What you thought would be the case--that I should see Pompey before arriving at Rome--has happened. For he caught me up near the Lavernium on the 25th. We came together to Formiae and from two o'clock till evening had a private conversation. As to your question whether there is any hope of making peace, as far as I could gather from a long and exhaustive discourse of Pompey's, he hasn't even the wish for it. His view is this: if he becomes consul, even after dismissing his army, there will be a bouleversement of the constitution. 5 Besides, he thinks that when Caesar is told that preparations against him are being pushed on energetically, he will throw aside the consulship for this year and prefer retaining his army and province. But if Caesar were to act such a mad part, he entertained a low opinion of his power, and felt confident in his own and the state's resources. The long and the short of it was that, although intestine war " 6 was often in my thoughts, yet I felt my anxiety removed while I listened to a man of courage, military skill, and supreme influence, discoursing like a statesman on the dangers of a mock peace. Moreover, we had in our hands the speech of Antony, delivered on the 21st of December, which contained an invective against Pompey, beginning from his boyhood, a complaint as to those who had been condemned, and a threat of armed intervention. On reading this Pompey remarked, "What do you think Caesar himself will do, if he obtains supreme power in the state, when his quaestor---a man of no influence or wealth-dares to talk like that ?" 7 In short, he appeared to me not [p. 231] merely not to desire the peace you talk of, but even to fear it. However, he is, I think, somewhat shaken in his idea of abandoning the city by the scandal it would cause. 8 My chief vexation is that I must pay the money to Caesar, and devote what I had provided for the expenses of my triumph to that. For it is "an ugly business to owe money to a political opponent." But this and much besides when we meet.
... translation via Perseus. Also worth reading is a letter from January 12, written to Tiro ... another excerpt from Perseus:
I arrived at the city walls on the 4th of January. Nothing could be more complimentary than the procession that came out to meet me; but I found things in a blaze of civil discord, or rather civil war. I desired to find a cure for this, and, as I think, could have done so; but I was hindered by the passions of particular persons, for on both sides there are those who desire to fight. The long and short of it is that Caesar himself--once our friend-- has sent the senate a menacing and offensive despatch, 1 and is so insolent as to retain his army and province in spite of the senate, and my old friend Curio is backing him up. Farthermore, our friend Antonius and Q. Cassius, having been expelled from the house, though without any violence, left town with Curio to join Caesar, directly the senate had passed the decree ordering " consuls, praetors, tribunes, and us proconsuls to see that the Republic received no damage." 2 Never has the state been in greater danger: never have disloyal citizens had a [p. 235] better prepared leader. On the whole, however, preparations are being pushed on with very great activity on our side also. This is being done by the influence and energy of our friend Pompey, who now, when it is too late, begins to fear Caesar. In spite of these exciting incidents, a full meeting of the senate clamoured for a triumph being granted me: but the consul Lentulus, in order to enhance his service to me, said that as soon as he had taken the measures necessary for the public safety, he would bring forward a motion on the subject. I do nothing in a spirit of selfish ambition, and consequently my influence is all the greater. Italy has been marked out into districts, shewing for what part each of us is to be responsible. I have taken Capua. That is all I wanted to tell you. Again and again I urge you to take care of your health, and to write to me as often as you have anyone to whom to give a letter.
Now I've got to get my coffee in me and try to recall when it was that Antony did neglect to impose his veto when he was supposed to. I vaguely recall that happening, but clearly it was not in connection with these events.