Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
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ON the eleventh day from my parting from you I write this notelet on the point of quitting my villa before daybreak. Today I think of being at my house at Anagnia, tomorrow at Tusculum: there I stay one day. On the 27th, therefore, I start to meet you as arranged. And oh! that I might hurry straight to the embrace of my Tullia and to the lips of Attica! Pray write and tell me what those same lips are prattling of, so that I may know it while I am halting in my Tusculan villa: or, if she is ruralizing, what

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she writes to you. Meanwhile, send her by letter or give her yourself my kind love, as also to Pilia. But all the same, though we are to meet directly, write to me if you have anything to say.

Just as I was folding up this letter, your courier arrived late at night with a letter from you. I have read it: I am, of course, very sorry to hear of Attica's feverish attack. Everything else that I wanted to know I learn from your letter. As to your saying that "a little fire in the morning is an old man's luxury"—it is still more an old man's way to be a trifle forgetful! I had appointed the 26th for Axius, the 27th for you, and the 28th (the day of my reaching Rome) for Quintus. Pray consider that settled. There is no change. "Then what was the use of my writing?" What is the use of our talking when we meet and prattle about anything that occurs to us? A causerie is, after all, something: for, even though there is nothing in it substantial, there is a certain charm in the mere fact of our talking together. [The rest of the letters of this year are, with one or two exceptions, formal letters of introduction or recommendation. They do not admit of being dated, as to month or day.]




Well, all the same, there are reports here that Statius Murcus [Note] has been lost at sea, that Asinius [Note] reached land

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to fall into the hands of the soldiers, that fifty ships have been carried ashore at Utica by the contrary wind now prevailing, that Pompeius [Note] is nowhere to be seen and has not been in the Balearic isles at all, as Paciaecus [Note] asserts. But there is absolutely no confirmation of any single thing. I have told you what people have been saying in your absence. Meanwhile, there are games at Praeneste. Hirtius [Note] and all that set were there. Indeed, the games lasted eight days. What dinners! what gaiety! Meantime, perhaps the great question has been settled. What astonishing people! But—you say—Balbus is actually building; [Note] for what does he care? But, if you ask my opinion, is not life all over with a man who makes only pleasure, and not right, his aim? You meanwhile slumber on. The time has come to solve the problem, if you mean td do anything. If you want to know what I think—I think "enjoy while you can." [Note] But why run on? I shall see you soon, and indeed I hope you will come straight to me when you get back. For I will arrange a day for Tyrannio [Note] at the same time, and anything else suitable. (Horace, Od. ii. i). He had been with Caesar from the first. In B.C. 47, while Caesar was at Alexandria, he was tribune, but was now again with him in Africa.

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I regard you as the one man who is less of a flatterer than myself, and if we both are sometimes such towards some one else, we are never so to each other. So listen to what I say in all plainness and sincerity. May I perish, my dear Atticus, if, I don't say my Tusculan villa-where in other respects I am very happy—but even "the islands of the blest" are in my eyes worth an absence of so many days from you. Wherefore let us harden ourselves to endure these three days-assuming you to be in the same state of feeling as myself, which is surely the case. But I should like to know whether you are coming today immediately after the auction, or on what day. Meanwhile I am busy with my books, and am much inconvenienced by not having Vennonius's history. [Note]

However, not to omit business altogether, that debt which Caesar assigned to me admits of being recovered in three ways: first, purchase at the auction—but I would rather lose it, although, let alone the disgrace, that is as good as losing it. Secondly, a bond payable a year hence from the purchaser—but who is there I can trust, and when will that "year of Meton" come? Thirdly, accepting half down on the proposal of Vettienus. [Note] Look into the matter therefore.

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And indeed I am afraid Caesar may now not have the auction at all, but when the games are over [Note] will hurry off to the aid of (Q. Pedius), [Note] lest such a great man should be treated with neglect But I will see to it. Pray take good care of Attica, and give her and Pilia, as well as Tullia, the kindest messages from me.




What a welcome and delightful letter! Need I say more? It is a red-letter day with me after all. For I was made anxious by Tiro's telling me that you seemed to him somewhat flushed. I will therefore add one day to my stay here, in accordance with your wish. But that about Cato is a problem requiring an Archimedes. I cannot succeed in writing what your guests [Note] can possibly read, I don't say with

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pleasure, but even without irritation. Nay, even if I keep clear of his senatorial speeches, and of every wish and purpose which he entertained in politics, and chose in merely general terms to eulogise his firmness and consistency, even this in itself would be no pleasant hearing for your friends. But that great man cannot be praised as he really deserves unless the following topics are dilated upon: his having seen that the present state of things was to occur, his having exerted himself to prevent them, and his having quitted life to avoid seeing what has actually happened. What point is there in these on which I could possibly secure the approval of Aledius? [Note] But, I beseech you, be careful about your health and bring the prudence, which you apply to all matters, to bear before everything else on getting well.


CDLXIX (A XII, 5, ¤¤ I, 2)


"Quintus the elder for the fourth time" [Note] (or rather for the thousandth time)——is a fool, for being rejoiced at his

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son's appointment as a Lupercus, [Note] and at Statius [Note] —that he may see his family overwhelmed with a double dishonour! I may add a third in the person of Philotimus. What unparalleled folly, unless indeed mine can beat it! But what impudence to ask a subscription from you for such a purpose! [Note] Granted that he did not come to a "fount athirst," but a "Peirene" and a "holy well-spring of Alphaeus " [Note] —to drain you as though you were a fountain, as you say, and that, too, at a time when you are so seriously embarrassed! [Note] Where will such conduct end? But that's his affair. I am much pleased with my Cato : [Note] but so is Lucilius Bassus with his compositions.

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Yes, inquire about Caelius [Note] as you say; I know nothing. We ought to ascertain his character, not only his means. Do the same as to Hortensius and Verginius, if you feel any doubt: yet I don't think you will easily find anybody more eligible, as far as I can see. Yes, negotiate with Mustela in the manner you suggest, when Crispus arrives. I have written to tell Avius to inform Piso of the facts, with which he is well acquainted, as to the gold. [Note] For I quite agree with you: that business has dragged on too long, and we must now call in money from all directions. I have no difficulty in seeing that you neither do nor think of anything but what is to my interests, and that it is by my business that your eagerness to visit me is foiled. But I imagine you by my side, not merely because you are employed in my service, but also because I seem to see how you are acting. And, indeed, not a single hour which you devote to my business escapes my observation.


