Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/31

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23
Analysis

the age of marriage, regulate the physical condition of the parents, provide for the exposure of infants, and settle the duration of marriage (c. 16). He must also prescribe a physical training for infants and young children. For their moral education the very young should be committed to overseers ; these should select the tales which they are told, their associates, the pictures, plays, and statues which they see. From five to seven years of age should be the period of preparation for intellectual training (c. 17).


BOOK VIII (V).

cc. 1-7. The Ideal Education continued. Its Music and Gymnastic.

Education should be under state-control and the same for all the citizens (c. 1). It should comprise those useful studies which every one must master, but none which degrade the mind or body (c. 2). Reading, writing, and drawing have always been taught on the score of their utility ; gymnastic as producing valour. Music is taught as a recreation, but it serves a higher purpose. The noble employment of leisure is the highest aim which a man can pursue ; and music is valuable for this purpose. The same may be said of drawing, and other subjects of education have the same kind of value (c. 3).

Gymnastic is the first stage of education ; but we must not develop the valour and physique of our children at the expense of the mind, as they do in Sparta. Until puberty, and for three years after, bodily exercise should be light (c. 4). Music, if it were a mere amusement, should not be taught to children ; they would do better by listening