I Hope This Email Finds You…Busy

Cicero to Quintus Cornificius (Ad Fam. 12.30)

 “Is this true? Does no one apart from suitors take my letters to you? There are certainly many of those types lately–since you have made it clear that no one is safely recommended to you without my letter. But who of all your friends said that I would give my letter to anyone without meaning to do so? What greater pleasure remains to me than writing to you or reading a letter from you since I can’t actually talk to you?

What annoys me the most is that I have so much work to do that I am not capable of writing to you whenever I want to. I would have assaulted you not only with letters but huge tomes that I would have used rightly to be challenged to you to write back.

Although you are busy, you still have more leisure than I; or, if you don’t have free time, don’t be so shameless as to annoy me by asking for ever more responses when you only write to me after long breaks.”

itane? praeter litigatores nemo ad te meas litteras? multae istae quidem ; tu enim perfecisti ut nemo sine litteris meis tibi se commendatum putaret ; sed quis umquam tuorum mihi dixit esse cui darem, quin dederim? aut quid mi iucundius quam, cum coram tecum loqui non possim, aut scribere ad te aut tuas legere litteras? illud magis mihi solet esse molestum, tantis me impediri occupationibus, ut ad te scribendi meo arbitratu facultas nulla detur.non enim te epistulis sed voluminibus lacesserem ; quibus quidem me a te provocari oportebat. 

quamvis enim occupatus sis,’ oti tamen plus habes ; aut, si ne tu quidem vacas, noli impudens esse nec mihi molestiam exhibere et a me litteras crebriores, cum tu mihi raro mittas, flagitare.

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