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[57] Many friends of the prosecutor, some men, too, who are personal enemies of ours, many general and universal calumniators, and men who envy everybody, have invented heaps of things. But there is nothing which travels so fast as slander; nothing is more easily sent abroad, nothing is received more rapidly, nothing is spread more extensively. Nor will I, if you can ever trace the origin of a calumny, ever require you to disregard it or conceal it. But if anything gets abroad without a head, or if there be any report of such a nature that no author of it can be found; if he who has heard it appears to you either so careless as to have forgotten where he heard it; or if he knows his authority to be so insignificant that he is ashamed to confess that he recollects who he is,—then I do beg of you not to let that common expression, “I heard that
* * * *,” injure an innocent man upon his trial.


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