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[21] In view of rendering them worthy or unworthy of credit, the method of procedure is exactly the same as in the case of witnesses; for contracts are trustworthy according to the character of their signatories or depositaries. When the existence of the contract is admitted, if it is in our favor, we must strengthen it by asserting that the contract is a law, special and partial; and it is not the contracts that make the law authoritative, but it is the laws that give force to legal contracts. And in a general sense the law itself is a kind of contract, so that whoever disobeys or subverts a contract, subverts the laws.

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