Commentariolum PetitionisScr., si modo Q. Ciceronis est, priore parte an. 64
quintus marco fratri s.d.
1Etsi tibi omnia suppetunt ea quae consequi ingenio aut usu homines aut diligentia possunt, tamen amore nostro non sum alienum arbitratus ad te perscribere ea quae mihi veniebant in mentem dies ac noctes de petitione tua cogitanti, non ut aliquid ex his novi addisceres,1 sed ut ea quae in re dispersa atque infinita viderentur esse ratione et distributione sub uno aspectu ponerentur. [quamquam plurimum natura2 valet, tamen videtur in paucorum mensum negotio posse simulatio naturam vincere.]3
2Civitas quae sit cogita, quid petas, qui sis. prope cottidie tibi hoc ad forum descendenti meditandum est:4 ‘novus sum, consulatum peto, Roma est.’
Nominis novitatem dicendi gloria maxime sublevabis. semper ea res plurimum dignitatis habuit; non potest qui dignus habetur patronus consularium indignus consulatu
Handbook of Electioneering
quintus to his brother marcus
Although you are furnished with all that men can acquire by ability, experience, or application, I thought it in keeping with our affection to write in full to you what has been coming into my mind as I think day and night about your canvass—not that you would learn anything new from it, but for the sake of bringing into one focus, by logical classification, matters which in real life seem disconnected and indeterminate. Though nature is strong indeed, yet an assumed personality can, it seems, overcome the natural self for an affair of a few months.1
Consider what city this is, what is it you seek, who you are. Every day or so, as you go down to the Forum, you must repeat to yourself: “I am ‘new’; I seek the consulship; this is Rome.”
For your status as a “new man” you will compensate chiefly by your fame as a speaker. Great prestige has always attached to this; an advocate deemed worthy to defend exconsuls cannot be thought unworthy of the consulship.