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WHAT I don't do for myself my love for you and your kindnesses to me force me to do—to fear. For though I have often heard the story before, and never thought lightly of it, quite recently Segulius Labeo—and it was exactly like him-tells me that he has been in Caesar's company, and that there was a great deal of talk about you. That Caesar himself had no complaint to make against you, except as to an epigram which he said that you uttered: "that the young man must be complimented, honoured, and—got rid of." 1 He said that he did not mean to give them the chance of getting rid of him. I believe for my part that Labeo told him this epigram or made it up himself, and that it was not mentioned first by the young man. As for the veterans, Labeo would have me believe that their language is abominable, that you are in imminent danger from them, and that they are exceedingly indignant at neither Caesar nor myself being among the ten commissioners, 2 and at everything being put in the hands of your party. Having heard these stories, and being already on the march, I did not think that I ought to allow myself to cross the Alps until I knew what was going on with you in Rome. For as to your danger, believe me they hope by swaggering language and threats of danger to make great profit for themselves, when they have cowed you and egged on the young man, and that all that talk about your epigram has one origin-their desire to do as good a stroke of business as possible. Not, however, that I wouldn't have you be cautious and avoid traps: for nothing can be dearer and more precious to me than your life. Take care that you are not forced to be still more afraid by being timid, and that you meet the wishes of the veterans by whatever means that can be done. First, do what they want about the commission of ten. Next, as to rewards, vote, if you think good, that the lands of those veteran soldiers who have served with Antony be transferred to them by both Caesar and myself. As for the coinage, tell them that the senate with deliberation, and after a full investigation of the money, will authoritatively settle that business. For the four legions 3 to whom you in the senate have voted that lands should be given, I see there will be enough land to draw upon from the confiscations of Sulla and the territory of Capua. I think these lands should be given to the legions share and share alike, or by drawing lots. It is no particular wisdom of mine that makes me write this to you, but my love for you and my yearning for peace, which cannot be firmly secured without you. Unless it is absolutely necessary I shall not quit Italy. I am arming and preparing my legions. I hope that I shall have an army that will not be very unfit to grapple with all chances of fortune and all attacks of men. From the army commanded by Pansa Caesar does not intend to allow a legion to join me. Please answer this letter at once, or if the matter is very confidential, and one which you think I ought to know, send one of your men.

24 May, Eporedia.

1 The point of the jest is in the double meaning of tollendum, "to be raised" and "to be removed " (see p.191).

2 To undo the acta of Antony and arrange for the assignation of land to the veterans.

3 Those with Octavian—the fourth, the Martia, and the two veteran legions which he had raised.

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