as below, the middle mark. There are some facts (and such are the infinite majority of the whole number of facts observed,) so unimportant as to be capable of escaping out of any man’s memory the next minute after that in which the perception of them has taken place: there are others of which the importance, either absolute or relative, with regard to the individual, is so great, that, unless on the supposition of an almost total decay of the faculty, through old age or disease, it will not be credible that the picture of them should have been effaced out of his memory by any length of time.
As importance may rise to any degree in the scale above the middle, so any degree of faintness that might have been produced by staleness, may have been compensated for by importance.
The importance of the fact may be either intrinsic, or in the way of association merely; viz. in respect of the property it has acquired by the influence of the principle of association, of calling up and presenting to the mind the idea of some other fact, which has an importance of its own. A drop of blood observed in a particular place may serve to indicate a murder: a knife of a particular appearance, found in a particular place, may serve to indicate the person of the murderer. Connected in the mind of a percipient witness with the idea of that atrocious crime, these circumstances will possess the degree of importance due to them, their apparent importance will, in his mind, stand on a level with their real importance. Taken separately, and without any such connexion, their apparent importance would have been as nothing: and no sooner had they found their way into the conception, than they would have made their escape out of the memory. In a butcher’s shop, neither the knife nor the blood—neither a few drops of it nor a whole puddle, would have attracted the slightest notice.
Oblivion—forgetfulness—is not the only failing of which the memory is susceptible: erroneous recollection is another. Without any the least false consciousness as to any point whatever—without any intention or desire of departing in any point from the strict line of truth—a supposed recollection may be false, not only in quantity, quality, or other circumstance, but even in toto. I can speak from experience. Recollection false even in toto is what it has every now and then happened to me to detect myself in. I should expect to find this to be the case more or less with everybody. I speak of recollections devoid of all importance, and the expression of which has never gone forth, nor been intended to go forth, out of my own breast: and in respect of which, all inducements to mendacity, all causes of bias, have consequently been out of the question.
One circumstance, however, has been common (if in this instance too I do not misrecollect) to all these instances of misrecollection and false recollection: the image of the supposed transaction has been faint and dubious. It has been deduced, as it were, in the way of inference, from some real and better recollected facts, which have operated as evidentiary facts with relation to these false ones. It might be regarded as the work of the imagination, were it not for its having a distinct and solid ground to rest upon in the truth of things.
A proof of the difference has been afforded, when, for the purpose of confirming or disconfirming the truth of a dubious recollection of this sort, I have communicated it to some other person, whose opportunities of observation or means of judgment have appeared to render him more or less qualified to help me out. By his recollection or opinion, my own supposed recollection has been influenced. Supposing his persuasion to a certain degree strong, it has determined mine: my supposed recollection has appeared true or false to me, according as it has appeared true or false to him.
On the other hand, when the recollection the internal evidence, is clear and strong to a certain degree, there is no room left for any such external evidence to operate. To every man, recollections must present themselves in multitudes—recollections even of the most ancient facts, against which the evidence of all mankind would not predominate in his breast.
A recollection which is false in circumstance only, may be so, either by being superadded to such parts of the recollection as are true, or substituted to one or more of them. The case of substitution, though the more natural and usual case, is in its description the least simple. It is resolvable into the two opposite modes of falsehood, obliterative and fabricative: a true part of the scene, as it once stood painted, is rubbed out, and a false object painted in the room of it.
A recollection false in toto, is as easy to describe and conceive as a recollection false in circumstance. It, however, scarcely admits of being realized. Recollection, if it be recollection, must have had some ground, how narrow soever, in the truth of things, to serve as a foundation for the conception of the false facts. Take away this portion of the true ground, the picture is the work, not in any respect of the recollection, but of the imagination merely. The original picture is completely rubbed out by the hand of oblivion; and fancy has painted a picture of another imaginary fact in the place of it.
There are two causes, by the influence of which memory may be refreshed, and by that means rendered, at the time of deposition, more vivid than, by reason of the joint influence of the importance of the fact and the ancientness of it, it would otherwise be.