I see that Tubulus was praetor in the consulship of Lucius Metellus and Quintus Maximus. [Note] At present I should like to ascertain in what Consulship Publius Scaevola, the Pontifex Maximus, was tribune. I think it was in that of Caepio and Pompeius : [Note] for he was praetor in the year of Lucius Furius and Sextus Atilius. [Note] Please therefore tell me the year of Tubulus's tribunate, and, if you Can, on what charge he was tried. And pray look to see whether Lucius Libo, who brought in the bill about Servius Galba, was tribune in the consulship of Censorinus and Manilius, or T. Quinctius and Manius Acilius. [Note] Also I am puzzled about Brutus's epitome of the history of Fannius. I put down what I found at the end of that epitome, and taking it as my guide, I stated that Fannius—the author of the history-was son-in-law to Laelius. But you proved to demonstration that I was wrong. Now Brutus and Fannius refute you. However, I had good authority—that of Hortensius—for my statement as it appears in the "Brutus." [Note] Please therefore set this matter right.




I have sent Tiro to meet Dolabella. He will be returning to me on the 13th. I shall expect you the next day. I see that you regard my dear Tullia's interests as of the first importance. I beg you earnestly to let it be so. So then she is still completely uncommitted; for so you say in your letter. Though I had to avoid the Kalends, [Note] and shun the "originals" [Note] of the Nicasiones, and had to balance my accounts, yet there was nothing to make up for my absence from you. When I was at Rome and thought every moment that I was going to catch a sight of you, even so every day

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the hours of waiting seemed long. You know I am by no means a flatterer, and so I considerably understate my feelings.




As to Caelius, please see that there is no defect in the gold. [Note] I don't know anything about such matters. But at any rate there is quite enough loss on exchange. If to this is added gold...but why need I talk? You will see to it. That is a specimen of the style of Hegesias, which Varro commends. [Note]

Now I come to Tyrannio. Do you really mean it? Was this fair? Without me? Why, how often, though quite at leisure, did I yet refuse without you? How will you excuse yourself for this? The only way of course is to send me the book; and I beg you earnestly to do so. And yet the book itself will not give me more pleasure than your admiration of it has already done. For I love everyone who "loves learning," and I rejoice at your feeling such a great admiration for that essay on a minute point. However, you are that sort of man in everything. You want to know, and

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that is the only food of the intellect. But pray what did you get that contributed to your summum bonum from that acute and grave essay? [Note] However, I am talking too much, and you have been occupied in some business which is perhaps mine: and in return for that dry basking of yours in the sun, of which you took such full advantage on my lawn, I shall ask of you in return some sunshine and a good dinner. [Note] But I return to what I was saying. The book, if you love me, send me the book! It is certainly yours to give, since indeed it was dedicated to you. "What, Chremes, Have you such leisure from your own affairs " [Note] as even to read my "Orator"? Well done ! I am pleased to hear it, and shall be still more obliged if, not only in your own copy, but also in those meant for others, you will make your scribes alter "Eupolis" to "Aristophanes." [Note]

Caesar again seemed to me to smile at your word quaeso, as being somewhat "fanciful" and cockneyfied. But he bade you to have no anxiety in such a cordial manner, that he relieved me of all feeling of doubt. [Note] I am sorry that Attica's ague is so lingering, but since she has now got rid of shivering fits, I hope all is well.

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I have already written all you want in a note and given it to Eros, briefly, but even more than you ask. In it I have spoken about my son, of whose idea you gave me the first hint. I said to him in the most liberal manner what I should like you, if it is convenient to you, to learn from his own mouth. But why put it off? I explained to him that you had reported to me his wishes and what means he required: "He wished to go to Spain; [Note] he wanted a liberal allowance." As to a liberal allowance, I said that he should have as much as Publius gave his son, and the flamen Lentulus gave his. As to Spain, I put before him two objections, first, the one I mentioned to you, the fear of adverse criticism—"Was it not enough that we abandoned the war? Must we even fight on the other side?" And secondly, that he would certainly be annoyed at being surpassed by his cousin in intimacy with Caesar and every kind of favour. I could wish that he would take advantage of my liberality, rather than of his own freedom of action: nevertheless, I gave the permission: for I had been given to understand that you were not much against it. I will think over the subject earnestly, and beg that you will do the same. It is an important step: to stay at home involves no complications, the other course is risky. But we will see. About Balbus I had already written in the note, and I think of doing as you suggest as soon as he returns. But if he is somewhat slow in coming, I shall in any case be three days at Rome: and, oh! I forgot to say, Dolabella also will be with me.

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As to my son, my plan meets with wide approval. I have got a suitable travelling companion for him. [Note] But let us first see about getting the first instalment. [Note] For the day is fast approaching, and Dolabella is hurrying away. Write and tell me, pray, what Celer reports Caesar to have settled about the candidates. Does the great man think of going to the plain of the Fennel or to the plain of Mars? [Note] And, finally, I should very much like to know whether there is any positive necessity for my being at Rome for the comitia: for I must do what Pilia wishes, and anyhow what Attica does.




YES, indeed, I should have been very comfortable here, and more so every day, had it not been for the reason which I mentioned to you in my previous letter Nothing could be pleasanter than the solitude of this place, except for the occasional inroads of the "son of Amyntas." [Note] What a bore he is with his endless babble! In other respects don't imagine that anything could be more delightful than this villa. But all this doesn't deserve a longer letter, and I have nothing else to say and am very sleepy.




GOOD heavens, how sad about Athamas! As for your sorrow, it shews a kind heart, but it must be firmly kept within bounds. There are many ways to arrive at consolation, but the straightest is this: let reason secure what time is certain to secure. Let us however take care of Alexis, the living image of Tiro—whom I have sent back to Rome ill; and if "the hill " [Note] is infected with some epidemic let us transfer him to my house along with Tisamenus. The whole upper story of my house is vacant, as you know. I think this is very much to the purpose.


