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Augustus, Chapter 79: His appearance.
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In person he [Note 1] was handsome and graceful, through every period of his life. But he was negligent in his dress; and so careless about dressing his hair, that he usually had it done in great haste, by several barbers at a time. His beard he sometimes clipped, and sometimes shaved; and either read or wrote during the operation. His countenance, either when discoursing or silent, was so calm and serene, that a Gaul of the first rank declared amongst his friends, that he was so softened by it, as to be restrained from throwing him down a precipice, in his passage over the Alps, when he had been admitted to approach him, under pretence of conferring with him. His eyes were bright and piercing; and he was willing it should be thought that there was something of a divine vigour in them. He was likewise not a little pleased to see people, upon his looking steadfastly at them, lower their countenances, as if the sun shone in their eyes. But in his old age, he saw very imperfectly with his left eye. His teeth were thin set, small and scaly, his hair a little curled, and inclining to a yellow colour. His eyebrows met; his ears were small, and he had an aquiline nose. His complexion was betwixt brown and fair; his stature but low; though Julius Marathus, his freedman, says he was five feet and nine inches in height. This, however, was so much concealed by the just proportion of his limbs, that it was only perceivable upon comparison with some taller person standing by him. |
Note 1: he = Augustus
|Forma fuit eximia et per omnes aetatis gradus venustissima, quamquam et omnis lenocinii neglegens; in capite comendo tam incuriosus, ut raptim compluribus simul tonsoribus operam daret ac modo tonderet modo raderet barbam eoque ipso tempore aut legeret aliquid aut etiam scriberet. Vultu erat vel in sermone vel tacitus adeo tranquillo serenoque, ut quidam e primoribus Galliarum confessus sit inter suos, eo se inhibitum ac remollitum quo minus, ut destinarat, in transitu Alpium per simulationem conloquii propius admissus in praecipitium propelleret. Oculos habuit claros ac nitidos, quibus etiam existimari volebat inesse quiddam divini vigoris, gaudebatque, si qui sibi acrius contuenti quasi ad fulgorem solis vultum summitteret; sed in senecta sinistro minus vidit; dentes raros et exiguos et scabros; capillum leviter inflexum et subflavum; supercilia coniuncta; mediocres aures; nasum et a summo eminentiorem et ab imo deductiorem; colorem inter aquilum candidumque; staturam brevem--quam tamen Iulius Marathus libertus et a memoria eius quinque pedum et dodrantis fuisse tradit,--sed quae commoditate et aequitate membrorum occuleretur, ut non nisi ex comparatione astantis alicuius procerioris intellegi posset.|