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[110] Suppose Gellius is present anywhere, a man unworthy of his brother, who is a most illustrious citizen and has been a most excellent consul and of the equestrian order of which he retains the name, though he has squandered the fortune which entitled him to it;1 will his presence make an assembly a popular one? For, to be sure, he is a man quite devoted to the Roman people. I never saw one more so. Why, even when, in his youth, he might have shared to some extent in the credit arising from the ample honours of that most admirable man, Lucius Philippus, his step-father, he was so far from being fond of the people, that he devoured the whole of his property by himself. Afterwards, from having been a profligate and licentious young man, after he had brought down his paternal property from the easy circumstances in which stupid people take delight, to the strict rule of philosophers, he wished to be considered a man of Greek learning, and a quiet scholar, and on a sudden devoted himself to the study of literature. But his old Greeks did not do him much good; his slaves who read to him, and his books, were often pledged for wine; his appetite was as insatiable as ever; but his resources fell short enough. Therefore he was perpetually occupied with thoughts of revolution; he was growing old and weary of the peace and tranquillity of the republic.


1 It is not quite certain what was the amount of property requisite as the qualification for a knight; most probably, it was 400,000 ases, or, pounds weight, of copper. But whatever it was, a knight who had squandered his property, so as not to have the requisite qualifications, was liable to be struck out of the body by the censors.

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