CCVIII (A V, 17)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)I have received a packet of letters from Rome without one from you, for which, granting you to be well and in Rome, I imagine the fault to be Philotimus's, not yours. I dictate this letter sitting in my carriage, on my way to the camp, from which I am two days' journey distant. In a few days' time I am going to have men on whom I can rely to take letters. Accordingly, I reserve myself for that. However, I will just say, though I should prefer your hearing this from others—I am so conducting myself in the province that no farthing is spent on anyone. This is owing also to the careful conduct of legates, tribunes, and prefects. For one and all entertain a surprising desire to vie with each other in maintaining my reputation. My friend Lepta is wonderful in that respect. But at present I am in a hurry: I will write everything' in full to you in a few days. The younger Deiotarus 1 who has received the title of king from the senate, has taken my son and nephew with him to his own dominions. So long as I am in the summer camp, I thought that the safest place for the boys. Sestius has written me an account of his conversation with you about my domestic anxiety, which is a very serious one, and of what your opinion is. Pray throw yourself into that matter, and write me word what can be done and what you think. He also told me that Hortensius had said something or other about the extension of my provincial government. He promised me at Cumae that he would most energetically plead for my being kept here only a year. If you have any affection for me, strengthen this position. I cannot tell you how against the grain my absence from you is. At the same time, too, I hope that my present reputation for justice and purity will be all the more conspicuous if I quit the province early. This is what happened to Scaevola, 2 who governed Asia only nine months. Our friend Appius, as soon as he saw that I was on the point of arriving, left Laodicea and went as far as Tarsus. There he is holding an assize, though I am actually in the province. However, I do not make any fuss about this slight upon myself ; for I have enough to do in healing the wounds which have been inflicted upon the province. This I am taking care to do with as little reflection upon him as possible: but I should like you to tell our friend Brutus 3 that it was not very polite of him to remove to the farthest possible distance on my arrival.