Letters to friends/5.7

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Letters to friends by Marcus Tullius Cicero
5.7 (XII)
Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To Cn. Pompeius Magnus[edit]

Rome, 62 BC[edit]

M. Tullius Cicero, son of Marcus, greets Cn. Pompeius, son of Cneius, Imperator.

If you and the army are well I shall be glad. From your official despatch I have, in common with everyone else, received the liveliest satisfaction; for you have given us that strong hope of peace, of which, in sole reliance on you, I was assuring everyone. But I must inform you that your old enemies—now posing as your friends—have received a stunning blow by this despatch, and, being disappointed in the high hopes they were entertaining, are thoroughly depressed. Though your private letter to me contained a somewhat slight expression of your affection, yet I can assure you it gave me pleasure: for there is nothing in which I habitually find greater satisfaction than in the consciousness of serving my friends; and if on any occasion I do not meet with an adequate return, I am not at all sorry to have the balance of kindness in my favour. Of this I feel no doubt—even if my extraordinary zeal in your behalf has failed to unite you to me—that the interests of the state will certainly effect a mutual attachment and coalition between us. To let you know, however, what I missed in your letter I will write with the candour which my own disposition and our common friendship demand. I did expect some congratulation in your letter on my achievements, for the sake at once of the ties between us and of the Republic. This I presume to have been omitted by you from a fear of hurting anyone's feelings. But let me tell you that what I did for the salvation of the country is approved by the judgment and testimony of the whole world. You are a much greater man than Africanus, but I am not much inferior to Laelius either; and when you come home you will recognize that I have acted with such prudence and spirit, that you will not be ashamed of being coupled with me in politics as well as in private friendship.