What noble discussions used to take
place in that villa! what ideas were originated there! what writings were
composed there! The laws of the Roman people, the memorials of our ancestors,
the consideration of all wisdom and all learning, were the topics that used to
be dwelt on then;—but now, while you were the intruder there (for I
will not call you the master), every place was resounding with the voices of
drunken men; the pavements were floating with wine; the walls were dripping;
nobly-born boys were mixing with the basest hirelings; prostitutes with mothers
of families. Men came from Casinum
, from Interamna
to salute him. No one was admitted.
That, indeed, was proper. For the ordinary marks of respect were unsuited to the
most profligate of men.