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[844a] Thus, regarding water-supplies also, there are excellent old laws laid down for farmers, which we, in our exposition, need not draw upon. Let this suffice:—he that desires to bring water to his own land may do so, commencing at the public cisterns, but he must not undercut the exposed wells of any private person: he may lead it by whatever way he wishes, except through a house, temple or tomb, and he must do no damage beyond the actual work of channelling. If, in any spot, the rain-water filters through owing to the natural dryness of the soil, [844b] and there is a scarcity of necessary moisture, then the owner shall dig in his own ground down to the chalk subsoil, and if he fails to find water at this depth, he shall procure from his neighbors just so much as he requires for drinking purposes for all his household; and if his neighbors also are stinted in their supplies, he shall apply for a ration of water from the land-stewards, and fetch it day by day, and so share the water with his neighbors. [844c] And if, when rain comes, any dweller on lower ground damages the farmer above him, or the adjoining dweller, by preventing its outflow,—or if, conversely, the man on higher ground damages the man below by letting out the floods carelessly,—and if, in consequence, they refuse to accommodate one another in this matter, any person who wishes shall call in a city-steward, if it is in the city, or a land-steward, if in the country, and get an order as to what each party is to do; and the man who does not abide by the order shall be liable to be charged with envy and frowardness, [844d] and if convicted he shall pay to the injured party double the damage, for refusing to obey the magistrates. As concerns the fruit-harvest, the rule of sharing for all shall be this—this goddess has bestowed on us two gifts, one the plaything of Dionysus which goes unstored, the other produced by nature for putting in store.1 So let this law be enacted concerning the fruit-harvest:—whosoever shall taste of the coarse crop of grapes or figs before the season of vintage, [844e] which coincides with the rising of Arcturus, whether it be on his own land or on that of others, shall owe fifty sacred drachmae to Dionysus if he has cut them from his own trees, if from his neighbor's trees, a mina, and if from others, two-thirds of a mina. And if any man wishes to harvest “choice” grapes or “choice” figs (as they are now called), he shall gather them how and when he will if they are from his own trees, but if they are from another man's, and without his consent, he shall be fined every time, in pursuance of the law,2 “thou shalt not shift what thou hast not set.”

1 i.e. (1) choice (or “dessert”) fruit, for immediate use, and (2) coarse fruit, of poorer quality, for storing in bulk or making into wine.

2 Cp. Plat. Laws 913c, Plat. Laws 913d.

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