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[p. 235]

Book III


[1arg] A discussion of the question why Sallust said that avarice rendered effeminate, not only a manly soul, but also the very body itself.

WHEN winter was already waning, we were walking with the philosopher Favorinus in the court of the Titian baths, 1 enjoying the mild warmth of the sun; and there, as we walked, Sallust's Catiline was being read, a book which Favorinus had seen in the hands of a friend and had asked him to read. The following passage from that book had been recited: 2 “Avarice implies a desire for money, which no wise man covets; steeped as it were with noxious poisons, it renders the most manly body and soul effeminate; it is ever unbounded, nor can either plenty or want make it less.” Then Favorinus looked at me and said: “How does avarice make a man's body effeminate? For I seem to grasp in general the meaning of his statement that it has that effect on a manly soul, but how it also makes his body effeminate I do not yet comprehend.” “I too,” said I, “have for a long time been putting myself that question, and if you had not anticipated me, I should of my own accord have asked you to answer it.”

Scarcely had I said this with some hesitation, when one of the disciples of Favorinus, who seemed

1 Otherwise unknown. The Baths of Titus were Thermae and the adj. is Titianae.

2 xi. 3.

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