XIII. (70) There have now been two gifts of God already mentioned: the hope of a life devoted to contemplation, and an improvement in good things in respect both of quantity and of magnitude. The third gift is blessing, without which it is not possible that the graces already mentioned can be confirmed; for the scriptures say, “And I will bless thee;” that is to say, I will give thee a word which shall be praised; for the portion eu (in eulogeµsoµ, I will bless), is always applicable to virtue. And of speech, one kind is like a spring and another kind is like a stream; (71) that which is in the mind being like the spring, and the utterance through the medium of the mouth and tongue resembling a stream. And it is great riches for either species of speech to be improved, for the mind to be so by exerting soundness of reason in everything, whether important or unimportant, or for the utterance to be so when under the guidance of right instruction; (72) for many men think, indeed, most excellently, but are betrayed by a bad interpreter, namely, speech, because they have not throughly worked up the whole course of encyclical instruction. Others, again, have been exceedingly skilful in explaining their ideas, but very bad hands at forming intentions, as, for instance, those who are called sophists, for the mind of these sophists is destitute of all harmony and of all real learning; but their speeches, which are uttered by the organs of their voice, are full of music and beauty. (73) But God gives no imperfect gifts to his subjects, but all his presents are complete and perfect. On which account he now dispenses blessing not to one section only, that of speech, but to both portions; thinking it proper that the man who has received a benefit should also conceive the most excellent notions, and should also be able to explain what he has conceived in a powerful manner; for perfection, as it seems, consists in the two points, of being able to form clear and just conceptions and intentions, and also of being able to interpret them correctly. (74) Do you not see that Abel (and the name Abel is the name of one who mourns over mortal things, and attributes happiness to immortal things), has a mind wholly free from all liability to reproach? And yet, from not being practised in discussions, he is defeated by one who is clever as an antagonist in such things, Cain being able to get the better of him more through superiority of skill than of strength; (75) for which reason, though I admire him on account of the good fortune with which he was endowed by nature, I nevertheless blame the disposition in him that, when he was challenged to a contest of discussion, he came forward to contend, when he ought to have abided by his usual tranquillity, discarding all love for contention. But if he was determined by all means to enter into such a contest, then still he ought not to have engaged in it until he had sufficiently practised himself in the exercises of the art; for men who have been long versed in political strife are usually accustomed to get the better of men of uncultivated acuteness.