Dying Declarations, * When a man has received a mortal wound or other injury, by which he is in imminent danger of dying, and believes that he must die, and afterwards does die, the statements he makes as to the manner in which he received such injury, and the person who committed it, are called his dying declarations.

2. These declarations are received in evidence against the person thus accused, on the ground that the party making them can have no motive but to tell the truth. The following lines have been put into the mouth of such a man:

 Have I not hideous Death before my view, Retaining but a quantity of life, Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire ? What in the world should make me now deceive, Since I must lose the use of all deceit? Why then should I be false, since it is true That I must die here, and live hence by truth. 

See Death; Deathbed or dying declarations; Declarations.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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