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Sharpie

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Sharpie last won the day on October 22

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  1. "Yes, indeed - Titus is of an age with your Lucius. If you were minded to have your son educated in oratory and rhetoric, you could do far worse than engage Cleisthenes as tutor. He is perhaps young, for a philosopher and tutor, but I have not been disappointed with him, and he seems to get on all right with Titus." Aulus left unspoken the thought that his son and Justinus' could end up as colleagues in the future - or rivals, perhaps. He would do his best to find Titus a place as tribunus laticlavius in his own old legion - there were enough legions that such a position should be easy to secure for both his son and Justinus', although Aulus could not remember which legion Justinus had served with. @Mord
  2. "Ah, the esteemed Julia Babila," Aulus said, neutrally - he had no real opinion of the woman one way or another. He sipped his wine, more restrained than Gaius mostly from habit (it would not have done to have been a drunkard during his propraetorship, after all). "I understand that you have taken up your quaestorship recently," he said - he could be wrong, but that was what he had heard, at least. If the rumours were true, and he was quaestor, that would give him oversight of the Games, something that should please him. @Brian
  3. It seemed his master could be trusted, at least this far. The boy seemed to instinctively know (or had been thoroughly taught) how to approach an unknown horse - allowing him to see and smell the tools and see the boy's approach. The touch to Celeritas' flank was gentle but sure, not rough nor uncertain and likely to spook him. Marcus could wish he'd been able to purchase the boy outright, despite the brand and the inability to speak. He would be a good investment even so, and Marcus caught himself wondering if he could be trained as a charioteer despite the obvious disadvantages he was labouring under. "I think you'll do all right, boy," he said, low enough that he wouldn't cause Celeritas to spook. @Chevi
  4. Paulus was dealing with trying to fit a couch into an awkward corner at the back of his premises when Crispus informed him of his visitor. He left his staff to it and emerged, clad only in a tunic - he had set his pallium aside much earlier. If anyone expected him to wear that (or worse, his toga) for a whole day unless he was out and about cultivating customers, they had another think coming! He pulled his tunic straight and emerged. The 'Minor' tacked onto the end of the name informed him that it was not his late patron but that man's son (who could probably drop the 'Minor' part of the name now that 'Maior' was deceased). "Good morning, sir," he said, brushing a dusty cobweb from his arm. "Welcome to my humble shop - what can I do for you?" 'Humble' might be stretching a point; it was a decent size, for an auction house had to fit in all sorts of things, from furniture and statues (there was a very nice one of Venus bathing that was situated by the door) to Egyptian glassware and high-status pottery, most of which was stashed towards the back of the shop so it wouldn't be broken by clumsy viewers. @The Young Pope
  5. "Ah, the Great Library. Now, that is a worthy cause. Has building begun yet?" Aulus would be willing to donate to that, of course. He would be expected to have his own building projects, too, especially if he wished to be a serious consideration for consul. A new set of baths, perhaps - that would surely be of more immediate use than a temple to the inhabitants of Rome. He plucked a sprig of grapes from the refreshments provided. "Where is this fine building to be?" He had learned, over the years, that the way to make others think you were an interesting person was to be interested in their favourite thing to talk about - or to feign interest, anyway. He did not have to feign or fake anything with Octavius, though; he was genuinely curious. Anyway, Octavius knew all the same tricks he did and probably wouldn't appreciate having them used on him. @Gothic
  6. "No - at least, not yet." Rufus shrugged. "I'd rather know first, though, before anything happens that I might get in trouble for. This is the first household I've belonged to apart from where I was born, I don't know all the rules this master has like I knew my old master's." It did seem like it was a good house to be in, though, despite the initial hiccup when Rufus had mentioned the master's hand. "Does Octavius Flavius lend his slaves out, ever?" he asked, curious. If he didn't work out as the master's body slave, it would be as well to be prepared for that sort of thing. The master probably wouldn't lend his body slave, of course, but stranger things had happened. "And I've been asking all sorts of questions when you've probably got all your own duties to see to," he added, though he'd liked talking to the older man. He didn't think he'd do much talking when serving the master - it was his experience that the free people liked their slaves to be seen and not heard. @Gothic
  7. The boy came back a short while later, with a selection of implements, including a hoof-pick - which raised Marcus' opinion of him immediately; he had one or two slaves who confined themselves to brushing the horses down if they thought they could get away with it. He opened the half-door to let the boy into the stall. Very sensibly, the boy let the horse smell his hand again, and then the brush he was holding. Marcus nodded with approval. Yes, he'd do well here. It was early days, of course, but he wondered if he could train the boy to become a charioteer - he might be hampered by the loss of his tongue (barbaric, to have done that to a child, whoever the child was! Bloody Romans!) "I think you'll do all right, you know," he said to the boy. "Celeritas likes you, I think. Let's see how you do with grooming him, though." @Chevi
  8. Aulus stopped walking for a moment. "We are nearly there - do you see the plume of smoke from the roof of that round temple there? That's the Temple of Vesta, and this building here is the Atrium Vestae, where your aunt Calpurnia lives - I haven't been able to see her yet because the Vestal Virgins are very busy ladies indeed. And the Imperial Palace is up the hill there, look. You'll see the Curia Julia in a moment, where the Senate meets." It was a bustling busy part of Rome, the very heart of the city. He had accompanied his own father to the recent Senate meeting - perhaps one day his son would accompany him? It was something he would look forward to. He would help Titus on his own cursus honorum as best he could, at least in the beginning. After his quaestorship, he would find a place for him as tribunus laticlavius, if Titus wished it. But right now, he was exploring Rome with his son, seeing things anew through his son's eyes, and rediscovering the excitement of a new place, even under the weight of the gravitas he had as a full-fledged senator and prospective consul. @Mim
  9. "Both have their merits but overall I think I prefer the races." How do you like to spend your free time?
