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I CONGRATULATE YOU on a son-in-law who is, on my word, the best of men: for that is my opinion of him. Some other blemishes in his character, by which he has hitherto stood in his own light, are already shaken off by age; and, if any remain, I feel sure that they will be quickly removed by your society and influence, and by the modesty of Tullia. For he is not obstinate in vice, nor blunted beyond the power of understanding the higher life. Last, but not least, I am very fond of him.

You will be eager, my dear Cicero, to hear that our friend Curio had a fine conclusion to his veto of the decrees concerning the provinces. For on a motion in regard to the veto being brought before the house—a motion ordered by decree of the senate—and when M. Marcellus had proposed that the tribunes should be remonstrated with, a full senate voted a direct negative. The fact is that Pompey is now so out of sorts, 1 that he can scarcely find anything to suit him. They have come round to this—that Caesar is to be allowed to stand for the consulship without giving up army or provinces. How Pompey is likely to endure this I will write you word as soon as I know. What is to happen to the Republic, if lie resists this in arms or ignores it, that will be the concern of you rich seniors. At the moment of my writing Hortensius is dying.

1 Stomacho ita languenti; referring by a double entendre to his illness. See p. 168.

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