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[777a] declared that—“Of half their wits far-thundering Zeus bereaves
Those men on whom the day of bondage falls.
Hom. Od. 17.322Thus each party adopts a different attitude of mind: the one places no trust at all in the servant-class, but, treating them like brute beasts, with goads and whips they make the servants' souls not merely thrice but fifty times enslaved; whereas the other party act in precisely the opposite way.

Just so. [777b]

Since this difference of opinion exists, Stranger, what ought we to do about our own country, in regard to the owning of slaves and their punishment?

Well now, Clinias, since man is an intractable creature, it is plain that he is not at all likely to be or become easy to deal with in respect of the necessary distinction between slave and free-born master in actual experience.

That is evident.

The slave is no easy chattel. For actual experience shows [777c] how many evils result from slavery,—as in the frequent revolts in Messenia, and in the States where there are many servants kept who speak the same tongue, not to speak of the crimes of all sorts committed by the “Corsairs,”1 as they are called, who haunt the coasts of Italy, and the reprisals therefor. In view of all these facts, it is really a puzzle to know how to deal with all such matters. Two means only are left for us to try—the one is, [777d] not to allow the slaves, if they are to tolerate slavery quietly, to be all of the same nation, but, so far as possible, to have them of different races,—and the other is to accord them proper treatment, and that not only for their sakes, but still more for the sake of ourselves. Proper treatment of servants consists in using no violence towards them, and in hurting them even less, if possible, than our own equals. For it is his way of dealing with men whom it is easy for him to wrong that shows most clearly whether a man is genuine or hypocritical in his reverence for justice and hatred of injustice. He, therefore, that in dealing with slaves proves himself, in his character and action, [777e] undefiled by what is unholy or unjust will best be able to sow a crop of goodness,—and this we may say, and justly say, of every master, or king, and of everyone who possesses any kind of absolute power over a person weaker than himself. We ought to punish slaves justly, and not to make them conceited by merely admonishing them as we would free men. An address to a servant should be mostly a simple command: there should be no jesting

1 The peculiar termπερίδινοι (“circling round”) seems to have been applied especially to these sea-rovers of the Tarentine coast.

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