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[829a] like an individual, ought to lead a good life. But for a good and blessed life, the first requisite is neither to do wrong oneself nor to suffer wrong from others. Of these, the former is not very hard, but it is very hard to secure immunity from suffering wrong;1 indeed, it is impossible to gain this perfectly, except by becoming perfectly good. So likewise a State may obtain a life of peace if it becomes good, but if bad, a life of war both abroad and at home. This being so, all men must train for war [829b] not in war-time, but while they are living in peace.2 Therefore, a judicious State must carry out a march, every month, for not less than one whole day, or more (according as the rulers decree),3 paying no heed to cold weather or hot: all shall join in it—men, women and children—whenever the rulers decide to march them out en masse, and at other times they shall go in sections. Along with sacrifices, they must continually devise noble games, to serve [829c] as festival-contests, modelled as closely as possible on those of war. At each of these they must distribute prizes and awards of merit, and compose for one another speeches of praise and blame, according to the character each one exhibits not only in the contests, but in his life generally, magnifying him who is accounted most good and blaming him who is not. Such speeches not everyone shall compose; for, first, no one who is under fifty years old shall compose one, and further, no one shall do so who, though he may be fully proficient in poetry and music, has not as yet performed any noble [829d] or notable deed. But, even though they be not musical, those poems shall be sung which are composed by men4 who are personally good and honored in the State as performers of noble deeds. The adjudication of these shall lie with the Educator and the rest of the Law-wardens, who shall grant them the sole privilege of free speech in song; whereas to the others no permission shall be given; nor yet shall anyone venture to sing an unauthorized song— [829e] not even should it be sweeter than the hymns of Orpheus or of Thamyras,—but only such sacred poems as have won the judges' approval and have been presented to the gods, or those by good men which have been adjudged to have duly distributed praise or blame. In regard both to military operations and to freedom of poetic speech I state that the same rules shall apply equally to both men and women. The lawgiver ought to commune with himself and reason thus—“Come now, what men am I to rear up,

1 Cp. Plat. Laws 663a, Plat. Laws 904e. “Perfect goodness” helps to secure this “immunity” because it includes the virtue of “courage”: people do not lightly provoke the brave warrior.

2 Cp. Plat. Laws 803d, Plat. Laws 814d.

3 Cp. Plat. Laws 830d.

4 Cp. Plat. Laws 936a.

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