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CCLVI (F II, 13)

THOUGH{ your letters are rare (perhaps they don't all reach me), yet I always receive them with delight. For instance, the last received— how sensible it is! How kind and instructive! Though in all points I had made up my mind that I must act as you advise, yet my plans are confirmed when I see that farseeing and faithful advisers agree with me. I am very fond of Appius, as I have often remarked to you in the course of conversation, and I perceived that the moment our quarrel was at an end he began to like me. For when consul he shewed me great respect, and as a friend he has made himself agreeable, and has taker great interest in my pursuits. That good services on my side were in truth not wanting you are witness, and are supported now, I think, by Phania coming in pat, like a character in a farce; 1 and, by heaven! I valued him still more from perceiving that he was attached to you. You know that I am now wholly Pompey's: you understand that Brutus is the object of my warm affection. What is there to prevent my wishing to embrace a man who has all the advantages of youth, wealth, honours, genius, children, relations, marriage connexions, and friends: especially as he is my colleague, 2 and in regard even to the reputation and learning of the college shews great value for me? I write at the greater length on this subject, because your letter hints a kind of doubt as to my feelings towards him. I suppose you have been told something: it is false, believe me, if you have. My official principles and policy present certain points of contrast with his method of administering the province. From that circumstance, perhaps, people have suspected that this contrast arises from estrangement of feeling, not mere difference of opinion. I have, however, never done or said anything with the object of lessening his reputation. Moreover, since this trouble that has come upon him from the rash act of our Dolabella, 3 I am putting myself forward as his apologist and defender.

Your letter mentioned "a lethargy on the state." I am very glad to hear it, and rejoice that our friend 4 has been frozen by the public tranquillity. Your last page, in your own handwriting, was like a dagger in my heart. What! Curio now standing up for Caesar? Who had ever expected it? No one but myself! For, as I live, I thought that would happen. 5 Immortal gods! How I yearn for the laugh we should have over it together! My intention is, since I have finished hearing my cases, have enriched the states, have secured for the publicani even the arrears of the last quinquennium without a murmur from the allies, and have made myself agreeable to private persons from the highest to the lowest, to start for Cilicia on the 15th of May, and, as soon as I have reached the summer quarters and have got the troops established in them, to quit the province in accordance with the senatorial decree. I desire to see you while still aedile; 6 and the city, as well as all my friends, and you among the first, inspire me with extraordinary longing.

1 Κωμικὸς μάρτυς. Phania is a freedman of Appius Claudius, whom Cicero trusts to speak well of his feelings towards Appius. Cicero is fond of illustrating such convenient or sudden events by the incidents of a play. Cp. 2 Phil. 65, Exultabat gaudio persona de mimo "modo egens repente dives."

2 In the college of augurs.

3 His prosecution of Appius for maiestas. See Letter CCXLI.

4 Curio. See same letter.

5 Soon after Curio entered on his tribuneship (10th December, B.C. 51) it became evident that he had changed sides. Caesar had bought him by relieving him of his debts, incurred by his extravagant funeral games and other ways.

6 By the time Cicero reached Italy, Caelius too had become a Caesarian.

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