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DCLXXXIX (F XVI, 18)

TO TIRO (AT TUSCULUM)
ROME (DECEMBER)
WHAT do you say? Ought it not be so? I think it ought for my part. The word SUO ought also to be added. But, if you please, let us avoid exciting prejudice, which however I have myself often neglected. 1 I am glad the sweating has done you good. If only Tusculum has done so also, good heavens! what a charm that would add to the place in my eyes! But if you love me, as you do, or make a very pretty imitation of doing—an imitation which quite answers its purpose-well, however that may be, nurse your health now, to which, while devoting yourself to my service, you have not been devoted enough. You know what it requires-good digestion, freedom from fatigue, moderate walking, friction of the skin, easy operation of the bowels. 2 Be sure you come back looking well. That would make me still fonder of Tusculum as well as of you. Stir up Parhedrus to hire the garden for himself: by doing so you will keep the actual gardener up to the mark. 3 That utter scoundrel Helico used to pay a thousand sesterces, when there was no hot-bed, no water turned on, no wall, no garden-shed. Is he to have the laugh of us, after we have spent all that money? Warm the fellow up, as I do Motho 4 and so get plenty 5 of flowers. What arrangement is being made about the Crabra, 6 though now indeed we have enough water and to spare, I should yet wish to know. I will send the sun-dial and books, if the weather is dry. But have you no books with you, or are you composing in the Sophoclean vein? Mind you have something to shew for your labour. Caesar's friend Aulus Ligurius 7 is dead: he was a good man and a good friend to me. Let me know when we are to expect you. Take great care of youself. Good-bye


1 This seems to have no reference which we can now hope to explain. Tiro had apparently objected to some phrase in a writing of Cicero's, partly at any rate on grammatical grounds.

2 These words are given in Greek, as medical terms usually were.

3 It is impossible to be sure of the state of things to which allusion is made. Tiro seems to have complained that the gardener Helico at Tusculum wasn't doing well. Cicero says, "Get Parhedrus to take it-supplying what is wanted in the house as part rent—he will keep the workman up to his work. Helico is a great rascal not to do better by the garden, for he has had it at a small rent, never raised in spite of all the improvements which I have made. Parhedrus will pay more, and also be more satisfactory."

4 Perhaps Motho is the town gardener—as we know there was a garden at Cicero's town house. A supply of flowers there would be specially needed for parties, festivals, etc.

5 Reading itaque abundo coronis.

6 The Crabra was the name of the conduit supplying Tusculum with water, for which Cicero paid a rate to the municipality (Leg. Agr. 3.8).

7 Vol. i., p.331; supra, p.24.

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