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He ate sparingly (for I must not omit even this), and commonly used a plain diet. He was particularly fond of coarse bread, small fishes, new cheese made of cow's milk,1 and green figs of the sort which bear fruit twice a year.2 He did not wait for supper, but took food at any time, and in any place, when he had an appetite. The following passages relative to this subject, I have transcribed from his letters. " I ate a little bread and some small dates, in my carriage." Again. " In returning home from the palace in my litter, I ate an ounce of bread, and a few raisins." Again.. "No Jew, my dear Tiberius, ever keeps such strict fast upon the Sabbath,3 as I have to-day; for while in the bath, and after the first hour of the night, I only ate two biscuits, before I began to be rubbed with oil." From this great indifference about his diet, he sometimes supped by himself, before his company began, or after they had finished, and would not touch a morsel at table with his guests.
2 A species of fig tree, known in some places as Adam's fig. We have gathered them, in those climates, of the latter crop, as late as the month of November.
3 Sabbatis jejunium. Augustus might have been better informed of the Jewish rites, from his familiarity with Herod and otlers; for it is certain that their sabbath was not a day of fasting. Justin, however, fell into the same error: he says, that Moses appointed the sabbath-day to be kept for ever by the Jews as a fast, in memory of their fasting for seven days in the deserts of Arabia, xxxvi. 2. 14. But we find that there was a weekly fast among the Jews, which is perhaps what is here meant; the Sabbatis Jejunium being equivalent to the νηστεύω δίς τοῦ σαββάτου, 'I fast twice in the week' of the Pharisee, in St. Luke xviii. 12.
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