Speranski went on to say that honor, l'honneur, cannot be upheld by privileges harmful to the service; that honor, l'honneur, is either a negative concept of not doing what is blameworthy or it is a source of emulation in pursuit of commendation and rewards, which recognize it.
But in Ibn Ishaq's day these fables were generally accepted as history - for many of them had been first related by contemporaries of Mahomet - and no one certainly thought it blameworthy to put pious verses in the mouth of the Prophet's forefathers, though, according to the Fihrist (p. 92), Ibn Ishaq was duped by others with regard to the poems he quotes.
A brief description of how the Egyptians were punished through the very things with which they sinned (though the punishment was not fatal, for God loves all things that exist), and how judgments on the Canaanites were executed gradually (so as to give them time to repent), is followed by a dissertation on the origin, various forms, absurdity and results of polytheism and idolatry (xiii.-xv.): the worship of natural objects is said to be less blameworthy than the worship of images - this latter, arising from the desire to honour dead children and living kings (the Euhemeristic theory), is inherently absurd, and led to all sorts of moral depravity.
The proprieties were observed and the Emperor was the first to set that example, but everybody understood that the old man was blameworthy and good-for- nothing.