Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Fam.].
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I envy you: such a budget of startling news is conveyed every day to you over there! First, the acquittal of Messalla, then his condemnation: the election of C. Marcellus to the consulship: M. Calidius, after losing his election, impeached by the two Gallii: P. Dolabella made one of the quindecimviri. There is only one thing I don't envy you for—that you have lost a most interesting spectacle, and did not see the expression on the face of Lentulus Crus when he lost. But what a come down for him! He had been so confident, had made so sure of it! Dolabella himself had been so doubtful! And, by Hercules, if our friends the equites had not been too sharp-eyed, he would have won almost by the retirement of his opponent. The next item I don't think will surprise you, that Servaeus, after becoming tribune-designate, has been condemned. C. Curio is

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candidate for the vacancy thus made by him. [Note] It is remarkable how much alarm he inspires in many people, who don't know him and his easy-going character ; but, as I hope and desire, and to judge from his present attitude, he will prefer to side with the loyalist party and the senate. In his present frame of mind he is bubbling over with this intention. The root and origin of this feeling is that Caesar, who generally spares no expense in attaching to himself the friendship of the lowest characters, has treated him with very marked neglect. And in this there does seem to me to be a touch of humour—which has been noticed also to a great extent by the rest—that Curio, who never acts on any fixed plan, should be thought to be following a deliberate policy and a deep design in evading the counsels of those who had exerted themselves to oppose his election to the tribuneship —I mean the Laelii and Antonii and powerful men of that stamp.

There has been a somewhat longer interval than usual between this and my last letter, because the successive postponements of the elections kept me more than usually busy, and forced me to wait day after day for their result, that I might give you the information when all was over. I have waited to the 1st of August. There have been some hitches in the praetorian elections. Moreover, what will be the result of my own election I do not know: that of the plebeian Aediles' election indeed has, as far as Hirrus is concerned, amounted to a strong expression of opinion in my favour. For that foolish proposition of his (which we laughed at of old), and the promulgation of a law for the

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appointment of a dictator, brought M. Caelius Vinicianus suddenly to the ground, and caused him to be loudly hooted when down. This was followed by a general demand that, after that, Hirrus should not be elected curule aedile. [Note] I hope that you will speedily hear about me the news you have hoped for, and about him what you have scarcely ventured to hope.

As to politics, I had by this time ceased to hope for any new development ; but at a meeting of the senate in the temple of Apollo on the 22nd of July, upon a motion being brought before it in reference to the pay of Pompey's soldiers, mention was made of the legion with which Pompey had furnished C. Caesar—in what division was it reckoned, for what purpose was it required? Pompey having answered that "it was in Gaul," he was compelled to say that "he would withdraw the legion." He didn't say this at once, but only on the subject being brought forward and under a fire of invective from his detractors. [Note] He was then asked about the appointment of a successor to C. Caesar; [Note] and on this point a resolution was passed that "Cn. Pompeius should return to the city as soon as possible, in order that the question of the succession to the provinces might be debated while he was in the house." For Pompey was on

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the point of starting for Ariminum to join the army ; and in fact did go at once. I think that business will come on on the 13th of August. Some conclusion will be come to for certain, or a scandalous exercise of the veto will hinder it. For in the course of the debate Pompey let fall the expression, "Everybody ought to be obedient to the senate." For my part, however, there is nothing I look forward to so much as to hearing Paullus delivering his vote first as consul-elect. [Note]

I remind you often about Sittius's bond, [Note] for I am anxious that you should understand that it is of great importance to me: so also about the panthers, that you should send for some natives of Cibyra, [Note] and see that they are shipped to me. Besides this, we have been told, and it is now regarded as certain, that the king of Egypt is dead. Take care to write to me what policy you recommend to me, what the condition of that kingdom is, and who has charge of it. [Note]

1 August.

Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Fam.].
<<Cic. Fam. 8.3 Cic. Fam. 8.4 (Latin) >>Cic. Fam. 8.5

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