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[73] I myself have come across persons whom it was impossible to convince by other means: I have even come across a much rarer thing, namely, a case which could only be proved by recourse to such devices. I was defending a woman who was alleged to have forged her husband's will, and the heirs were stated to have given a bond1 to the husband on his deathbed, which latter assertion was true.

1 The bond was to the effect that they would make over the property to the wife; the existence of such a bond proved the wife innocent, since it was a virtual confirmation of the will, of which it showed the husband to have cognisance. But the bond was not valid in the eye of the law and such tacita fideicommissa were illegal, since the wife could not inherit; consequently the admission of the existence of the bond would have involved the loss of the inheritance, which on information being laid (cp. delatores) would have lapsed to the state. Caput is the civil status of the wife. With regard to dicebantur, the writing is careless, as it suggests that the statement was made by the prosecution, which was, of course, not the case.

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