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A comparative construction in Cicero.

Cicero on sending word (Ad Atticum 11.23)

Ipsum Agusium audies, sed tardius iter faciebat. Eo feci ut celeriter eunti darem.

You’ll be hearing Agusius himself, but he was making his way rather slowly, so I’ve arranged to give [the news] to someone moving faster.

The comparative shows itself here to be more flexible in Latin than in English. What’s literally said is that Agusius is moving tardius ‘slower’ and the next person will move celeriter ‘fast,’ but in English phrasing the comparative can’t go so easily before the idea of comparison is introduced. Latin can do it because its comparative can also be used for comparison against the default; where we would have to say ‘rather X,’ ‘quite a bit X,’ ‘somewhat X,’ ‘too X,’ ‘very X,’ Latin can just say Xius. To avoid butchering the order in the phrase I moved the comparison to the counterpart of celeriter, but to keep the original comparative’s host I could have said:

…but I’ve arranged to give the news to someone moving quickly, because he was making his way there somewhat more slowly.

[For celeriter.]

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