October 19, 2005

Gibbon: Of Julian

Soon after his entrance into the palace of Constantinople he had occasion for the service of a barber. An officer, magnificently dressed, immediately presented himself. 'It is a barber,' exclaimed the prince, with affected surprise, 'that I want, and not a receiver-general of the finances.' He questioned the man concerning the profits of his employment, and was informed that, besides a large salary and some valuable perquisites, he enjoyed a daily allowance for twenty servants and as many horses. A thousand barbers, a thousand cupbearers, a thousand cooks were distributed in the several offices of luxury, and the number of eunuchs could be compared only with the insects of a summer's day.