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To Lucius Cassius Longinus & Metella


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The letters were delivered by a polite, neat looking slave 12 days after the birth of Horatia's second son. 

Greetings Lucius,

I thank you for the gifts you sent on the birth of our new son, although I have to admit a training sword at his age was a…unique choice.

I’m sure Aulus will be delighted to show off his new son, if you are available for a dinner after the next ides. Send word and I will arrange it. 

I must admit an ulterior motive with this letter, however. I wish to express my gratitude to your girl Metella. I’m unsure if she told you of her part in my child's birth herself, or whether I have the honour of doing it but she was invaluable, and could have very well saved my life. I owe her more than words can express, or money. I am not sure if she can read, but I have enclosed a small note to her. Please pass this on, and the box that should have been delivered with this letter. Both are for her - or if she cannot read, please pass it to a close acquaintance of hers that can. I trust you will respect that the note and the gift are for her alone, and not your property for all intents and purposes.

Horatia Justina.

Alongside the note for Longinus was a neatly folded letter for Metella and a box. Within it she would find an ornate gold bracelet, of significant value and two painted wooden rattles, one worn and used and the other brand new. 

Metella, 

I hope this letter finds you well and you have suitably recovered from the turmoil at the temple. I have, mercifully, and feel fine. I have you to thank for that. My son is thriving also, and is perfect. Again, with thanks to your skills, wit and fortitude. 

I know no gift can express my thanks accurately but I hope what I have sent shows my gratitude. I know one of the gifts is not practical for your station, but I did not intend for you to wear it (unless you choose to, at Saturnalia perhaps?), but its value as a gift lies in its worth. Keep it, or sell it and then spend it or save it, but it is yours. Cassius Longinus might be generous but I trust this will boost your savings should you choose. The other gifts are for your child. I didn't know if it was odd to presume you would care for a toy that was used by my eldest son - the son of a Consul, but I wanted your child to know they have a connection to myself and my family. The new one is for if you do not care for the former. I take no offence, either way. The last gift is one I could not put into a box. As I said that day, I owe you my life - as much as you may disagree. I owe you - and I wish for you to know that. Should you need anything, my door is open to you. Anything. 

Be well. 

Horatia Justina, wife of Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus, daughter of Marcus Horatius Justinus. 

 

TAG: @Chevi

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