Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
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11.6

CDXVI (A XI, 6)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME) BRUNDISIUM, 27 NOVEMBER

I perceive that you are anxious both for your own and for our common fortunes, and above all for me and my sorrow, which, so far from being lessened by the association of yours with it, is thereby actually increased. Assuredly your sagacity has led you to divine the exact consolation that gives me the greatest relief. For you express approval of my policy, and say that in the circumstances what I did was the best thing I could do. You also add—what is of smaller importance in my eyes than your own opinion, and yet is not unimportant—that everybody else, everybody that is that matters, approves the step I have taken. If I thought that to be the case, it would lessen my pain. "Believe me," you say. I believe you of course, but I know how anxious you are to soothe my pain. Of abandoning the war I have not repented for a moment. So bloodthirsty were their sentiments, so close their alliance with barbarous tribes, that a scheme of proscription was formed-not against individuals, but whole classes—and the conviction was universally entertained by them that the property of you all was the prize of his victory. I say "you" advisedly: for even as to you personally there were never any but the harshest ideas. Wherefore I shall never repent of my decision: what I do repent of is my plan of procedure. I could have wished that I had rather remained in some town until invited to Italy. [Note] I should have exposed myself to less remark and have felt less pain; this particular regret would not have been wringing my heart. To lie idle at Brundisium is vexatious in every point of view. As to coming nearer the city, as you advise, how can I do so without the lictors

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given me by the people? They cannot be taken from me as long as I am possessed of my civil rights. These lictors, as a temporary measure, when approaching the town, I caused to mingle with the crowd with only sticks in their hands, to prevent any attack on the part of the soldiery. [Note] Since then I have confined myself to my house. [Note] I wrote to ask Oppius and Balbus to turn over in their minds as to how they thought that I should approach Rome. I think they will advise my doing so. For they undertake that Caesar will be anxious not only to preserve, but to enhance my position, and they exhort me to be of good courage, and to hope for the most distinguished treatment in all respects. This they pledge themselves to and affirm. Yet I should have felt more sure of it, if I had remained where I was. But I am harping upon what is past. Look therefore, I beg of you, to what remains to be done and investigate the case in conjunction with them; and if you think it necessary and they approve, let Trebonius and Pansa and anyone else be called into council, that Caesar's approbation of my step may be the better secured as having been taken in accordance with the opinion of his own friends, and let them write and tell Caesar that whatever I have done I have done in accordance with their judgment.

My dear Tullia's ill-health and weakness frightens me to death. I gather that you are shewing her great attention, for which I am deeply grateful.

I never had any doubt about what would be the end of Pompey. Such a complete despair of his success had taken possession of the minds of all the kings and nations, that I thought this would happen wherever he landed. I cannot but lament his fall: for I know him to have been honest, pure, and a man of principle. [Note]

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Am I to condole with you about Fannius ? [Note] He used to indulge in mischievous talk about your remaining at Rome: while L. Lentulus had promised himself Hortensius's town house, [Note] Caesar's suburban villa, and an estate at Baiae. This sort of thing is going on upon this side in precisely the same way. The only difference is that in the former case there was no limit. For all who remained in Italy were held to be enemies. But I should like to talk over this some time or other when my mind is more at ease. I am told that my brother Quintus has started for Asia, to make his peace. About his son I have heard nothing. But ask Caesar's freedman Diochares, who brought the letter you mention from Alexandria. I have not seen him. He is said to have seen Quintus on his way—or perhaps in Asia itself. I am expecting a letter from you, as the occasion demands. Pray take care to get it conveyed to me as soon as possible.

27 November.



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