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[775a] before, during, or after marriage, each man shall enquire of the Interpreters, and believe that, in obeying their directions, he will have done all things duly. Concerning marriage-feasts,—both parties should invite their male and female friends, not more than five on each side, and an equal number of the kinsfolk and connections of both houses: in no case must the expense exceed what the person's means permit—one mina for the richest class, [775b] half that amount for the second, and so on in proportion, according as the valuation grows less. He that obeys the law should be praised by all; but he that disobeys the Law-wardens shall punish as a man of poor taste and ill-trained in the “nomes”1 of the nuptial Muses. Drinking to excess is a practice that is nowhere seemly2—save only at the feasts of the God, the Giver of wine,—nor yet safe; and certainly it is not so for those who take marriage seriously; for at such a time above all it behoves both bride and bridegroom to be sober, seeing that the change [775c] in their life is a great one, and in order to ensure, so far as possible, in every case that the child that is begotten may be sprung from the loins of sober parents: for what shall be, with God's help, the night or day of its begetting is quite uncertain. Moreover, it is not right that procreation should be the work of bodies dissolved by excess of wine, but rather that the embryo should be compacted firmly, steadily and quietly in the womb. But the man that is steeped in wine moves and is moved himself in every way, writhing both in body and soul; [775d] consequently, when drunk, a man is clumsy and bad at sowing seed, and is thus likely to beget unstable and untrusty offspring, crooked in form and character. Wherefore he must be very careful throughout all the year and the whole of his life—and most especially during the time he is begetting—to commit no act that involves either bodily ailment or violence and injustice; for these he will inevitably stamp on the souls and bodies of the offspring, [775e] and will generate them in every way inferior. From acts of such a kind he must especially abstain on the day and night of his marriage; for the Beginning that sits enshrined as a goddess3 among mortals is the Savior of all, provided that she receives the honor due to her from each one who approaches her. The man who marries must part from his father and mother, and take one of the two houses4

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