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[90] “Again; suppose there were two to be saved from the sinking ship—both of them wise men—and only one small plank, should both seize it to save themselves? Or should one give place to the other?”

“Why of course, one should give place to the other, but that other must be the one whose life is more valuable either for his own sake or for that of his country.”

“But what if these considerations are of equal weight in both?”

“Then there will be no contest, but one will give place to the other, as if the point were decided by lot or at a game of odd and even.”

“Again, suppose a father were robbing temples or making underground passages to the treasury, should a son inform the officers of it?”

“Nay; that were a crime; rather should he defend his father, in case he were indicted.”

“Well, then, are not the claims of country paramount to all other duties?”

[p. 367] “Aye, verily; but it is to our country's interest to have citizens who are loyal to their parents.”

“But once more—if the father attempts to make himself king, or to betray his country, shall the son hold his peace?”

“Nay, verily; he will plead with his father not to do so. If that accomplishes nothing, he will take him to task; he will even threaten; and in the end, if things point to the destruction of the state, he will sacrifice his father to the safety of his country.”

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