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And Plato, in the sixth book of the Laws, says,—"The whole question about servants is full of difficulty; for of all the Greeks, the system of the Helots among the Lacedæ- monians causes the greatest perplexity and dispute, some people affirming that it is a wise institution, and some con- sidering it as of a very opposite character. But the system of slavery among the people of Heraclea would cause less dis- pute than the subject condition of the Mariandyni; and so too would the condition of the Thessalian Penestæ. And if we con- sider all these things, what ought we to do with respect to the acquisition of servants? For there is nothing sound in the feelings of slaves; nor ought a prudent man to trust them in anything of importance. And the wisest of all poets says—
Jove fix'd it certain that whatever day
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.
And it has been frequently shown by facts, that a slave in an objectionable and perilous possession; especially in the fre- quent revolts of the Messenians, and in the case of those cities which have many slaves, speaking different languages, in which many evils arise from that circumstance. And also we may come to the same conclusion from the exploits and sufferings of all sorts of robbers, who infest the Italian coasts [p. 416] as piratical vagabonds. And if any one considers all these cir- cumstances, he may well doubt what course ought to be pursued with respect to all these people. Two remedies now are left to us—either never to allow, for the future, any person's slaves to be one another's fellow-countrymen, and, as far as possible, to prevent their even speaking the same language: and he should also keep them well, not only for their sake, but still more for his own; and he should behave towards them with as little insolence as possible. But it is right to chastise them with justice; not admonishing them as if they were free men, so as to make them arrogant: and every word which we address to slaves ought to be, in some sort, a command. And a man ought never to play at all with his slaves, or jest with them, whether they be male or female. And as to the very foolish way in which many people treat their slaves, allowing them great indulgence and great licence, they only make everything more difficult for both parties: they make obedience harder for the one to practise, and authority harder for the others to exercise.

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