Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To Tiro, from Cumae, 19 May 54 BC

I of course wish you to Come to me, but I dread the journey for you. You have been most seriously ill: you have been much reduced by a low diet and purgatives, and the ravages of the disease itself. After dangerous illnesses, if some mistake is made, drawbacks are usually dangerous. Moreover, to the two days on the road which it will have taken you to reach Cumae, there will have to be added at once five more for your return journey to Rome. I mean to be at Formiae on the 30th: be sure, my dear Tiro, that I find you there strong and well. My poor studies, or rather ours, have been in a very bad way owing to your absence. However, they have looked up a little owing to this letter from you brought by Acastus. Pompey is staying with me at the moment of writing this, and seems to be cheerful and enjoying himself. He asks me to read him something of ours, but I told him that without you the oracle was dumb. Pray prepare to renew your services to our Muses. My promise shall be performed on the day named: for I have taught you the etymology of fides.[1] Take care to make a complete recovery. I shall be with you directly. Good-bye.

19 May.

  1. From fio, according to Cicero, credamus quia "fiat" quod dictum est, appellatum fidem (de Off. 23). He is referring to his promise to emancipate Tiro on a particular day.