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[95] It may even at times be found useful to pretend to misunderstand them; for which we may compare the well known story of the man who, when his opponent cried, “Swear by the ashes of your father,”1 replied that he was ready to do so, whereupon the judge accepted the proposal, much to the indignation of the advocate, who protested that this would make the use of figures absolutely impossible; we may therefore lay it down as a general rule that such figures should only be used with the utmost caution.

1 See v. vi. 1. An oath might be taken by one of the parties as an alternative to evidence. In court such an oath might be taken only on the proposal of the defendant. The taking of such a proffered oath meant victory for the swearer.

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load focus Latin (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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