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DCCCXII (F XVI, 27)

QUINTUS CICERO TO TIRO (AT ROME)
(FROM THE COUNTRY, LATE IN DECEMBER)
YOUR letter contained a remarkable castigation of my idleness. For what my brother had written in more reserved terms—no doubt from modesty and haste-you have written to me without mincing matters and in accordance with the facts. This is specially the case in regard to the consuls-designate, whom I know thoroughly to be compact of vice and the most womanish weakness. If they do not quit the helm, there is the greatest danger of universal shipwreck. You could scarcely believe what I know of those men having done in the summer camp in face of the Gallic laager. And that ruffian Antony, unless some firm step is taken, will win them over by the infection of his vices. We must make a stand by aid of the tribunes or by an understanding between unofficial persons. For as to those two fellows—they are scarcely fit, the one to have charge of Caesena, the other of the vaults of Cossutius's wine-shops. 1 You, as I have said, are the apple of my eye. I shall be with you all on the 30th; and as for yourself, if I meet you as I come in the forum itself, I shall cover you with kisses. Love me, and good-bye.


1 "Hirtius would hardly do to command a small frontier town (Caesena is on the Rubicon), Pansa can scarcely be trusted to look after wine-cellars, as he is given to drink." Hirtius was the author of the eighth book of the commentaries on the Gallic War, and both he and Pansa were with Caesar in Gaul, but neither is mentioned in any way. Yet Caesar must have thought well of them, for he constantly employed and promoted them.

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