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Marcus Cato   


letter of Cato's to his son, which highly praised his honourable
eagerness for the recovery of his sword. Afterwards he married Tertia,
Aemilius Paulus's daughter, and sister to Scipio; nor was he
admitted into this family less for his own worth than his father's. So
that Cato's care in his son's education came to a very fitting result.
He purchased a great many slaves out of the captives taken in war,
but chiefly brought up the young ones, who were capable to be, as it
were, broken and taught like whelps and colts. None of these ever
entered another man's house, except sent either by Cato himself or his
wife. If any one of them were asked what Cato did, they answered
merely that they did not know. When a servant was at home, he was
obliged either to do some work or sleep, for indeed Cato loved those
most who used to lie down often to sleep, accounting them more
docile than those who were wakeful, and more fit for anything when
they were refreshed with a little slumber. Being also of opinion
that the great cause of the laziness and misbehaviour of slaves was
their running after their pleasures, he fixed a certain price for them
to pay for permission amongst themselves, but would suffer no
connections out of the house. At first, when he was but a poor
soldier, he would not be difficult in anything which related to his
eating, but looked upon it as a pitiful thing to quarrel with a
servant for the belly's sake; but afterwards, when he grew richer, and
made any feasts for his friends and colleagues in office, as soon as
supper was over he used to go with a leather thong and scourge those
who had waited or dressed the meat carelessly. He always contrived,
too, that his servants should have some difference one among
another, always suspecting and fearing a good understanding between
them. Those who had committed anything worthy of death, he punished if
they were found guilty by the verdict of their fellow-servants. But
being after all much given to the desire of gain, he looked upon
agriculture rather as a pleasure than profit; resolving, therefore, to
lay out his money in safe and solid things, he purchased ponds, hot
baths, grounds full of fuller's earth, remunerative lands, pastures,
and woods; from all which he drew large returns, nor could Jupiter
himself, he used to say, do him much damage. He was also given to
the form of usury, which is considered most odious, in traffic by sea;
and that thus:- he desired that those whom he put out his money to
should have many partners; when the number of them and their ships
came to be fifty, he himself took one share through Quintio his
freedman, who therefore was to sail with the adventurers, and take a
part in all their proceedings, so that thus there was no danger of
losing his whole stock, but only a little part, and that with a
prospect of great profit. He likewise lent money to those of his
slaves who wished to borrow, with which they bought also other young
ones, whom, when they had taught and bred up at his charges, they
would sell again at the year's end; but some of them Cato would keep
for himself, giving just as much for them as another had offered. To
incline his son to be of his kind or temper, he used to tell him
that it was not like a man, but rather like a widow woman, to lessen
an estate, But the strongest indication of Cato's avaricious humour
was when he took the boldness to affirm that he was a most
wonderful, nay, a godlike man, who left more behind him than he had
received.
He was now grown old, when Carneades the Academic, and Diogenes
the Stoic, came as deputies from Athens to Rome, praying for release
from a penalty of five hundred talents laid on the Athenians, in a
suit, to which they did not appear, in which the Oropians were
plaintiffs and Sicyonians judges. All the most studious youth
immediately waited on these philosophers, and frequently, with
admiration, heard them speak. But the gracefulness of Carneades's
oratory, whose ability was really greatest, and his reputation equal
to it, gathered large and favourable audiences, and ere long filled,
like a wind, all the city with the sound of it. So that it soon
began to be told that a Greek, famous even to admiration, winning

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