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By all means ordain it so; for that is a law carried by a unanimous vote.Athenian
What then, next to auspicious speech, should be the second law of music? Is it not that prayers should be made on each occasion to those gods to whom offering is made?Clinias
The third law, I suppose, will be this,—that the poets, knowing that prayers are requests addressed to gods, must take the utmost care lest unwittingly [801b] they request a bad thing as though it were a good thing; for if such a prayer were made, it would prove, I fancy, a ludicrous blunder.Clinias
Did not our argument convince us, a little while ago,1 that no Plutus either in gold or in silver should dwell enshrined within the State?Clinias
What then shall we say that this statement serves to illustrate? Is it not this,—that the tribe of poets is not wholly capable of discerning [801c] very well what is good and what not? For surely when a poet, suffering from this error, composes prayers either in speech or in song, he will be making our citizens contradict ourselves in their prayers for things of the greatest moment; yet this, as we have said,2 is an error than which few are greater. So shall we also lay down this as one of our laws and typical cases regarding music?Clinias
What law? Explain it to us more clearly.Athenian
The law that the poet shall compose nothing which goes beyond the limits of what the State holds to be legal and right, fair and good; nor shall he show [801d] his compositions to any private person until they have first been shown to the judges appointed to deal with these matters, and to the Law-wardens, and have been approved by them. And in fact we have judges appointed in those whom we selected to be the legislators of music and in the supervisor of education. Well then, I repeat my question,—is this to be laid down as our third law, typical case, and example? What think you?Clinias
Be it laid down by all means.Athenian
Next to these, it will be most proper to sing hymns and praise to the gods, coupled with prayers; and after the gods will come prayers combined with praise to daemons and heroes, as is befitting to each.Clinias
To be sure. [801e] Athenian
This done, we may proceed at once without scruple to formulate this law:—all citizens who have attained the goal of life and have wrought with body or soul noble works and toilsome, and have been obedient to the laws, shall be regarded as fitting objects for praise.Clinias
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