VII. (31) We must now then consider whom the wise man here curses; for this is one of the matters especially deserving of investigation, since he curses not the son who appears to have done the wrong, but his son, and his own grandson, of whom he has not mentioned any apparent sin at present, either small or great; (32) for the who from superfluous curiosity wished to see his father naked, and who laughed at what he saw, and who divulged what ought properly to have been concealed in silence, was Ham, the son of Noah; but he who bears the blame for the offences committed by the other, and who reaped the fruit of them in curses is Canaan; for it is said, “Cursed is Canaan the son, the servant, the servant of servants, shall he be to his Brethren.”{10}{#ge 9:25.} (33) And yet, as I said before, what sin had he committed? But they, who are accustomed to explain the formal, and literal, and obvious interpretations of the laws have perhaps considered this by themselves; but we, being guided by right reason, as it suggest itself to us, will interpret it according to the explanation which is ready to hand, having just made this necessary preface.

VIII. (34) A stationary position and motion differ from one another; for the one is a state of tranquillity, but motion is impetuosity, of which last there are two speciesùthe one that which changes its place, the other that which is constantly revolving about the same place. Now habit is closely akin to the stationary position, and energy to motion; (35) and what we have here said may be more easily understood by an appropriate example. It is customary to call an architect, or a painter, or a farmer, or a musician (and so on with other artists), by the aforesaid name of their profession, even if they remain inactive, doing nothing in the way of working at their respective arts, with reference to the skill and knowledge which they have each of them acquired in their respective professions; (36) but when the architect has taken a material of wood and is working it up, and when the painter having mixed his proper colours on his pallet, paints the figures which he has in his head; and when, again, the former cutting furrows in the earth, throws in the seed, and plants, cuttings, and shoots of tree; and when, also, by way of supplying what he has planted with nourishment, he waters them and draws up channels of water to their roots, and does every thing else which a farmer may be expected to do; and also, when the musician adapts metres, and rhythm, and all kinds of melody to his flutes, and harps, and other instruments, and is able even without any manufactures instruments to use the organ with which he is furnished by nature by means of his voice which is furnished with all the tones; and so on with all the other artists, if it were worth while to mention them separately. In all these cases, besides the aforesaid names derived from their profession, other names akin to the former ones are added with reference to their work; so that we predicate of the architect that he builds, of the painter that he portrays, of the farmer that he cultivates the land, of the musician that he plays the flute or the harp, or that he sings, or does something similar. (37) Now, what men are followed by praise and blame? Is it not those men who energise and do something? For when they succeed they meet with praise; and when, on the other hand, they fail they incur blame; but those who are scientific, without proceeding to action, remain in tranquillity having attained this one honour unattended with danger, namely, peace.