Cicero, Ad Familiares, IX. viii.
Etsi munus flagitare, quamvis quis ostenderit, ne populus quidem solet nisi concitatus, tamen ego exspectatione promissi tui moveor ut admoneam te, non ut flagitem. Misi autem ad te quattuor admonitores non nimis verecundos—nosti enim profecto os huius adulescentioris Academiae—ex ea igitur media excitatos misi, qui metuo ne te forte flagitent, ego autem mandavi ut rogarent. Exspectabam omnino iam diu, meque sustinebam ne ad te prius ipse quid scriberem quam aliquid accepissem, ut possem te remunerari quam simillimo munere. Sed cum tu tardius faceres, id est (ut ego interpretor) diligentius, teneri non potui quin coniunctionem studiorum amorisque nostri quo possem litterarum genere declararem. Feci igitur sermonem inter nos habitum in
Letter Dedicating Second Edition to Varro
Cicero to Varro1
Even the public, unless stirred up to do so, does not as a rule actually demand a gift,a although somebody has held out an offer of one; yet in my case eagerness for the present that you promisedb prompts me to send you, not a demand, but a reminder. But the four emissaries that I am sending to remind youc are not excessively modest ones—for no doubt you are acquainted with the ‘cheek’ of this juniord Academy—well, it is from the very heart of that School that my messengers have been summoned; and I am afraid that they may perhaps present a demand to you, although my instructions to them are to make a request. Anyway I have now been a long time waiting and keeping myself from writing anything to you on my side before I had received something from you, so as to have the opportunity of making you as nearly as possible a repayment in kind. But as you have been acting rather slowly, that is (as I construe it) rather carefully, I have been unable to keep myself from making public, in such literary form as was within my powers, the community of studies and of affection that unites us. I have accordingly composed a dialogue, held between us at my place at
- aMunus denotes specially a gladiatorial show.
- bVarro had promised to dedicate to Cicero his treatise De Lingua Latina, at which he was now working.
- cThe four volumes of Academica, second edition, of which the first volume forms Book I. of the extant text.
- dThis hints at the ‘young-mannishness’ and self-assertion of the New Academy.