1Etsi non dubitabam quin hanc epistulam multi nuntii, Fama denique esset ipsa sua celeritate superatura tuque ante ab aliis auditurus esses annum tertium accessisse desiderio nostro et labori tuo, tamen existimavi a me quoque tibi huius molestiae nuntium perferri oportere. nam superioribus litteris non unis sed pluribus, cum iam ab aliis desperata res esset, tamen tibi ego spem maturae decessionis adferebam, non solum ut quam diutissime te iucunda opinione oblectarem sed etiam quia tanta adhibebatur et a nobis et a praetoribus contentio ut rem posse confici non diffiderem.
2Nunc, quoniam ita accidit ut neque praetores suis opibus neque nos nostro studio quicquam proficere possemus, est omnino difficile non graviter id ferre, sed tamen nostros animos maximis in rebus et gerendis et sustinendis exercitatos frangi et debilitari molestia non oportet. <et>1 quoniam ea molestissime ferre homines debent quae ipsorum culpa contracta sunt, est quiddam in hac re mihi molestius ferendum quam tibi. factum est enim mea culpa, contra quam tu mecum et proficiscens et per litteras egeras, ut priore anno non succederetur. quod ego, dum sociorum
I don’t doubt that this letter will be outpaced by many messengers, indeed by Rumour herself with her well known speed, and that you will hear from others beforehand that our loss and your labour1 have been extended for a third year. Still, I thought it proper that this tiresome news should reach you from me as well as others. For in writing to you previously, not once but a number of times, I used to hold out to you the hope of an early homecoming even after others had already despaired of it. That was not just to amuse you as long as possible with a pleasant notion but because the Praetors and I were both working so hard for it that I felt sure the thing could be done.
Well, unfortunately, neither the Praetors’ influence nor my own zeal has had any success. It is hard not to feel irked. However, we have had too long a training in the conduct of great affairs and the bearing of great responsibilities to lose heart and strength in our vexation. And in one respect I should be taking it harder than you, since it is the misfortunes for which they are ourselves to blame that ought to distress people the most. It was my fault that, against your urgings before you set out and later by letter, you were not relieved the previous year. Thinking of the