One is, intermediate statements; by which are supposed, intermediate recollections. The oftener a man has had to give an account of a fact, the less likely he is to have forgotten it, or in any point misremembered it. If in writing, the refreshing touch will naturally have been so much the stronger; inasmuch as the committing of a statement of any kind to writing, calls forth unavoidably a greater degree of attention than the exhibition of it vivâ voce in the way of ordinary conversation.
Another is, fresh incidents—perception of fresh incidents, or receipt of any statement, oral or written, of any fresh incidents—connected in the way of association with the fact in question. The sight of the spot where I have once met a friend, now far distant, recalls a vivid recollection of the friend himself; and not only of himself, but of what passed between us in that place.
Of intermediate recollections which have not been productive of any fresh statement—of mere intransitive recollections, which have never, through the medium of either the tongue or the pen of the witness, made their way out of his mind—the effect, though not equal in degree, will of course be of the same kind. By recollection, even of this silent sort, the picture cannot but have received a degree of refreshment—a degree the more considerable, the oftener this mental operation has been repeated. The circumstance is here mentioned, lest the conception given of the subject should be incomplete: but in practice, no application can be made of it.
When the memory of a witness, whose testimony is exhibited in a court of justice, is known to have been refreshed, this circumstance will naturally have a considerable influence on the degree of persuasion produced by his evidence. If the agreement between the two statements be substantially complete, the persuasive force of the evidence may in this way receive considerable increase. If there be any material variance, it will be a sign that, in one or the other of the two statements—the judicial, and the prior non-judicial one—there must have been a tincture of incorrectness, accompanied or not by mendacity, as the case may be. And the stronger the degree of refreshment, the less likely the incorrectness to have been unaccompanied by consciousness.
The last of the causes of incorrectness in evidence, above enumerated, is inaptitude of expression. The picture of the fact, as painted in the memory of the witness at the time of deposition, may be ever so correct; yet if the copy exhibited by the words and other signs employed by him for the expression of it be otherwise than correct, such accordingly will be his evidence. By an infelicity in the expression, the fruit of the most correct perception, and the most retentive memory, may be rendered abortive.*
On comparing the aberration liable to be produced by inaptness of expression, with the aberration producible by non-recollection or false recollection, the following differences appear discernible:—
The aberration by expression seems liable to be more wide than the aberration of the memory. It is capable of giving to the evidence a purport even directly opposite to the true one. The reason is, that a recollection, however false, if it be not false in toto, will, in some feature of it, be conformable to the truth: and the improbability of a recollection false in toto has already been exhibited. Recollection (as contradistinguished from mere imagination,) having its basis in truth, can scarcely be removed from that basis altogether. Expression, on the other hand, has no necessary tie by which the words are confined to any degree of conformity with the ideas they were intended to represent. The aberration is capable in this case of being so complete, that the fact, as actually expressed, may be the exact opposite of the fact as intended to be expressed. In the English language, two negatives, in correct and polished language, are equivalent to an affirmative: in the language of the illiterate classes, they amount frequently to no more than a negative. In the French tongue, negative is added to negative, on many occasions, without reversing the proposition, in the language of all classes.
On the other hand, an aberration arising from this cause does not appear to be altogether so natural, or likely to be so frequent, as an aberration arising from weakness of memory: at least, not to such a degree as to have any considerable effect on the persuasion of the judge. The reason is, that if the aberration be apparent, it will naturally receive correction from the remarks and questions that in each case may be expected from the judge; whereas a defect of recollection is little capable of receiving any such assistance.
In this respect it stands on a different footing, according to the form in which the testimony is presented to the judge—according as it is exhibited in writing, or vivâ voce. Exhibited in writing, it is less exposed to be incorrect in point of expression, on account of the assistance it will naturally receive from the hands of the professional assistant of the party whose evidence it is, if a litigant party,* or by whom the evidence was called for:† but in this case it has no chance of receiving correction from the judge. Exhibited vivâ voce, it is much more exposed to be incorrect at first utterance, but has the advantage of being open to correction from the judge; viz. either from the judge immediately, or, under his authority, from the professional assistant of one or other of the parties.
