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[25] But at times, just as we have to praise individual witnesses, so we may have to demolish them, whether their evidence has been given in documentary form or they have been summoned to appear in person. This was easier and of more frequent occurrence in the days when the examination of the witnesses was not deferred till after the conclusion of the pleading.1 With regard to what we should say against individual witnesses, no general rules can be laid down: it will depend on the personality of the witness.

1 It is not clear to what Quintilian refers. There are, it is true, passages in Cicero where the orator speaks of evidence as already given, but the speeches where these references are found are all second pleadings.

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