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[816e] or any one of a pair of contraries without the other, if one is to he a wise man; but to put both into practice is equally impossible, if one is to share in even a small measure of virtue; in fact, it is precisely for this reason that one should learn them,—in order to avoid ever doing or saying anything ludicrous, through ignorance, when one ought not; we will impose such mimicry on slaves and foreign hirelings, and no serious attention shall ever be paid to it, nor shall any free man or free woman be seen learning it, and there must always be some novel feature in their mimic shows.1 Let such, then, be the regulations for all those laughable amusements which we all call “comedy,”

1 i.e. lest the public taste should be debased by the repeated exhibition of any one piece of vulgarity.

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