XXXVI. (157) Therefore the words of the law here admit, perhaps, of all these and even of still more excuses; but that no one of those who study evil cunning, through his ingenuity in devising excuses, may feel any confidence in their validity, we will proceed with the allegory, and say that, in the first place, the law does not only think it right for men to labour for the acquisition of good things, but also for the enjoyment of those which they have already acquired; and that it looks upon happiness as consisting in the exercise of perfect virtue, which makes life safe and complete. In the second place, that the question here is not about a house, or a vineyard, or a betrothed and espoused wife, in order that he may marry her as an accepted suitor, and that he who planted the vineyard may gather the fruit thereof and press it out, and then, drinking the unmixed wine, may be gladdened in his heart, and that the man who has built a house may dwell in it; but the question is rather about the faculties of the soul, to which the beginnings, and progress, and perfection of all praiseworthy actions are owing. (158) Now, the beginnings have usually especial connection with a suitor; for as he who courts a wife is about to become her husband, since he is not so already, so in the same manner whoever, endued with a good disposition, hopes to marry that well-born and pure maiden, education, courts her immediately. Progress has especial reference to the husbandman; for as it is an object of particular care to the planter to make his trees grow, so also is it to him, who is devoted to learning, that the speculations of wisdom should receive the greatest possible improvement. And perfection especially belongs to the building of a house when it is finished, but has not yet settled and become firm.