This statement is the most correct way of praising the citizen; and in this way, moreover, the lawgiver must not only write down the laws, but in addition to the laws, and combined with them, he must write down his decisions as to what things are good and what bad; and the perfect citizen must abide by these decisions no less than by the rules enforced by legal penalties. The subject now before us we may adduce as a witness
to show more clearly what we mean. Hunting is a large and complex matter, all of which is now generally embraced under this single name. Of the hunting of water-animals there are many varieties, and many of the hunting of fowls; and very many varieties also of hunts of land-animals—not of beasts only, but also, mark you, of men, both in war and often, too, in friendship, a kind of hunt that is partly approved and partly disapproved;1
and then there are robberies and hunts carried on by pirates and by bands.
When the lawgiver is making laws about hunting, he is necessarily bound to make this point clear, and to lay down minatory directions by imposing regulations and penalties for all these kinds. What then ought to be done about these matters? The lawgiver, for his part, will be right in praising or blaming hunting with an eye to the toils and pursuits of the young; and the young man will be right in listening and obeying, and in allowing neither pleasure nor toil to hinder him, and in holding in greater respect the orders that are sanctioned by praise,
and carrying them out, rather than those which are enacted by law under threat of penalties. After these prefatory observations there will follow adequate praise and blame of hunting—praise of the kind which renders the souls of the young better, and blame of the kind which does the opposite. Our next step will be to address the young people with prayer—“O friends, would that you might never be seized with any desire or craving for hunting by sea, or for angling,
or for ever pursuing water-animals with creels that do your lazy hunting for you, whether you sleep or wake. And may no longing for man-hunting by sea and piracy overtake you, and render you cruel and lawless hunters; and may the thought of committing robbery in country or city not so much as cross your minds. Neither may there seize upon any of the young the crafty craving for snaring birds—