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I will answer the end part of your last letter first—for I have noticed that that is what you great orators occasionally do. You express disappointment at not getting letters from me; whereas I never fail to send one whenever I am informed by your family that somebody is going to you. I think I gather from your letter that you are not likely to take any step rashly, nor to decide on any plan before you know in what direction that fellow Caecilius Bassus 1 is likely to break out. That is what I had hoped, for I felt confidence in your wisdom, and now your very welcome letter makes me quite secure. And I beg you as a special favour that you will, as often as you can, make it possible for me to know what you are doing, what is being done, and also what you intend to do. Although I felt much distressed at your leaving me, I consoled myself at the time by thinking that you were going to a scene of the most profound tranquillity, and were leaving the cloud of serious troubles overhanging us. In both cases the actual truth has been the reverse. Where you are a war has broken out: with us there has followed a period of peace. Yet, after all, it is a peace in which, had you been here, there would have been many things that would not have pleased you, things in fact which do not please Caesar himself. In truth, this is always among the results of civil wars—that it is not only what the victor wishes that is done: concessions have also to be made to those by whose aid the victory was won. For my part, I have become so hardened that at our friend Caesar's games I saw T. Plancus 2 and listened to the poems of Laberius and Publilius 3 with the utmost sangfroid There is nothing I feel the lack of so much as of some one with whom to laugh at these things in a confidential and philosophic spirit. You will be the man, if you will only come as soon as possible. That you should do so I think is important to yourself as well as to me.

1 Q Caecilius Bassus (quaestor B.C. 59) fought on Pompey's side at Pharsalia, whence he escaped to Tyre. He managed to win over some of the army of the propraetor of Syria, Sext. Iulius Caesar; and, taking advantage of rumours in B.C. 46 of Caesar being defeated in Africa, he caused Sext. Iulius to be assassinated and took over the government of Syria. He fortified Apamea, and there repulsed Antistius Vetus and Statius Murcus, who were successively sent against him, and had dealings with the Parthians. Though Murcus was reinforced by Crispus, governor of Bithynia, Bassus held out till Cassius arrived in B.C. 43, to whom he surrendered and was allowed to go away unharmed.

2 T. Munatius Plancus Bursa, tribune in B.C. 52. An adherent of Publius Clodius, and principally responsible for the burning of the Curia when Clodius's body was burnt. He had been condemed for vis, and seeing him at the games Cicero knew that he had been recalled by Caesar. See vol. i., p. 365.

3 Decimus Laberius and Publilius Syrus were writers of minies (vol. i., p. 345; ad Att. 14.2). It is said that Caesar, who employed them in these games, taunted Laberius with being surpassed by the improvisations of the foreigner Syrus. A number of sententiae or sententious verses are extant under the name of Syrus, and a fragment of his on luxury is preserved by Petronius Arbiter, § 55. Laberius died at Puteoli in B.C. 43. They doubtless on this occasion introduced flatteries of Caesar.

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