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In ancient times the plaintiff was required to establish the truth of his declaration in the first instance, and before it was called in question, upon the pleading, by the simultaneous production of his secta, that is, a number of persons prepared to confirm his allegations.
The practice of thus producing a secta, gave rise to the very. ancient formula almost invariably used at the conclusion of a declaration, as entered on the record, et inde producit sectam; and, though the actual production has, for many centuries, fallen into disuse, the formula still remains. Accordingly, except the count on a writ of right, and in dower, all declarations constantly conclude thus, "And therefore he brings his suit, etc. The count on a writ of right did not, in ancient times, conclude with the ordinary production of suit, but with the following formula peculiar to itself, "Et quod tale sit jus suum offert disrationare per corpus, talis liberi hominis, etc., and it concludes, at the present day, with an abbreviated. translation of the same phrase: "And, that such is his right, he offers," etc. The count in dower is an exception to the rule in question, and concludes without any production of suit, a peculiarity which appears always to have belonged to that action.