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[822e] a thing which has often cropped up in the course of our discussion,1 as, for example, in connection with the nurture of young children: such matters, we say, should not be left unregulated, but it would be most foolish to regard those regulations as enacted laws. When, then, the laws and the whole constitution have been thus written down, our praise of the citizen who is preeminent for virtue will not be complete when we say that the virtuous man is he who is the best servant of the laws and the most obedient; a more complete statement will be this,—that the virtuous man is he who passes through life consistently obeying the written rules of the lawgiver, as given in his legislation, approbation and disapprobation.2

1 Plat. Laws 788a ff., Plat. Laws 793a ff.

2 i.e. for perfect virtue there is required not only obedience to statute law, but also conformity with all the other rules of conduct laid down by the lawgiver in the less rigid form of advice (“approbation” and “disapprobation”).

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