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I have received several letters from you at the same time, written at various times, in which everything else gave me great pleasure; for they shewed that you were now sustaining your military service with a brave spirit, and were a gallant and resolute man. These are qualities which for a short time I felt to be lacking in you, though I attributed your uneasiness not so much to any weakness of your own spirit, as to your feeling your absence from us. Therefore go on as you have begun: endure your service with a stout heart: believe me, the advantages you will gain are many; for I will reiterate my recommendation of you, though I shall wait for the right moment of doing so. Be assured that you are not more anxious that your separation from me should be as profitable as possible to yourself than I am. Accordingly, as your "securities" are somewhat weak, I have sent you one in my poor Greek, written by my own hand. 1 For your part, I should wish you to keep me informed of the course of the war in Gaul: for the less warlike my informant, the more inclined I am to believe him.

But to return to your letters. Everything else (as I said) is prettily written, but I do wonder at this : who in the world sends several identical letters, when he writes them with his own hand? For your writing on paper that has been used before, I commend your economy: but I can't help wondering what it was that you preferred to rub out of this bit of paper rather than not write such poor stuff as this—unless it were, perhaps, some of your legal formulas. For I don't suppose you rub out my letters to replace them with your own. Can it mean that there is no business going on, that you are out of work, that you haven't even a supply of paper? Well, that is entirely your own fault, for taking your modesty abroad with you instead of leaving it behind here with us. I will commend you to Balbus, when he starts to join you, in the good old Roman style. Don't be astonished if there is a somewhat longer interval than usual between my letters: for I intend being out of town in April. I write this letter in the Pomptine district, having put up at the villa of M. Aemilius Philemo, from which I could hear the noise of my clients, I mean those you confided to me For at Ulubrae it is Certain that an enormous mass of frogs have bestirred themselves to do me honour. Take care of your health. 2

8 April, from the Ager Pomptinus.

P.S.—Your letter which I received from L. Arruntius I have torn up, though it didn't deserve it for it had nothing in it which might not have been safely read in a public meeting. But not only did Arruntius say that such were your orders, but you had appended a similar injunction to your letter. Well, be it so! I am surprised at your not having written anything to me since, especially as you are in the midst of such stirring events. 3

1 Graeculum tibi misi cautionem chirographi mei. Various interpretations have been given to this : (1) "a truly Greek security," i.e., not to be depended on"; (2) referring to a poem in Greek, perhaps the one in praise of Caesar's achievements, mentioned before (p.338), in which some compliment to Trebatius was introduced; (3) Prof. Tyrrell would make it refer to this letter itself, which he supposes to have been written in Greek, and afterwards translated by Tiro. But this letter does not read like a translation, and, after all, is not of a nature to shew as a "commendation." It is conceived in too jocular a vein. I have taken it to refer to some enclosure written in Greek which he might use in this way, and the mention of his "own handwriting" to refer to the fact that he would naturally have employed a Greek secretary to write Greek. The diminutive GraeculamI take to be apologetic for the Greek. But it is not at all certain.

2 On his journey along the via Appia to one of his seaside villas Cicero has put up at a friend's house (a freedman of Lepidus), near the Pomptine marshes, as was his wont (Att. 7.5). It was near Ulubrae, of which he was deputy patronus in the absence of Trebatius, and he jestingly pretends that the frogs which he bears croaking in the marshes are frogs of Ulubrae turning out to do him honour, as though they were the citizens of the town. Ulubrae was a very dull and decaying town.

3 The great rising in Gaul in B.C. 54-53, and the second expedition across the Rhine.

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