A sentence is here omitted. [Translator.]
his guilt. During the examination a comrade entered who had something official to tell me, and inasmuch as I was in the midst of dictation he wanted to wait until the end of the sentence. Happening to see two swords that had just been brought from a student duel, he took one in his hand and examined the hilt, the point and the blade. The defendant hardly saw this action before he got frightened, raised his hands, ran to the sword-examiner, crying ``I confess, I confess! I took the money and hid it in the hollow hickory tree.''
This event was rather funny. Another, however, led, I will not say to self-reproach, but to considerable disquiet on my part. A man was suspected of having killed his two small children. As the bodies were not found I undertook a careful search of his home, of the oven, of the cellar, the drains, etc. In the latter we found a great deal of animal entrails, apparently rabbits. As at the time of this discovery I had no notion of where they belonged, I took them, and in the meantime had them preserved in alcohol. The great glass receptacle which contained them stood on my writing table when I had the accused brought in to answer certain questions about one or two suspicious matters we had discovered. He looked anxiously at the glass, and said suddenly, ``Since you have got it all, I must confess.'' Almost reflexly I asked, ``Where are the corpses?'' and he immediately answered that he had hidden them in the environs of the city, where they were found. Clearly, the glass containing the intestines had led him to the notion that the bodies were found and in part preserved here, and when I asked him where they were he did not observe how illogical the question would be if the bodies had really been found. The whole thing was a matter of accident, but I still have the feeling that the confession was not properly obtained; that I should have thought of the effect of the glass and should have provided against it before the accused was brought before me.
In the daily life such an open procedure is, of course, impossible, and if the circumstances were to be taken for what they seem we should frequently make mistakes. Everybody knows, e. g., how very few happy marriages there are. But how do we know it? Only because the fortune of close observation always indicates that the relation is in no way so happy as one would like it to be. And externally? Has anybody ever seen in even half-educated circles a street quarrel between husband and wife? How well-mannered they are in society, and how little they show their disinclination for
each other. And all this is a lie in word and deed, and when we have to deal with it in a criminal case we judge according to the purely external things that we and others have observed. Social reasons, deference for public opinion which must often be deceived, the feeling of duty toward children, not infrequently compel deception of the world. The number of fortunate marriages is mainly overestimated.
We see the same thing with regard to property, the attitude of parents and children, the relation between superiors and inferiors, even in the condition of health,--conduct in all these cases does not reveal the true state of affairs. One after another, people are fooled, until finally the world believes what it is told and the court hears the belief sworn to as absolute truth. It is, perhaps, not too much to say that we are far more deceived by appearances than by words. Public opinion should least of all impose on us. And yet it is through public opinion that we learn the external relations of the people who come before us. It is called vox populi and is really rot. The phrases, ``they say,'' ``everybody knows,'' ``nobody doubts,'' ``as most neighbors agree,'' and however else these seeds of dishonesty and slander may be designated--all these phrases must disappear from our papers and procedure. They indicate only appearances--only what people _*wanted_ to have seen. They do not reveal the real and the hidden. Law too frequently makes normative use of the maxim that the bad world says it and the good one believes it. It even constructs its judgments thereby.
Not infrequently the uttered lies must be supported by actions. It is well-known that we seem merry, angry, or friendly only when we excite these feelings by certain gestures, imitations and physical attitudes. Anger is not easily simulated with an unclenched fist, immovable feet, and uncontracted brow. These gestures are required for the appearance of real anger. And how very real it becomes, and how very real all other emotions become because of the appropriate gestures and actions, is familiar. We learn, hence, that the earnest assertor of his innocence finally begins to believe in it a little, or altogether. And lying witnesses still more frequently begin to hold their assertions to be true. As these people do not show the common marks of the lie their treatment is extraordinarily difficult.
It is, perhaps, right to accuse our age of especial inclination for that far-reaching lie which makes its perpetrator believe in his own
 A. Moll: Die kontr