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  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: June 2012

BOOK 3

Summary

[1] MARCUS: Then I will continue to follow that divine man whom I perhaps praise more frequently than I need to because of the admiration for him which moves me.

ATTICUS: You mean Plato, I suppose.

MARCUS: Precisely, Atticus.

ATTICUS: You could never praise him too much or too often. Even my own people, who never want anyone except their own founder to be praised, permit me to esteem him at my own discretion.

MARCUS: A good decision on their part. What could be more worthy of your own refinement? Your life and language appear to me to have achieved that most difficult combination of seriousness and humaneness.

ATTICUS: I'm very glad to have interrupted you, since you have given me such a grand statement of your opinion. But go on.

MARCUS: Then shall we start by praising the law in accordance with the true praise appropriate to its kind?

ATTICUS: Yes, just as you did with the religious law.

[2] MARCUS: You see, then, that this is the power of the magistrate, that he be in charge and ordain behavior that is right and useful and in accordance with the laws. Just as the laws are in charge of the magistrates, so the magistrates are in charge of the people; it can truly be said that a magistrate is a law that speaks, and a law is a silent magistrate.