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I have learnt a good deal about public affairs from your letters, a considerable batch of which I received at the same time from the freedman of Vestorius. However, to your questions I shall make a short answer. I must premise that I am delighted with the Cluvian estate. 1 As to your question about the reason for my having sent for Chrysippus—two of my shops have fallen down and the rest are cracking. So not only the tenants but the very mice have migrated. Other people call this a misfortune, I don't call it even a nuisance. Oh Socrates and Socratic philosophers, I shall never be able to thank you enough! Good heavens, how paltry such things are in my eyes! But after all I am adopting a plan of building on the suggestion and advice of Vestorius, which will convert this loss into a gain.

Here there is a great crowd of visitors and there will, I hear, be a greater still. Our two consuls-designate forsooth ! 2 Good God, the tyranny survives though the tyrant is dead! We rejoice at his assassination, yet support his acts! Accordingly, M. Curtius 3 criticises us with such severity that one feels ashamed to be alive. And not without reason: for it had been better to die a thousand deaths than to endure the present state of things, which seems to me likely to be more than a passing phase. Balbus too is here and often at my house. He has had a letter from Vetus, dated on the last day of the year, announcing that "when he was investing Caecilius Bassus, and was on the point of compelling him to surrender, the Parthian Pacorus arrived with an immense force: that accordingly Bassus was snatched from his hands, for which he blames Volcatius." 4 Accordingly, I think that a war there is imminent. But that will be the affair of Dolabella and Nicias. 5 Balbus also gives better news from Gaul. 6 He has a letter dated twenty-one days back announcing that the Germans and the tribes there, on hearing about Caesar's death, sent legates to Aurelius, who was put in command by Hirtius, promising obedience. In short, everything speaks of peace in those parts, contrary to what Calvena said to me. 7

1 Some property that had been left to Cicero and others by Cluvius of Puteoli. Cicero had bought out his co-heirs (vol. iii., p.321).

2 Pansa and Hirtius had been designated consuls by Caesar, though probably a form of election had been gone through.

3 M. Curtius Postumus, an ardent Caesarian. See vol. ii., p.316.

4 Q. Caecilius Bassus (quaestor B.C. 59) escaped from Pharsalia to Syria, where he induced some of the soldiers of the praetor Sext. Iulius to murder their commander and join him, asserting that he had been appointed propraetor of Syria, and maintained himself for three years in Apamea till Cassius arrived early in B.C. 45. C. Antistius Vetus, who had been with Caesar in Spain in B.C. 61-60, had apparently been sent out specially to attack him. Volcatius is probably L. Volcatius Tullus, praetor in B.C. 46.

5 Dolabella had been allotted the province of Syria. Nicias Curtius of Cos was a Greek grammarian who had been with Cicero in Cilicia (vol. ii., p.223), and was now with Dolabella as secretary-friend, and Cicero jestingly supposes that he will have to take part in the war.

6 That is Belgic Gaul, where a rising had been feared. See p. 5.

7 See Letter DCC. C. Matins Calvena had prophesied a rising in Gaul. Hirtius, though he had been made governor of Gallia Belgica by Caesar in B.C. 44, had not gone to the province, but had governed it by a deputy.

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