D (A XII, 11)


I am sorry to hear about Seius. But we must put up with whatever is natural to man. Why, what are we ourselves, and how long are we destined to feel for such things? Let me look to what is more within my control-yet, after all, not much more so—namely, what I am to do about the senate. And, not to omit anything, Caesonius

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has written to me to say that Sulpicius's wife Postumia has been to call on him. As to the daughter of Pompeius Magnus, I wrote you back word that I wasn't thinking about her at the present moment. That other lady whom you mention I think you know. I never saw anything uglier. But I am soon to be in town. Therefore we'll talk about it. [Note]

P.S. After I had sealed my packet I received your letter. I am glad to hear that Attica is so cheerful; I am sorry for the slight attack.


DLV (A XII, 12)


As to the dowry, make a clean sweep of the business all the more. To transfer the debt to Balbus is a rather high and mighty proceeding. [Note] Settle it on any terms. It is discreditable that the matter should hang fire from these difficulties. The "island" at Arpinum might suit a real "dedication," but I fear its out-of-the-way position would diminish the honour of the departed. My mind is therefore set on suburban pleasure-grounds: but I will wait to inspect them when I Come to town. As to Epicurus, [Note] it shall be as you please: though I intend to introduce a change in future into this sort of impersonation. You would hardly believe how keen certain men are for this honour. I shall therefore fall back on the ancients: that can create no jealousy. I have nothing to say to you; but in spite of that, I have resolved to write every day, to get a letter out of you. Not that I expect anything definite from your letters, but yet somehow or another I do expect it. Wherefore, whether you have anything or nothing to say, yet write something and—take care of yourself.

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I [Note] am disturbed about Attica, though I agree with Craterus. [Note] Brutus's letter, full of wisdom and affection as it is, has yet cost me many tears. This solitude is less painful to me than the crowds of Rome. The only person I miss is yourself; but although I find no more difficulty in going on with my literary work than if I were at home, yet that passionate unrest haunts and never quits me, not, on my word, that I encourage it, I rather fight against it: still it is there. As to what you say about Appuleius, I don't think that there is any need for your exerting yourself, nor for applying to Balbus and Oppius, to whom he undertook to make things right, and even sent me a message to say that he would not be troublesome to me in any way. But see that my excuse of ill-health for each separate day is put in. Laenas undertook this. Add C. Septimius and L Statilius. In fact, no one, whomsoever you ask, will refuse to make the affidavit. But if there is any difficulty, I will come and make a sworn deposition myself of chronic ill-health. [Note] For

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since I am to absent myself from the entertainments, I would rather be thought to do so in virtue of the augural law, than in consequence of grief. Please send a reminder to Cocceius, for he does not fulfil his promise: while I am desirous of purchasing some hiding-place and refuge for my sorrow.


DXLV (A XII, 14)


I wrote to you yesterday about making my excuses to Appuleius. I think there is no difficulty. No matter to whom you apply, no one will refuse. But see Septimius, Laenas, and Statilius about it. For three are required. Laenas, however, undertook the whole business for me. You say that you have been dunned by Iunius: Cornificius [Note] is certainly a man of substance, yet I should nevertheless like to know when I am said to have given the guarantee, and whether it was for the father or son. None the less pray do as you say, and interview the agents of Cornificius and Appuleius the land-dealer.

You wish me some relaxation of my mourning: you are kind, as usual, but you can bear me witness that I have not been wanting to myself. For not a word has been written by anyone on the subject of abating grief which I did not read at your house. But my sorrow is too much for any consolation. Nay, I have done what certainly no one ever did before me—tried to console myself by writing a book, which I will send to you as soon as my amanuenses have

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made copies of it. I assure you that there is no more efficacious consolation. I write all day long, not that I do any good, but for a while I experience a kind of check, or, if not quite that—for the violence of my grief is overpowering-yet I get some relaxation, and I try with all my might to recover composure, not of heart, yet, if possible, of countenance. When doing that I sometimes feel myself to be doing wrong, sometimes that I shall be doing wrong if I don't. Solitude does me some good, but it would have done me more good, if you after all had been here: and that is my only reason for quitting this place, for it does very well in such miserable circumstances. And even this suggests another cause of sorrow. For you will not be able to be to me now what you once were: everything you used to like about me is gone. I wrote to you before about Brutus's letter to me: it contained a great deal of good sense, but nothing to give me any comfort. As to his asking in his letter to you whether I should like him to come to see me—by all means: he would be sure to give me some help, considering his strong affection for me. If you have any news, pray write and tell me, especially as to when Pansa goes. [Note] I am sorry about Attica: yet I believe in Craterus. Tell Pilia not to be anxious: my sorrow is enough for us all.




SINCE you do not approve of a standing plea of ill-health, please see that my excuse is made each day to Appuleius. [Note] In this lonely place I have no one with whom to converse,

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and plunging into a dense and wild wood early in the day I don't leave it till evening. Next to you, I have no greater friend than solitude. In it my one and only conversation is with books. Even that is interrupted by tears, which I fight against as long as I can. But as yet I am not equal to it. I will answer Brutus, as you advise. You will get the letter tomorrow. Whenever you have anyone to take it, write me a letter.




I DON'T wish you to come to me to the neglect of your business. Rather I will come to you, if you are kept much longer. And yet I should never have gone so far as to quit your sight, had it not been that I was getting absolutely no relief from anything. But if any alleviation had been possible, it would have been in you alone, and as soon as it will be possible from anyone, it will be from you. Yet at this very moment I cannot stand being without you. But to stay at your town house was not thought proper, and it was impossible at mine; nor, if I had stopped at some place nearer Rome, should I have been with you after all. For the same reason would have hindered you from being with me, as hinders you now. As yet nothing suits me better than this solitude, which I fear Philippus [Note] will destroy: for he arrived at his villa yesterday evening. Writing and study do not soften my feelings, they only distract them.

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MARCIANUS has written to tell me that my excuse was made to Appuleius by Laterensis, Naso, Laenas, Torquatus, Strabo: please see that a letter is sent to each of them in my name, thanking them for their kindness. As for the assertion of Flavius that more than twenty-five years ago I gave a guarantee for Cornificius, though he is a man of substance, and Appuleius is a respectable dealer in land, yet I should like you to take the trouble to ascertain by inspecting the ledgers of my fellow guarantors whether it is so. For before my aedileship I had no dealings with Cornificius, yet it may be the case all the same, but I should like to be sure. And call upon his agents for payment, if you think it right to do so. However, what does it matter to me? Yet, after all Write and tell me of Pansa's departure for his province when you know. Give my love to Attica, and take good care of her, I beseech you. My compliments to Pilia.

