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Word Study from
Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary
"Truth / True"


TRUTH. The actual state of things.

    2. In contracts, the parties are bound to tell the truth in their dealings, and a deviation from it will generally avoid the contract; Newl. on Contr. 352-3; 2 Burr. 1011; 3 Campb. 285; and even concealment, or suppressio veri, will be considered fraudulent in the contract of insurance. 1 Marsh. on Ins. 464; Peake's N. P. C. 115; 3 Campb. 154, 506.

    3. In giving his testimony, a witness is required to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; for the object in the examination of matters of fact, is to ascertain truth.

    4. When a defendant is sued civilly for slander or a libel, he may justify by giving the truth in evidence; but when a criminal prosecution is instituted by the commonwealth for a libel, he cannot generally justify by giving the truth in evidence.

    5. The constitutions of several of the United States have made special provisions in favor of giving the truth in evidence in prosecutions for libels, under particular circumstances. In the constitutions of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, it is declared, that in publications for libels on men in respect to their public official conduct, the truth may be given in evidence, when the matter published was proper for public information. The constitution of New York declares, that in all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous, is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted. By constitutional provision in Mississippi and Missouri, and by legislative enactment in New Jersey, Arkansas, Tennessee, Act of 1805, c. 6: and Vermont, Rev. Stat. tit. 11, c. 25, s. 68; the right to give the truth in evidence has been more extended; it applies to all prosecutions or indictments for libels, without any qualifications annexed in restraint of the privilege. Cooke on Def. 61.



Ex multitudine signorum, colligitur identitas vera. From the great number of signs true identity may be ascertained. Bacon's Max. in Reg. 25.

Identitas vera colligitur ex multitudine signorum. true identity is collected from a number of signs.

In conjunctivis oportet utramque partem esse veram. In conjunctives each part ought to be true. Wing. 13.

In disjunctivis sufficit alteram partem esse veram. In disjunctives, it is sufficient if either part be true. Wing. 15.

Juramentum est indivisibile, et non est admittendum in parte verum et in parte falsam. An oath is indivisible, it cannot be in part true and in part false.

Longa possessio parit jus possidendi, et tollit actionem vero domino. Long possession produces the right of possession, and takes away from the true owner his action. Co. Litt. 110.

Non accipi debent verba in demonstrationem falsam, quae competunt in limitationem veram. Words ought not to be accepted to import a false demonstration which have effect by way of true limitation. Bacons' Max. REg. 13.

Omnis conclusio boni et veri judicii sequitur ex bonis et veris praemissis et dictis juratorem. Every conclusion of a good and true judgment arises from good and true premises, and the sayings of jurors. Co. Litt. 226.

Quaeras de dubiis, legem bene discere si vis. Inquire into them, is the way to know what things are really true. Litt. 443.

Quod ab initio non valet, in tractu temporis non convalescere. What is not good in the beginning cannot be rendered good by time. Merl. Rep. verbo Regle de Droit. This, though true in general, is not universally so.

Quod prius est verius est; et quod prius est tempore potius est jure. What is first is truest; and what comes first in time, is best in law. Co. Litt. 347.

Ratio potest allegari deficiente lege, sed vera et legalis et non apparens. Reason may be alleged when the law is defective, but it must be true and legal reason, and not merely apparent. 6 Co. Litt. 191.

Ultima voluntas testatoris est perimplenda secundum veram intentionem suam. The last will of a testator is to be fulfilled according to his true intention. Co. Litt. 322.


Contr veritatem lex numquam aliquid permittit. The law never suffers anything contrary to truth. 2 Co. Inst. 252. But sometimes it allows a conclusive presumption in opposition to truth. See 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3061.

Error fucatus nud veritate in multis est probabilior; et saepenumero rationibus vincit veritatem error. Error artfully colored is in many things more probable than naked truth; and frequently error conquers truth and reasoning. 2 Co. 73.

Fictio est contra veritatem, sed pro veritate habetur. Fiction is aginst the truth, but it is to have truth.

Judicia sunt tanquam juris dicta, et pro veritate accipiuntur. Judgments are, as it were, the dicta or sayings of the law, and are received as truth. 2 Co. Inst. 573.

Judicium semper pro veritate accipitur. A judgment is always taken for truth. 2 Co. Inst. 380.

Justitia non novit patrem nec matrem, solum veritatem spectat justitia. Justice knows neither father nor mother, justice looks to truth alone. 1 Buls. 199.

Nihil possumus contra veritatem. We can do nothing against truth. Doct. & Stu. Dial. 2, c. 6.

Nimium altercando veritas amiltitur. By too much altercation truth is lost. Hob. 344.

Perspicua vera non sunt probanda. Plain truths need not be proved. Co. Litt. 16.

Praesentia corporis tollit errorem nominis, et veritas nominis tollit errorem demonstrationis. The presence of the body cures the error in the name; the truth of the name cures an error in the description. Bacon's Max. Reg. 25.

Qui non libere veritatem pronunciat, proditor est verilatis. He who does not willingly speak the truth, is a betrayer of the truth.

Recorda sunt vestigia vetustatis et veritatis. Records are vestiges of antiquity and truth. 2 Roll. R. 296.

Reputatio est vulgaris opinio ubi non est veritas. Reputation is a vulgar opinion where there is no truth. 4 Co. 107. But see, Character.

Res judicata pro veritate accipitur. A thing adjudged must be taken for truth. Co. Litt. 103; Dig. 50, 17, 207. See Res judicata.

Sacramentum habet in se tres comites, varitatem, justitiam et judicium; veritas habenda est in jurato; justitia et justicium in judice. An oath has in it three component parts - truth, justice and judgment; truth in the party swearing; justice and judgment in the judge administering the oath. 3 Co. Inst. 160.

Saepenumero uvb proprietas verboem attenditur, sensus veritatis amittitur. Frequently where the propriety of words is attended to, the meaning of truth is lost. 7 Co. 27.

Veredictum, quasi dictum veritas; ut judicium quasi juris dictum. A verdict is, as it were, the saying of the truth, in the same manner that a judgment is the saying of the law. Co. Litt. 226.

Veritas demonstrationis tollit errorem nominis. The truth of the demonstration removes the error of the name. Ld. Raym. 303. See Legatee.

Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi. Truth fears nothing but concealment. 9 co. 20.

Veritas nimium altercando amittitur. By too much altercation truth is lost. Hob. 344.

Veritatem qui non libere pronunciat, proditor est veritatis. He who does not speak the truth, is a traitor to the truth.

(Isaiah 33:22) For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

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