to the market-stewards; and if it occur in the country outside, he shall declare it to the rural stewards and their officers. And when such declarations are made, the State shall send to Delphi
and whatever the god pronounces concerning the goods and him that moved them, that the State shall execute, acting as agent on behalf of the oracles of the god. And if the informer be a free man, he shall win a reputation for virtue, but for vice if he fail to inform; and if he be a slave, as a reward for informing it will be right that he should be set free, by the State offering his price to his master, whereas he shall be punished by death if he fail to give information.
Following on this there should come next a similar rule about matters great and small, to reinforce it. If a man, whether willingly or unwillingly, leaves any of his goods behind, he that happens on them shall let them lie, believing that the Goddess of the Wayside2
guards them, as things dedicated to her divinity by the law. Should anyone transgress this rule and disobediently take such things and carry them home, he being a slave and the article of small value, then the man who meets with him, being over thirty years old, shall scourge him with many stripes;
but if he be a free man, he shall not only be accounted illiberal and a rebel against the laws, but he shall in addition buy back ten times the value of the article moved to the man who left it behind. And if one man charges another with possessing any of his goods, be it great or small, and the man so charged allows that he has the article, but denies that it is the other man's,—then, if the article in question has been registered3
with the magistrates according to law, the plaintiff shall summon the man who possesses it before the magistrate, and he shall produce it in court. And the article being thus exhibited, if it be clearly recorded in the records to which of the disputants it belongs,
he shall take it and depart; but should it belong to another third party, not then present, whichever of the two claimants produces a sufficient guarantor shall take it away on behalf of the absent party, in pursuance of his right of removal, to hand it over to him. But if the article in dispute be not registered with the magistrates, it will be kept in charge of the three senior magistrates up to the time of the trial; and if the article in pledge be a beast, the man that loses the case concerning it shall pay the magistrates for its keep; and the magistrates shall decide the case within three days.
Any person—provided that he be in his senses—may lay hands, if he wishes, on his own slave, to employ him for any lawful purpose; and on behalf of another man (one of his relatives or friends) he may lay hands on the runaway slave, to secure his safe-keeping. And if a man tries to remove to freedom anyone who is being carried off as a slave, the man who is carrying him off shall let him go, and he that is removing him shall do so on the production of three substantial sureties, but not otherwise; and if anyone removes a slave contrary to these conditions,