Letter XVIII: ad familiares 5.12
Arpinum, June, 56 B.C.
A thorough analysis of this letter to Lucceius, as Bckel points out, will reveal the fact that it is as carefully constructed as any of Cicero's orations:
Yet, while the earnestness of his purpose is apparent throughout, by the light conversational tone which he gives the letter Cicero glosses over the 'impudence' of his request, puts the seriousness of the offense against historical truth in the background, and strives to secure the consent of Lucceius on the score of friendship. For Cicero's own judgment of the epistle, cf. Att. 4.6.4 epistulam, Lucceio nunc quam misi, qua meas res ut scribat rogo, fac ut ab eo sumas--valde bella est. L. Lucceius was an orator and a man of some literary note. In politics and military affairs he was less successful; he was a candidate with Caesar for the consulship in 60 B.C.
(cf. Ep. VI.11n), but was defeated, and in the Civil War was one of the intemperate leaders in Pompey's camp.
subrusticus: cf. Intr. 77. The opposite idea to pudor subrusticus is conveyed by frons urbana (Hor. Ep. 1.9.11)
ardeo commendari tuis: Bckel notes that the orator and the historian adopt the periodic form of construction with the verb at the end of the clause, as the one best fitted to impart dignity and force to what they say, while often in letters, as in this passage, a writer affects an apparent carelessness upon this point in order to convey the impression of spontaneity and sincerity.
genus scriptorum tuorum: we know very little more of the historical work of Lucceius than this letter tells us. Cf. Asconius, pp.91-93, ed. Orelli.