87. The Substantive.
87a. Abstract Nouns are used freely in the plural,
not only in accordance with the principles stated by Draeger (Hist. Synt.2
vol. I. pp. 18-21), but also to indicate persons, e.g.
dignitates hominum, 'persons of distinction.'
87b. Personal Pronouns, especially those of the first and second person
singular, are used lavishly in many epistles, when neither contrast nor proper
emphasis makes them necessary. Good illustrations of this pleonastic use are
found in Fam. 4.5. In this connection may be mentioned the occasional
use of tute (Sulpicius, Fam. 4.5.5), and meme
(Vatinius, Fam. 5.9. 1).
88. The Adjective.
88a. As elsewhere in colloquial Latin, adjectives,
especially those expressing affection and admiration, are frequently joined to
proper nouns, e.g. mi iucundissime Cicero (Dolabella, Fam. 9.9.3).
88b. Possessive Pronouns of the first or second person are applied in the
Letters (1) to members of the writer's family; (2) to members of the
recipient's family; (3) to those who are closely related to the writer or
recipient; (4) to a person through the mention of whom a disagreeable subject
is to be introduced, e.g. cf. Furnium nostrum (Caesar, Att. 9.
6a); and (5) to personal enemies or those held in contempt, e.g. Pompeius
tuus (Cael., Fam. 8.9.5).
89. The Verb.
Periphrastic expressions made up of facere and an
object are often used instead of a simple verb, e.g. convicium facere (Att.
1.14.5). Items of news are
frequently introduced by scito, e.g.
scito C. Sempronium Rufum, mel ac delicias tuas, calumniam maximo plausu tulisse (Cael., Fam. 8.8.1);
or by habeto and sic habeto, e.g.
sic habeto, mi Tiro, neminem esse qui me amet, etc. (Fam. 16.4.4). Cf. notes to Epist.
XXVI. 1, to testificor, Epist. L. 1, and to invidiam facere,
Epist. LXXXVI. 6.
90. The Adverb.
The colloquial use of intensive adverbs
is one of the most striking stylistic peculiarities of the Letters. In
this respect the language of Cicero's correspondence is even more remarkable
than that of Roman comedy or satire. The adverbs which are used most
frequently with an intensive force are
bene, male, misere, nimio, perquam, pulchre, quam, sane, sane quam, satis, valde, valde quam, and
vehementer; e.g. bene magna (C. Cassius, Fam. 12.13.4),
misere nolle (C. Cassius, Fam. 12.12.3), pulchre intellegere
(Brutus and Cassius, Fam. 11.3.3), sane quam sum gavisus (D.
Brutus, Fam. 11.13.4), and vehementer four times (Cicero
filius, Fam. 16.21). Cf. also Index to the Notes under male, sane, etc.
91. The Preposition.
De is used very frequently to introduce a new
topic, e.g. de mandatis quod tibi curae fuit, est mihi gratum (Cicero
filius, Fam. 16.21.8). Its place is sometimes taken by a clause with
quod ad rem publicam attinet, in unam causam omnis contentio conlecta est (Cael., Fam. 8.11.3); quod de agraria
lege quaeris, sane iam videtur refrixisse; quod me de Pompeii familiaritate
obiurgas, nolim ita existimes, etc. (Att. 2.1.6).
92. The Interjection.
A conversational tone is given to many of
the familiar letters by the frequent use of interjections, e.g. ecce, heus,
etc., some of which, as, for instance, hui (Epist. XLVIII. 2) and
apage (Vatin., Fam. 5.10a.1), belong exclusively to vulgar
Latin. Cf. also 98.