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CCX (F VIII, 9)

M. CAELIUS RUFUS TO CICERO (IN CILICIA)
ROME, 2 SEPTEMBER
"Is that the way you have treated Hirrus?" quoth you. Nay, if you only knew how easy it was, what an absence of even the shadow of a struggle, you would be ashamed that he ever ventured to come forward as a rival candidate with you. 1 However, after his defeat, he keeps a smiling face, plays the honest citizen, and delivers his votes against Caesar ; blames the delay; attacks Curio, too, with considerable violence has quite changed his habits since his defeat. Besides, he who has hitherto never shown his face in the forum, and has had little to do with the law courts, now pleads cases of slaves claiming freedom, 2 though seldom after midday. I told you in one of my letters that the business of the provinces was to be settled on the 13th of August: well, the trial of Marcellus, consul-designate, interfered with that. The matter was postponed till the 1st of September. They haven't even been able to make a house. I send this letter on the 2nd of September, up to which date nothing has been decided any more than before. As far as I can see this question will be transferred to next year unsettled, and, as well as I can guess, you will have to leave some one behind you to take charge of the province. 3 For the appointment of a successor is not freed from difficulties, now that it is sought to put the Gauls, the assignment of which is vetoed, under the same category as the rest of the provinces. 4 I have no doubt of this being the case: and it has made me the more determined to write to you, that you might prepare yourself for this eventuality.

In nearly every letter I have mentioned the subject of the panthers to you. It will be a disgrace to you that Patiscus has sent ten panthers to Curio, and that you should not send many times more. And these very beasts, as well as ten more from Africa, Curio has presented to me, lest you should think that he does not know how to make any presents except landed estates. If you will only not forget, and send for some men of Cibyra, and also transmit a letter to Pamphylia—for it is there that they are said to be mostly captured—you will effect what you choose. I am all the more earnest about this now, because I think I shall have to furnish the exhibition entirely apart from my colleague. Pray lay this injunction upon yourself. It is your way to take much trouble willingly, as it is mine for the most part to take none. In this business you have nothing to do but speak—that is, to give an order and a commission. For as soon as the beasts have been captured, you have men to feed and transport them in those whom I have sent over on the affair of Sittius's bond. I think also that, if you give me any hope in your letters, I shall send some more men across.

I recommend to you M. Feridius, a Roman knight, a son of a friend of mine, a good and active young man, who is about to arrive in your province on business of his own, and I beg you to count him among the number of your friends. He wishes that certain lands, from which their townships draw revenue, should by your favour (which you can easily and honourably grant) be relieved from this burden: you will have obliged men who are both grateful and honest.

I would not have you think that Favonius 5 owed his defeat to the men of the pavement ; all the most respectable men abstained from voting for him. Your friend Pompey plainly objects to Caesar keeping a province with an army, and being at the same time consul. However, the motion he himself made in the senate was that no decree ought to be passed at this time. Scipio's 6 was, that the question of Gallic provinces should be brought before the house on 1st March, and no other question combined with it. 7 This motion made Cornelius Balbus 8 pull a long face, and I know that he remonstrated with Scipio. Calidius, in conducting his defence, was very eloquent ; in bringing his accusation, rather ineffective. 9


1 I.e., for the augurship.

2 Liberales causas. This phrase does not occur in Cicero, though it does in Terence and in Quintilian. Some of the editors, therefore, have doubted as to its genuineness or its meaning here. The point seems to be that Hirrus, to gain popularity, now took up the cases of the humblest clients, but yet did not exert himself to come to the courts in the afternoons. Law business would generally end between twelve and one, but sometimes cases were renewed after the midday rest and meal.

3 Cicero, as a fact, did leave his quaestor in charge of the province. At the end of a year a provincial governor could do this, though he remained responsible through his nominee.

4 Up to this time the government of the Gauls had been arranged for till the end of B.C. 49 by a lex. The proposal to have a successor allotted for them in the ordinary way raised the entire question of Caesar's rights, and the resolution in the senate to go on with allotting the provinces usual would be vetoed ab initio in order to cover the case of the Gauls.

5 M. Favonius, the admirer and imitator of Cato, was a good aristocrat, but made enemies by his bitter tongue. He was rejected for the praetorship this year, but apparently obtained it in the following year (though there is some uncertainty on that point).

6 Q Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, Pompey's father-in-law and Colleague in B.C. 52.

7 I.e., not the other provinces.

8 Caesar's friend and agent. See Letter CXCVIII.

9 Calidius, accused by the Gallii (Letter CCV), in his turn accused C. Claudius Marcellus, the consul.designate.

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