XL. There is a third way of looking at this subject, which depends chiefly on the exceeding plausibility of an argument derived from etymology. For some persons think that drunkenness (metheµ) derives its name not merely from the fact of its being admitted after sacrifice, but also because it is the cause of relaxation (methesis) to the soul. (166) But the reason of foolish men is relaxed so as to get strength for many sins; while that of those inclined to be sensible is relaxed, so as to enjoy freedom from care, and cheerfulness, and lightness of heart. For the wise man, when he is intoxicated, becomes more good-humoured than when he is sober; so that in this respect we should not be at all wrong in saying that he may get drunk. (167) And besides all this, we must likewise add, that we are not speaking of a stern-looking and sordid kind of wisdom, contracted by profound thought and ill-humour; but, on the other hand, of that wisdom which wears on tranquil and cheerful appearance, being full of joy and happiness, by which men have often been led on to sport and divert themselves in no inelegant manner, indulging in amusements suitable to their dignified and earnest character, just as in a well-tuned lyre one may have a combination uniting, by means of opposite sounds, in one melodious harmony. (168) At all events, according to the most holy Moses, the end of all wisdom is amusement and mirth, not such mirth as is pursued by foolish people, uncombined with any prudence, but such as is admitted even by those who are already grey, not only through old age alone, but also through deep thinking. Do you not see that he speaks of the man who has drunk deeply of that wisdom which is to be derived from a man’s own hearing and learning, and study; not as one who partakes of mirth, but who is actually mirth in itself? (169) This is Isaac, for the name Isaac being interpreted means “laughter,” with whose character it is very consistent that he should have been sporting with “perseverance,” which the Hebrews call Rebekkah.