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As we were at dinner on the 14th, and after nightfall indeed, Statius arrived with a short letter from you. You ask about L. Torquatus: not only Lucius, but Aulus also, has left the country, the latter a good many days ago. You mention the sale of prisoners at Reate: I am sorry that the seeds of a proscription should be sown in the Sabine district. I too had been informed that there were numerous senators at Rome. Can you give any reason why they ever left town? In these parts there is a notion-founded on conjecture rather than on message or despatch—that Caesar will be at Formiae on the 22nd of March. I could wish I had Homer's Minerva here disguised as Mentor, to say to her: "How shall I go then, O Mentor, and how shall I bear me before him?" 1 I never had a harder problem to solve. Still I am trying to solve it, and I shall not be unprepared as far as is possible in a bad business. But look after your health, for I reckon that yesterday was your ague day.

1 Hom. Odyss. 3.22.Athene has taken the shape of Mentor.

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