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[766a] Man, as we affirm, is a tame creature: none the less, while he is wont to become an animal most godlike and tame when he happens to possess a happy nature combined with right education, if his training be deficient or bad, he turns out the wildest of all earth's creatures. Wherefore the lawgiver must not permit them to treat the education of children as a matter of secondary or casual importance; but, inasmuch as the presiding official must be well selected, he must begin first by charging them to appoint as president, to the best of their power, [766b] that one of the citizens who is in every way the most excellent. Therefore all the officials—excepting the Council and the prytaneis—shall go to the temple of Apollo, and shall each cast his vote for whichever one of the Law-wardens he deems likely best to control educational affairs. He who gains most votes, after passing a scrutiny held by the selecting officials, other than the Law-wardens, shall hold office for five years: in the sixth year they shall elect another man for this office [766c] in a similar manner. If anyone holding a public office dies more than thirty days before his office terminates, those whose proper duty it is must appoint a substitute in the same manner. If a guardian of orphans dies, the relations, who are residents, on both the father's and mother's side, as far as cousin's children, shall appoint a substitute within ten days, failing which they shall each be fined one drachma per diem [766d] until they have appointed the guardian for the children. A State, indeed, would be no State if it had no law-courts properly established; but a judge who was dumb and who said as little as litigants at a preliminary inquiry,1 as do arbitrators,2 would never prove efficient in deciding questions of justice; consequently it is not easy for a large body of men to judge well, nor yet for a small one, if of poor ability. The matter in dispute on either side [766e] must always be made clear, and for elucidating the point at issue, lapse of time, deliberation and frequent questionings are of advantage. Therefore those who challenge each other must go first to the neighbors and friends who know most about

1 i.e. an inquiry into the grounds of a proposed action at law, to decide whether or not it should be brought into court.

2 i.e. persons appointed to settle points in dispute, so as to avoid a legal trial in the regular courts.

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