Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
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7.8

CCXCVIII (A VII, 8)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME) (FORMIAE, 26 DECEMBER)

WHAT need was there to speak so strongly about Dionysius? Wouldn't the slightest hint from you have been enough for me? The fact is, your silence had roused all the more suspicion in me, first because your usual custom is to cement friendship by testifying to mutual goodwill, and secondly because I was told that he had spoken to others in a different tone. [Note] However, I am quite convinced that the truth is as you say. Accordingly, my feelings towards him are what you wish them to be. The day on which your fit was due I had noted for myself, from a letter which you wrote in the early stages of your feverish attack, and I had calculated that, as things are, you could come to the Alban villa to meet me on the 3rd of January without inconvenience. But pray do nothing to injure your health. For what does one day or another matter? I see that by Livia's will Dolabella, takes a third between himself and two others, [Note] but is ordered to change his name. Here is a problem in politics for you [Note] —can a young man of rank properly change his name in accordance with a woman's will? We shall be able to solve

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that question in a more scientific spirit, [Note] when we know to about how much a third of a third amounts.

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. [Note] 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 " [Note] 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 ?" [Note] In short, he appeared to me not

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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. [Note] 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.



Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
<<Cic. Att. 7.7 Cic. Att. 7.8 (Latin) >>Cic. Att. 7.9

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