  10. Aulus paused to see whether anyone else would stand and bring something else to the discussion, but it seemed that nobody else had anything to say right now. "It seems to me that we have mainly to decide the initial funding for this project - whatever it is and however done, previous beneficiaries should be encouraged to pay back what they have received, thus providing funding for future orphans to receive the same sort of training. "For those in Rome, it seems that Rome should be encouraged to pay towards this. After all, the aim is to encourage these orphans into a productive life rather than into the gangs which do so much to intimidate the less fortunate residents of the city. "I am therefore of the opinion that this venture should initially be paid for through taxes, perhaps aided by the philanthropy of the generous among us, and thereafter by taxes and the sale of goods made by these orphans during their time in training - I am presuming that they will be trained in some trade or skill, after all,for not every freeborn male citizen is suited for the Legions, and no female may serve with the Eagles." Having spoken, he looked around and resumed his seat. Had things gone differently for him all those years ago, his own son might be one of those to be subject to such a program as they were discussing today. @Brian
  11. "The cliff near my old master's villa, that looked over the sea. There's something about watching the sea in different seasons." What brings you real contentment?
  12. "You're perfectly decent enough to meet people," Aulus replied, having to maintain a serious face in response to the serious question. "You're a Calpurnius Praetextatus, and there's nothing about that that means people wouldn't want to know you. Quite the reverse, I should think. And you haven't done anything to disgrace the name - and even the person who does that knows they've done it. As for looking smart, well, that's what tutors are for. Even I had to have tutors at your age, you know." It seemed a long time ago since Aulus had been that age. He would most certainly find a suitable slave for his son; it was past time for Titus to have his own, after all. "I think you'll lose the provincial sound soon enough," he added reassuringly. "I don't think it's too noticeable. There are a great many people in Rome with stronger provincial accents than yours, after all - and you speak Latin like a native." Which of course he was. @Mim
  13. "No inconvenience," Aulus said, dryly. Felix was conscientious about obeying orders and fulfilling his duty, and Aulus didn't think he'd suddenly grown slapdash in carrying out his duties and chores. "Restless?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. That was not something he had expected of his slave - true, they were back home (not that it really felt like 'home' just yet but give it time...) He sipped his wine while mentally cataloguing the places the two of them had been to - Cappadocia, Rome, Germany, Rome, Britannia, Rome, Raetia... Rome, again. "In what way, restless?" He set the cup down. "You haven't been confined to the house, you know." @Chevi
  14. Aulus was content to sit in silence for a moment, just enjoying the evening and the scent of jasmine and hibiscus. "You have seemed... unsettled, since our return to Rome," he said after a moment, neutrally. He would not concern himself with the emotions (or thoughts or opinions) of any other slave, but he had a connection to Felix thanks to their shared past. They had shared moments like this before - but not, he thought, since leaving Raetia. He refrained from watching his slave, thinking that it might make it easier for him to talk if he did not feel that his master was scrutinising him. @Chevi
  15. Slaves were good at keeping their faces blank and their true thoughts hidden from their masters - Aulus thought that few masters cared to look. He knew that, for the most part, he didn't. The slaves were there to do their work and make his life easy. But Felix was different - not one of the run-of-the-mill slaves. Aulus had trusted his life to him when he'd been little more than one of those slaves, a lifetime ago. He was not on the level of a friend, yet he was someone Aulus cared about. He had been closer to him than even his wife, for several years, when Horatia could not accompany him (that wild flight to join Quintus Caesar, the campaigns in Germania, when he'd been an envoy in the wilds of Britannia). Felix had been to all those places with him, his shadow and trusted slave. And Aulus could admit that he would not notice if one of the household slaves was out of sorts, unless it manifested right under his nose, but Felix had not been himself, not really, for a while, and he could not help noticing. "Fetch yourself a cup, and a seat, and join me," he said. There was enough wine in the jug for two and it would be a treat - far better than what was routinely served in the slave quarters, Aulus was sure. @Chevi
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