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Probably this is, in the main, a disease of kings, in whom luxury breeds pride of life.Athenian
Is it not plain that what those kings strove for first was to get the better of the established laws, and that they were not in accord with one another about the pledge which they had approved both by word and by oath; and this discord—reputed to be wisdom, but really, as we affirm, the height of ignorance, owing to its grating dissonance and lack of harmony, brought the whole Greek world to ruin?Clinias
It would seem so, certainly. [691b] Athenian
Very well then: what precaution ought the legislator to have taken at that time in his enactments, to guard against the growth of this disorder? Verily, to perceive that now requires no great sagacity, nor is it a hard thing to declare; but the man who foresaw it in those days—if it could possibly have been foreseen—would have been a wiser man than we.Megillus
To what are you alluding?Athenian
If one looks at what has happened, Megillus, among you Lacedaemonians, it is easy to perceive, and after perceiving to state, what ought to have been done at that time.Megillus
Speak still more clearly.Athenian
The clearest statement would be this—Megillus
What? [691c] Athenian
If one neglects the rule of due measure, and gives things too great in power to things too small—sails to ships, food to bodies, offices of rule to souls—then everything is upset, and they run, through excess of insolence, some to bodily disorders, others to that offspring of insolence, injustice.1 What, then, is our conclusion? Is it not this? There does not exist, my friends, a mortal soul whose nature, when young and irresponsible, will ever be able to stand being in the highest ruling position upon earth without getting surfeited in mind with that greatest of disorders, [691d] folly, and earning the detestation of its nearest friends; and when this occurs, it speedily ruins the soul itself and annihilates the whole of its power. To guard against this, by perceiving the due measure, is the task of the great lawgiver. So the most duly reasonable conjecture we can now frame as to what took place at that epoch appears to be this—Megillus
To begin with, there was a god watching over you; and he, foreseeing the future, restricted within due bounds the royal power by making [691e] your kingly line no longer single but twofold. In the next place, some man,2 in whom human nature was blended with power divine, observing your government to be still swollen with fever, blended the self-willed force
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