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21. It was useless to suppose that he could long remain ignorant of the fact that Lesbia's favors were not confined to him. No one but himself had ever been ignorant of the true state of the case. Rumor now began to penetrate even his fast-closed ears, and that which he perhaps had already begun to fear came with no less a shock when presenting itself in the garb of fact. The emotions it aroused apparently varied from time to time. At one moment his old passion is strong within him, and in dwelling upon the happiness of the past he deter-mines, with a pretence of philosophic carelessness that is supported by the broken staff of mythological precedent, to overlook the frailties of a mistress whose lapses from fidelity he believed were yet but occasional (c. 68.135 ff.). At another moment he appeals in remonstrance and grief to the friends who have become his rivals (cc. 73, 77, 90).

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