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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


public services, whether the celebration of sacrifice in peace, or the
payment of contributions in war-in all these cases, first comes the
necessity of providing remedy for the loss; and by those who will
not obey, there shall be security given to the officers whom the
city and the law empower to exact the sum due; and if they forfeit
their security, let the goods which they have pledged be, and the
money given to the city; but if they ought to pay a larger sum, the
several magistrates shall impose upon the disobedient a suitable
penalty, and bring them before the court, until they are willing to do
what they are ordered.
Now a state which makes money from the cultivation of the soil only,
and has no foreign trade, must consider what it will do about the
emigration of its own people to other countries, and the reception
of strangers from elsewhere. About these matters the legislator has to
consider, and he will begin by trying to persuade men as far as he
can. The intercourse of cities with one another is apt to create a
confusion of manners; strangers, are always suggesting novelties to
strangers. When states are well governed by good laws the mixture
causes the greatest possible injury; but seeing that most cities are
the reverse of well-ordered, the confusion which arises in them from
the reception of strangers, and from the citizens themselves rushing
off into other cities, when any one either young or old desires to
travel anywhere abroad at whatever time, is of no consequence. On
the other hand, the refusal of states to receive others, and for their
own citizens never to go to other places, is an utter impossibility,
and to the rest of the world is likely to appear ruthless and
uncivilized; it is a practise adopted by people who use harsh words,
such as xenelasia or banishment of strangers, and who have harsh and
morose ways, as men think. And to be thought or not to be thought well
of by the rest of the world is no light matter; for the many are not
so far wrong in their judgment of who are bad and who are good, as
they are removed from the nature of virtue in themselves. Even bad men
have a divine instinct which guesses rightly, and very many who are
utterly depraved form correct notions and judgments of the differences
between the good and bad. And the generality of cities are quite right
in exhorting us to value a good reputation in the world, for there
is no truth greater and more important than this-that he who is really
good (I am speaking of the man who would be perfect) seeks for
reputation with, but not without, the reality of goodness. And our
Cretan colony ought also to acquire the fairest and noblest reputation
for virtue from other men; and there is every reason to expect that,
if the reality answers to the idea, she will before of the few
well-ordered cities which the sun and the other Gods behold.
Wherefore, in the matter of journeys to other countries and the
reception of strangers, we enact as follows:-In the first place, let
no one be allowed to go anywhere at all into a foreign country who
is less than forty years of age; and no one shall go in a private
capacity, but only in some public one, as a herald, or on an
embassy; or on a sacred mission. Going abroad on an expedition or in
war, not to be included among travels of the class authorized by the
state. To Apollo at Delphi and to Zeus at Olympia and to Nemea and
to the Isthmus,-citizens should be sent to take part in the sacrifices
and games there dedicated to the Gods; and they should send as many as
possible, and the best and fairest that can be found, and they will
make the city renowned at holy meetings in time of peace, procuring
a glory which shall be the converse of that which is gained in war;
and when they come home they shall teach the young that the
institutions of other states are inferior to their own. And they shall
send spectators of another sort, if they have the consent of the
guardians, being such citizens as desire to look a little more at
leisure at the doings of other men; and these no law shall hinder. For
a city which has no experience of good and bad men or intercourse with
them, can never be thoroughly, and perfectly civilized, nor, again,
can the citizens of a city properly observe the laws by habit only,

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