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“ [64] but you are not afraid of losing your seat” Contraries give rise to more than one kind of jest. For instance the following jests made by Augustus and Galba differ in form. Augustus was engaged in dismissing an officer with dishonour from his service: the officer kept interrupting him with entreaties and said, “What shall I say to my father?” Augustus replied, “Tell him that I fell under your displeasure.” Galba, when a friend asked him for the loan of a cloak, said, “I cannot lend it you, as I am going to stay at home,” the point being that the rain was pouring through the roof of his garret at the time. I will add a third example, although out of respect to its author I withhold his name: “You are more lustful than a eunuch,” where we are surprised by the appearance of a word which is the very opposite of what we should have expected. Under the same heading, although it is quite different from any of the preceding, we must place the remark made by Marcus Vestinus when it was reported to him that a certain man was dead. “Some day then he will cease to stink,” was his reply.

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