Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Fam.].
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8.1

CXCI (F VIII, 1)

M. CAELIUS RUFUS TO CICERO (ON HIS JOURNEY TO CILICIA) ROME, 24 MAY-1 JUNE

As I promised you [Note] on the eve of your departure [Note] to write a full and careful account of all that went on in the city, I have taken pains to secure a man to describe everything so fully, that I fear his industry in this respect may appear to you somewhat overdone. Although you know your own curiosity, and how men abroad delight in being informed of even the most insignificant things that are going on at home, still in this point I must ask you for a favourable construction—that you should not hold me guilty of giving myself airs in thus performing the duty, because I have delegated this task to another. Not at all because it was not the most delightful thing possible to me—busy as I am and, as you know, the laziest man in the world at writing letters—to keep my memory of you fresh : but the size of the packet itself, which I am sending you, will, in my opinion, easily plead my excuse. It would have required considerable leisure not only to copy out all these details, but even to take notice of

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them : for the packet Contains all the decrees of the senate, edicts, gossip, and reports. If this specimen does not meet your wishes, let me know, that I may not spend money only to bore you. If anything of unusual importance occurs in public business, which these clerks cannot easily get at, I will myself carefully write you an account of how it was done, what was thought of it, and what is expected to be its result. For the present there is nothing which causes much anticipation. For those rumours as to the admission of the Transpadani to the comitia died out after reaching Cumae : [Note] when I got to Rome I didn't find that there was the slightest whisper about it. Besides, Marcellus has not as yet brought before the senate the subject of a successor to the Gallic provinces, [Note] and has (as he told me himself) postponed that motion to the 1st of June. He has gone far to bring up again the talk about him which was prevalent when we were in Rome. [Note] But pray if; as you wished to do, you have found Pompey at home, [Note] write me a full account of what you thought of him, what he said to you, and what wishes he professed to entertain—for he is accustomed to think one thing and say another, and yet is not clever enough to conceal his real aims. As to Caesar, there are frequent and rather ugly reports—at any rate, people keep arriving with mysterious whispers : one says that he has lost his cavalry, which, in my opinion, is without doubt an invention : another says that the seventh legion has had a drubbing, that he himself is besieged among the Bellovaci, [Note] and cut off from

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his main army. But neither is there anything known for certain as yet, nor are even these uncertain rumours publicly bruited abroad after all—they are mentioned as open secrets among the small clique with which you are acquainted; but Domitius, with his finger on his lips, hints at them. On the 24th of May, the quidnuncs of the rostra, Confound them! spread a loud report that you had been assassinated on your journey by Q. Pompeius. [Note] Since I happened to know that Q. Pompeius was dieting himself [Note] at Bauli, and was fasting to such an extent that I was sorry for him, I was not agitated, and I only wished that we might compound by this lie for all dangers that might be threatening you. Your friend Plancus, for his part, is at Ravenna, and though he has been presented with a large douceur by Caesar, he is neither wealthy nor well set up. Your books on the Republic are in universal vogue. [Note]



Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Fam.].
<<Cic. Fam. 7.33 Cic. Fam. 8.1 (Latin) >>Cic. Fam. 8.2

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