Page:The Art of Cross-Examination.djvu/138

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for instance,—Where do you live? Do you know the parties? How long have you known them? etc. And when you have restored them to their composure, and the mind has regained its equilibrium, proceed to the more essential features of the case, being careful to be mild and distinct in your approaches, lest you may again trouble the fountain from which you are to drink.

III. If the evidence of your own witnesses be unfavorable to you (which should always be carefully guarded against), exhibit no want of composure; for there are many minds that form opinions of the nature or character of testimony chiefly from the effect which it may appear to produce upon the counsel.

IV. If you perceive that the mind of the witness is imbued with prejudices against your client, hope but little from such a quarter—unless there be some facts which are essential to your client's protection, and which that witness alone can prove, either do not call him, or get rid of him as soon as possible. If the opposite counsel perceive the bias to which I have referred, he may employ it to your ruin. In judicial inquiries, of all possible evils, the worst and the least to be resisted is an enemy in the disguise of a friend. You cannot impeach him; you cannot cross-examine him; you cannot disarm him; you cannot indirectly, even, assail him; and if you exercise the only privilege that is left to you, and call other witnesses for the purposes of explanation, you must bear in mind that, instead of carrying the war into