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[921a] If any craftsman fail to execute his work within the time named, owing to baseness—he not revering the god who gives him his livelihood, but deeming him (in his blindness of mind) to be merciful because of his kinship,—he shall, in the first place, pay a penalty to the god, and, secondly, there shall be a law enacted to suit his case:—He shall owe the price of the works regarding which he has lied to the person who gave him the order, and within the stated time he shall execute them all over again gratis. And as it counselled the seller, [921b] so the law counsels the contractor who undertakes a work not to give in too high an estimate for it, but to estimate it simply at its real worth; this same charge the law gives, I say, to the contractor, for he as a craftsman certainly knows what its worth is. In States composed of gentlemen it is wrong for a craftsman to try by his art (which is essentially truthful and sincere) to impose artfully upon lay persons; and in such cases the wronged shall be entitled to prosecute the wrongdoer. If, on the other hand, a man who has given an order to a craftsman [921c] fails to pay him his wage duly according to the legal agreement, and sets at naught Zeus, the Patron of the State, and Athena, who are partners in the constitution,—thereby dissolving great partnerships through love of a little gain,—then, with the help of the gods, this law shall lend aid to the bonds that unite the State:—Whosoever has previously received the work ordered and fails to pay the price within the period agreed shall be bound to pay double the price; and if a year have elapsed, although all other [921d] monies on loan are barren,1 this man shall pay as interest one obol on each drachma for every month2 of arrears; and actions for these cases shall take place before the tribal courts. And now that we have made mention of craftsmen in general, it is right to allude in passing to those whose craft is military security, that is to say, military commanders and all experts in such matters. As to the former craftsmen, so to these men, as craftsmen of another sort,—whenever any of them, either voluntarily or under orders, [921e] undertakes any public work and executes it well,—whosoever shall duly pay to these men those honors which are the soldier's wages, him the law will never weary of lauding; but if he has previously received some noble work of a military kind and fails to pay for it, the law will blame him. So, touching this matter, let there be laid down this law, coupled with laudation,—a law which counsels rather than compels

1 i.e. bear no interest. Cp. Plat. Laws c; Plat. Rep. a; Aristot. Pol. 1258b 5 ff.

2 As a drachma = 6 obols, the interest would amount to 200 p.c. per annum.

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