UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
in this respect they received daily from his bounty an allowance or dole called
the sportula. This was given at the master's house, and consisted either of a
small sum of money or of articles of food or clothing.
When in the morning the swarm of dependents had been sent out of the atrium of
the patron's house, there came others who had business to transact or some
interest to be promoted. This attended to, the nobleman gave himself to leisure,
reading in his library, or dictating to an amanuensis a letter to some friend.
Anon, he must himself go forth into the street, perhaps, to the Senate House or
the Forum. Once there, as well as on the way, he must attend to courtesy. His