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CCCXXIII (A VII, 25)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
FORMIAE, 11 FEBRUARY
AFTER I had sent you a gloomy and, I fear, true letter about Lucretius's letter to Cassius, forwarded here from Capua, Cephalio arrived from you with one more cheerful in tone, but yet not very confident, as is usual with you. I can believe anything more easily than that Pompey—as you assert-has an army. 1 Nobody brings such a report here, but rather everything opposite to my wishes. What a wretched anomaly! When he was in the wrong, he always got his way; now that he is eminently in the right, he fails entirely. How can I explain it, except by saying that he knew how to do the former—for it was not difficult—but not the latter. For to rule a free state in the right way was a difficult art! But I hourly expect full information, and then I will at once write you word.


1 Cicero seems throughout to exaggerate Pompey's failure to obtain troops. When Caesar arrived at Brundisium he found Pompey there with two legions, although the consuls had already crossed with the main army (cum magna parte exercitus, Caesar, B.C. 1.25). Ahenobarbus's obstinacy in staying at Corfinium, however, had deprived Pompey of considerable reinforcements.

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