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[779a] instead of securing their safety by keeping watch night and day, it tempts them to believe that their safety is ensured if they are fenced in with walls and gates and go to sleep, like men born to shirk toil, little knowing that ease is really the fruit of toil, whereas a new crop of toils is the inevitable outcome, as I think, of dishonorable ease and sloth. But if men really must have a wall, [779b] then the building of the private houses must be arranged from the start in such a way that the whole city may form a single wall; all the houses must have good walls, built regularly and in a similar style, facing the roads,1 so that the whole city will have the form of a single house, which will render its appearance not unpleasing, besides being far and away the best plan for ensuring safety and ease for defence. To see that the original buildings remain will fittingly be the special charge of the inmates; [779c] and the city-stewards should supervise them, and compel by fines those who are negligent, and also watch over the cleanliness of everything in the city, and prevent any private person from encroaching on State property either by buildings or diggings. These officers must also keep a watch over the proper flowing of the rain-water, and over all other matters, whether within or without the city, that it is right for them to manage. All such details—and all else that the lawgiver is unable to deal with and omits— [779d] the Law-wardens shall regulate by supplementary decrees, taking account of the practical requirements. And now that these buildings and those of the market-place, and the gymnasia, and all the schools have been erected and await their inmates, and the theaters their spectators, let us proceed to the subject which comes next after marriage, taking our legislation in order.

By all means.

Let us regard the marriage ceremony as now completed, Clinias; next will come the period before child-birth, [779e] which will extend to a full year: how the bride and bridegroom ought to pass this time in a State that will be unlike most other States,—that is to be our next theme, and it is not the easiest of things to explain; we have uttered not a few hard sayings before, but none of them all will the mass find harder to accept than this. All the same, what we believe to be right and true must by all means be stated,2 Clinias.


Whoever proposes to publish laws for States,

1 These “roads” (or streets) would divide the city into blocks, surrounded by continuous walls formed by the outer circle of houses, all of the same size and shape.

2 Cp. Plat. Laws 821a;Epist. 7. 330 A.

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