For differences of ways and habits are little conducive to affection. As regards adornment: it is not well  that souls should approach one another in borrowed plumes, nor is it well in the case of bodies. Intercourse which depends <for its charm> upon outward adornment differs in no respect from that of figures on the stage in their conventional attire. Of property, the first and most indispensable kind is that which is also best and most amenable to Housecraft; and this is the human chattel. Our first step therefore must be to procure good slaves. Of slaves there are two kinds; those in positions of trust, and the laborers. And since it is matter of experience that the character of the young can be moulded by training, when we require to charge slaves with tasks befitting the free, we have not only to procure the slaves, but to bring them up <for the trust>. In our intercourse with slaves we must neither suffer them to be insolent nor treat them with cruelty. A share of honor should be given to those who are doing more of a freeman's work, and abundance of food to those who are laboring with their hands. And whereas the use of wine renders even free men insolent, so that in many countries they too refrain from it—as, for instance, the Carthaginians do when they are on campaign—it follows that we must either deny wine to slaves altogether, or reserve it for rare occasions. We may apportion to our slaves (1) work, (2) chastisement, and (3) food. If men are given food, but no chastisement nor any work, they become insolent.
“ Take thee a maiden to wife, and teach her ways of discretion.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.