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DXLI (F XV, 19)

If you are well, I am glad. There is nothing, by Hercules, that I more like doing on this tour of mine than writing to you: for I seem to be talking and joking with you in person. Nor does this Come to pass owing to Catius's "images" : 1 for which expression I will in my next retort on you by quoting such a number of ill-educated Stoics, that you will acknowledge Catius to have been a true-born Athenian. That our friend Pansa left the city in military array with such expressions of goodwill from everybody, I rejoice both for his own sake and also, by Hercules, for the sake of all our party. For I hope that people will understand how odious cruelty is to everybody, and how attractive honesty and clemency: and that the objects which bad men seek and desire above everything come spontaneously to the good. For it is difficult to persuade men that "the good is desirable for its own sake": but that "pleasure" and "peace of mind" 2 are obtained by virtue, justice, and "the good" is both true and convincing. In fact, Epicurus himself says-from whom all your Catiuses and Amafiniuses, those poor translators of his words, proceed—"to live pleasantly is impossible without living well and justly." So it is that Pansa, whose summum bonum is "pleasure," keeps his virtue; and those too who are called by you "pleasure-lovers" are "lovers of the good" and "lovers of the just," 3 and practise and maintain all the virtues. Accordingly Sulla, whose judgment we are bound to respect, seeing that philosophers disagreed, did not ask what was good, but bought up all goods indifferently: whose death, by Hercules, I have borne with some fortitude! Nor will Caesar, after all, allow us to feel his loss very long: for he has plenty of condemned persons to restore for us in his place, nor will he be without some one to bid at his auctions as long as Sulla's son is in his sight.

Now for public affairs. Write and tell me what is going on in Spain. Upon my life I feel anxious, and prefer to have our old and merciful master rather than a new and bloodthirsty one. You know what a fool Gnaeus is: you know how he thinks cruelty is courage: you know how he always thinks that we laugh at him. I am afraid he will want to retort the joke in rustic fashion with a blow of the sword. If you love me, write and say what is happening. Dear, dear, how I wish I knew whether you read this with an anxious or a quiet mind! For then I should at the same time know what it becomes me to do. Not to be too wearisome, I will say good-bye. Love me as ever. If Caesar has conquered, expect me with all speed.

1 See p.175; vol. i., p. 68.

2 ἀταραξίαν, a Stoic term. Cassius retorts on the Stoics that this ἀταραξία which they advocate is best obtained by the Epicurean doctrines.

3 Cassius uses Greek words for these philosophical terms φιλήδονοι, φιλόκαλοι, φιλοδίκαιοι. For Sulla, see p.185.

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