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DCCXCII (A XV, 13 a)

Dolabella is a fine fellow! Although, as I am writing this with the dessert on the table, I am told that he had arrived at Baiae, he nevertheless wrote to me from Formiae—a letter which reached me just as I had left the bath-saying that he had done his best about assigning debtors to me. He lays the blame on Vettienus. Of course he is up to some dodge, like a true business man. But he says that our friend Sestius has undertaken the whole affair. He indeed is an excellent man and very much attached to us. Still, I am at a loss to know what in the world Sestius can do in a business like this which any one of us could not do. But if anything unexpected happens, please let me know. If; on the other hand, the business, as I think, is hopeless, write all the same. It won't disturb me at all. I am here philosophizing—what else could I do? I am composing a brilliant essay "On Duties": and addressing it to my son. For on what subject should a father address a son in preference? After that I shall begin other subjects. In short, this tour shall have something to shew for itself. People expect Varro today or tomorrow. I, however, am hurrying off to Pompeii, not because anything can be more beautiful than this place, but interrupters are less troublesome there.

But do tell me distinctly what was the charge against Myrtilus, 1 for I hear that he has been executed. Is it discovered who suborned him? As I am writing these words I imagine that the speech 2 is being delivered to you. Dear, dear! how nervous I am as to what you think of it! And yet, what does it matter to me? For it is not likely to get abroad unless the constitution has been restored. And as to that I do not venture to say what I hope in a letter.

1 See infra, p. 150. He appears to have been a slave, accused of having attempted Antony's life at the instigation of Decimus Brutus.

2 The second Philippic.

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