XVIII. (79) After having given these commandments, Moses proceeds in regular order to establish a law full of all gentleness and humanity. “If,” says this law, “one of thy brethren be sold to thee, let him serve thee for six years; and in the seventh year let him be set free without any Payment,”{11}{#de 15:12.} (80) Here again Moses calls their fellow countrymen their brothers, implanting in the soul of the owner by this appellation an idea of relationship to his servant, that he may not neglect him as a stranger, towards whom he has no bond of goodwill. But that, yielding to a feeling of affection for him as a relation, in consequence of the lesson which the holy scripture thus suggests, he may not feel indignant when his servant is about to recover his freedom. (81) For it has come to pass that such men are called slaves (douloi), but they are in reality only servants (theµtes), serving their masters for the sake of their necessities. And even though they had a thousand times over given their masters absolute power and authority over them, (82) still their masters ought to be gentle to them, considering these beautiful injunctions of the law. O man, he is a hireling who is called a slave, and he also is a man, having a most sublime relationship to you, inasmuch as he is of the same nation as yourself; and perhaps he is even of the same tribe and the same borough as yourself, and is now reduced to this condition through want. (83) Do you, therefore, casting out of your soul that treacherous evil, insolence, behave to him as if he were a hireling, giving some things and receiving others. And so he will, with all energy and cheerfulness perform the services due to you, at all times and in all places, never delaying, but by his speed and willingness anticipating your commands. And do you, in return, provide him with food and raiment, and take all other necessary care of him; not yoking him to the plough like a brute beast, and not oppressing him with heavy burdens beyond his power to bear, nor treating him with insolence, nor reducing him to painful despondency by threats and infliction of punishment; but giving him proper relaxation and well-regulated periods of rest; for the precept, “Let nothing be too much,” applies to every case, and especially to the conduct of masters to their servants. (84) Therefore, when he has served you for a very sufficient time, for six years, then, when the most sacred number, the seventh year is about to arrive, let him who is free by nature depart in freedom; and grant him this kindness without hesitating as to your part, my good man, but joyfully, because you have now an opportunity of doing a service to that most excellent of all animals, man, in the most important of all matters; for there is no blessing to a slave greater than freedom. (85) Do you, therefore, set him free joyfully; and, moreover, make him a present from your own property, from each portion of your possessions, giving to him who has served you faithfully means to support himself on his journey. For it will tend to your credit if he does not leave your house in poverty but having a plentiful supply for all his necessities, so that he may not again, through want, fall into his previous calamity, namely, slavery, being compelled through want of his daily food to sell himself, and so your kindness will be lost. This, then, is enough to say about the poor.