But look here! Have you yet wrung out of Caesar by the agency of Herodes the fifty Attic talents? In that matter you have, I hear, roused great wrath on the part of Pompey. For he thinks that you have snapped up money rightly his, and that Caesar will be no less lavish in his building at the Nemus Diame.
I was told all this by P. Vedius, a hare-brained fellow enough, but yet an intimate friend of Pompey's. This Vedius came to meet me with two chariots, and a carriage and horses, and a sedan, and a large suite of servants, for which last, if Curio has carried his law, he will have to pay a toll of a hundred sestertii apiece. There was also in a chariot a dog-headed baboon, as well as some wild asses. I never saw a more extravagant fool. But the cream of the whole is this. He stayed at Laodicea with Pompeius Vindullus. There he deposited his properties when coming to see me. Meanwhile Vindullus dies, and his property is supposed to revert to Pompeius Magnus. Gaius Vennonius comes to Vindullus's house: when, while putting a seal on all goods, he conies across the baggage of Vedius. In this are found five small portrait busts of married ladies, among which is one of the wife of your friend--" brute," indeed, to be intimate with such a fellow! and of the wife of Lepidus-- as easy-going as his name to take this so calmly! I wanted you to know these historiettes by the way; for we have both a pretty taste in gossip. There is one other thing I should like you to turn over in your mind. I am told that Appius is building a propyheum at Eleusis. Should I be foolishly vain if I also built one at the Academy? "I think so," you will say. Well, then, write and tell me that that is your opinion. For myself, I am deeply attached to Athens itself. I would like some memorial of myself to exist. I loathe sham inscriptions on statues really representing other people. But settle it as you please, and be kind enough to inform me on what day the Roman mysteries fall, and how you have passed the winter. Take care of your health. Dated the 765th day since the battle of Leuctra!
M. PORCIUS CATO TO CICERO (IN CILICIA)
I GLADLY obey the call of the state and of our friendship, in rejoicing that your virtue, integrity, and energy, already known at home in a most important crisis, when you were a civilian, should be maintained abroad with the same painstaking care now that you have military command. Therefore what I could conscientiously do in setting forth in laudatory terms that the province had been defended by your wisdom; that the kingdom of Ariobarzanes, as well as the king, himself, had been preserved; and that the feelings of the allies had been won back to loyalty to our empire--that I have done by speech and vote. That a thanksgiving was decreed I am glad, if you prefer our thanking the gods rather than giving you the credit for a success which has been in no respect left to chance, but has been secured for the Republic by your own eminent prudence and self-control. But if you think a thanksgiving to be a presumption in favour of a triumph, and therefore prefer fortune having the credit rather than yourself, let me remind you that a triumph does not always follow a thanksgiving; and that it is an honour much more brilliant than a triumph for the senate to declare its opinion, that a province has been retained rather by the uprightness and mildness of its governor, than by the strength of an army or the favour of heaven: and that is what I meant to express by my vote. And I write this to you at greater length than I usually do write, because I wish above all things that you should think of mc as taking pains to convince you, both that I have wished for you what I believed to be for your highest honour, and am glad that you have got what you preferred to it. Farewell: continue to love me; and by the way you conduct your home-journey, secure to the allies and the Republic the advantages of your integrity and energy.
"RIGHT glad am I to be praised "--says Hector, I think, in Naevius--" by thee, reverend senior, who hast thyself been praised." For certainly praise is sweet that comes from those who themselves have lived in high repute. For myself, there is nothing I should not consider myself to have attained either by the congratulation contained in your letter, or the testimony borne to me in your senatorial speech: and it was at once the highest compliment and the greatest gratification to me, that you willingly conceded to friendship, what you transparently conceded to truth. And if, I don't say all, but if many were Catos in our state--in which it is a matter of wonder that there is even one--what triumphal chariot or laurel should I have compared with praise from you? For in regard to my feelings, and in view of the ideal honesty and subtihity of your judgment, nothing can be more complimentary than the speech of yours, which has been copied for me by my friends. But the reason of my wish, for I will not call it desire, I have explained to you in a former letter. And even if it does not appear to you to be entirely sufficient, it at any rate leads to this conclusion--not that the honour is one to excite excessive desire, but yet is one which, if offered by the senate, ought certainly not to be rejected. Now I hope that that House, considering the labours I have undergone on behalf of the state, will not think me undeserving of an honour, especially one that has become a matter of usage. And if this turns out to be so, all I ask of you is that--to use your own most friendly words-- since you have paid me what in your judgment is the highest compliment, you will still "be glad" if I have the good fortune to get what I myself have preferred. For I perceive that you have acted, felt, and written in this sense: and the facts themselves shew that the compliment paid me of a supplicatio was agreeable to you, since your name appears on the decree: for decrees of the senate of this nature are, I am aware, usually drawn out by the warmest friends of the man concerned in the honour. I should, I hope, soon see you, and may it be in a better state of political affairs than my fears forebode!
CICERO and his son greet Tiro warmly. We parted from you, as you know, on the 2nd of November. We arrived at Leucas on the 6th of November, on the 7th at Actium. There we were detained till the 8th by a storm. Thence on the 9th we arrived at Corcyra after a charming voyage. At Corcyra we were detained by bad weather till the 15th. On the 16th we continued our voyage to Cassiope, a harbor of Corcyra, a distance of 120 stades. There we were detaine4 by winds until the 22nd. Many of those who in this interval impatiently attempted the crossing suffered shipwreck. On the 22nd, after dinner, we weighed anchor. Thence with a very gentle south wind and a clear sky, in the coarse of that night and the next day we arrived in high spirits on Italian soil at Hydrus, and with the same wind next day--that is, the 24th of November--at io o'clock in the morning we reached Brundisium, and exactly at the same time as ourselves Terentia (who values you very highly) made her entrance into the town. On the 26th, at Brundisium, a slave of Cn. Plancius at length delivered to me the ardently expected letter from you, dated the 13th of November. It greatly lightened my anxiety: would that it had entirely removed it! However, the physician Asclapo positively asserts that you will shortly be well. What need is there for me at this time of day to exhort you to take every means to re-establish your health? I know your good sense, temperate habits, and affection for me: I am sure you will do everything you can to join me as soon as possible. But though I wish this, I would not have you hurry yourself in any way. I could have wished you had shirked Lyso's concert, for fear of incurring a fourth fit of your seven-day fever. But since you have preferred to consuit your politeness rather than your health, be careful for the future. I have sent orders to Curius for a douceur to be given to the physician, and that he should advance you whatever you want, engaging to pay the money to any agent he may name. I am leaving a horse and mule for you at Brundisium.
At Rome I fear that the 1st of January will be the beginning of serious disturbances. I shall take a moderate line in all respects. It only remains to beg and entreat you not to set sail rashly--seamen are wont to hurry things for their own profit: be cautious, my dear Tiro: you have a wide and difficult sea before you. If you can, start with Mescinius; he is usually cautious about a sea passage: if not, travel with some man of rank, whose position may give him influence over the ship-owner. If you take every precaution in this matter and present yourself to us safe and sound, I shall want nothing more of you. Good-bye, again and again, dear Tiro! I am writing with the greatest earnestness about you to the physician, to Curius, and to Lyso. Good-bye, and God bless you.
To L. PAPIRIUS PAETUS (AT NAPLES)