In the case, however, of those of your personal staff or official attendants whom you have yourself selected to be about you—who are usually spoken of as a kind of praetor's cohort—we must vouch, not only for their acts, but even for their words. But those you have with you are the sort of men of whom you may easily be fond when they are acting rightly, and whom you may very easily check when they show insufficient regard for your reputation. By these, when you were raw to the work, your frank disposition might possibly have been deceived—for the better a man is the less easily does he suspect others of being bad—now, however, let this third year witness an integrity as perfect as the two former, but still more wary and vigilant. Listen to that only which you are supposed to listen to; don't let your ears be open to whispered falsehoods and interested suggestions. Don't let your signet ring be a mere implement, but, as it were, your second self: not the minister of another's will, but a witness of your own. Let your marshal hold the rank which our ancestors wished him to hold, who, looking upon this place as not one of profit, but of labour and duty, scarcely ever conferred it upon any but their freedmen, whom they indeed controlled almost as absolutely as their slaves. Let the lictor be the dispenser of your clemency, not his own; and let the fasces and axes which they carry before you constitute ensigns rather of rank than of power. Let it, in fact, be known to the whole province that the life, children, fame, and fortunes of all over whom you preside are exceedingly dear to you. Finally, let it be believed that you will, if you detect it, be hostile not only to those who have accepted a bribe, but to those also who have given it. And, indeed, no one will give anything, if it is made quite clear that nothing is usually obtained from you through those who pretend to be very influential with you. Not, however, that the object of this discourse is to make you over-harsh or suspicious towards your staff. For if any of them in the course of the last two years has never fallen under suspicion of rapacity, as I am told about Caesius and Chaerippus and Labeo—and think it true, because I know them—there is no authority, I think, which may not be entrusted to them, and no confidence which may not be placed in them with the utmost propriety, and in anyone else like them. But if there is anyone of whom you have already had reason to doubt, or concerning whom you have made some discovery, in such a man place no confidence, intrust him with no particle of your reputation. V. If, however, you have found in the province itself anyone, hitherto unknown to us, who has made his way into intimacy with you, take care how much confidence you repose in him; not that there may not be many good provincials, but, though we may hope so, it is risky to be positive. For everyone's real character is covered by many wrappings of pretence and is concealed by a kind of veil: face, eyes, expression very often lie, speech most often of all. Wherefore, how can you expect to find in that class 1 any who, while foregoing for the sake of money all from which we can scarcely tear ourselves away, 2 will yet love you sincerely and not merely pretend to do so from interested motives? I think, indeed, it is a hard task to find such men, especially if we notice that the same persons care nothing for almost any man out of office, yet always with one consent show affection for the praetors. But of this class, if by chance you have discovered any one to be fonder of you—for it may so happen—than of your office, such a man indeed gladly admit upon your list of friends: but if you fail to perceive that, there is no Class of people you must be more on your guard against admitting to intimacy, just because they are acquainted with all the ways of making money, do everything for the sake of it, and have no consideration for the reputation of a man with whom they are not destined to pass their lives. And even among the Greeks themselves you must be on your guard against admitting close intimacies, except in the case of the very few, if such are to be found, who are worthy of ancient Greece. As things now stand, indeed, too many of them are untrustworthy, false, and schooled by long servitude in the arts of extravagant adulation. My advice is that these men should all be entertained with courtesy, but that close ties of hospitality or friendship should only be formed with the best of them: excessive intimacies with them are not very trustworthy—for they do not venture to oppose our wishes—and they are not only jealous of our countrymen, but of their own as