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He was always ready to eat and drink at any time or in any place. One day, as he was hearing causes in the forum of Augustus, he smelt the dinner which was preparing for the Salii, 1 in the temple of Mars adjoining, whereupon he quitted the tribunal, and went to partake of the feast with the priests. He scarcely ever left the table until he had thoroughly crammed himself and drank to intoxication; and then he would immediately fall asleep, lying upon his back with his'mouth open. While in this condition, a feather was put down his throat, to make him throw up the contents of his stomach. Upon composing himself to rest, his sleep was short, and he usually awoke before midnight; but he would sometimes sleep in the daytime, and that, even, when he was upon the tribunal; so that the advocates often found it difficult to wake him, though they raised their voices for that purpose. He set no bounds to his libidinous intercourse with women, but never betrayed any unnatural desires for the other sex. He was fond of gaming, and published a book upon the subject. He even used to play as he rode in his chariot, having the tables so fitted, that the game was not disturbed by the motion of the carriage.
1 The Salii, the priests of Mars, twelve in number, were instituted by Numa. Their dress was an embroidered tunic, bound with a girdle ornamented with brass. They wore on their head a conical cap, of a considerable height; carried a sword by their side; in their right hand a spear or rod, and in their left, one of the Ancilia, or shields of Mars. On solemn occasions, they used to go to the Capitol, through the forum and other public parts of the city, dancing and singing sacred songs, said to have been composed by Numa; which, in the time of Horace, could hardly be understood by any one, even the priests themselves. The most solemn procession of the Salii was on the first of March, in commemoration of the time when the sacred shield was believed to have fallen from heaven, in the reign of Numa. After their procession, they had a splendid entertainment, the luxury of which was proverbial.
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