Though I have no doubt that many messengers,1 and even common rumour, with its usual speed, will anticipate this letter, and that you will already have heard from others that a third year has been added to my loss and your labour, yet I thought you ought to receive from me also the news of this tiresome circumstance. For not in one, but in several of my previous letters, in spite of others having given up the idea in despair, I gave you hope of being able at an early date to quit your province, not only that I might as long as possible cheer you with a pleasurable belief, but also because I and the praetors took such pains in the matter, that I felt no misgiving as to the possibility of its being arranged. As it is, since matters have so turned out that neither the praetors by the weight of their influence, nor I by my earnest efforts, have been able to prevail, it is certainly difficult not to be annoyed, yet our minds, practised as they are in conducting and supporting business of the utmost gravity, ought not to be crushed or weakened by vexation. And since men ought to feel most vexed at what has been brought upon them by their own fault, it is I who ought in this matter to be more vexed than you. For it is the result of a fault on my part, against which you had protested both in conversation at the moment of your departure, and in letters since, that your successor was not named last year. In this, while consulting for the interests of our allies, and resisting the shameless conduct of some merchants, and while seeking the increase of our reputation by your virtues, I acted unwisely, especially as I made it possible for that second year to entail a third. And as I confess the mistake to have been mine, it lies with your wisdom and kindness to remedy it, and to see that my imprudence is turned to advantage by your careful performance of your duties. And truly, if you exert yourself in every direction to earn men's good word, not with a view to rival others, but henceforth to surpass yourself, if you rouse your whole mind and your every thought and care to the ambition of gaining a superior reputation in all respects, believe me, one year added to your labour will bring us, nay, our posterity also, a joy of many years' duration. Wherefore I begin by entreating you not to let your soul shrink and be cast down, nor to allow yourself to be overpowered by the magnitude of the business as though by a wave; but, on the contrary, to stand upright and keep your footing, or even advance to meet the flood of affairs. For you are not administering a department of the state, in which fortune reigns supreme, but one in which a well-considered policy and an attention to business are the most important things. But if I had seen you receiving the prolongation of a command in a great and dangerous war, I should have trembled in spirit, because I should have known that the dominion of fortune over us had been at the same time prolonged. As it is, however, a department of the state has been entrusted to you in which fortune occupies no part, or, at any rate, an insignificant one, and which appears to me to depend entirely on your virtue and self-control. We have no reason to fear, as far as I know, any designs of our enemies, any actual fighting in the field, any revolts of allies, any default in the tribute or in the supply of corn, any mutiny in the army: things which have very often befallen the wisest of men in such a way, that they have been no more able to get the better of the assault of been granted profound peace, a dead calm: yet if the pilot fortune, than the best of pilots a violent tempest. You have falls asleep, it may even so overwhelm him, though if he keeps awake it may give him positive pleasure. For your province consists, in the first place, of allies of a race which; of all the world, is the most civilized; and, in the second place, of Citizens, who, either as being publicani are very closely connected with me, or, as being traders who have made money, think that they owe the security of their property to my consulship.

1 Quintus Cicero was praetor in B.C. 62. In B.C. 61 (March) he went out to "Asia" as propraetor; his first year of office would be up in March, B.C. 60, but his governorship was, as was very common, extended till March, B.C. 59. Towards the end of B.C. 60 the senate seems to have arranged not to appoint his successor, that is, he would be left in office till about March, B.C. 58. It is in view of this third year of office that Cicero writes this essay-letter to him on the duties of a provincial governor. Apparently Quintus bad faults of temper which had caused some scandals to reach Rome. We have seen how he was one of the few who managed to quarrel with Atticus; and in B.C. 48 we shill find how fiercely he resented the exercise of his brother's influence which had led him to take the losing side, which from his attachment to Caesar he may have been half inclined to think the wrong side. His constant squabbles with his wife (though the fault was evidently in great part hers) also go towards forming our conclusion about him that, with some ability and honesty, he was un peu difficile.

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