XXXV. (164) But that we may not, through deviating from the right road, be compelled to yield to one of two rival faults, let us desire and pray to be able to proceed straight along the middle of the road. Now, the middle between temerity and cowardice, is courage; the mean between profuse extravagance and illiberal stinginess, is temperance; that between crafty unscrupulousness and folly, is prudence; and the proper path between superstition and impiety, is piety. (165) These lie in the middle between the deviations on either side, and are all roads easily travelled, and level, and plain, which we must walk upon not with our bodily organs, but with the motions of a soul continually desiring what is best. (166) At this, the earthly Edom, being excessively indignant (for he is afraid of the overthrow and confusion of his own doctrines), will threaten us with irreconcilable wars, if we attempt to force our way along it, cutting down and clearing away continually as we advance the fruitful trees of his soul, which he planted for the destruction of wisdom, but has not gathered the fruit thereof; for he says, “Thou shalt not pass by me; and if thou dost, I will come forth in battle against thee to meet thee.” (167) But let us regard none of his threats, but make answer that we will pass by his mountain; that is to say, we being accustomed to associate with high and sublime powers and to investigate everything according to its true definition, and being used to inquire into the reason of everything whatever, of every kind, by means of which the knowledge is attained of what anything is, hold in utter contempt everything which is external and which affects the body alone; for such things are lowly and grovelling in the ground, dear indeed to you, but hated by us, for which reason we will not have anything to do with any one of them. (168) For if, as the proverb says, we only touch this with the tip of our finger, we shall be giving honour and dignity to you; for then you will give yourself airs and will boast, as if we who are lovers of virtue had been brought over to you by the allurements of pleasure.