Incorrectness from this source, in the course of a vivâ voce examination, can, therefore, seldom take place in any very essential circumstance, without some degree of blame on the part of the judge; nor, on that and other accounts, without some degree of blame on the part of the system of procedure.‡
In the case of vivâ voce examination, timidity is, perhaps, the most frequent cause of incorrectness in the expression. Of this timidity, the causes of a higher order are principally to be found in inferiority in respect of rank, sex, and age. The degree of it is of course susceptible of an infinity of gradations, according to the idiosyncrasy of the individual. The highest gradations will be found in the case where it has sex for its cause; especially when that cause is combined with that which results from age. It will be influenced in a very considerable degree by the degree of intercourse which a person has had with the world; by the number of persons whom he has been in the habit of living with,—a circumstance of which the influence is perhaps greater in this case than that of rank. But though sensibility of this kind, derived from weakness of sex, miniaturity of age, inferiority of rank or of social intercourse, bears, with reference to the phenomenon in question, the relation of cause to effect: it would be an abuse of logic to state the effect in those cases as running in any regular proportion with the degree of the cause. In the female sex, it will also be naturally influenced by condition in life, in respect of matrimony. The sort of person likely to be affected in the highest degree from the joint influence of all these causes, is probably an unmarried female, about the age of puberty, and a few years afterwards.
Timidity, upon a closer view, will be found to be, on this occasion, neither more nor less than an extraordinary degree of sensibility to the force of the three tutelary sensations, as applying themselves in this instance: viz. the moral, the political, and the religious; but more especially the moral.∥
This timidity will be influenced in a considerable degree by the publicity of the examination: and the error, which is but too apt to arise from this source, is among the inconveniences which require to be set in the scale against the still preponderating advantages which will be seen to result from that cardinal security for truth.
An intellectual cause of incorrectness in testimony, not yet brought to view, and which could not be enumerated among the causes which apply to correctness and incorrectness, because it is applicable to the latter alone is the imagination, taking the place of recollection.
In weak and undiscerning minds, the simple idea, the mere conception, of an object, be it substance or event, matter at rest or matter in motion, may come to be but faintly discriminated from, may come even to be confounded with, the belief of its existence. At this moment, I have in my mind three ideas: one of a hill of pure sand, another of a hill of pure gold, a third of a hill composed of gravel, chalk, and flints, with a miscellaneous intermixture of animal and vegetable remains. The idea of the golden hill is as vivid, as well as distinct, in my mind, as that of the sand hill: it is more so than that of the composite hill. But to the idea of the composite hill, as well as of the sand hill, is annexed an act of the judgment, importing belief—the belief which I am hereby expressing, of the existence of hills—an indeterminate number of hills, of that sort,—a belief, the expression of which is a proposition to this effect: Sand hills exist in nature; the idea I have of a sand hill has its archetype in nature. To the idea of the golden hill is annexed, likewise, a proposition analogous to the former, but of the opposite cast: No hill of pure gold exists in nature—of the idea I have of a golden hill, there is no archetype in nature. In a weak uncultivated mind, this act of the judgment is sometimes passed on any the slightest evidence—on what, to a stronger and more exercised mind, would seem no evidence. Put into the hands of a child of three years old, under the name, not of a story-book, but of a book of natural history—a book in which the existence of golden hills is assumed, as well as that of send hills,—the judgment of belief will, in his mind, as readily attach itself upon the existence of the one sort of hill as upon that of the other. Show him at a little distance a hill covered with grass, and tell him that under the grass it is all solid gold,—and let nobody in his hearing ever intimate any suspicion to the contrary,—the belief of the existence of a golden hill may thenceforward present itself to his mind as having been demonstrated to him by the evidence of his senses.
