(A) torts. A forcible resistance of an attack by force. 2. A man is justified, in defending his person, that of his wife, children, and servants, and for this purpose he may use as much force as may be necessary, even to killing the assailant, remembering that the means used must always be proportioned to the occasion, and an excess becomes, itself, an injury. 3. A man may also repel force by force in defence of his personal property, and even justify homicide against one Who manifestly intends or endeavors by violence or surprise to commit a known felony, as robbery. 4. With respect to the defence or protection of the possession of real property, although it is justifiable even to kill a person in the act of attempting to commit a forcible felony, as burglary or arson, yet this justification can only take place when the party in possession is wholly without fault. (B) pleading, practice. It is defined to be the denial of the truth or validity of the complaint, and does not signify a justification. It is a general assertion that the plaintiff has no ground of action, which assertion is afterwards extended and maintained in the plea. 3 Bl. Com. 296; Co. Litt. 127. It is similar to the contestatio litis of the civilians. 8. The Act of Congress of April 30, 1790, 1 Story, L. U. S. 89, acting upon the principles adopted in perhaps all the states, enacts, Section 28, that every person accused and indicted of the crime of treason, or other capital offence, shall be allowed and admitted to make his full defence by counsel learned in the law; and the court before whom such person shall be tried, or some judge thereof, shall, and they are hereby authorized and requited, immediately upon his request, to assign to such person such counsel, not exceeding two, as such person shall desire, to whom such counsel shall have free access, at all seasonable hours; and every such person or persons, accused or indicted of the crimes aforesaid, shall be allowed and admitted in his said defence, to make any proof that he or they can produce, by lawful witness or witnesses, and shall have the like process of the court where he or they shall be tried, to compel his or their witnesses to appear at his or their trial, as is usually granted to compel witnesses to appear on the prosecution against them.