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He was broad-set, strong-limbed, and his features gave the idea of a man in the act of straining himself. In consequence, one of the city wits, upon the emperor's desiring him "to say something droll respecting himself," facetiously answered, "I will, when you have done relieving your bowels."1 He enjoyed a good state of health, though he used no other means to preserve it, than repeated friction, as much as he could bear, on his neck and other parts of his body, in the tennis-court attached to the baths, besides fasting one day in every month.
1 Notwithstanding the splendour, and even, in many respects, the refinement of the imperial court, the language as well as the habits of the highest classes in Rome seem to have been but too commonly of the grossest description, and every scholar knows that many of their writers are not very delicate in their allusions. Apropos of the ludicrous account given in the text, Martial, on one occasion, uses still plainer language.
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