Letters to friends/5.6

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Letters to friends by Marcus Tullius Cicero
5.6 (XV)
Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To P. Sestius in Macedonia[edit]

Rome, 62 BC[edit]

[1]Decius the copyist has been to see me, and begged me to try and secure that no successor should be appointed to you this turn. Though I regarded him as a man of good character and attached to you, yet, remembering the tenor of your previous letter to me, I could not feel certain that the wishes of a cautious man of the world like yourself had undergone so complete a change. But after your wife Cornelia had called on Terentia, and I had had a conversation with Q. Cornelius, I took care to be present at every meeting of the senate, and found that the greatest trouble was to make Fufius the tribune, and the others to whom you had written, believe me rather than your own letters. The whole business has, after all, been postponed till January, but there is no difficulty about it. Roused by your congratulations—for in a letter sometime ago you wished me good luck on the completion of my purchase of a house from Crassus—I have bought that very house for 3,500 sestertia, a good while subsequent to your congratulation. Accordingly, you may now look upon me as being so deeply in debt as to be eager to join a conspiracy if anyone would admit me! But, partly from personal dislike they shut their doors in my face and openly denounce me as the punisher of conspiracy, partly are incredulous and afraid that I am setting a trap for them! Nor do they suppose that a man can be short of money who has relieved the money-lenders from a state of siege. In point of fact, money is plentiful at six per cent., and the success of my measures has caused me to be regarded as a good security. Your own house, and all the details of its construction, I have examined and strongly approve. As for Antonius,[2] though everyone notices his want of attention to my interests, I have nevertheless defended him in the senate with the utmost earnestness and persistence, and have made a strong impression on the senate by my language as well as by my personal prestige. Pray write to me more frequently.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. P. Sestius was serving as proquaestor in Macedonia under Gaius Antonius. As tribune in B.C. 57 he worked for Cicero's recall, but was afterwards prosecuted de vi and defended by Cicero.
  2. Gaius Antonius, Cicero's colleague in the consulship. He had the province of Macedonia after the consulship, Cicero having voluntarily withdrawn in his favour to secure his support against Catiline. Scandal said that he had bargained to pay Cicero large sums from the profits of the province. He governed so corruptly and unsuccessfully that he was on his return condemned of majestas.