Life of Antony, 1

Plutarch  translated by Bernadotte Perrin

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1Antony’s grandfather was the orator Antonius, who joined the party of Sulla and was put to death by Marius;[1] his father was Antonius surnamed Creticus, a man of no great repute in public life, nor illustrious, but kindly and honest, and particularly a liberal giver, as one may see from a single instance. 2He had not much property himself, and therefore was prevented by his wife from indulging his kindly feelings. When, accordingly, one of his intimates came to him with a request for money, money he had not, but he ordered a young slave to put water into a silver bowl and bring it to him, and when it was brought, he moistened his chin, as though about to shave. 3The slave was then sent away on another errand improvised for the occasion, whereupon Antonius gave the bowl to his friend and bade him dispose of it. Later, when a careful search was made for it among the slaves, seeing that his wife was angry and proposed to put them to the torture one by one, Antonius confessed what he had done, and by his entreaties gained her pardon.

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  • [1] Cf. the Marius, xliv. 1-4.

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