XVII. (95) I also admire Leah, that woman endued with all virtue, who, at the birth of Asher, who is the symbol of that bastard wealth, which is perceptible by the outward senses, says, “Blessed am I, because all women shall call me Happy.”{48}{#ge 30:13.} For she sees plainly that she will have a favourable reputation, thinking that she deserves to be praised, not only by those reasonings which are really masculine and manly, which have a nature free from all spot and stain, and which honour that which is really honest and incorrupt, but also by those more feminine reasonings which are in every respect overcome by those things which are visible, and which are unable to comprehend any object of contemplation which is beyond them. (96) But it is the part of a perfect soul to set up a claim, not only to be, but to also appear to be, and, to labour earnestly not merely to have a good reputation in the houses of the men, but also in the secret chambers of the women. (97) On which account Moses also committed the preparation of the sacred works of the tabernacle not only to men, but also to women, who were to aid in making them; for all “the woven works of hyacinthine colour, and of purple and of scarlet work, and of fine linen, and of goats’ hair, do the women make;” and they also contribute their own ornaments without hesitation, “seals, and ear-rings, and finger-rings, and armlets, and tablets, all jewels of gold,”49–everything, in short, of which gold was the material, gladly giving up the ornaments of their person in exchange for piety; (98) and, moreover, carrying their zeal to a still higher degree, they likewise consecrated even their mirrors, that a laver might be made of Them,”{50}{#ex 38:8.} in order that those who were about to assist at the sacrifices, washing their hands and their feet, that is to say, those works about which the mind is occupied and on which it is fixed, may have a view of themselves in a mirror according to the recollection of those mirrors of which the laver was made; for in this way they will never permit anything disgraceful to remain in any portion of the soul. And now they will dedicate the offering of fasting and patience, the most beautiful and sacred, and perfect of offerings. (99) But these real citizens and virtuous women are really as it were the outward senses, by whom Leah, that is virtue, desires to be honoured. But they who kindle an additional fire against the miserable mind are destitute of any city. For we read in the scripture that even, “women still burnt additional fire to Moab.”{51}{#nu 21:30.} (100) But may we not in this way say that so each of the outward senses of the foolish man when set on fire by the appropriate objects of outward sense, does also set fire to the mind, spreading over it an exceeding and interminable flame with irresistible vigour and impetuosity. At all events it is best to propitiate the array of women, that is to say, of the outward senses in the soul, just as it is desirable to do so with respect to the men, that is to say, with respect to the particular reasonings. For in this manner we shall arrange a more excellent system of life in a very beautiful manner.