and this done, he shall be dismissed from the suit. And if a man summoned as witness does not attend with his summoner, he shall be legally liable to be sued for damages. And if one of the judges be summoned as a witness, he shall not vote at the trial after giving evidence. A free woman, if she be over forty years old, shall be allowed to give evidence to support a plea, and if she have no husband, she shall be allowed to bring an action; but if she have a husband alive,
she shall only be allowed to give evidence. A male or female slave and a child shall be allowed to give evidence and support a plea in murder cases only, provided that they furnish a substantial security that, if their evidence be denounced as false, they will remain until the trial. Either of the opposing parties in a suit may denounce all or part of the evidence, provided that he claims that false witness has been given before the action is finally decided; and the magistrates shall keep the denunciations, when they have been sealed by both parties, and shall produce them at the trial for false witness.
If any person be twice convicted of false witness, no law shall compel him any longer to bear witness, and if thrice, he shall not be allowed to bear witness any longer; and if after three convictions, a man dare to bear witness, whoso wishes shall report him to the magistrates, and they shall hand him over to the court, and if he be found guilty, he shall be punished with death. In the case of all those whose evidence is condemned at the trial,—they being adjudged to have given false witness and thus to have caused the victory of the winner,—if more than the half of their evidence be condemned,
the action that was lost because of them shall be annulled, and there shall be a disputation and a trial as to whether the action was or was not decided on the evidence in question; and by the verdict then given, whichever way it goes, the result of the previous actions shall be finally determined. Although there are many fair things in human life, yet to most of them there clings a kind of canker which poisons and corrupts them.
None would deny that justice between men is a fair thing, and that it has civilized all human affairs. And if justice be fair, how can we deny that pleading is also a fair thing? But these fair things are in disrepute owing to a kind of foul art, which, cloaking itself under a fair name,1
claims, first, that there exists a device for dealing with lawsuits, and further, that it is the one which is able, by pleading and helping another to plead, to win the victory, whether the pleas concerned