The defendants elicited the testimony relating to the delay in the commencement of the prosecution against them as an implied admission by conduct on the part of the State’s witnesses that they were conscious of the weakness of the State’s case against the defendants. Consequently, it became proper for the State to explain the delay, and to show that the inference which the defendants sought to draw from it was not warranted by the circumstances. Collins v. R. R., 187 N.C. 141, 120 S.E. 824; McCraw v. Insurance Co., 78 N.C. 149; Wigmore on Evidence (3rd Ed.), section 284; Stansbury’s North Carolina Evidence, section 178; 31 O.J.S., Evidence, section 380. This the State undertook to do by the testimony of the State’s witness, D.S. Lee, as to his conversation with George Canady, the representative of the State Bureau of Investigation.
The defendants insist with much earnestness that the ruling of the court receiving this testimony runs afoul of the Hearsay rule. They say that the soundness of their position becomes indisputably clear when the evidence of Lee as to the unsworn statements of Canady is laid alongside the well settled principle that evidence is hearsay if “its probative force depends, in whole or in part, upon the competency and credibility of some person other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce it.” Randle v. Grady, 228 N.C. 159, 45 S.E. 2d 35; Teague v. Wilson, 220 N.C. 241, 17 S.E. 2d 9; Young v. Stewart, 191 N.C. 297, 131 S.E. 735; S. v. Lassiter, 191 N.C. 210, 131 S.E. 577.
Manifestly this contention of the defendants arises out of a misapprehension of the part which the Hearsay rule is designed to play in the law of evidence. The true office of the rule is explained with rare accuracy and succinctness in these words of Dean Wigmore: “The Hearsay rule forbids merely the use of an extrajudicial utterance as an assertion to evidence the fact asserted. Such a use would be testimonial, i.e., we should be asked to believe the fact because Doe asserted it to be true, precisely as we should be asked to believe Doe’s similar assertion if made on the stand. What the Hearsay rule forbids is the use of testimonial evidence — i.e., assertions — -uttered not under cross-examination. If, then, an utterance can be used as circumstantial evidence, i.e., without inferring from it as an assertion to the fact asserted, the Hearsay rule does not oppose any barrier, because it is not applicable.” Wigmore on Evidence *452(3rd Ed.), section 1788. This statement comports fully with, the repeated decisions of this Court holding that the testimony of a witness as to what some third person has told him will not be admitted as evidence of the existence of the fact asserted by such third person. Salmon v. Pearce, 223 N.C. 587, 27 S.E. 2d 647; Bailey v. R. R., 223 N.C. 244, 25 S.E. 2d 833; Bunting v. Salsbury, 221 N.C. 34, 18 S.E. 2d 697; Jackson v. Parks, 220 N.C. 680, 18 S.E. 2d 138; Brown v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 217 N.C. 368, 8 S.E. 2d 199; Martin v. Crews, 210 N.C. 776, 188 S.E. 316; In re Barker, 210 N.C. 617, 188 S.E. 205; Jackson v. Scheiber, 209 N.C. 441, 184 S.E. 17; Trust Co. v. Blackwelder, 209 N.C. 252, 183 S.E. 271.
The court admitted the testimony of Lee as to the extrajudicial statements of Canady for the consideration of the jury “upon the matter of the delay in the issuance of the warrants” and not for the purpose of establishing the truth of any matter asserted by Canady. As has been pointed out, it was proper for the prosecution to show in explanation of the evidence elicited by defendants on cross-examination of the State’s witnesses that the delay in the issuance of the warrants was occasioned by some reason other than a consciousness of the weakness of the State’s case on the part of its witnesses. The evidence objected to consisted of two parts: one, as to the state of Lee’s mind, which certainly had a tendency to establish that the reason for his delay in commencing the prosecution was inconsistent with any consciousness of the weakness of the State’s case on his part; and the other, as to the extrajudicial utterances made by Canady to Lee, which certainly had a relevancy to show the inducing cause of Lee’s state of mind. The testimony was not concerned in any degree with the truth or falsity of any matter asserted by Canady in his unsworn statements; Hence, its probative force depended solely on the competency and credibility of Lee, the witness by whom it was produced.
The court rightly admitted the evidence in question for the specific purpose for which it was offered under the evidential rule that “whenever an utterance is offered to evidence the state of mind which ensued in another person in consequence of the utterance, it is obvious that no assertive or testimonial use is sought to be made of it, and the utterance is therefore admissible, so far as the Hearsay rule is concerned.” Wig-more on Evidence (3rd Ed.), section 1789.
Instances of a similar use of a third person’s extrajudicial statements to show another’s state of mind are to be found in well considered decisions of this Court. S. v. Mull, 196 N.C. 351, 145 S.E. 677; S. v. Hairston, 182 N.C. 851, 109 S.E. 45. See, also, in this connection: S. v. Dilliard, 223 N.C. 446, 27 S.E. 2d 85.
The defendants assign as error the extract from the charge quoted below. After instructing the jury in complete accordance with time-*453honored precedents as to specific factors it might consider in determining the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be attached to their testimony, the court concluded the part of the charge devoted to this phase of the case with these words: “You may take into consideration any other factors that suggest themselves to your good judgment and common sense to enable you to pass upon the credibility or worthiness of belief of each witness and to determine the weight, if any, you will give to the testimony of each witness.” When this excerpt from the charge is restored to its context and read with the other instructions of the court on this aspect of the case, it is plain that the court merely told the jury in the language claimed to be erroneous that it might determine the credibility of the witnesses and the value of their testimony from the factors specially enumerated by the court and any other circumstances in evidence tending to shed light on these matters. Assuredly, this instruction is subject to no just criticism. Brown v. Jerrild, 29 Ariz. 121, 239 P. 795; 23 C.J.S., Criminal Law, section 1257.
The remaining exceptions of the defendants other than those purely formal are addressed to portions of the charge in which the court stated contentions of the State. Since the defendants did not call these matters to the attention of the court at the trial and afford the court an opportunity to correct any inadvertencies in them at that time, any errors in the court’s statement of these contentions are waived. S. v. Hooks, 228 N.C. 689, 47 S.E. 2d 234; S. v. Gentry, 228 N.C. 643, 46 S.E. 2d 863; S. v. Dawson, 228 N.C. 85, 44 S.E. 2d 527.
The defendants have had their day in court. Their rights have been fully safeguarded by the diligent efforts of able counsel. They have been accorded a fair trial according to relevant legal rules before an impartial and learned trial judge. The jury has found them guilty upon competent evidence under a clear and correct charge. The trial in the court below must be sustained for there is in law