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XXXIX (A II, 13)

What an abominable thing! No one gave you my letter written on the spot at Three Taverns in answer to your delightful letters! But the fact is that the packet into which I had put it arrived at my town house on the same day as I wrote it, and has been brought back to me to Formiae. Accordingly, I have directed the letter meant for you to be taken back again, to show you how pleased I was with yours. So you say that the talk has died out at Rome! I thought so: but, by Hercules, it hasn't died out in the country, and it has come to this, that the very country can't stand the despotism you have got at Rome. When you come to "Laestrygonia of the distant gates" 1 —I mean Formiae—what loud murmurs! what angry souls! what unpopularity for our friend Magnus! His surname is getting as much out of fashion as the "Dives" of Crassus. Believe me, I have met no one here to take the present state of things as quietly as I do. Wherefore, credit me, let us stick to philosophy. I am ready to take my oath that there is nothing to beat it. If you have a despatch to send to the Sicyonians, 2 make haste to Formiae, whence I think of going on the 6th of May.

1τηλέπυλον Λαιστρυγονίην”, whose king Lamus (Od. 10.81) was supposed to have founded Formiae (Horace, Od. 3.17).

2 A despatch from senate or consuls. See Letter XXIV, p. 60.

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