(46) For just as it often happens, when the master of a gymnastic school, out of rivalry, has gone to extravagant expense, then some of those who are ignorant of all that is becoming, having been bespattered with oil instead of water, let all the drops from them fall upon the boards, and then a most slippery mud is the result: nevertheless a man, whose appreciations were just would not say that the hard and the slippery state of the ground was caused by the intention of the master of the school, but that these things had resulted accidentally, in consequence of the abundant quantity of the things supplied. (47) Again, the rainbow, and the halo, and all other things of that kind, are natural consequences of those things becoming mingled with the clouds, not being occurrences which lead and influence nature, but being the results and consequences of the operations of nature.

Not but what these very things themselves do also afford some signs of great importance to wise men, for, guiding their conjectures by them, they predict calms and storms of wind, and fine weather, and tempests. (48) Do you not see that porticoes which embellish the cities? the greater part of these look towards the south, in order that those who walk under them may be warm in the winter, and may be cool in the summer.

There is also another thing which does not happen through the intention of Him who made it, and what is this? the shadows which fall from the feet indicate the hours to our experience. (49) And again, fire is a most important work of nature, but the consequence of fire is smoke, and nevertheless even this too at times is of some service. At all events in the heat, in the middle of the day, when the fire is rendered invisible by the brilliancy of the beams of the sun, the approach of enemies is indicated by the smoke, (50) and the principle which causes the rainbow is also the same which, in some degree, regulates eclipses.