but that form, which needs good luck, we should employ as seldom as possible. The State which means to survive must necessarily act thus, my friends, for the reasons we have stated. For just as a ship when sailing on the sea requires continual watchfulness both by night and day, so likewise a State, when it lives amidst the surge of surrounding States and is in danger of being entrapped by all sorts of plots, requires to have officers linked up with officers from day to night and from night to day,
and guardians succeeding guardians, and being succeeded in turn, without a break. But since a crowd of men is incapable of ever performing any of these duties smartly, the bulk of the Councillors must necessarily be left to stay most of their time at their private business, to attend to their domestic affairs; and we must assign a twelfth part of them to each of the twelve months, to furnish guards in rotation, so as promptly to meet any person coming either from somewhere abroad or
from their own State, in case he desires to give information or to make enquiries about some matter of international importance; and so as to make replies, and, when the State has asked questions, to receive the replies; and above all, in view of the manifold innovations that are wont to occur constantly in States, to prevent if possible their occurrence,
and in case they do occur, to ensure that the State may perceive and remedy the occurrence as quickly as possible. For these reasons, this presidential section of the State must always have the control of the summoning and dissolving of assemblies, both the regular legal assemblies and those of an emergency character. Thus a twelfth part of the Council will be the body that manages all these matters, and each such part shall rest in turn for eleven-twelfths of the year: in common with the rest of the officials, this twelfth section of the Council must keep its watch in the State over these matters continually. This disposition of affairs in the city will prove a reasonable arrangement.
But what control are we to have, and what system, for all the rest of the country? Now that all the city and the whole country have each been divided up into twelve parts, must not supervisors be appointed for the roads of the city itself, the dwellings, buildings, harbors, market, springs, and for the sacred glebes also and the temples, and all such things?Clinias