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To fly from recollections, which make my soul smart as though it were stung, I take refuge in recalling my plans to your memory. Pray pardon me, whatever you think of this one. The fact is that I find that some of the authors, whom I am now continually reading, suggest as a proper thing to do just what I have often discussed with you, and for which I desire your approval. I mean about the shrine-pray think of it as earnestly as your affection for me should suggest. [Note] About the design I do not feel any doubt, for I like that of Cluatius, nor about the building of it at all—for to that I have made up my mind: but about the site I do sometimes hesitate. Pray therefore think over it. To the fullest capacity of such an enlightened age, I am quite resolved to consecrate her memory by every kind of memorial borrowed from the genius of every kind of artist, Greek or Latin. This may perhaps serve to irritate my wound: but I look upon myself as now bound by a kind of vow and promise. And the infinite time during which I shall be non-existent has more influence on me than this brief life, which yet to me seems only too long. For though I have tried every expedient, I find nothing to give me peace of mind. For even when I was composing that essay, of which I wrote to you before, I was in a way nursing my sorrow. Now I reject every consolation, and find nothing more endurable than solitude, which Philippus did not, as I feared, disturb. For after calling on me yesterday, he started at once for Rome. The letter which, in accordance with your advice, I have written to Brutus I herewith send you. Please see it delivered to him with your own. However, I am

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sending you a copy of it, in order that, if you disapprove, you should not send it. You say my domestic affairs are being managed properly: please tell me what they are. For there are some points on which I am expecting to hear. See that Cocceius does not play me false. For Libo's promise, mentioned by Eros in his letter, I regard as secure. As to my capital, I trust Sulpicius, and, of course, Egnatius. About Appuleius why need you trouble yourself, when my excuse is so easily made? Your coming to me, as you shew an intention of doing, may, I fear, be difficult for you. It is a long journey, and when you went away again, which you will perhaps have to do very quickly, I should be unable to let you go without great pain. But all as you choose. Whatever you do will in my eyes be right, and done also in my interest.


DL (A XII, 18 a)


HAVING learnt yesterday from the letters of others of Antony's arrival, I was surprised to find no mention of it in yours. But perhaps it was written the day before it was sent. It does not matter to me: yet my own idea is that he has hurried back to save his securities. [Note] You say that Terentia speaks about the witnesses to my will: in the first place, pray believe that I am not paying attention to things of that sort, and that I have no leisure for business which is either unimportant or fresh. Yet, after all, where is the analogy between us? She did not invite as witnesses those whom she thought would ask questions unless they knew the contents of her will. Was that a danger applicable to me? Yet, after all, let her do as I do. I will hand over my will for anyone she may select to read: she will find that nothing could have been in better taste than what I have done about my grandson. As for my not having invited certain witnesses: in the first place, it did not occur to me; and, in the second place, it did not occur to me because it was of no consequence. You know, if you have not forgotten, that I told you at the time to bring some of your friends: what need of a great many was there ? [Note] For my part, I had bidden members of my household. At the time it was your opinion that I ought to send word to Silius: hence it came about that a message was sent to Publilius. [Note] But neither was necessary. This matter you will handle as you shall think right.

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DLI (A XII, 19)


THIS is certainly a lovely spot, right in the sea, and within sight of Antium and Cerceii: but in view of the whole succession of owners—who in the endless generations to come may be beyond counting, supposing the present empire to remain—I must think of some means to secure it being made permanent by consecration. [Note] For my part, I don't want large revenues at all, and can put up with a little. I think sometimes of purchasing some pleasure-grounds across the Tiber, and principally for the reason that I don't think that there is any other position so much frequented. But what particular pleasure-grounds I shall purchase we will consider when we are together; but it must be on condition that the temple is finished this summer. Nevertheless, settle the contract with Apella of Chius for the columns. What you say about Cocceius and Libo I quite approve, especially as to my jury-service. If you have seen light at all about the question of my guarantee, and what after all Cornificius's agents say, I should like to know about it: but I don't wish you, when you are so busy, to bestow much trouble on that affair.

About Antony, Balbus also in conjunction with Oppius wrote me a full account, and said that you had wished them to write to save me from anxiety. [Note] I have written to thank them. I should wish you to know however, as I have already written to tell you, that I was not alarmed by that news, and am not going to be alarmed by any in future. If

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Pansa has started for his province today, as you seemed to expect, begin telling me henceforward in your letters what you are expecting about the return of Brutus, that is to say, about what days. [Note] You will be easily able to guess that, if you know where he is. I note what you say to Tiro about Terentia: pray, my dear Atticus, undertake that whole business. You perceive that there is at once a question of duty on my part involved—of which you are cognizant-and, as some think, of my son's pecuniary interest. [Note] For myself, it is the former point that affects my feelings much the more strongly: it is more sacred in my eyes and more important, especially as I do not think we can count on the latter as being either sincerely intended or what we can rely upon.


DLII (A XII, 20)


You don't yet appear to me to be fully aware how indifferent I have been about Antony, and how impossible it is for anything of that sort now to disturb me. I wrote to you about Terentia in my letter of yesterday. You exhort me-Saying that other people look for it also—to hide the fact that my grief is as deep as it is. Could I do so more than by spending whole days in literary composition? Though my, purpose in doing so is not to hide, but rather to soften and heal my feelings: yet, if I don't do myself any good, I at least do what keeps up appearances. I write the less fully to you because I am waiting your answer to my letter of yesterday. What I most want to hear is about the temple,

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and also something about Terentia. Pray tell me in your next whether Cn. Caepio, father of Claudius's wife Servilia, perished in the shipwreck before or after his father's death: also whether Rutilia died in the lifetime of her son C. Cotta, or after his death. [Note] These facts affect the book I have written "On the Lessening of Grief."


