He, therefore, curses the godless and impious Cain with deserved curses; because, having opened the caverns of this concrete creature, he opened his mouth for all external things, praying to receive them in an insatiable manner and to contain them, to the utter destruction of the Godloving doctrine, Abel.

XXVIII. (104) “On this account shall he cultivate the Earth;”{34}{#ge 4:12.} he does not say, “He shall become a farmer.” For every farmer is an artist, because farming is an art. But any of the common people are cultivators of the earth, giving their service to provide themselves with necessaries, without any skill. These men, then, as they have no superintendent in all that they do, do much harm; and whatever they do well they do by chance, and not in accordance with reason. But the works of farmers, which are performed according to knowledge, are all of them, of necessity, useful. (105) On this account it is that the law-giver has attributed to the just Noah the employment of a farmer; {35}{#ge 9:20.} showing by this that, like a good farmer, the virtuous man eradicates in the wild wood all the mischievous young saplings which have been planted by the passions or by the vices, but leaves untouched all those which bear fruit, and which may act instead of a wall and prove a firm defence for the soul. And, again, among the trees capable of cultivation he manages them in different ways, and not all in the same way: pruning some and adding props to others, training some so as to increase their size, and cutting down others so as to keep them dwarf. (106) Again, when he sees a vine flourishing and luxuriant he bends down its young shoots to the ground, digging trenches to receive them, and again heaping up the ground on the top of them; and they at no distant period, instead of parts, become whole trees, and instead of daughters they become mothers, having moreover put off the old age which is the usual companion of maternity. For, having desisted from distributing and apportioning its nourishment amongst numerous offspring, inasmuch as they are able to support themselves, that which was previously weak from being drained by this cause becomes so fully satiated as to grow fat and young again. (107) And I have seen another man who cut away the less desirable shoots of trees which admitted of cultivation, as soon as they appeared above the ground, and left only a small piece adhering to the root itself. And then taking a branch in good condition from another tree of a good sort, he scraped away the one shoot down till he came to the pith, and the shoot which was attached to the root he cut at no great depth, but opening it just sufficiently to make the union perfect, and then putting into the cleft the shoot which he had pared away he fitted it in; (108) and from these two shoots one single tree of one united nature sprang up, each portion giving to the other that which was useful to it; for the roots support the shoot which has been fitted into them, and prevent it from drying up and withering, and the shoot which has been inserted as a reward for its nourishment supplies the root with good fruit in requital. There are also an innumerable host of other operations in farming which proceed on rules of art, which it would be superfluous to enumerate on the present occasion, for we have only dwelt on this point at such length for the purpose of showing the difference between the man who is only a cultivator of the earth, and one who is a farmer.