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What law do you recommend them to make if that which is now proposed slips out of their grasp?Athenian
Evidently that law which comes next to it as second.Clinias
What is that?Athenian
One ought to put the force of pleasures as far as possible out of gear, by diverting its increase and nutriment to another part of the body by means of exercise. This would come about if indulgence in sexual intercourse were devoid of shamelessness; for if, owing to shame, people indulged in it but seldom, [841b] in consequence of this rare indulgence they would find it a less tyrannical mistress. Let them, therefore, regard privacy in such actions as honorable—sanctioned both by custom and by unwritten law; and want of privacy—yet not the entire avoidance of such actions—as dishonorable. Thus we shall have a second standard of what is honorable and shameful established by law and possessing a second degree of rectitude; and those people of depraved character, whom we describe as “self-inferior,”1 and who form a single kind, shall be hemmed in [841c] by three kinds of force and compelled to refrain from law-breaking.Clinias
That of godly fear, and that of love of honor, and that which is desirous of fair forms of soul, not fair bodies. The things I now mention are, perhaps, like the visionary ideals in a story; yet in very truth, if only they were realized, they would prove a great blessing in every State. Possibly, should God so grant, [841d] we might forcibly effect one of two things in this matter of sex-relations,—either that no one should venture to touch any of the noble and freeborn save his own wedded wife, nor sow any unholy and bastard seed in fornication, nor any unnatural and barren seed in sodomy,—or else we should entirely abolish love for males, and in regard to that for women, if we enact a law that any man who has intercourse with any women save those who have been brought to his house [841e] under the sanction of Heaven and holy marriage, whether purchased or otherwise acquired, if detected in such intercourse by any man or woman, shall be disqualified from any civic commendation, as being really an alien,— probably such a law would be approved as right. So let this law—whether we ought to call it one law or two—be laid down concerning sexual commerce and love affairs in general, as regards right and wrong conduct
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