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never practice it. It is practiced by the politicians, who would appear to rely more upon a sort of empirical skill than on the exercise of abstract intelligence; for we do not see them writing or lecturing about political principles ´╝łthough this might be a more honorable employment than composing forensic and parliamentary speeches´╝ë, nor yet do we notice that they have made their own sons or any others of their friends into statesmen. [19] Yet we should expect them to have done so had they been able, for they could have bequeathed no more valuable legacy to their countries, nor is there any quality they would choose for themselves, and therefore for those nearest to them, to possess, in preference to political capacity. Not that experience does not seem to contribute considerably to political success; otherwise men would never have become statesmen merely through practical association with politics; so it would appear that those who aspire to a scientific knowledge of politics require practical experience as well as study. [20] On the other hand those sophists who profess to teach politics are found to be very far from doing so successfully. In fact they are absolutely ignorant of the very nature of the science and of the subjects with which it deals; otherwise they would not class it as identical with, or even inferior to, the art of rhetoric.1 Nor would they imagine that it is easy to frame a constitution by making a collection of such existing laws as are reputed to be good ones, on the assumption that one can then select the best among them; as if even this selection did not call for understanding, and as if to judge correctly were not a very difficult task, just as much as it is for instance in music. It is only the experts in an art who can judge correctly the productions of that art, and who understand the means and the method by which perfection is attained, and know which elements harmonize with which; amateurs may be content if they can discern whether the general result produced is good or bad, for example in the art of painting. Laws are the product, so to speak, of the art of politics;

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