all the inhabitants came down to the beach to see us pitch
IN the "Trojan Horse," just at the end, you remember the words, "Too late they learn wisdom." You, however, old man, were wise in time. Those first snappy letters of yours were foolish enough, and then--! I don't at all blame you for not being over-curious in regard to Britain. For the present, however, you seem to be in winter quarters somewhat short of warm clothing, and therefore not caring to stir out:
"Not here and there, but everywhere, Be wise and ware: No sharper steel can warrior bear."
If I had been by way of dining out, I would not have failed your friend Cn. Octavius; to whom, however, I did remark upon his repeated invitations, "Pray, who are you?" But, by Hercules, joking apart, be is a pretty fellow: I could have wished you had taken him with you! Let me know for certain what you are doing and whether you intend coming to Italy at all this winter. Balbus has assured me that you will be rich. Whether he speaks after the simple Roman fashion, meaning that you will be well supplied with money, or according to the Stoic dictum, that "all are rich who can enjoy the sky and the earth," I shall know hereafter. Those who come from your part accuse you of pride, because they say you won't answer men who put questions to you. However, there is one thing that will please you: they all agree in saying that there is no better lawyer than you at Samarobriva!
YES, I saw well enough what your feelings were as I parted from you; what mine were I am my own witness. This makes it all the mote incumbent on you to prevent an additional decree being passed, so that this mutual regret of ours may not last more than a year. As to Annius Saturninus, your measures are excellent. As to the guarantee, pray, during your stay at Rome, give it yourself. You will find several guarantees on purchase, such as those of the estates of Memmius, or rather of Attilius. As to Oppius, that is exactly what I wished, and especially your having engaged to pay him the 8oo sestertia (about 6,400 pounds), which I am determined shall be paid in any case, even if I have to borrow to do so, rather than wait for the last day of getting in my own debts.
I now come to that last line of your letter written crossways, in which you give me a word of caution about your sister. The facts of the matter are these. On arriving at my place at Arpinum, my brother came to see me, and our first subject of conversation was yourself, and we discussed it at great length. After this I brought the conversation round to what you and I had discussed at Tusculum, on the subject of your sister. I never saw anything so gentle and placable as my brother was on that occasion in regard to your sister: so much so, indeed, that if there had been any cause of quarrel on the score of expense, it was not apparent. So much for that day. Next day we started from Arpinum. A country festival caused Quintus to stop at Arcanum; I stopped at Aquinum; but we lunched at Arcanum. You know his property there. When we got there Quintus said, in the kindest manner, "Pomponia, do you ask the ladies in, I will invite the men." Nothing, as I thought, could be more courteous, and that, too, not only in the actual words, but also in his intention and the expression of face. But she, in the hearing of us all, exclaimed, "I am only a stranger here! " The origin of that was, as I think, the fact that Statius had preceded us to look after the luncheon. Thereupon Quintus said to me, "There, that's what I have to put up with every day!" You will say, "Well, what does that amount to?" A great deal, and, indeed, she had irritated even me: her answer had been given with such unnecessary acrimony, both of word and look. I concealed my annoyance. We all took our places at table except her. However, Ouintus sent her dishes from the table, which she declined. In short, I thought I never saw anything better tempered than my brother, or crosser than your sister: and there were many particulars which I omit that raised my bile more than did that of Quintus himself. I then went on to Aquinum; Quintus stopped at Arcanum, and joined me early the next day at Aquinum. He told me that she had refused to sleep with him, and when on the point of leaving she behaved just as I had seen her. Need I say more? You may tell her herself that in my judgment she shewed a marked want of kindness on that day. I have told you this story at greater length, perhaps, than was necessary, to convince you that you, too, have something to do in the way of giving her instruction and advice.
