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[709a] but chances and accidents of all kinds, occurring in all sorts of ways, make all our laws for us. For either it is a war that violently upsets polities and changes laws, or it is the distress due to grievous poverty. Diseases, too, often force on revolutions, owing to the inroads of pestilences and recurring bad seasons prolonged over many years. Foreseeing all this, one might deem it proper to say—as I said just now—that no mortal man frames any law, [709b] but human affairs are nearly all matters of pure chance. But the fact is that, although one may appear to be quite right in saying this about sea-faring and the arts of the pilot, the physician, and the general, yet there really is something else that we may say with equal truth about these same things.

Clinias
What is that?

Athenian
That God controls all that is, and that Chance and Occasion co-operate with God in the control of all human affairs. It is, however, less harsh to admit that these two must be accompanied by a third factor, which is Art. For that the pilots' art [709c] should cooperate with Occasion—verily I, for one, should esteem that a great advantage. Is it not so?

Clinias
It is.

Athenian
Then we must grant that this is equally true in the other cases also, by parity of reasoning, including the case of legislation. When all the other conditions are present which a country needs to possess in the way of fortune if it is ever to be happily settled, then every such State needs to meet with a lawgiver who holds fast to truth. [709d]

Clinias
Very true.

Athenian
Would not, then, the man who possessed art in regard to each of the crafts mentioned be able to pray aright for that condition which, if it were given by Chance, would need only the supplement of his own art?

Clinias
Certainly.

Athenian
And if all the other craftsmen mentioned just now were bidden to state the object of their prayers, they could do so, could they not?

Clinias
Of course.

Athenian
And the lawgiver, I suppose, could do likewise?

Clinias
I suppose so.

Athenian
“Come now, O lawgiver,” let us say to him, “what are we to give you, and what condition of State, to enable you, when you receive it, thence-forward to manage the State by yourself satisfactorily?” [709e]

Clinias
What is the next thing that can rightly be said?

Athenian
You mean, do you not, on the side of the lawgiver?

Clinias
Yes.

Athenian
This is what he will say: “Give me the State under a monarchy;1 and let the monarch be young, and possessed by nature of a good memory, quick intelligence, courage and nobility of manner; and let that quality, which we formerly mentioned2 as the necessary accompaniment of all the parts of virtue, attend now also

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