CXCV (F VIII, 2)
M. CAELIUS RUFUS TO CICERO (ON HIS JOURNEY)It1is certainly true, I tell you, that he has been acquitted—I was in court when the verdict was announced—and that, too, by all three orders, and by a unanimous vote in each order. "Well, that is entirely their concern," 2 say you. No, by Hercules ! For nothing ever happened so unexpected, or so scandalous in the eyes of everybody. Nay, even I, though I countenanced him with all my might for friendship's sake, and had prepared myself to condole with him, was thunderstruck when it occurred, and thought I must be under some hallucination. What do you suppose, then, was the feeling of others? Why, they attacked the jurors with a storm of disapproving shouts, and made it quite plain that this was more than they could stand. Accordingly, now that he is left to the mercies of the Licinian law, he seems to be in greater danger than ever. 3 Besides this, on the day after the acquittal, Hortensius came into Curio's theatre 4 —I suppose that we might share in his rejoicing ! Whereupon you had “ Tumult sore,
Thunder bellowing in the clouds,
Tempest hissing through the shrouds.
” This was the more noticed from the fact that Hortensius had reached old age without ever having been hissed, but on this occasion 'got it heartily enough to serve anyone for the whole of his life, and to make him sorry he had won his case. Of politics I have nothing to tell you. The active proceedings of Marcellus have died away, not from lack of energy, as it seems to me, but from policy. As to the consular elections, public opinion is quite at a loss. For myself, I have chanced upon one competitor who is noble and one who acts the noble : for M. Octavius, son of Gnaeus, and C. Hirrus are standing with me. I tell you this because I know that it was on account of Hirrus that you were anxiously waiting for news of my election. However, as soon as you learn of my having been returned, I beg you to be taking measures as to the panthers. 5 I recommend Sittius's bond to your attention. I gave the first batch of notes on the events in the city to L. Castrinius Pietus, the second to the bearer of this letter.