Of the false facts presented to the imagination, and at the same time presented under the guise of real ones at the time,—the only ones the experience of which is common to everybody, are the facts presented in dreams. In infant minds, minds as yet but little exercised in the art of applying attention to the operations of the judgment, the distinction between the state of waking and the state of dreaming, between the waking and the dreaming thoughts, is for some time so faint as to be occasionally evanescent. In my early childhood, at a time when I was just able to go up and down stairs alone, being at the top of the staircase, and having made a false step, it seemed to me that, instead of falling headlong and rolling down the stairs, I felt myself gently wafted, as it were, from top to bottom, and there landed safe, my feet not having come in contact with anything the whole time. At present I have no more difficulty in recognising these sensations to have presented themselves in a dream, than anybody else would have: but I have all along preserved a distinct recollection of a time, and a time of considerable duration, during which the imaginary scene was accompanied in my mind by a belief of its existence. To this recollection is superadded a recollection of my communicating to some person, but I forget whom, the relation of this incident, as an adventure not more extraordinary than true. Had a dream to this same effect been dreamt by Wesley, the recollection of it would probably have remained numbered among his real recollections to the end of his life. In his journal are contained the histories of more than one adventure, in which the deviation from the laws of nature is little, if anything, more considerable. A text, which that incident used not unfrequently to recall to me, might, with the help of a Wesleyan imagination, have been unalterably associated with the conceived event:—“He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways: they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Such was the passage in one of the songs of David,* as quoted to his divine descendant by the devil:† and although, among the attributes of that mysterious personage, he numbers that of being the father of lies,—for this time, at any rate, his quotation was correct. An angel holding the favourite infant by the hand as it glided down the staircase, might have added neither an unapt, nor an unnatural, embellishment to the scene.
Thus fugitive and precarious, in an unformed mind, is the distinction between the mere conception of an object, and the belief of its existence: thus apt is the judgment, embracing and including the image, to be confounded with the image alone. In this sort of confusion we may behold a principle which not only took possession of, but contributed largely to the generation of a system in, the mind of the sceptical and sagacious Hume. Belief of the existence of an object is, according to him, neither more nor less than a certain degree of vivacity in the idea introduced by the object into the mind. By what kind of photometer shall that degree of vivacity upon which belief attaches, be distinguished from those fainter ones to which no such act of the judgment is annexed?
Between the ages of eight and nine, the metamorphoses of which Ovid is the historian, and the prodigies of Jewish history (such was, and such continues to be, the course of instruction at the royal school of Westminster) were presented together to my tender and susceptible mind. On the one hand, the devil in a variety of shapes,—on the other hand, the scenes in Ovid (Baucis and Philemen, I remember, for one) would ever and anon present themselves to my dreaming, as well as my waking, thoughts. Which was the more agreeable class, I well know: which was the more lively, I could not engage to say. Yet, under this uncertainty in respect of superiority of vivacity, in respect of belief there never was any the smallest doubt. Parental solicitude was too steadily at its post to suffer any the smallest confusion to prevail in those tints by which belief, disbelief, and conception pure from each, are characterized and distinguished.
The reader will approve or disapprove, as it seems good to him, this exhibition of egotistic evidence, in a case which admits not of any other.
If, in a susceptible and unformed mind, the mere idea of an object is found to operate as sufficient evidence of its existence,—much more frequently will it be sufficient, when the way for its reception in that character has been prepared by popular opinion operating in favour of it, in the character of a mass of remote indeed, but most extensive, and thereby impressive, circumstantial evidence. Hence it is that those terrific spectres, ghosts, witches, devils, and vampires, which, for the last time let it be hoped, have haunted the seat of justice, have not yet ceased to haunt the garret and the cottage.
Under the head of imagination—that is, under the head of incorrectness of testimony considered as flowing from that source—it was necessary to introduce the world of phantoms. The occasions on which false evidence, created by the imagination, has in this way had religion for its source, have been but too frequent. The cases in which false evidence, pure from all mixture of mendacity, has been generated by the imagination, without the benefit of any such supernatural assistance, will hardly be to be found.*
There are two cases in which the result produced is simple incorrectness—pure, or nearly so, from mendacious consciousness, but of which, nevertheless, the causes belong to the moral department. These are, the case of bias,—a case that has already been slightly brought to view; and the case of indolence—the case where the departure from the direct line of truth has a sort of unconscious indolence for its cause.
