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[807a] in honor of those gods to whom that night and day were dedicated, and so finally retired home. Supposing them to be thus organized, is there no necessary work, of a really appropriate kind, left for them, but must every one of them continue fattening himself like a beast?1 That, we assert, is neither right nor good; nor is it possible for one who lives thus to miss his due reward; and the due reward of an idle beast, fattened in sloth, is, as a rule, [807b] to fall a prey to another beast—one of those which are worn to skin and bone through toil hardily endured. Now it is probable that if we look to find this state of leisure fully realized exactly as described, we shall be disappointed, so long as women and children and houses remain private, and all these things are established as the private property of individuals; but if the second-best State,2 as now described, [807c] could exist, we might be well content with it. And, we assert, there does remain for men living this life a task that is by no means small or trivial, but rather one that a just law imposes upon them as the weightiest task of all. For as compared with the life that aims at a Pythian or Olympian victory and is wholly lacking in leisure for other tasks, that life we speak of—which most truly deserves the name of “life”—is doubly (nay, far more than doubly) lacking in leisure, seeing that it is occupied with the care [807d] of bodily and spiritual excellence in general. For there ought to be no other secondary task to hinder the work of supplying the body with its proper exercise and nourishment, or the soul with learning and moral training: nay, every night and day is not sufficient for the man who is occupied therein to win from them their fruit in full and ample measure. So this being nature's law, a program must be framed for all the freeborn men, prescribing how they shall pass their time continuously, [807e] from dawn to dawn and sunrise on each successive day. It would be undignified for a lawgiver to mention a host of petty matters connected with the domestic arrangements—such as, in particular, the rules about that wakefulness at night which is proper for men who propose to guard a whole State adequately and continuously. That any citizen, indeed, should spend the whole of any night in sleep, instead of setting an example to his household by being himself

1 Cp. Aristot. Pol. 1334a.13 ff.

2 i.e. the (Magnesian) State described in the Laws, in contrast to the Ideal (communistic) State of the Republic.

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