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DCL (F XVI, 17)

TO TIRO (AT ROME)
ASTURA (29 JULY)
I see what you are about: you want your letters also to be collected into books. But look here! You set up to be a standard of correctness in my writings—how came you to use such an unauthorized expression as "by faithfully devoting myself to my health"? How does fideliter come in there? The proper habitat of that word is in what refers to duty to others—though it often migrates to spheres not belonging to it. For instance: "learning," "house," "art,,' "land," can be called fidelis, granting, as Theophrastus holds, that the metaphor is not pushed too far. 1 But of this when we meet. Demetrius called on me, from whose company to Rome I escaped with considerable adroitness. It is plain that you could not have seen him; he will be in town tomorrow, so you will see him. I myself think of starting early the day after. Your ill-health makes me very anxious, but devote yourself to its cure and omit no means. If you do that, consider that you are with me and are giving me the most complete satisfaction. Thank you for attending to Cuspius; for I am much interested in him. Good-bye.


1 It is not easy to see in what Tiro's solecism consists. It is suggested that fideliter must refer to duty to another, but that is probably what Tiro meant—"he took care of his health as in duty bound to Cicero." But fideliter"thoroughly," "conscientiously"—may at any rate be defended by Ovid's didicisse fideliter artes. Of course Tiro might have said diligenter, but Cicero seems to me to have been hypercritical.

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