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CDV (A XI, 2)

I received your letter on the 4th of February, and on the same day formally accepted the inheritance in accordance with the will. Of my many and most distressing anxieties one is removed, if; as you say, this inheritance is sufficient to maintain my credit and reputation; though even without any inheritance I am aware that you would have defended them by all means at your disposal. As to what you say about the dowry, 1 I adjure you, in the name of all the gods, to undertake that whole business and protect the poor girl, whom my default and carelessness have reduced to distress, by the aid of funds belonging to me, if there are such, of your own if you can do so without inconvenience. You say that she is without any means: pray do not allow that state f things to continue. Why, what are the payments that have swallowed up the rents of my estates? For instance, one ever told me that the sixty sestertia, which you mention, had been deducted from the dowry; for I should never have allowed it. But this is the smallest of the frauds from which I have suffered: of which sorrow and tears prevent my writing to you. Of the money deposited in Asia I have called in nearly half. It seemed likely to be safer where it now is than in the hands of the publicani. You exhort me to be of good courage: I could have wisheded that you were able to allege some reason for my being so. But if to my other misfortunes there has been added the confiscation of my town house, which Chrysippus told me was in contemplation (you gave me no hint of it), who is he now in all the world in a worse plight than myself? I beg and beseech you,—pardon me, I can write no more. You must see what a crushing weight of sorrow mine is. If it were only such as is common to me with the rest of those who are regarded as being in the same position as myself, my error had seemed less grave and therefore more easy to bear. As it is, there is no consolation, unless you secure (if it is not now too late to secure it) that I have no special loss or wrong inflicted upon me. I have been somewhat slow in sending back your letter-carrier, because there was no opportunity of getting him across. Pray send letters in my name to any to whom you think it right to do so. You know my intimates. If they remark on the absence of my signet or handwriting, pray tell them that I have avoided using either owing to the military pickets.

1 The second instalment of Tullia's dowry now becoming due to Dolabella. See pp. 8, 10.

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