Sed in iis erat Sempronia, quae multa saepe virilis audaciae facinora conmiserat. Haec mulier genere atque forma, praeterea viro atque liberis satis fortunata fuit;litteris Graecis et Latinis docta, psallere et saltare elegantius, quam necesse estprobae, multa alia, quae instrumenta luxuriae sunt. Sed ei cariora semper omniaquam decus atque pudicitia fuit; pecuniae an famae minus parceret, haud facilediscerneres; lubido sic accensa, ut saepius peteret viros quam peteretur. Sed easaepe antehac fidem prodiderat, creditum abiuraverat, caedis conscia fuerat;luxuria atque inopia praeceps abierat.
Verum ingenium eius haud absurdum: posseversus facere, iocum movere, sermone uti vel modesto vel molli vel procaci;prorsus multae facetiae multusque lepos inerat. In the number of those ladies was Sempronia,1 a woman who had committed many crimes with the spirit of a man. In birth and beauty, in her husband and her children, she was extremely fortunate; she was skilled in Greek and Roman literature; she could sing, play, and dance,2 with greater elegance than became a woman of virtue, and possessed many other accomplishments that tend to excite the passions. But nothing was ever less valued by her than honor or chastity.Whether she was more prodigal of her money or her reputation, it would have been difficult to decide. Her desires were so ardent that she oftener made advances to the other sex than waited for solicitation. She had frequently, before this period, forfeited her word, forsworn debts, been privy to murder, and hurried into the utmost excesses by her extravagance and poverty.
But her abilities were by no means despicable;3 she could compose verses, jest, and join in conversation either modest, tender, or licentious. In a word, she was distinguished4by much refinement of wit, and much grace of expression.