CLXIX (F VII, 12)
TO C. TREBATIUS TESTA (IN GAUL)I was wondering what had made you cease writing to me. My friend Pansa 1 has informed me that you have become an Epicurean! What a wonderful camp yours must be! What would you have done if I had sent you to Tarentum 2 instead of Samobriva? I was already a little doubtful about you, when I found you supporting the same doctrine as my friend Selius ! 3 But on what ground will you support the principles of civil law, if you act always in your own interest and not in that of your fellow citizens? What, too, is to become of the legal formula in cases of trust, "as should be done among honest men"? For who can be called honest who does nothing except on his own behalf? What principle will you lay down "in dividing a common property," when nothing can be "common" among men who measure all things by their own pleasure ? 4 How, again, can you ever think it right to swear by Jupiter lapis, when you know that Jupiter cannot be angry with anyone? 5 What is to become of the people of Ulubrae, 6 if you have decided that it is not right to take part in civic business? Wherefore, if you are really and truly a pervert from our faith, I am much annoyed; but if you merely find it convenient to humour Pansa, I forgive you. Only do write and tell us how you are, and what you want me to do or to look after for you.