by imposing unfair charges, or by trying to plunder some of their farm-stores without their consent, or if they take a gift intended as a bribe, or distribute goods unjustly—for yielding to seduction they shall be branded with disgrace throughout the whole State; and in respect of all other wrongs they have committed against people in the district, up to the value of one mina, they shall voluntarily submit to trial before the villagers and neighbors; and should they on any occasion, in respect of either a greater or lesser wrong,
refuse thus to submit,—trusting that by their moving on every month to a new district they will escape trial,—in such cases the injured party must institute proceedings at the public courts, and if he win his suit, he shall exact the double penalty from the defendant who has absconded and refused to submit voluntarily to trial. The mode of life of the officers and land-stewards during their two years of service shall be of the following kind. First,
in each of the districts there shall be common meals, at which all shall mess together. If a man absents himself by day, or by sleeping away at night, without orders from the officers or some urgent cause, and if the Five inform against him and post his name up in the market-place as guilty of deserting his watch, then he shall suffer degradation for being a traitor to his public duty, and whoever meets him and desires to punish him may give him a beating
with impunity. And if any one of the officers themselves commits any such act, it will be proper for all the Sixty to keep an eye on him; and if any of them notices or hears of such an act, but fails to prosecute, he shall be held guilty under the same laws, and shall be punished more severely than the young men; he shall be entirely disqualified from holding posts of command over the young men. Over these matters the Law-wardens shall exercise most careful supervision, to prevent if possible their occurrence, and, where they do occur, to ensure that they meet with the punishment they deserve.
Now it is needful that every man should hold the view, regarding men in general, that the man who has not been a servant will never become a praiseworthy master, and that the right way to gain honor is by serving honorably rather than by ruling honorably—doing service first to the laws, since this is service to the gods, and, secondly, the young always serving the elder folk and those who have lived honorable lives. In the next place, he who is made a land-steward must have partaken of the daily rations, which are coarse and uncooked, during the two years of service. For whenever the Twelve have been chosen,