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44. [115]

But remark the intolerable audacity of the man, and at the same time his headlong and unbridled covetousness. That fellow never thought of any monument, or any religion; he wished to dwell splendidly and magnificently, and to unite two large and noble houses. At the same moment that my departure deprived him of all pretence for bloodshed, he was begging Quintus Seius to sell him his house; and when he refused to do so, he threatened that he would block up all his lights. Postumus declared that as long as he was alive that house should never belong to Clodius. That acute young man took the hint from his own mouth, as to what was best for him to do; and in the most open manner he took the man off by poison. He bought the house, after wearying out all the other bidders, for almost half as much again as he thought it really worth. What is my object in making this statement. [116] That house of mine is almost entirely empty; scarcely one-tenth part of my house has been added to Catulus's portico. The pretence was a promenade, and a monument, and that Tanagran lady Liberty, (all Roman liberty having been entirely put down). He had set his heart upon a portico with private chambers, paved to the distance of three hundred feet, with a fine court surrounded by a colonnade, on the Palatine Hill, commanding a superb view, and everything else in character, so as far to surpass all other houses in luxury and splendour. And that scrupulous man, while he was both buying and selling my house at the same moment, still, even in a time of such darkness as that, did not venture to give in his own name as the purchaser. He put up that fellow Scato, a man whose virtue it was, no doubt, that had made him poor; so poor that among the Marsi, where he was born, he had no house in which he could take refuge from the rain and yet he said now that he had purchased the finest house on the Palatine hill. The lower part of the house he assigned not to his own Fonteian family, but to the Clodian family which he had quitted; but of all the numerous family of Clodius, no one applied for any share in his liberality except those who were utterly destitute from indigence and wickedness.

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