To what end the above analysis? To the following ends:—
1. To give a view of the cases in which falsehood is incapable of being prevented.
2. To save the judge from imputing mendacity where there is none—where there is none of that false consciousness which is essential to it.
3. To facilitate the recognition of mendacity where it exists:—a task which will be the easier, the clearer the light in which the characters of simple incorrectness are presented.
4. To give assistance to that one of the parties who has truth and justice on his side—whose interest it is that the truth should be brought to light—by suggesting to him topics for investigation and examination.
So obvious are most of the considerations above presented—so much in the way of every body’s observation, that, under the name of instruction, they have scarce any pretension to be of any use. But, what a man has had in his mind, he has not always at hand at the very moment at which it is wanted: what conveys no instruction, may serve for reminiscence.
Minute and trivial as the distinctions may be, the sketch was necessary, to complete the anatomical view which for this purpose it was necessary to give of the human mind. In corporeal anatomy, to trace out the ramifications of the nerves was no amusing operation, but not the less a necessary one. Hunter, the Garrick of lecturers, would sometimes turn it over to his assistant Hewson, but he never would have held himself warranted in omitting it.
[* ]Conceive a song, sung by a female to her harpsichord, with a bar in it composed of demisemiquavers, or other notes expressive of the quickest time: suppose her to play and sing from the score, playing constantly either three or four parts at once, and singing at the same time a fourth or fifth: not one of these notes, the production of which has not been preceded by an act of vision, a perception of the musical character, and a judgment declarative of its cause and signification, its relation to the rest of the notes in tone and time, &c.
[* ]When, by the extrusion of the preternaturally opaque humour of the eye, a person born blind has received his sight at an age somewhat advanced, at a time when the judgment, so far as it has had ground to exercise itself upon, has been matured,—all objects have at first appeared to be equally near. The picture painted on the retina cannot in this case have been different from what it would have been in the case of a person of the same age, by whom the art of seeing had been acquired in the usual gradual manner. It has been the judgment, then, and not sensation, that has in this case been in fault. It is only by degrees, by incessant exercise of the judgment, by comparing the sensation produced by an object at a less distance with the sensation produced by the same object at a greater distance, that the judgment has learnt, with that variable degree of accuracy which belongs to the human judgment in such cases, the art of placing objects at their proper distances.
[* ]In the history of French jurisprudence, a case, it is said, may be found, in which inaccuracy of expression cost a man his life. A witness having been examined in the presence of the defendant, and having been asked whether he was the person by whom the act was done, which he had seen done, answered in the negative. “Blessed be God!” exclaims the defendant—“here is a man—qui ne m’a pas reconnu—who has not recognised me.” What he should have said—what he would have said, had he given a just expression to what he meant, was—“Here is a man qui a reconnu que ce n’étoit pas moi—who has recognised, declared, that it was not I.”—See Voltaire, “Essai sur les Probabilités en fait de Justice, Politique,” tom. ii.
[* ]As in case of an answer in equity, under the English law.
[† ]As in the case of an affidavit, for or against a motion for an information or attachment.
[‡ ]See Book III. Extraction.
[∥ ]See the next Chapter for the explanation of these terms.
[* ]Psalm xci. 11, 12.
[† ]St. Matthew. iv. 6. St. Luke, iv. 10, 11.
[* ]The sort of work here in question—the production of false, yet unmendacious evidence—may be styled the extraordinary work of the imagination. The ordinary work consists in exhibiting, for the purpose of amusement, facts, which had indeed no archetypes in nature, but which are known by the individual operator to be in that case, and are not seriously exhibited by him as true, either to a judge acting as such, or to anybody else. This ordinary work of the imagination has consequently nothing to do with evidence, and is altogether clear of those pernicious effects with which its extraordinary work is so apt to be attended. Novel-writers and poets must not be confounded with false witnesses.