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Well, all the same, there are reports here that Statius Murcus 1 has been lost at sea, that Asinius 2 reached land to fall into the hands of the soldiers, that fifty ships have been carried ashore at Utica by the contrary wind now prevailing, that Pompeius 3 is nowhere to be seen and has not been in the Balearic isles at all, as Paciaecus 4 asserts. But there is absolutely no confirmation of any single thing. I have told you what people have been saying in your absence. Meanwhile, there are games at Praeneste. Hirtius 5 and all that set were there. Indeed, the games lasted eight days. What dinners! what gaiety! Meantime, perhaps the great question has been settled. What astonishing people! But—you say—Balbus is actually building; 6 for what does he care? But, if you ask my opinion, is not life all over with a man who makes only pleasure, and not right, his aim? You meanwhile slumber on. The time has come to solve the problem, if you mean td do anything. If you want to know what I think—I think "enjoy while you can." 7 But why run on? I shall see you soon, and indeed I hope you will come straight to me when you get back. For I will arrange a day for Tyrannio 8 at the same time, and anything else suitable. (Horace, Od. ii. i). He had been with Caesar from the first. In B.C. 47, while Caesar was at Alexandria, he was tribune, but was now again with him in Africa.

1 L. Statius Murcus had been Caesar's legatus in B.C. 48, and seems still to be with him in Africa; he was praetor in B.C. 45 and proconsul of Syria in B.C. 44. He then joined the party of the assassins, but was put to death in B.C. 42 by the order or connivance of Sextus Pompeius.

2 C. Asinius Pollio, the celebrated orator, poet, and historian

3 Gnaeus Pompeius, the elder son of Pompeius Magnus.

4 L. Iunius (or according to some Vibius) Paciaecus appears to be in Baetica, as he was in the following year.

5 Aulus Hirtius, destined to fall at Mutina in his consulship, B.C. 43, had been Caesar's legatus, and was probably the author of the eighth book of the Gallic war. He was presently employed to write a pamphlet against Cato.

6 As though it didn't matter which party won at Thapsus.

7 Fructum; but the word is probably corrupt. The sentiment is repeated in a letter to Paetus (Letter CCCCLXXVIII, p.104), when speaking of the danger of his property at Tusculum being confiscated—"I am not at all afraid, I enjoy it while I may"fruor dum licet. Cp. also Att. 2, 4 (vol. i., p.89), fructum palaestrae Palatinae. We might, perhaps, read fruendum, or regard fructum as the first word of some proverbial sentence. Tyrrell and Purser propose πέπραχθαιactum esse—c'est fini.

8 The learned freedman who arranged Cicero's library (vol. i., p.224). He had written a book which Cicero wants to hear read with Atticus. See A XII, 9.

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