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He has been long boasting of this transaction with Calidius, and telling every one that he bought the things. Did you also buy that censer of Lucius Papilius, a man of the highest reputation, wealth, and honour, and a Roman knight? who stated in his evidence that, when you had begged for it to look at, you returned it with the emblems torn off; so that you may understand that it is all taste in that man, not avarice; that it is the fine work that he covets, not the silver. Nor was this abstinence exercised only in the case of Papirius; he practiced exactly the same conduct with respect to every censer in Sicily; and it is quite incredible how many beautifully wrought censers there were. I imagine that, when Sicily was at the height of its power and opulence, there were extensive workshops in that island; for before that man went thither as praetor there was no house tolerably rich, in which there were not these things, even if there was no other silver plate besides; namely, a large dish with figures and images of the gods embossed on it, a goblet which the women used for sacred purposes, and a censer. And all these were antique, and executed with the most admirable skill, so that one may suspect everything else in Sicily was on a similar scale of magnificence; but that though fortune had deprived them of much, those things were still preserved among them which were retained for purposes of religion.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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