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nor indeed, speaking generally, has the authority of any individual unless he be a king or the like; but law on the other hand is a rule, emanating from a certain wisdom and intelligence, that has compulsory force. Men are hated when they thwart people's inclinations, even though they do so rightly, whereas law can enjoin virtuous conduct without being invidious. [13] But Sparta appears to be the only or almost the only state in which the lawgiver has paid attention to the nurture and exercises of the citizens; in most states such matters have been entirely neglected, and every man lives as he likes, in Cyclops fashion ‘laying down the law For children and for spouse.’1 [14]

The best thing is then that there should be a proper system of public regulation; but when the matter is neglected by the community, it would seem to be the duty of the individual to assist his own children and friends to attain virtue, or even if not able to do so successfully,2 at all events to make this his aim. But it would seem to follow from what has been said before, that he will be more likely to be successful in this if he has acquired the science of legislation. Public regulations in any case must clearly be established by law, and only good laws will produce good regulations;

1 Hom. Od. 9.114 f., quoted in Aristot. Pol. 1252b 22.

2 This clause, literally ‘and to be able to do it,’ Bywater would place here; it comes in the mss. after ‘public regulation’ above.

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