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Your morning letter of yesterday I answered at once. I will now answer your evening letter. I had rather that Brutus had asked me to come to Rome. For it would have been fairer, considering that a journey both unexpected and long was before him. And, by heaven! nowadays, as the state of our feelings forbids our getting on frankly together—for I certainly need not tell you what constitutes being "good company "-I should be glad if our meeting were at Rome rather than at Tusculum.

The books dedicated to Varro 1 won't be long delayed. They are completed, as you have seen. There only remains the correction of the mistakes of the copyists. About these books you know that I had some hesitation, but I leave it to you. Also those I am dedicating to Brutus 2 the copyists have in hand. Yes, as you say in your letter, get my business through. However, Trebatius says that everybody makes that rebate you mention; what, then, do you suppose those fellows will do ? 3 You know the gang. So settle the affair without any friction. You'd scarcely believe how indifferent I am about such things. I solemnly declare to you, and pray believe me, that those trumpery properties are more a bore than a pleasure to me. For I grieve more at not having anyone to whom to transmit them than at being in want of immediate cash. 4 And so Trebatius says that he told you. Now perhaps you were afraid that I should be sorry to hear your report. That was like your kindness, but believe me I am now quite indifferent about those things. Wherefore devote your energies to these conferences: get your knife well in and finish the business. When talking to Polla consider that you are talking with that fellow Scaeva, 5 and don't imagine that men who are accustomed to try to lay hands on what is not owed to them will abate anything that is. Only see that they keep their day, and even as to that be easy with them.

1 The Academica.

2 The de Finibus.

3 By the Iulian law, passed at the end of B.C. 49, mortgagers were not only allowed to satisfy their creditors by handing over property valued at the market price before the civil war, but were also authorized to deduct the amount of interest paid. It was only meant as a temporary measure to meet a temporary crisis, but Cicero says that of course his debtors will take advantage of it. For nosti domum Dr. Reid proposes nosti dominum: "You know their master (Caesar), like master, like man." Tyrrell explains: "You know the house "—-i.e., the house to be sold.

4 It seems a harsh thing of Cicero to look upon his son—though he had given him some trouble—as already unworthy to be his heir. Young Marcus was now at Athens, though he had wished to join Caesar's army in Spain. See p.144.

5 A well-known centurion and favourite of Caesar. Nothing is known of Polla, and Dr. Reid suggests Balbo—for Cicero has before suggested talking to Balbus on the debt due by Faberius. On the other hand, Cicero is putting forward these names as of men harsh and barely honest: while of Balbus he generally speaks respectfully. The reading of the paragraph is very doubtful, and probably there are several corruptions.

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