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At his table which was always plentiful and elegant, he constantly entertained company; but was very scrupulous in the choice of them, both as to rank and character. Valerius Messala informs us, that he never admitted any freedmen to his table, except Menas, when rewarded with the privilege of citizenship, for betraying Pompey's fleet. He writes, himself, that he invited to his table a person in whose villa he lodged, and who had formerly been employed by him as a spy. He often came late to table, and withdrew early; so that the company began supper before his arrival, and continued at table after his departure. His entertainments consisted of three entries, or at most of only six. But if his fare was moderate, his courtesy was extreme. For those who were silent, or talked in whispers, he encouraged to join in the general conversation; and introduced buffoons and stage players, or even low performers from the circus, and very often itinerant humourists, to enliven the company.
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