DLVI (A XII, 21)


I have read Brutus's letter, and hereby return it to you. it was not at all a well-informed answer to the criticisms which you had sent him. But that is his affair. Yet it is discreditable that he should be ignorant of this. He thinks that Cato was the first to deliver his speech as to the punishment of the conspirators, whereas everyone except Caesar had spoken before him. And whereas Caesar's own speech, delivered from the praetorian bench, was so severe, he imagines that those of the consulars were less so-Catulus, Servilius, the Luculli, Curio, Torquatus, Lepidus, Gellius, Volcatius, Figulus, Cotta, Lucius Caesar, Gaius Piso, Manius Glabrio, and even the consuls-designate Silanus and Muraena. "Why, then," you may say, "was the vote on Cato's motion?" Because he had expressed the same decision in clearer and fuller words. Our friend Brutus again confines his commendation of me to my having brought the matter before the senate, without a word of my having unmasked the plot, of my having urged that measures should be taken, of having made up my mind on the subject before I brought it before the senate. It was because Cato praised these proceedings of mine to the skies, and moved that they should be put on record, that the division took place on his motion. Brutus again thinks he pays me a high compliment in designating me as "the most excellent consul." Why, what opponent ever put it in more niggardly terms? But to your other criticisms what a poor answer! He only asks you to make the correction as to the decree of the senate. He would have done that much even at the suggestion of his copyist. But once more that is his affair.

As to the suburban pleasure-grounds, as you approve of them, come to some settlement. You know my means.

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If, however, we get any more out [Note] of Faberius, there is no difficulty. But even without him I think I can get along. The pleasure-grounds of Drusus at least are for sale, perhaps those of Lamia and Cassius also. But this when we meet.

About Terentia I can say nothing more to the point than you say in your letter. Duty must be my first consideration: if I have made any mistake, I would rather that I had reason to be dissatisfied with her than she with me. A hundred sestertia have to be paid to Ovia, wife of C. Lollius. Eros says he can't do it without me: I suppose because some land has to pass at a valuation between us. [Note] I could wish that he had told you. For if the matter, as he writes, is arranged, and he is not lying on that very point, it could have been settled by your agency. Pray look into and settle the business.

You urge me to reappear in the forum: that is a place which I ever avoided even in my happier days. Why, what have I to do with a forum when there are no law courts, no senate-house, and when men are always obtruding on my sight whom I cannot see with any patience? You say people call for my presence at Rome, and are unwilling to allow me to be absent, or at any rate beyond a certain time: I assure you that it is long since I have valued your single self higher than all those people. Nor do I undervalue myself even, and I much prefer abiding by my own judgment than by that of all the rest. Yet, after all, I go no farther than the greatest philosophers think allowable, all whose writings of whatever kind bearing on that point I have not only read—which is itself being a brave invalid and taking one's physic—but have transcribed in my own essay. That at least did not look like a mind crushed and prostrate. From the use of these remedies do not call me back to the crowds of Rome, lest I have a relapse.

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I DO not recognize your usual consideration for me in throwing the whole burden upon my shoulders in regard to Terentia. For those are precisely the wounds which I cannot touch without a loud groan. Therefore I beg you to make the fairest settlement in your power. Nor do I demand of you anything more than you can do; yet it is you alone who can see what is fair.

As to Rutilia, since you seem to be in doubt, please write and tell me when you ascertain the truth, and do so as soon as possible. Also whether Clodia survived her son Decimus Brutus, the ex-consul. The former may be ascertained from Marcellus, or at any rate from Postumia; the latter from M. Cotta or Syrus or Satyrus.

As to the suburban pleasure-grounds, I am particularly urgent with you. I must employ all my own means, and those of men whom I know will not fail to help me: though I shall be able to do it with my own. I have also some property which I could easily sell. But even if I don't sell, but pay the vendor interest on the purchase money—though not for more than a year—I can get what I want if you will assist me. The most readily available are those of Drusus, for he wants to sell. The next I think are those of Lamia; but he is away. Nevertheless, pray scent out anything you can. Silius does not make any use of his either, and he will be very easily satisfied by being paid interest on the purchase money. Manage the business your own way; and do not consider what my purse demands-about which I care nothing—but what I want.

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I thought that your letter was going to tell me some news, to judge from the opening sentence, which said that though I did not care about what was going on in Spain, you would yet write and tell me of it: but in point of fact you only answered my remark about the forum and senate-house. "But your town-house," you say, "is a forum." What do I want with a town-house itself, if I have no forum? Ruined, ruined, my dear Atticus! That has been the case for a long while, I know: but it is only now that I confess it, when I have lost the one thing that bound me to life. Accordingly, I seek solitude: and yet, if any necessity does take me to Rome, I shall try, if I possibly can—and I know I can—to let no one perceive my grief except you, and not even you if it can by any means be avoided. And, besides, there is this reason for my not coming. You remember the questions Aledius asked you. If they are so troublesome even now, what do you think they will be, if I come to Rome? Yes, settle about Terentia in the sense of your letter; and relieve me from this addition—though not the heaviest—to my bitter sorrows. To shew you that, though in mourning, I am not prostrate, listen to this. You have entered in your Chronicle the consulship in which Carneades and the famous embassy came to Rome. I want to know now what the reason of it was. It was about Oropus I think, but am not certain. And if so, what were the points in dispute? [Note] And farther, who was the best known Epicurean of that time and head of the Garden at Athens? Also who were the famous political writers at Athens? These facts too, I think, you can ascertain from the book of Apollodorus.

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I am sorry to hear about Attica; but since it is a mild attack, I feel confident of all going well. About Gamala I had no doubt. For why otherwise was his father Ligus so fortunate ? [Note] For what could I say of myself, who am in-capable of having my grief removed, though all my wishes should be gratified. I had heard of the price put on Drusus's suburban pleasure-grounds, which you mention, and, as I think, it was yesterday that I wrote to you about it: but be the price what it may, what one is obliged to have is a good bargain. In my eyes, whatever you think—for I know what I think of myself—it brings a certain alleviation, if not of sorrow, yet of my sense of solemn obligation. I have written to Sicca because he is intimate with L. Cotta. If we don't come to terms about pleasure-grounds beyond the Tiber, Cotta has some at Ostia in a very frequented situation, though confined as to space. Enough, however, and more than enough for this purpose. Please think the matter over. And don't be afraid of the cost of the pleasure-grounds. I don't want plate, nor rich furniture coverings, nor particular picturesque spots: I want this. I perceive too by whom I can be aided. But speak to Silius about it. There's no better fellow. I have also given Sicca a commission. He has written back to say that he has made an appointment with him. He will therefore write and tell me what he has arranged, and then you must see to it.


