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IT is of very great importance at what time you receive this letter-whether when you are suffering any anxiety or when you are free from all distress. Accordingly, I have instructed the bearer to be careful as to the time of its delivery. For just as in personal intercourse those who visit us at an inconvenient time are often troublesome, so do letters cause annoyance if delivered unseasonably. If, however, as I hope, nothing is vexing or hampering you, and if the messenger charged with it selects the time of approaching you with tact and discretion, I feel confident that I shall have no difficulty in obtaining from you what I desire. Lucius Lamia 1 is a candidate for the praetorship. I am particularly intimate with him. There is a friendship of very old standing and very close between us, and what is of the greatest weight of all is that he is supremely delightful in a social point of view. Besides that, I am under great obligations to him for kindness and good offices. For in the Clodian period, being at the head of the equestrian order and fighting with the greatest gallantry in defence of my safety, he was banished 2 from Rome by the consul Gabinius, a thing that had never before that time happened to any Roman citizen at Rome. 3 When the Roman people remembers this, it is most discreditable that I should forget it. Therefore, my dear Brutus, persuade yourself that I am a candidate for the praetorship: for though Lamia is in a brilliant position and extremely popular, and conducted his aedileship with most magnificent liberality, yet I have taken up his cause as if these things were not so. In these circumstances, if you value me as highly as I feel sure you do, since you control certain centuries of the equites, among whom you are all-powerful, send word to our friend Lupus to secure the votes of those centuries for us. Though there is nothing that I do not expect from you, Brutus, yet there is nothing in which you can more oblige me than this.

1 L. Aelius Lamia (see vol. iii., p.326). He was aedile in B.C. 45.

2 Relegatus, i.e., forbidden to come to Rome, but not deprived of civil rights or property. Gabinius was consul in B.C. 58, the year of Cicero's exile. If Cicero calls him princeps ordinis equestris with definite exactness and not as a sort of general compliment, he means that he was the first decurio of the first turma of the equites. But it is very doubtful whether this military organization of the equites existed at this time in reality. It was elaborated by Augustus some years later.

3 It seems true that retegatio, or, as it was called in its mildest form, relegatio in agros, does not occur in republican times, at any rate by an edict of a magistrate in the case of a citizen, though peregrini could be, and on several occasions were, ordered to leave Rome. But it was common under the empire. See p.195; Suet. Aug. 16, 24; Ovid. Tr. 2.135: Quippe relegatus, non exul, dicor in illo, Privaque fortunae sunt data verba meae. The edict of Gabinius would only hold good during his year of office.

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