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[693a] and Lacedaemonians, practically all the Greek races would have been confused together by now, and barbarians confused with Greeks and Greeks with barbarians,—just as the races under the Persian empire today are either scattered abroad or jumbled together and live in a miserable plight. Such, O Megillus and Clinias, are the charges we have to make against the so-called statesmen and lawgivers, both of the past and of the present, in order that, by investigating their causes, we may discover [693b] what different course ought to have been pursued; just as, in the case before us, we called it a blunder to establish by law a government that is great or unblended, our idea being that a State ought to be free and wise and in friendship with itself, and that the lawgiver should legislate with a view to this. Nor let it surprise us that, while we have often already proposed ends which the legislator should, as we say, aim at in his legislation, [693c] the various ends thus proposed are apparently different. One needs to reflect that wisdom and friendship, when stated to be the aim in view, are not really different aims, but identical and, if we meet with many other such terms, let not this fact disturb us.

We shall endeavor to bear this in mind as we traverse the arguments again. But for the moment, as regards friendship, wisdom and freedom,—tell us, [693d] what was it you intended to say that the lawgiver ought to aim at?

Listen. There are two mother-forms of constitution, so to call them, from which one may truly say all the rest are derived. Of these the one is properly termed monarchy, the other democracy, the extreme case of the former being the Persian polity, and of the latter the Athenian; the rest are practically all, as I said, modifications of these two. Now it is essential for a polity to partake of both these two forms, if it is to have freedom and friendliness combined with wisdom. [693e] And that is what our argument intends to enjoin, when it declares that a State which does not partake of these can never be rightly constituted.1

It could not.

Since the one embraced monarchy and the other freedom, unmixed and in excess, neither of them has either in due measure: your Laconian and Cretan States are better in this respect, as were the Athenian and Persian in old times—

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