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DIII (A XII, I)

TO ATTICUS (IN HIS SUBURBAN VILLA)
ARPINUM, 24 NOVEMBER
ON the eleventh day from my parting from you I write this notelet on the point of quitting my villa before daybreak. Today I think of being at my house at Anagnia, tomorrow at Tusculum: there I stay one day. On the 27th, therefore, I start to meet you as arranged. And oh! that I might hurry straight to the embrace of my Tullia and to the lips of Attica! Pray write and tell me what those same lips are prattling of, so that I may know it while I am halting in my Tusculan villa: or, if she is ruralizing, what she writes to you. Meanwhile, send her by letter or give her yourself my kind love, as also to Pilia. But all the same, though we are to meet directly, write to me if you have anything to say.

Just as I was folding up this letter, your courier arrived late at night with a letter from you. I have read it: I am, of course, very sorry to hear of Attica's feverish attack. Everything else that I wanted to know I learn from your letter. As to your saying that "a little fire in the morning is an old man's luxury"—it is still more an old man's way to be a trifle forgetful! I had appointed the 26th for Axius, the 27th for you, and the 28th (the day of my reaching Rome) for Quintus. Pray consider that settled. There is no change. "Then what was the use of my writing?" What is the use of our talking when we meet and prattle about anything that occurs to us? A causerie is, after all, something: for, even though there is nothing in it substantial, there is a certain charm in the mere fact of our talking together. [The rest of the letters of this year are, with one or two exceptions, formal letters of introduction or recommendation. They do not admit of being dated, as to month or day.]


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