CCXLV (F IX, 25)
TO L. PAPINIUS PAETUS (AT ROME)Your letter has made me a consummate general: I had really no idea that you were so accomplished a tactician. I see you have been poring over the treatises of Pyrrhus and Cineas. So I am thinking of obeying your maxims: more than that, I mean to have some light vessels on the coast: against your Parthian horse they say that no better equipment can be discovered. But why jest? You don't know what a great general you are talking to! The Cyropaedeia, which I had well thumbed over, I have thoroughly exemplified throughout my command. But we will have our joke out when we meet, and that I hope before very long. Now listen to the word of command, or rather "attention!" as they used to say in old times. With M. Fadius, as I think you know, I am very intimate, and I am much attached to him, as well from his extreme honesty and singular modesty of behaviour, as from the fact that I am accustomed to find him of the greatest help in the controversies which I have with your fellow tipplers the Epicureans. He came to see me at Laodicea, and I wanted him to stay with me, but he was suddenly agitated by a most distressing letter containing the announcement that an estate near Herculaneum, of which he is joint owner, had been advertised for sale by his brother Q. Fadius. M. Fadius was exceedingly annoyed at this, and thought that his brother (who is not a wise man) had taken that extreme step at the instigation of his own private enemies. In these circumstances, my dear Paetus, as you love me, take the whole case in hand and free Fadius from his distress. We want you to use your influence, to offer your advice, or even to make it a matter of personal favour. Don't let brothers go to law and engage in a suit discreditable to both. Two of Fadius's enemies are Mato and Pollio. Need I say more? I really cannot, by Hercules, express in writing how much I shall be obliged to you if you put Fadius at his ease. He thinks that this depends on you, and makes me think so also.