IX. (32) Who then is able to encounter the accusation of these parents? No one can withstand even their moderate threats, or their very slightest reproach; for neither is any one able to contain the immeasurable multitude of their gifts, perhaps even the whole world is not; but like a shallow channel, when the great fountain of the bounties of God flows into it, it will be very speedily filled so as to overtop its bounds and overflow; but if we are unable to receive his benefits, how shall we endure his chastising powers when they come upon us? (33) But these parents of the universe must be taken out of the present discussion; and for the present let us consider their pupils and acquaintances who have had assigned to them the care and superintendence of such souls as are not unwilling to learn and illiterate. Therefore we say that the father is masculine and perfect right reason, and that the mother is that middle and encyclical course of study, and instruction, and learning, which it is honourable and advantageous to obey as a child obeys his parents. (34) The recommendation then of the father, that is of right reason, is to follow and obey reason, pursuing naked and undisguised truth; and the injunction of learning, the mother that is, is to obey the just customs, which ancient men who embraced opinion, as if it were truth, have established in cities, and nations, and countries. (35) Now these parents have four classes of children. First of all comes that class which is obedient to them both, the second is that which attends to neither, being the opposite of the former one. Of the others, each is half perfect. For the one is exceedingly attached to its father, and attends to him, but disregards its mother and her injunctions. The other again appears to be attached to its mother, and obeys her in everything, but pays but little attention to its father. The first class, therefore, will carry off the prize of victory as superior to all the others; the second, which is the contrary of it, will meet with defeat and destruction at the same time; and as to each of the others they will claim, one the second prize, and the other the third. The one which is obedient to its father being the second in honour, and the one which obeys its mother being the third.