DLIX (A XII, 24)


I am much obliged to Aulus Silius for having settled the business: for I did not wish to disavow him, and yet I was

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nervous as to what I could afford. Settle about Ovia on the terms you mention. As to my son, it seems time to arrange. But I want to know whether he can get a draft changed at Athens, or whether he must take the money with him. And with regard to the whole affair, pray consider how and when you think that he ought to go. You will be able to learn from Aledius whether Publilius is going to Africa, and when: please inquire and write me word.

To return to my own triflings, pray inform me whether Publius Crassus, son of Venuleia, died in the lifetime of his father P. Crassus the ex-consul, as I seem to remember that he did, or after it. I also want to know about Regillus, son of Lepidus, whether I am right in remembering that his father survived him. Pray settle the business about Cispius, as also about Precius. As to Attica—capital! Give my kind regards to her and Pilia.


DLX (A XII, 25)


Sicca has written to me fully about Silius, and says that he has reported the matter to you—as you too mention in your letter. I am satisfied both with the property and the terms, only I should prefer paying ready money to assigning property at a valuation. For Silius will not care to have mere show-places: while, though I can get on with my present rents, I can scarcely do so with less. How am I to pay ready money? You can get 600 sestertia (about £4,800) from Hermogenes, especially if it is absolutely necessary, and I find I have 6oo in hand. For the rest of the purchase money I will even pay interest to Silius, pending the raising of the money from Faberius or from some debtor of Faberius. I shall besides get some from other quarters. But manage the whole business yourself. I, in fact, much prefer these suburban pleasure-grounds to those

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of Drusus: and the latter have never been regarded as on a level with them. Believe me, I am actuated by a single motive, as to which I know that I am infatuated. But pray continue as before to indulge my aberration. You talk about a "solace for my old age": that is all over and done with; my objects now are quite different.


DLXI (A XII, 26)


SICCA says in his letter that, even if he has not concluded the business with Aulus Silius, he is coming to me on the 23rd. Your engagements are sufficient excuse in my eyes, for I know what they are. Of your wish to be with me, or rather your strong desire and yearning, I feel no doubt. You mention Nicias : [Note] if I were in a frame of mind to enjoy his cultivated conversation, there is no one whom I would have preferred to have with me. But solitude and retirement are now my proper sphere. And it was because Sicca is likely to be content with them, that I am the more looking forward to his visit. Besides, you know how delicate our friend Nicias is, how particular about his comforts and his habitual diet. Why should I consent to be a nuisance to him, when I am not in a state of mind to receive any pleasure from him? However, I am gratified by his wish. Your letter was all on one subject, [Note] as to which I have resolved to make no answer. For I hope I have obtained your consent to relieve me of that vexation. Love to Pilia and Attica.

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As to the bargain with Silius, though I am acquainted with the terms, still I expect to hear all about it today from Sicca. Cotta's property, with which you say that you are not acquainted, is beyond Silius's villa, which I think you do know: it is a shabby and very small house, with no farm land, and with sufficient ground for no purpose except for what I want it. What I am looking out for is a frequented position. But if the bargain for Silius's pleasure-grounds is completed, that is, if you complete it—for it rests entirely with you—there is of course no occasion for us to be thinking about Cotta's. As to my son, I will do as you say: I will leave the date to him. Please see that he is able to draw for what money he needs. If you have been able to get anything out of Aledius, as you say, write me word. I gather from your letter, as you certainly will from mine, that we neither of us have anything to say. Yet I cannot omit writing to you day after day on the same subjects—now worn threadbare—in order to get a letter from you. Still, tell me anything you know about Brutus. For I suppose he knows by this time where to expect Pansa. If; as usual, on the frontier of his province, it seems likely that he will be at Rome about the 1st of April. I could wish that it might be later: for I have many motives for shunning the city. [Note] Accordingly, I am even thinking whether I should draw up some excuse to present to him. That I see might easily be found. But we have time enough to think about it. Love to Pilia and Attica.

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I have learnt nothing more about Silius from Sicca in conversation than I knew from his letter: for he had written in full detail If; therefore, you have an interview with him, write and tell me your views. As to the subject on which you say a message was sent to me, whether it was sent or not I don't know; at any rate not a word has reached me. Pray therefore go on as you have begun, and if you come to any settlement on such terms as to satisfy her—though I, for my part, think it impossible-take my son with you on your visit, if you think it right. It is of some importance to him to seem to have wished to do something to please. I have no interest in it beyond what you know, which I regard as important.

You call upon me to resume my old way of life: well, it had long been my practice to bewail the republic, and that I was still doing, though somewhat less violently, for I had something capable of giving me ease. Now I positively pursue the old way of life and old employments; nor do I think that in that matter I ought to care for the opinion of others. My own feeling is more in my eyes than the talk of them all. As to finding consolation for myself in literature, I am content with my amount of success. I have lessened the outward signs of mourning: my sorrow I neither could, nor would have wished to lessen if I could.

About Triarius you rightly interpret my wishes. But take no step unless the family are willing. I love him though he is no more, I am guardian to his children, I am attached to the whole household. As to the business of Castricius,—if Castricius will accept a sum for the slaves, and that at the present value of money, certainly nothing could be more advantageous. But if it has come to the point of his taking the slaves themselves away, I don't think it is fair,

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as you ask me to tell you what I really think: for I don't want my brother Quintus to have any trouble, and in that I think I have gathered that you agree with me. If Publilius is waiting for the aequinox—as you say that Aledius tells you—I think he must be on the point of sailing. He told me, however, that he was going by way of Sicily. [Note] Which of the two it is, and when, I should like to know. And I should like you some time or other, when convenient to yourself, to see young Lentulus, [Note] and assign to his service such of the slaves as you may think right. Love to Pilia and Attica.




SILIUS, you say, sees you today. Tomorrow therefore, or rather as soon as you can, you will write and tell me, if there is anything to tell after you have seen him. I neither avoid Brutus, nor after all expect any consolation from him. But there are reasons for my not wishing to be at Rome at the present juncture; and if those reasons remain in force, I must find some excuse with Brutus, and as at present advised they seem likely to remain in force. About the suburban pleasure-grounds do, I beseech you, come to some conclusion. The main point is what you know it to be. Another thing is that I want something of the sort for myself: for I cannot exist in a crowd, nor yet remain away from you. For this plan of mine I find nothing more suitable than the spot you mention, and on that matter pray tell me what you advise.

