But since I am investigating this subject1
in all its phases (at least, that is my purpose), I
must discuss also what sort of house a man of rank
and station should, in my opinion, have. Its prime
object is serviceableness. To this the plan of the
building should be adapted; and yet careful attention should be paid to its convenience and distinction.
We have heard that Gnaeus Octavius—the first
of that family to be elected consul—distinguished
himself by building upon the Palatine an attractive
and imposing house. Everybody went to see it,
and it was thought to have gained votes for the
owner, a new man, in his canvass for the consulship.
That house Scaurus demolished, and on its site he
built an addition to his own house. Octavius, then,
was the first of his family to bring the honour of a
consulship to his house; Scaurus, though the son of
a very great and illustrious man, brought to the
same house, when enlarged, not only defeat, but disgrace and ruin.