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[25] But the laws governing these cases sometimes admit of other bases. For example, conjecture is involved in quite a number of such cases, as when the accused urges either that he did not commit the act or, if he did, acted with the best intentions. I could quote many examples of this kind. Again, it is definition which tells us what precisely is meant by lunacy or cruelty to a wife.1 For as a rule the laws cited in such themes involve certain legal questions, though not to such an extent as to determine the basis of the case.

1 The general sense of 25 and 26 is clear. These cases do not always come under the status qualitatis: they not infrequently come under the status coniecturalis and finitivus. They cannot however, strictly be said to come under the states legalis, since although the leges of such scholastic themes do involve certain questions of law, these are not such as to constitute the status legally. Still in the last resort such cases may be argued on legal grounds. The text adopted for the last sentence of 25 is that which involves the least change, but it is highly obscure and the corruption may well lie deeper still. For the whole question of bases, which is highly technical, see III, vi.

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load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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