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[1331b] [1] The agora for merchandise must be different from the free agora, and in another place; it must have a site convenient for the collection there of all the goods sent from the seaport and from the country. And as the divisions of the state's populace include1 priests and magistrates, it is suitable that the priests' mess-rooms also should have their position round that of the sacred buildings. And all the magistracies that superintend contracts, and the registration of actions at law, summonses and other such matters of administration, and also those that deal with the control of the markets and with what is termed policing the city, should have buildings adjacent to an agora or some public place of resort, and such a place is the neighborhood of the business agora, for we assign the upper agora as the place in which to spend leisure, and this one for necessary business.

The arrangements in the country also should copy the plan described; there too the magistrates called in some states Wardens of the Woods and in others Land-superintendents must have their guard-posts and mess-rooms for patrol duty, and also temples must be distributed over the country, some dedicated to gods and some to heroes. But to linger at this point over the detailed statement and discussion of questions of this kind is waste of time. [20] The difficulty with such things is not so much in the matter of theory but in that of practice; to lay down principles is a work of aspiration, but their realization is the task of fortune. Hence we will relinquish for the present the further consideration of matters of this sort.

We must now discuss the constitution itself, and ask what and of what character should be the components of the state that is to have felicity and good government. There are two things in which the welfare of all men consists: one of these is the correct establishment of the aim and end of their actions, the other the ascertainment of the actions leading to that end. (For the end proposed and the means adopted may be inconsistent with one another, as also they may be consistent; sometimes the aim has been correctly proposed, but people fail to achieve it in action, sometimes they achieve all the means successfully but the end that they posited was a bad one, and sometimes they err as to both—for instance, in medicine practitioners are sometimes both wrong in their judgement of what qualities a healthy body ought to possess and unsuccessful in hitting on effective means to produce the distinctive aim that they have set before them; whereas in the arts and sciences both these things have to be secured, the end and the practical means to the end.) Now it is clear that all men aim at the good life and at happiness, but though some possess the power to attain these things, some do not, owing to some factor of fortune or of nature (fortune because the good life needs also a certain equipment of means,

1 Perhaps the Greek should be altered to τὸ προεστός, ‘as the governing class is divided into.’

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