There is no surer way to misread any document than to read it literally; in every interpretation we must pass between Scylla and Charybdis; and I certainly do not wish to add to the barrels of ink that have been spent in logging the route. As nearly as we can, we must put ourselves in the place of those who uttered the words, and try to divine how they would have dealt with the unforeseen situation; and, although their words are by far the most decisive evidence of what they would have done, they are by no means final.

Learned Hand (1872-1961) American jurist
Guiseppi v. Walling, 144 F.2d 608, 624 (2d Cir. 1944) [concurring]
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Added on 29-Aug-07 | Last updated 25-Jan-22
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