well. VI. And now, considering the caution and care that I would show in matters of this kind—in which I fear I may be somewhat over-severe—what do you suppose my sentiments are in regard to slaves? Upon these we ought to keep a hold in all places, but especially in the provinces. On this head many rules may be laid down, but this is at once the shortest and most easily maintained—that they should behave during your progresses in Asia as though you were travelling on the Appian way, and not suppose that it makes any difference whether they have arrived at Tralles or Formiae. But if, again, any one of your slaves is conspicuously trustworthy, employ him in your domestic and private affairs; but in affairs pertaining to your office as governor, or in any department of the state, do not let him lay a finger. For many things which may, with perfect propriety, be in-trusted to slaves, must yet not be so entrusted, for the sake of avoiding talk and hostile remark. But my discourse, I know not how, has slipped into the didactic vein, though that is not what I proposed to myself originally. For what right have I to be laying down rules for one who, I am fully aware, in this subject especially, is not my inferior in wisdom, while in experience he is even my superior? Yet, after all, if your actions had the additional weight of my approval, I thought that they would seem more satisfactory to yourself. Wherefore, let these be the foundations on which your public character rests: first and foremost your own honesty and self-control, then the scrupulous conduct of all your staff, the exceedingly cautious and careful selection in regard to intimacies with provincials and Greeks, the strict and unbending government of your slaves. These are creditable even in the conduct of our private and everyday business: in such an important government, where morals are so debased and the province has such a corrupting influence, they must needs seem divine. Such principles and conduct on your part are sufficient to justify the strictness which you have displayed in some acts of administration, owing to which I have encountered certain personal disputes with great satisfaction, unless, indeed, you suppose me to be annoyed by the complaints of a fellow like Paconius—who is not even a Greek, but in reality a Mysian or Phrygian—or by the words of Tuscenius, a madman and a knave, from whose abominable jaws you snatched the fruits of a most infamous piece of extortion with the most complete justice.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
B.C. 67 . Coss., C. Calpurnius Piso, M. Acilius Glabrio.
B.C. 62 . Coss., D. Iunius Silanus, L. Licinius Murena.
B.C. 61 . Coss., M. Papius Piso, M. valerius Messalla.
B.C. 60 . coss., Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer, L. Afranius.
B.C. 59 . Coss., C. Iulius Caesar, M. Calpurnius Bibulus.
B.C. 58 . Coss., L. Piso, A. Gabinius: LETTERS IN EXILE
B.C. 57 coss., P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos.
B.C. 56 . Coss., Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, L Marcius Philippus.
B.C. 55 . Coss., Cn. Pompeius Magus, M. Licinius Crassus
B.C. 54 . Coss., L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, Ap. Claudius Pulcher
B.C. 53 . Coss. M. Domitius Calvinus, M. Valerius Messalia.
B.C. 52 . from V Kal. Mart., Coss. Cn. Pompeius Magnus (alone); from 1st August, with Q. Metellus Scipio
B.C. 51 . COSS., M. Claudius Marcellus, Servius Sulpicius Rufus.
B.C. 50 . coss., L. Aemilius Paulus, C. Claudius C. Claudius
B.C. 49 . Coss., C. Claudius, Marcellus, L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus.
B.C. 48 . Coss., C. Iulius Caesar II., P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus.
B.C. 47 . Dict. r. p. c., C. Iulius Caesar, Mag. Eq., M. Antonius. Coss. (for three last months), Q. Fufius Calenus, P. Vatinius.
B.C. 46 . Coss., C. Iulius Caesar III., M. Aemilius Lepidus. Dictator C. Iulius Caesar III. Magister Equitum, Am. Aemilius Lepidus.
B.C. 45 . Dictator, r.p.c., C. Iulius Caesar III. Magister Equitum, M. Aemilius Lepidus. Coss., C. Iulius Caesar IV., sine collega. Q. Fabius Maximus, mort., C. Caninius Rebilus, C. Trebonius.
B.C. 44 , aet. 62. Dictat. r. p. ger. C. Iulius Caesar IV. Mag. Eq. M. Aemilius Lepidus II. Coss., C. Octavius, Cn. Domitius (non inierunt.) C. Iulius Caesar V. occis. M. Antonius. P. Cornelius Dolabella.
year v4 44
B.C. 43 , aet. 63. Coss., C. Vibius Pansa, occis., A. Hirtius, occis. C. Iulius Caesar Octavianus, abd. C. Carinas, Q. Pedius, mort., P. Ventidius. Triumviri, r. p. c., M. Aemilius Lepidus, M. Antonius, C. Iulius Caesar Octavianus.
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