Arpinum, 1 or 2 April 49
Rome being impossible, I have given my son the white gown at Arpinum as the next best place, to the gratification of my fellow-townsmen. Not but what I find everyone both at Arpinum and on the road gloomy and downcast; so sad and terrible are the thoughts inspired by this vast mischief. Levies are in progress and men are led off into winter quarters. You can imagine how sorely such proceedings are felt. They are unpleasant enough in themselves, even when carried out with moderation by honest men in legitimate warfare; now they are carried out by ruffians in a wicked civil war with the utmost brutality. You may be sure that every disreputable character in Italy is with Caesar. I saw the whole crew at Formiae and upon my word I thought them more like beasts than men; and I knew them all, but I had never seen them all in one place.
Let's see, where was I? Ah, yes:
Fleeing to Pompey, in a losing cause.
A new poem is always news to the poet.