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I am quite convinced—and the more so because I perceive that you think the same—that I am regarded with warm affection by Oppius and Balbus. Inform them how strongly and for what reason I wish to have suburban pleasure-grounds, and that it is only possible if the business of Faberius [Note] is settled; and ask them therefore whether they will promise the future payment. Even if I must sustain some loss in taking ready money, induce them to go as far as they can in the matter—for payment in full is hopeless. You will discover, in fact, whether they are at all disposed to assist my design. If they are so, it is a great help; if not, let us push on in any way we can. Look upon it—as you say in your letter—as a solace for my old age, or as a pro-vision for my grave. The property at Ostia is not to be thought of. If we can't get this one—and I don't think Lamia will sell—we must try that of Damasippus.




I am trying to think of something to say to you; but there is nothing. The same old story every day. I am much obliged to you for going to see Lentulus. [Note] Assign some slaves to his service: I leave the number and choice of them to you. As to Silius being willing to sell, and on the question of price, you seem to be afraid first that he won't sell, and secondly not at that price. Sicca thought otherwise; but I agree with you. Accordingly, by his advice I wrote to Egnatius. Silius wishes you to speak to Clodius: you have my full consent; and it is more convenient that you should do so than, as he wished me to do, that I should write to Clodius [Note] myself. As to the slaves of Castricius I think Egnatius is making a very good bargain, as you say that you think will be the case. With Ovia pray let some settlement be made. As you say it was night when you wrote, I expect more in today's letter.

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DLXVIII (A XII, 31.1-2)


SICCA expresses surprise at Silius having changed his mind. He makes his son the excuse, and I don't think it a bad one, for he is a son after his own heart. Accordingly, I am more surprised at your saying that you think he will sell, if we would include something else which he is anxious to get rid of, as he had of his own accord determined not to do so. You ask me to fix my maximum price and to say how muck I prefer those pleasure grounds of Drusus. I have never set foot in them. I know Coponius's villa to be old and not very spacious, the wood a fine one, but I don't know what either brings in, and that after all I think we ought to know. But for me either one or the other is to be valued by my occasion for it rather than by the market price. Pray consider whether I could acquire them or not. If I were to sell my claim on Faberius, I don't doubt my being able to settle for the grounds of Silius even by a ready money payment, if he could only be induced to sell. If he had none for sale, I would have recourse to Drusus, even at the large price at which Egnatius told you that he was willing to sell. For Hermogenes can give me great assistance in finding the money. But I beg you to allow me the disposition of an eager purchaser; yet, though I am under the influence of this eagerness and of my sorrow, I am willing to be ruled by you.

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DLXVII (A XII, 31.3, 32)


EGNATIUS has written to me. If he has said anything to you, as the matter can be settled most conveniently through him, please write and tell me. I think too that the negotiation should be pressed. For I don't see any possibility of coming to terms with Silius. Love to Pilia and Attica.

What follows is by my own hand. Pray see what is to be done. Publilia has written to tell me that her mother, on the advice 'of Publilius, is coming to see me with him and that she will come with them if I will allow it: she begs me in many words of intreaty that she may be allowed to do so, and that I would answer her letter. You see what an unpleasant business it is. I wrote back to say that it would be even more painful than it was when I told her that I wished to be alone, and that therefore I did not wish her to come to see me at this time. I thought that, if I made no answer, she would come with her mother: now I don't think she will. For it is evident that her letter is not her own composition. Now this is the very thing I wish to avoid, which I see will occur-namely, that they will come to my house: and the one way of avoiding it is to fly away. I would rather not, but I must. I beg you to find out the last day I can remain here without being caught. Act, as you say, with moderation.

I would have you propose to my son, that is, if you think it fair, to adapt the expenses of this sojourn abroad to what he would have been quite content with, if; as he thought of doing, he had remained at Rome and hired a house—I mean to the rents of my property in the Argiletum and Aventine And in making that proposal to him, pray arrange the rest of the business for our supplying him with what he needs from those rents. I will guarantee that neither Bibulus nor Acidinus nor Messalla, who I hear are to be at Athens,

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will spend more than the sum to be received from these rents. Therefore, please investigate who the tenants are and what their rent is, and take care that the tenant is a man to pay to the day. See also what journey money and outfit will suffice. There is Certainly no need of a carriage and horses at Athens. For such as he wants for the journey there is enough and to spare at home, as you observe yourself.


DLXV (A XII, 33)


As I wrote to you yesterday, if Silius is the sort of man you think and Drusus will not be obliging, I would have you approach Damasippus. He, I think, has broken up his property on the Tiber into lots of I don't know how many acres apiece, with a fixed price for each, the amount of which is not known to me. Write and tell me therefore whatever you have settled upon. I am very much troubled about our dear Attica's ill-health: it almost makes me fear that some indiscretion has been committed. Yet the good character of her tutor, [Note] the constant attention of her doctor, and

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the careful conduct in every particular of the whole establishment forbid me on the other hand to entertain that suspicion. Take care of her therefore. I can write no more.


DLXIX (A XII, 34, 35.1)


I could get on here even without Sicca—for Tiro is better—very comfortably considering my troubles, but as you urge me to take care not to be caught [Note] (from which I am to understand that you are unable to fix a day for the departure I mentioned), I thought it would be more convenient to go to Rome, which I see is your opinion also. Tomorrow therefore I shall be in Sicca's suburban villa; thence, as you advise, I think I shall stay in your house at Ficulea. [Note] We will talk about the subject you mention when we meet, as I am coming in person. I am extraordinarily touched by your kindness, thoroughness, and wisdom, both in carrying out my business and in forming and suggesting plans to me in your letters. However, if you come to any understanding with Silius, even on the very day on which I am to arrive at Sicca's house, please let me know, and above all, what part of the site he wishes to withdraw from the sale. You say "the farthest"—take care that it isn't the very spot, for the sake of which I thought about the matter at all. [Note] I enclose a letter from Hirtius just received, and written in a kindly spirit.

