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[18] In addition to this, gentlemen, if those who claim under the will were admittedly close friends of Nicostratus, even then the conclusive proof would be lacking, though there would be a greater probability that the will could be regarded as genuine; for before now testators, being ill-disposed towards their kinsmen, have preferred strangers who were their friends to their nearest relatives by blood. But in the present case Nicostratus and Chariades were neither members of the same mess nor friends nor members of the same company,1 and on all these points we have produced witnesses before you.

1 There is a lacuna in the text at this point and the sense is incomplete as it stands.

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