53. The ability to write both good poetry and good
prose is only very rarely found together
in one person.



The reason for this is that, as we have explained, it 1431 is a habit (located) in the tongue. If another habit previously occupied the place of (that habit), the subsequent habit has iii, s26 not enough room to develop, because the acceptance and obtainment of habits is simpler and easier for natures in their original state. If there are other previous habits, they resist the (new habit) in the substance that is to receive the (new habit). They prevent it from being quickly accepted. Thus, there arises incompatibility. It becomes impossible for the (new) habit to develop (to perfection). This is, in general, the case with all technical habits. We have proved that fact in the proper place with an argument similar to the one used here. 1432

The same applies to languages. They are habits of the tongue which are in the same position as the crafts. It can be observed how persons with some previous non-Arab (speech habits) are always deficient in (their knowledge of) the Arabic language. 1433 Non-Arabs who previously spoke Persian cannot master the Arabic linguistic habit and will al­ways be deficient in Arabic, even though they may study and (come to) know it. The same is the case with Berbers, Byzantines, and European Christians. One rarely finds among them any one who possesses a good Arabic linguistic habit. The only reason here is that their tongues previously had the habit of another language. This goes so far that a student whose native language is one of the (non-Arabic) languages, but who studies (his subjects) among Arabic speaking-people and from Arabic books, 1434 will never be perfect in his knowledge and attainments. The only reason is the language.

It was mentioned before that languages and dialects are similar to the crafts. 1435 It was also mentioned before that the crafts and the habits of them do not come together in groups. Persons who previously had some good habit 1436 are rarely able to become skilled in another or to master it completely.

"God created you and whatever you do." 1437