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CCLXXII (F II, 15)

TO M. CAELIUS RUFUS (AT ROME)
(ASIA) AUGUST
NOTHING could have been more correct or wise than your dealings with Curio as to my supplicatio: and, by Hercules, the business was settled exactly as I wished, both from its speed and because the person whom it irritated—the rival, I mean, of us both 1 —voted with the man who complimented my achievements in terms of extraordinary praise. Wherefore let me tell you I have hopes of the next step : 2 so be prepared for it. I am glad in the first place to hear your compliments to Dolabella, and in the second place to find that you like him. For what you say of the possibility of his being reformed by Tullia's good sense, I know to what letter of your own it is an answer. 3 What if you were to read the letter which I wrote to Appius at the time after reading yours? But what would you have? It is the way of the world. What is done is done, and heaven prosper it! I hope I shall find him an agreeable son-in-law, and in that respect your kindness will be of much assistance.

Politics make me very anxious. I am fond of Curio: I wish Caesar to shew himself an honest man: I could die for Pompey: but after all nothing is dearer in my sight than the Republic itself. In this you are not making yourself very Conspicuous, for you seem to me to have your hands tied—by being at once a good citizen and a good friend. On quitting my province, I have put my quaestor Caelius in command. "A mere boy," say you. Yes, but a quaestor, a young man of high rank, and in accordance with nearly universal precedent: for there was no one who had held higher office for me to put in that position. Pomptinus had departed long ago: my brother Quintus could not be induced: moreover, if I had left him, enemies would have said that I had not really left the province at the end of a year, in accordance with the decree of the senate, since I left a second self behind me. Perhaps they might even have added, that the senate had ordered that those should govern provinces who had not done so before; whereas my brother had governed Asia for three years. In fine, I have now no anxieties: if I had left my brother behind, I should have been afraid of everything. Lastly, not so much of my own initiative, as following the precedent set by the two most powerful men of the day, who have secured the allegiance of all the Cassii and Antonii, 4 I have not so much been desirous to attract a young man to myself, as unwilling to repel him You must needs praise this policy of mine: for it cannot now be changed. You did not write clearly enough to me about Ocella, and it was not mentioned in the gazette. Your doings are so well known, that even on the other side of Mount Taurus the story of Matrinius was heard. Unless the Etesian winds delay me, I shall, I hope, see you before long.


1 Hirrus, who stood for the augurship against Cicero in B.C. 53, and for the aedileship against Curio in B.C. 51.

2 A triumph.

3 He means that by the complimentary remarks as to Dolabella, Caelius had tried to do away with the impression likely to have been made by what he had said about Dolabella before (Letter CCXLI).

4 Pompey had chosen Cassius, Caesar Antonius, as their quaestors. Cicero argues that he has done less—for he has only employed the quaestor assigned him by lot (vol. i., p. 73; 2 Phil. 50).

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