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DCCLX (A xv, 26)

I see that you have done all you can about Quintus's business. For his part, he is hesitating whether to oblige Lepta or to damage his son's credit. 1 I have heard it whispered that Lucius Piso wants to go abroad as a legate in virtue of a forged decree of the senate. 2 I should like to know the truth. That letter-carrier, whom I told you that I sent to Brutus, returned to me at Anagnia on the night of the 3oth of June, and brought me a letter, which contained that same request—as unlike as could possibly be conceived to his usually conspicuous good sense—that I should be present at his games. 3 I wrote back of course to say, first, that I have already started on my journey, so that it is no longer in my power to do so: and secondly, that it would be the strangest paradox that, while I have not set foot in Rome since this arming 4 began—and that, not so much from consideration of my personal danger as of my self-respect—I should suddenly come to the games. For to be giving games at such a crisis is honourable enough for him, because he can't help it; but for me to attend them, as it is not necessary, so neither is it honourable. Of course I eagerly desire them to be largely attended and as popular as possible, and I feel sure they will be so; and I bargain with you to send me an account of how they are received from the very first hour they begin, and thenceforth all that happens day by day to their close. But enough of the games.

The remainder of his letter may indeed be regarded in two different lights, yet, nevertheless, he does at times emit some sparks of manly courage. I want you to be able to express what you think of it, and therefore inclose a copy of the letter: though our letter-carrier told me that he had brought a letter from you also from Brutus, and that it had been forwarded to you from Tusculum. I have arranged my journeys so as to be at Puteoli on the 7th of July. For though I am in a great hurry, I mean to take every precaution humanly possible as to my voyage.

Please free Marcus Aelius from his anxiety: tell him that my idea was that a few feet along the edge of the land—and that under the surface-would have some sort of easement upon them : 5 and that I absolutely objected to it, and did 'not think that anything could make up for it. But, as you suggest, put it as gently as possible, rather by way of relieving him of anxiety than giving him any suspicion of my being annoyed. So also about Tullius's debt, speak to Cascellius in a liberal spirit. It's a small matter, but I am obliged to you for attending to it. It was a bit of rather sharp practice. And if he had taken me in at all, as he nearly did-only that you were too many for him—I should have been seriously annoyed. So, whatever is to be the result, I would prefer the transaction being stayed. Remember that an eighth share of the aedes Tullianae near the temple of Strenia, is due to Caerellia: see that it is conveyed to her at the highest price bid at the auction. I think that was 380 sestertia. 6

If there is any news, even if you foresee anything that you think likely to happen, pray write and tell me as often as possible. As I have already Charged you to do, pray remember to apologize to Varro for the late arrival of my letter. What terms your friend Mundus has made with Marcus Ennius about the will I should like you to tell me—for I always like to know things.

Arpinum, 2nd July.

1 The younger Quintus seems to have raised money from Lepta, referring him to his father for payment, and the elder Quintus is deliberating whether to honour the draft.

2 Cicero charges Antony with various forgeries of decrees and other documents (Phil. 2.97, sq.). Cicero has before this period complained of such bogus senatus consulta. See vol. iii., p.107.

3 The games of Apollo (11th-12th July) which Brutus as praetor urbanus was going to give, though Gaius Antonius as praetor was to preside at them in his absence.

4 The enrolling of the six thousand veterans as a guard, and Antony's summons to the legions in Macedonia. See p. 48.

5 The reading is uncertain. I have translated Mueller's text, from which a fair sense can be extracted: M. Aelium cura liberabis; me paucos pedes in extremo fundo et eos quidem subterraneos servitutis putasse aliquid habituros. Apparently Aelius has acted as Cicero's agent in the purchase of some property, but had not observed that there would be an easement (servitus) upon it, probably the right of making some underground drain or watercourse.

6 The text in MSS. and editions is hopeless. Emendations of all sorts have been attempted. I think the first thing is to get rid of luminarum, "windows," of which it is impossible to make any probable sense. I have therefore conjectured for tuli luminarum aedium, TULLIANARUM AEDIUM, and suppose it to refer to some block of houses so called, and for cui Caerellia, DEBERI CAERELLIAE. Of Cicero's debt to the learned Caerellia we have heard before (see ad Att. 12.51vol. iii., p.257). We know that a certain Tullius Montanus owed Cicero money (see pp.32, 96). This arrangement of the text is very uncertain, but it is necessary to risk something. The temple or chapel of Strenia was at one end of the via sacra, near the site of what was afterwards the Colosseum.

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