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Augustus, Chapter 69: Adultery.
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|That he [Note 1] was guilty of various acts of adultery, is not denied even by his friends; but they allege in excuse for it, that he engaged in those intrigues not from lewdness, but from policy, in order to discover more easily the designs of his enemies, through their wives. Mark Antony, besides the precipitate marriage of Livia, charges him with taking the wife of a man of consular rank from table, in the presence of her husband, into a bed-chamber, and bringing her again to the entertainment, with her ears very red, and her hair in great disorder: that he had divorced Scribonia, for resenting too freely the excessive influence which one of his mistresses had gained over him: that his friends were employed to pimp for him, and accordingly obliged both matrons and ripe virgins to strip, for a complete examination of their persons, in the same manner as if Thoranius, the dealer in slaves, had them under sale. And before they came to an open rupture, he writes to him in a familiar manner, thus: Why are you changed towards me? Because I lie with a queen? [Note 2] She is my wife. Is this a new thing with me, or have I not done so for these nine years? And do you take freedoms with Drusilla only? May health and happiness so attend you, and when you read this letter, you are not in dalliance with Tertulla, Terentilla, Rufilla, or Salvia Titiscenia, or all of them. What matters it to you where, or upon whom, you spend your manly vigour?|