What kind of philosopher am I? he wondered desperately. To so lose myself in a mere human relationship, especially with animpudent little vixen like Tullia? Why beat my heart to deathagainst the wall of my mind that knows that I’m seeking to rescueher to have her become some other man’s bride? And knowing this, why does the very thought of her turn my brains to mush and make my palms go damp? How can I call myself a philosopher if I react with fury when someone says something that I know to betrue? Or even if they say something that I know is not true?Timoleon never would. I’m no more a philosopher than Felix is, with his racecourse gossip and his pointless bets. But Felix has enough of a grasp of his own truth to realize it, while I’m still clinging to what someother man has called true. Maybe that’s what gives Felix his kind of silly integrity. He may not be much of a man, but he isn’t all things to all men. He certainly doesn’t live a lie.
A variety of shallow considerations drifted through his mind,from suicide to membership in a frontier legion. But he knewalready that he would do no such thing. Almost without hisconscious volition, his restive footsteps carried him down the dark streets, through the ruins and overgrown patches of parkland thathad once been Nero’s house, toward the white bulk of the Flavian,