attigit neque eam laudem ex qua eloquentia nomen suum invenit.
Verba igitur, inquit Crassus, mihi reliquit Antonius, rem ipse sumpsit.367
Tum Caesar: Si quod difficilius est id tibi reliquit, est nobis, inquit, causa cur te audire cupiamus: sin quod facilius, tibi causa non est cur recuses.
Et Catulus: Quid quod dixisti, inquit, Crasse, si hodie apud te maneremus te morem nobis esse gesturum, nihilne ad fidem tuam putas pertinere?
Tum Cotta ridens: Possem tibi, inquit, Crasse, concedere; sed vide ne quid Catulus attulerit religionis: hoc opus censorium est, id autem committere vide1 quam homini censorio conveniat.
Agite vero, inquit,2 ut vultis. Sed nunc quidem, quoniam est id temporis, surgendum censeo et requiescendum: post meridiem, si ita vobis est commodum, loquemur aliquid, nisi forte in crastinum differre mavultis.
Omnes se vel statim vel si ipse post meridiem mallet, quam primum tamen audire velle dixerunt.
touch on the embellishment of oratory, nor the accomplishment from which eloquence has derived its name.”
“If that is so,” said Crassus, “Antony left the words to me and took the matter for himself.”367
“If he left you the harder part,” interposed Caesar, “we have good reason for wanting to hear you, and if the part he left you is the easier one, you have no reason for refusing.”
And Catulus said, “What about your promise, Crassus, that if we stayed on at your house to-day you would gratify our wish? Don’t you think you are bound in honour to do so?”
“I might possibly give way to you, Crassus,” rejoined Cotta with a smile, “but mind we don’t have Catulus introducing a point of moral obligation; this is a job for a censor’s attention, but mind how it can be proper for a former censor to commit it.”
“Oh well,” said Crassus, “do as you please. But now, seeing what the time is, I move that the house do adjourn for a rest; and if it is agreeable to you we will say something in the afternoon, unless perhaps you would prefer to postpone it till to-morrow.”
They all said they wanted to hear him at once, or at all events, if he himself preferred the afternoon, as early as possible.