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Now Mucius Scævola was one of the three men in Rome who were particular in their observance of the Fannian law; Quintus Aelius Tubero and Rutilius Rufus being the other two, the latter of whom is the man who wrote the History of his country. Which law enjoined men not to entertain more than three people besides those in the house; but on market-days a man might entertain five. And these market-days happened three times in the month. The law also forbade any one to spend in provisions more than two drachmæ and a half. And they were allowed to spend fifteen talents a-year on cured meat and whatever vegetables the earth produces, and on boiled pulse. But as this allowance was insufficient, men gradually (because those who transgressed the law and spent money lavishly raised the price of whatever was to be bought) advanced to a more liberal style of living without violating the law. For Tubero used to buy birds at a drachma a-piece from the men who lived on his own farms. And Rutilius used to buy fish from his own slaves who worked as fishermen for three obols for a pound of fish; [p. 432] especially when he could get what is called the Thurian; and that is a part of the sea-dog which goes by that name. But Mucius agreed with those who were benefited by him to pay for all he bought at a similar valuation. Out of so many myriads of men then these were the only ones who kept the law with a due regard to their oaths; and who never received even the least present; but they gave large presents to others, and especially to those who had been brought up at the same school with them. For they all clung to the doctrines of the Stoic school.
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