<EPISTULAE> AD CAESAREM SENEM DE RE PUBLICA<II>
1. Scio ego quam difficile atque asperum factu sit consilium dare regi aut imperatori, postremo quoiquam mortali, quoius opes in excelso sunt; quippe cum et illis consultorum copiae adsint neque de futuro quisquam satis callidus satisque prudens sit. 2Quin etiam saepe prava magis quam bona consilia prospere eveniunt, quia plerasque res fortuna ex libidine sua agitat.
3Sed mihi studium fuit adulescentulo rem publicam capessere, atque in ea cognoscenda multam magnamque curam habui; non ita ut magistratum modo caperem, quem multi malis artibus adepti erant, sed etiam ut rem publicam domi militiaeque quantumque armis, viris, opulentia
<LETTERS> TO THE ELDER CAESAR CONCERNING THE AFFAIRS OF STATE<II>24
[late 50/early 49 BC]25
1. I know how difficult and rough a task it is to give advice to a king or a commander, in short, to any mortal whose power is lofty—all the more so since such men have an abundance of counselors, and no one is sufficiently clever and sufficiently farsighted with regard to the future. For indeed bad advice often turns out better than good because Fortune commonly directs the course of events according to her own whim.
I had from early youth a desire to embark upon a political career,26 and in acquainting myself with political affairs, I invested a great deal of care not just with the aim of gaining political office, which many had attained through dishonorable means, but also to make myself familiar with the administration of public business at home and in war and with the resources of our country in arms,
- 24There is no heading in V (fol. 129v) but merely a space of approximately two lines to separate the text of Ep. 2 from Ep. 1.
- 25The fictional date presumes that fighting is imminent but has not yet broken out. Hence, presumably, before Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon, on the night of January 11/12, 49 (= November 24/25, 50 Jul.).
- 26Cf. Cat. 3.3.