There only remains for me to beg you to complete all my commissions before leaving town; to give Pomptinus a push, and make him start; to let me know as soon as you have left town, and to believe that, by heaven, there is nothing I love and find more pleasure in than yourself. I said a most affectionate good-bye to that best of men, A. Torquatus, at Minturnae, to whom I wish you would remark, in the course of conversation, that I have mentioned him in my letter.
Your own immense prestige and my unvarying belief in your consummate virtue have convinced me of the great importance it is to me that you should be acquainted with what I have accomplished, and that you should not be ignorant of the equity and disinterestedness with which I protected our allies and governed my province. For if you knew these facts, I thought I should with greater ease secure your approval of my wishes.
Having entered my province on the last day of July, and seeing that the time of year made it necessary for me to make all haste to the army, I spent but two days at Laodicea, four at Apamea three at Synnada, and the same at Philomelium. Having held largely attended assizes in these towns, I freed a great number of cities from very vexatious tributes, excessive interest, and fraudulent debt. Again, the army having before my arrival been broken up by something like a mutiny, and five cohorts--without a legate or a military tribune, and, in fact, actually without a single centurion-- having taken up its quarters at Philomelium, while the rest of the army was in Lycaonia, I ordered my legate M. Anneius to bring those five cohorts to join the main army; and, having thus got the whole army together into one place, to pitch a camp at Iconium in Lycaonia. This order having been energetically executed by him, I arrived at the camp myself on the 24th of August, having meanwhile, in accordance with the decree of the senate, collected in the intervening days a strong body of reserve men, a very adequate force of cavalry, and a contingent of volunteers from the free peoples and allied sovereigns. While this was going on, and when, after reviewing the army, I had on the 28th of August begun my march to Cilicia, some legates sent to me by the sovereign of Commagene announced, with every sign of panic, yet not without some foundation, that the Parthians had entered Syria. On hearing this I was rendered very anxious both for Syria and my own province, and, in fact, for all the rest of Asia. Accordingly, I made up my mind that I must lead the army through the district of Cappadocia, which adjoins Cilicia. For if I had gone straight down into Cilicia, I could easily indeed have held Cilicia itself, owing to the natural strength of Mount Amanus--for there are only two defiles opening into Cilicia from Syria, both of which are capable of being closed by insignificant garrisons owing to their narrowness, nor can anything be imagined better fortified than is Cilicia on the Syrian side--but I was disturbed for Cappadocia, which is quite open on the Syrian side, and is surrounded by kings, who, even if they are our friends in secret, nevertheless do not venture to be openly hostile to the Parthians. Accordingly, I pitched my camp in the extreme south of Cappadocia at the town of Cybistra, not far from Mount Taurus, with the object at once of covering Cilicia, and of thwarting the designs of the neighbouring tribes by holding Cappadocia. Meanwhile, in the midst of this serious commotion and anxious expectation of a very formidable war king Deiotarus, who has with good reason been always highly honoured in your judgment and my own, as well as that of the senate--a man distinguished for his goodwill and loyalty to the Roman people, as well as for his eminent courage and wisdom--sent legates to tell me that he was on his way to my camp in full force. Much affected by his zeal and kindness, I sent him a letter of thanks, and urged him to hasten. However, being detained at Cybistra five days while mats ring my plan of campaign, I rescued king Ariobarzanes, whose safety had been intrusted to me by the senate on your motion, from a plot that, to his surprise, had been formed against him: and I not only saved his life, but I took pains also to secure that his royal authority should be respected. Metras and Athenus (the latter strongly commended to me by yourself), who had been exiled owing to the persistent enmity of queen Athenais, I restored to a position of the highest influence and favour with the king. Then, as there was danger of serious hostilities arising in Cappadocia in case the priest, as it was thought likely that he would do, defended himself with arms--for he was a young man, well furnished with horse and foot and money, and relying on those all who desired political change of any sort--I contrived that he should leave the kingdom: and that the king, without civil war or an appeal to arms, with the full authority of the court thoroughly secured, should hold the kingdom with proper dignity.
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