XIII. (51) And we may almost say that this has happened to many of those who have used out of the way roads to learning; for still, as one may say, men coming from their very swaddling clothes to the most perfect study and way of life, philosophy, not thinking it fit to be utterly ignorant of encyclical learning, have still determined to apply themselves to them late and unwillingly. And then, descending from the older and more important kinds of learning to the contemplation of the inferior and younger branches, they have grown old among them so as no longer to be able to return to those pursuits with which they began. (52) It is on this account, I imagine, that he says, “Accomplish her seven years,” which is equivalent to: let not the good of the soul be unaccomplished by you; but let it have an end and a due completion, in order that you may meet with the younger classification of good things, of which personal beauty, and glory, and riches, and such things as these make up the sum. (53) But he does not promise to accomplish them, but only agrees to fulfil them; that is to say, studying never to omit anything which may conduce to its growth and fulness, but in every instance labouring to get the better of all his difficulties, even though there may be innumerable impediments hindering and drawing him in the opposite direction. (54) And the scripture here appears to me to show very plainly, that customs are regarded by men more than by women, as is clear by the words of Rachel, who admires only those things which are perceptible by the outward senses; for she says to her father, “Be not angry, my lord, that I am unable to rise up before thee in thy presence, because the custom of women is upon Me.”{12}{#ge 31:35.} (55) Therefore it is especially the conduct of women to pay regard to customs; for, indeed, that is the habit of the weaker and more feminine soul; while the nature of men, and of that reason which is really vigorous and masculine, is to be guided by nature.