A Bold Trick





The following anecdote serves to exemplify how necessary it
is upon any important occasion to scrutinise the accuracy of a statement

before it is taken upon trust. A fellow was tried at the Old Bailey for

highway robbery, and the prosecutor swore positively that he had seen his

face distinctly, for it was a bright moonlight night. The counsel for the

prisoner cross-questioned the man so as to make him repeat that assertion,

and insist upon it. He then affirmed that this was a most important

circumstance, and a most fortunate one for the prisoner at the bar: because

the night on which the alleged robbery was said to have been committed was

one in which there had been no moon: it was then during the dark quarter!

In proof of this he handed an almanack to the bench,--and the prisoner was

acquitted accordingly. The prosecutor, however, had stated every thing

truly; and it was known afterwards that the almanack with which the counsel

came provided, had actually been prepared and printed for the occasion!





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