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[740a] and not farm in common, since such a course is beyond the capacity of people with the birth, rearing and training we assume. And let the apportionment be made with this intention,—that the man who receives the portion should still regard it as common property of the whole State, and should tend the land, which is his fatherland, more diligently than a mother tends her children, inasmuch as it, being a goddess, is mistress over its mortal population, and should observe the same attitude also towards the local gods [740b] and daemons. And in order that these things may remain in this state for ever, these further rules must be observed: the number of hearths, as now appointed by us, must remain unchanged, and must never become either more or less. This will be securely effected, in the case of every State, in the following way: the allotment-holder shall always leave behind him one son, whichever he pleases, as the inheritor of his dwelling, to be his successor in the tendance of the deified ancestors [740c] both of family and of State, whether living or already deceased; as to the rest of the children, when a man has more than one, he should marry off the females according to the law that is to be ordained,1 and the males he should dispose of to such of the citizens as have no male issue, by a friendly arrangement if possible; but where such arrangements prove insufficient, or where the family is too large either in females or in males, or where, on the other hand, it is too small, [740d] through the occurrence of sterility,—in all these cases the magistrates, whom we shall appoint as the highest and most distinguished,2 shall consider how to deal with the excess or deficiency in families, and contrive means as best they can to secure that the 5,040 househoIds shall remain unaltered. There are many contrivances possible: where the fertility is great, there are methods of inhibition, and contrariwise there are methods of encouraging and stimulating the birth-rate, by means of honors and dishonors, and by admonitions addressed [740e] by the old to the young, which are capable in all ways of producing the required effect. Moreover, as a final step,—in case we are in absolute desperation about the unequal condition of our 5,040 households, and are faced with a superabundance of citizens, owing to the mutual affection of those who cohabit with one another, which drives us to despair,—there still remains that ancient device which we have often mentioned, namely, the sending forth, in friendly wise from a friendly nation, of colonies consisting of such people as are deemed suitable. On the other hand, should the State ever be attacked by a deluging wave

1 Cp. Plat. Laws 742c.

2 i.e. the Law wardens; cp. Plat. Laws 755b.

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