Verba ita sunt intelligenda

Verba ita sunt intelligenda, ut res magis valeat quam pereat. Words are to be so understood that the subject-matter may be preserved rather than destroyed. Bacon's Max. in Reg. 3.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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Verba ita sunt intelligenda ut res magis valeat quam pereat ("words are to be understood that the subject matter may be preserved rather than destroyed").