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[6] And the cause of this inconsistency and confusion is that men believe that the office of king is, like that of priest,1 one which any man can fill, whereas it is the most important of human functions and demands the greatest wisdom.

Now as to each particular course of action, it is the business of those who are at the time associated with a king to advise him how he may handle it in the best way possible, and how he may both preserve what is good and prevent disaster; but as regards a king's conduct in general, I shall attempt to set forth the objects at which he should aim and the pursuits to which he should devote himself.

1 The priestly office in Greece demanded care in the administration of ritual, but, apart from this, no special competence; it was often hereditary and sometimes filled by lot.

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