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5. [13]

When the auction of the inheritance was appointed to take place, Aebutius, who had long been supported by Caesennia though a widowed and solitary woman, and who had insinuated himself into her confidence by the system of undertaking (not without some profit to himself) all the business which the woman had to transact, and all her disputes —was employed at that time also in this transaction of selling and dividing the property. And he always pushed and thrust himself in in such a way as to make Caesennia of opinion, that she, being a woman unskilled in business, could not get on well in any matter in which Aebutius was not concerned. [14] The character that you know, from daily experience, O judges, belongs to a flatterer of women, all agent of widows, an over-litigious defender, eager for strife, ignorant and stupid among men, but a shrewd and clever lawyer among women; this was the character of Aebutius. For all this was Aebutius to Caesennia. In case you should ask, is he any relation? no one could be more entirely unconnected with her—Was he a friend, recommended to her by her father or her husband? Nothing of the sort. Who then was he? He was such a man as I have just been depicting— a voluntary friend of the woman, united with her, not by any relationship, but by a pretended officiousness, and a deceitful eagerness in her behalf; by an occasional assistance, seasonable rather than faithful. [15] When, as I had begun to say, the auction was fixed to take place at Rome, the friends and relations of Caesennia advised her—as, indeed, had occurred to her of her own accord,—that, since she had an opportunity of buying that farm of Fulcinius's which was contiguous to her own ancient property, there would be no wisdom in letting such an opportunity slip, especially as money was owing to her from the division of the inheritance, which could never be invested better. Therefore the woman determines to do so; she gives a commission to buy the farm—to whom? to whom do you suppose? Does it not at once occur to every one that this was the natural business of the man who was ready to transact all the woman's business, of the man without whom nothing could be done with proper skill and wisdom? You are quite right—the business is entrusted to Aebutius.

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