If they are made
to work, and are chastised, but stinted of their food, such treatment is
oppressive, and saps their strength. The remaining alternative, therefore, is to
give them work, and a sufficiency of food. Unless we pay men, we cannot control
them; and food is a slave's pay.
are no exception to the rule that men become worse when better conduct is not
followed by better treatment, but virtue and vice remain alike unrewarded.
Accordingly we must keep watch
over our workers, suiting our dispensations and indulgences to their desert;
whether it be food or clothing, leisure or chastisement that we are
apportioning. Both in theory and in practice we must take for our model a
physician's freedom in prescribing his medicines; observing at the same time
that food differs from medicine in that it requires to be constantly
The best laborers will be furnished by those races of
mankind which are neither wholly spiritless nor yet overbold. Each extreme has
its vice; the spiritless cannot endure hard labor, and the high-spirited will
not readily brook control.
Every slave should have before his eyes a
definite goal or term of his labor. To set the prize of freedom before him is
both just and expedient; since having a prize to work for, and a time defined
for its attainment, he will put his heart into his labors. We should, moreover,
take hostages <for our slaves' fidelity> by allowing them to beget
children; and avoid the practice of purchasing many slaves of the same
nationality, as men avoid doing in towns. We should also keep festivals and give
treats, more on the slaves account than on that of the freemen;
since the free have a fuller share in those
enjoyments for the sake of which these institutions exist.
There are four
qualities which the head of a household must possess in dealing with his
property. Firstly, he must have the faculty of acquiring, and secondly that of
preserving what he has acquired; otherwise there is no more benefit in acquiring
than in baling with a colander, or in the proverbial wine-jar with a hole in the
bottom. Thirdly and fourthly, he must know how to improve his property, and how
to make use of it; since these are the ends for which the powers of acquisition
and of preservation are sought.
Everything we possess should be duly classified ;
and the amount of our productive property exceed that of the unproductive.
Produce should be so employed that we do not risk all our possessions at once.
For the safe keeping of our property, we shall do well to adopt the Persian and
Laconian systems. Athenian housecraft has, however, some advantages. The
Athenian buys immediately with the produce of his sales, and the smaller
households keep no idle deposits in store.
Under the Persian system, the
master himself undertook the entire disposition and supervision of the
household, following the practice which
Dion used to remark in Dionysius. No one, indeed, takes the same
care of another's property as of his own; so that, as far as is possible,