It was true that Hostus was definitely not nobility - his parents had been farmers in the small village he and his brother came from, before Romans attacked. But he had worked for many nobles and perhaps he was somewhat prejudiced... still though, they gave him work. He had to cater to them to survive. And Publius now claimed that money and name did not make a man noble. Oh really? That's what Hostus saw all over! Titles and lands could be bought, even names.
But he said nothing as he drank his wine while Publius talked about obligations and a father who was a senator. Hostus however hinted that it took knowing the right people to get what you wanted. Publius then mentioned his wife again and Hostus got the feeling that she was the superior one in this relationship. Perhaps he should speak to her and not Publius? He did feel kind of sorry for the man though.
"But you don't? Why do you let her boss you around?" Hostus wondered and hope he wasn't angering the man by pointing this out. Publius was the first to mention she bossed him around though, so he shouldn't be too upset.
>>"But you don't? Why do you let her boss you around?"
Publius gave a dark glance at the man over his cup, signaling that he had overstepped his boundaries. Gaia was... a determined woman, but she was most decidedly not bossing him around. He was the man of the house, and whatever ideas his young wife had in her head about his career, most likely learned from her grandfather, had no effect on the decisions Publius would make. Whatsoever.
"You have never been married. Have you."
The moment Publius gave him that glance, he knew that he had overstepped. But Publius did say himself that his wife did boss him around and so far, he did not seem truly pleased with the things she wanted him to do. There were other things he'd rather do, but he let her boss him around. That's what he said. And Hostus did wonder why, but apparently he should not. This was suddenly not going as well as Hostus had hoped... he had to save it somehow...
"Indeed I haven't. It's rare I settle down in one place long enough to meet a woman I'd call my wife." Hostus explained, "Which, I suppose, can be both a good and a bad thing. I take it that she pleases you well then?"
>>"Indeed I haven't. It's rare I settle down in one place long enough to meet a woman I'd call my wife."
A traveler, then. Publius had always found the idea of traveling somewhat alluring, but the moment he thought about it in detail, he always decided that it was probably not as enjoyable as it sounded. He liked having a household, and slaves, and things arranged just right for his comfort. Besides, everything a man could ever wish for was available right there in the City.
>>"Which, I suppose, can be both a good and a bad thing. I take it that she pleases you well then?"
"She is worth her weight in gold" Publius smirked, letting the previous comment slide "She just needs to learn how to behave like a wife yet. Some women are too smart for their own good... I suspect she will settle down once she has children to care for."
It would seem that he managed to save himself from upsetting Publius too much. It would seem that he asked the right question and said the right words! The other man had said nothing to the fact that Hostus had not settled down yet, but when asked if the wife pleased Publius, he confirmed just that. Worth her weight in gold? Was she indeed more than a wife then... did he love her? Now that would be a rare thing in a marriage in Rome!
He listened as Publius explained how she just needed to behave life a wife and that she was too smart for her own good. He thought it might get better when she had children. Hostus smiled at that, but did not comment directly upon it. They said that behind every great man there was a clever woman. It would seem that Publius had such a woman as his wife. And he even worshipped her! She must be very smart indeed, he thought to herself.
"I hope you are that lucky. Smart women can be dangerous, if they know they are smart, at least." Hostus said, "Does this treasured wife have a name?"
>>"I hope you are that lucky. Smart women can be dangerous, if they know they are smart, at least. Does this treasured wife have a name?"
"Gaia" Publius said with a small smile. Privately, he believed that smart women were overrated; if they thought they were too clever, they could be a nuisance on the men of their family. Of course, it was good that Gaia was smart, she would run the household well and raise smart children... Publius hoped that would be enough to keep her hands full.
He refilled his cup and looked at his newfound acquaintance, curious to know more about him, since they had mostly talked about Publius so far.
"How about you, Hostus? What brings you to Rome?"
Hostus smiled when Publius spoke his wife's name with a small smile upon his face too. He did seem very fond of her. Hostus would definitely need to meet this Gaia and he was already a bit sad that Publius did not share the full name... but he knew Publius now, so he should be able to find her. Hostus took a drink of his own while Publius refilled his own cup, and then the other asked why Hostus was here.
"Family, mostly... and work. Which is really kind of the same thing sometimes, isn't it?" It was for Hostus anyway, since his search for his family members and his work went hand in hand rather well. But he wouldn't mention to this nobleman that his family members were enslaved, since most Romans did not look so well upon the idea of being enslaved.