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[29] I was gazing at all this, when I nearly fell backwards and broke my leg. For on the left hand as you went in, not far from the porter's office, a great dog on a chain was painted on the wall, and over him was written in large letters“BEWARE OF THE DOG.” My friends laughed at me, but I plucked up courage and went on to examine the whole wall. It had a picture of a slave-market[p. 43] on it, with the persons' names. Trimalchio was there with long hair, holding a Mercury's staff.1 Minerva had him by the hand and was leading him into Rome. Then the painstaking artist had given a faithful picture of his whole career with explanations: how he had learned to keep accounts, and how at last he had been made steward. At the point where the wall-space gave out, Mercury had taken him by the chin, and was whirling him up to his high official throne. Fortune stood by with her flowing horn of plenty, and the three Fates spinning their golden threads. I also observed a company of runners practising in the gallery under a trainer, and in a corner I saw a large cupboard containing a tiny shrine, wherein were silver house-gods, and a marble image of Venus, and a large golden box, where they told me Trimalchio's first beard was laid up.

I began to ask the porter what pictures they had in the hall. “The Iliad and the Odyssey,” he said,“and the gladiator's show given by Laenas.” I could not take them all in at once. . . . .

1 Mercury, as the god of business, was Trimalchio's patron, It was Mercury who secured Trimalchio's selection to be a Sevir Augustalis, an official responsible for duly carrying out the worship of the Emperor. One of the privileges of the Sevirs was to sit on a throne.

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