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exactly agreeable with his private opinion. A pleader is the mouth of the client. He states what the party interested would be supposed to allege, if they understood the nature of the law. When a criminal is placed at the bar, he pleads that he is not guilty. This is only in agreement with the forms of the court. It means, "I am not proved to be guilty; I am willing to be tried by witnesses." In legal proceedings sometimes an hyperbolical style is employed; but a certain meaning is understood, and therefore no actual deception exists. In the professions of friendship, of respect, obedience, and humility, which are made in epistolary communications, it is understood that custom has established them merely as a form. There are some cases in which oaths are administered binding a person to a full compliance with the matters contained in the statement; but it is understood that no man can believe the whole: consequently, a belief in the general principle or spirit of the requirement may be deemed sufficient. No two persons can think exactly alike; and if a full and particular belief be demanded, then no man can conform to a rule which has been made by another. Whenever there is an understanding between the parties that a certain form, expressed in one way, must be understood to signify something else, then there is no lie nor criminality connected with it. A man may also alter his opinion. He may deem this to be better to-day; but he may choose some other thing to-morrow. A person may refuse an offer on one occasion, and afterwards he may accept it. At meals, a man

may decline taking what he is invited to receive. He may say, "I would rather not;" but, afterwards, some occurrence or thought may alter his inclination, and then he may take it. But, as a general rule, a person must avoid indecision and inconstancy; he must follow truth as nearly as possible. He must do this, because it is necessary for his own welfare, for the good of society, and it is demanded by the duty which he owes to God. The minister of religion, who professes by his office the belief and practice of Christianity, is not excusable if he be, in the language of the Scriptures, "a wolf in sheep's clothing." He breaks the law of his Maker; and the law of custom, however powerful it may be, is not a sufficient exculpation.

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Sometimes falsehood arises from unjust criticism or censure, and on other occasions from flattery. The Emperor Julian, having been praised for his impartial administration of justice, observed, "I should be gratified, if I did not know, that those persons who commended me did it not so much on my account as their own. It was rather in reference to their own interest than my honour." Cardinal Richelieu remarked of his pretended friends, They all make the same earnest court to me; and those who would ruin me give me as many marks of friendship as those who are sincerely attached to my interest." Dr. Johnson observes of the pretended friends of Savage, that many of them boasted of kindness which they had never felt, and favours which they had never be


promises, and even hypocritical oaths, are sometimes made the stepping-stone to worldly power. Julius Cæsar was artful and designing when he had any favourite object to promote.

When malicious lies are told, there is frequently a heavy punishment, which arises from the attending circumstances. Boileau very foolishly told a lie to Louis XIV.; and being obliged, as he thought, to maintain what he had said, he was compelled to alter many records of dates, and to make false statements, lest he should be discovered.

Error sometimes arises from ignorance. The Irish scarcely ever give a correct answer with regard to distance. The Cornish and the Welsh resemble them in this respect. With regard to the inhabitants of the sister kingdom, Sir Jonas Barrington remarks, in his amusing Sketches, "If you meet a peasant on your journey, and ask him how far, for instance, to Ballinrobe? He will probably say it is three short miles.' You travel on, and are informed by the next peasant you meet, that it is five long miles.' On you go, and the next will tell your honour,' it is four miles, or about that same.' The fourth will swear, • If your honour stops at three miles, you'll never get there!' But on pointing to a town just before you, and enquiring what place that is, he replies, Oh, plase your honour, that's Ballinrobe, sure enough!' Why, you said it was more than three miles off?' 'Oh, yes, to be sure and sartain, that's from my own cabin, plase your honour. We're no scholards in this country. Arrah!

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how can we tell any distance, plase your honour, but from our own little cabins? Nobody but the schoolmaster knows that, plase your honour." "


Some people, from a timidity of speaking what is incorrect, seem as if they feared to speak at all. This is scrupulosity. It operates in language as well as in actions. It is a disadvantage to the sessor; and it is unpleasing, or, sometimes, disgusting to the listener. To a plain and simple question, after a long delay, the monosyllable "Well," or " Perhaps," is introduced; and then something else trails out, as the wounded snake "drags its slow length along." A person should speak boldly and smartly, but modestly. It is not supposed by the listener that the speaker must necessarily communicate truth; and the person who answers a question must not fancy that he can always impart the words of wisdom; consequently there will be sometimes correctness, and at other times error: but the speaker should give his opinion with a certain degree of deference, and without that affectation and cant which are generally the symptoms of an intention to deceive, rather than a wish to inform.

The practice of answering one question by asking another arises from a similar cause; namely, a scrupulosity or timidity of speaking without a great deal of thinking. If the distance to a certain place be asked, the reply will be, "Where did you come from?" Or, in answer to a question, it will be enquired, "Dost thou wish to know?" All this is impertinent and foolish.

former is the unsophisticated representation of things, the latter is the absence of deception. If the language which is employed by a speaker is agreeable with his feelings, it is termed sincere; if consistent with reason, it is termed common sense. Sincerity raises no declamatory professions; it boasts no gaudy abilities; it uses no high-sounding language: but its actions are simple and expressive; its speech is plain and forcible; its effects are pleasing and convincing. Sincerity being produced by actual feeling, and the lips being accustomed to speak out of the fulness of the heart, a man will not often fail in communicating his thoughts and feelings to others. When Lyncestes had been accused of a conspiracy against Alexander, he was brought before the army to make his defence. But he had prepared a speech, which he had committed to memory; and when he was at fault in some part of it, the soldiers fancied he had been relating a feigned story, and they killed him.

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