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[54] But the custom prevalent in the schools of regarding everything not definitely stated in the theme as being in the speaker's favour,1 is likely to prove harmful to students destined for practice in the courts. You bring a charge of adultery. “Who is your witness? who is your informer?” You charge me with treason. “What was my reward? who was my accomplice?” You charge me with poisoning. “Where did I buy the poison, and from whom? When did I buy it, what was the price, and whom did I employ to administer it?” Or in defence of one charged with attempting to establish himself as tyrant, the declaimer will cry, “Where are my weapons, and what bodyguards have I ever collected?”

1 cp. IV. ii. 28. As the examples which follow show, the declaimer assumes that his imaginary opponent has no good evidence to support his case: i.e. no witness, no informer, no weapons, no bodyguard.

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