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CDLX (F IX, 7)

I was dining with Seius when a letter was delivered to each of us from you. Yes, I really think it is high time. For as to the personal motive in what I said before, I will own the cunning of my heart—I wanted you to be somewhere near in case of anything good turning up: "two heads," 1 you know. At present, seeing that it is all over and done, we should not hesitate to go over, horse, foot, and artillery! For when I heard about L. Caesar the younger, I said to myself: “What will he do for me, his sire?” 2 Accordingly, I do not cease dining out with the members of the party now in power. What else should I do? One must go with the times. But a truce to jesting, especially as we have nothing to laugh at: “With fearsome tumult shakes wild Afric's shore.” 3 Accordingly, there is nothing "undesirable" 4 which I do not fear. But, in answer to your question as to when, by what road, and whither 5 —I as yet know nothing. You suggest Baiae—but some doubt whether he will not come by way of Sardinia. 6 For that particular one of his estates he has not inspected as yet. It is the worst of them all, 7 nevertheless he does not despise it. For my part, I am on the whole more inclined to think that he will come through Sicily to Velia: but we shall know directly; for Dolabella is on his way home: he, I suppose, will be our instructor: "Scholars are often wiser than their teachers." 8 But nevertheless, if I can ascertain what you have settled, I will accommodate my policy to yours before anyone else's. Wherefore I am anxious for a letter from you.

1 Iliad, 10.224, also quoted at vol. ii., p.322: "when two go together one hits one thing first and the other another." "Two heads are better than one." Cicero expects the learned Varro, as he did Atticus, to fill up the quotation.

2 Terence, Andr. 112. The old father, seeing his son weep at a funeral of a comparative stranger, says, "I liked that: I thought to myself, what will he do for me, his father?" So, Cicero means, "If Caesar pardoned his bitter enemy, young Lucius Caesar, what must he do to me, his old friend?" L. Caesar is the man who brought the messages to and from Pompey (vol. ii., pp.249, 250, 255).

3 A fragment of Ennius.

4 ἀποπροηγμένον, a technical word of the Stoics. Nothing is good or bad but virtue and vice; but among other things which are strictly neither good nor bad some are to be preferred (προηγμένα), some not (ἀπροηγμένα). Cicero uses the word jestingly for what he considers very bad.

5 I.e., to meet Caesar.

6 Caesar did come by Sardinia, and therefore sailed straight to Ostia, not to Puteoli (Dio, 43, 14).

7 Because of its unhealthiness. Vol. i., p.217.

8 πολλοὶ μαθηταὶ κρείσσονες διδασκάλων, a line of which the author is unknown. He refers to his instructing Dolabella in oratory.

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