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DLXXVI (A XII, 35.2)


BEFORE I left your house [Note] last it never occurred to me that if a sum was spent on the monument in excess of some amount or other allowed by the law, the same sum has to be paid to the exchequer. [Note] This would not have disturbed me at all, except that somehow or another-perhaps unreasonably—I should not like it to be known by any name except that of a "shrine." That being my wish, I fear I cannot accomplish it without a change of site. Consider, please, what to make of this. For though I am feeling the strain less than I did, and have almost recovered my equanimity, yet I want your advice. Therefore I beg you again and again-more earnestly than you wish or allow yourself to be intreated by me—to give your whole mind to considering this question.




I WISH to have a shrine built, and that wish cannot be rooted out of my heart. I am anxious to avoid any likeness to a tomb, not so much on account of the penalty of the law as

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in order to attain as nearly as possible to an apotheosis. This I could do if I built it in the villa itself, but, as we often observed to each other, I dread the changes of owners. Wherever I constructed it on the land, I think I could secure that posterity should respect its sanctity. [Note] These foolish ideas of mine—for I confess them to be so-you must put up with: for I don't feel such confidence in taking even myself into my own confidence as I do in taking you. But if you approve of the idea, the site, and the plan, pray read the law and send it to me. If any method of evading it occurs to you, I will adopt it.

If you are writing to Brutus at all, reproach him, unless you think you had better not, for not staying at my Cuman villa for the reason he gave you. For when I come to think of it I am of opinion that he couldn't have done anything ruder. Finally, if you think it right to carry out the idea of the shrine as we began, pray urge on Cluatius and stir him up: for even if we decide on a different site, I think I must avail myself of his labour and advice. Perhaps you'll be at your villa tomorrow.


DLXXVIII (A XII, 37.1-3)


I received two letters from you yesterday, the first delivered on the previous day to Hilarus, the other on the same day to a letter-carrier; and I learnt from my freedman Aegypta, on the same day, that Pilia and Attica were quite well. Thanks for Brutus's letter. He wrote me a letter also, which did not reach me till the 13th day. I am

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sending you that letter itself, and the copy of my answer to it.

As to the shrine, if you don't find me some sort of suburban pleasure-grounds, which you really must find me, if you value me as highly as I am sure you do, I much approve of your suggestion as to the Tusculan site. However acute in hitting on plans you may be, as you are, yet unless you had been very anxious for me to secure what I greatly wished, that idea could never have come into your head so aptly. But somehow or other what I want is a frequented spot. So you must manage to get me some suburban pleasure-grounds. This is best to be found on Scapula's land: besides, there is the nearness to the city, so that you can go there without spending the whole day at the villa. Therefore, before you leave town, I should much like you to call on Otho, [Note] if he is at Rome. If it comes to nothing, I shall succeed in making you angry with me, however accustomed you are to putting up with my folly. For Drusus at least is willing to sell. So, even if nothing else turns up, it will be my own fault if I don't buy. Pray take care that I don't make a mistake in this business. The only way of making certain of that is our being able to get some of Scapula's land. Also let me know how long you intend being in your suburban villa. With Terentia I need your power of conciliation as well as your influence. But do as you think right. For I know that whatever is to my interest is a subject of more anxiety to you than to myself.




Hirtius has written to tell me that Sextus Pompieus has quitted Cordova and fled into Northern Spain, and that

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Gnaeus has fled I don't know whither, nor do I care. [Note] I know nothing more. Hirtius wrote from Narbo on the 18th of April. You mention Caninius's shipwreck as though the news was doubtful. Please write, therefore, if there is any more certain intelligence. You bid me dismiss my melancholy: you will have done much to remove it if you secure me a site for the shrine. Many thoughts occur to me in favour of an apotheosis; but I must certainly have a site. Therefore, go and call on Otho also.


DLXXX (A XII, 38.1-2)


I have no doubt that your being overwhelmed with business accounts for your not sending me a letter. But what a rascal not to wait for your convenience, when that was the sole motive for my having sent him! By this time, unless anything has happened to detain you, I suspect that you are in your suburban villa. But I am here, writing from one day's end to another without getting any relief, though I do at any rate distract my thoughts. Asinius Pollio has written to me about my infamous relation. [Note] The younger Balbus told me about him pretty plainly, Dolabella in dark hints, and now Pollio has done so with the utmost openness. I should have been much annoyed, if there had been room in my heart for any new sorrow. Yet, could there be anything more blackguardly? What a dangerous fellow! Though in my eyes indeed- But I must restrain my indignation! As there is nothing that is pressing, only write to me if you have time.

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You think that by this time my composure of spirit ought to be en evidence, and you say that certain persons speak with more severity of me than either you or Brutus repeat in your letters: if anybody supposes me to be crushed in spirit and unmanned, let them know the amount of my literary labours and their nature. I believe, if they are only reasonable men, they would think, if I am so far recovered as to bring a disengaged mind to writing on difficult subjects, that I am not open to their criticism; or if I have selected a diversion from sorrow in the highest degree noble and worthy of a scholar, that I even deserve to be praised. But though I do everything I can to relieve my sorrow, pray bring to a conclusion what I see that you are as much concerned about as I am myself. I regard this as a debt, the burden of which cannot be lightened unless I pay it, or see a possibility of paying it, that is, unless I find a site such as I wish. If Scapula's heirs, as you say that Otho told you, think of cutting up the pleasure-grounds into four lots, and bidding for them between themselves, there is of course no room for a purchaser. But if they are to come into the market we will see what can be done. For that ground once belonging to Publicius, and now to Trebonius and Cusinius, has been suggested to me. But you know it is a town building site. I don't like it at all. Clodia's I like very much, but I don't think they are for sale. As to Drusus's pleasure-grounds, though you say that you dislike them, I shall take refuge in them after all, unless you find something. I don't mind the building, for I shall build nothing that I should not build even if I don't have them. "Cyrus, books IV and V" pleased me about as much as the other works of Antisthenes [Note] —a man of acuteness rather than of learning.

-- 242 --




As the letter-carrier arrived without a letter from you, I imagined the your reason for not writing was what you mentioned yesterday in the very epistle to which I am now replying. Yet, after all, I was expecting to hear something from you about Asinius Pollio's letter. But I am too apt to judge of your leisure by my own. However, if nothing imperative occurs, I absolve you from the necessity of writing, unless you are quite at leisure. About the letter-carriers I would have done as you suggest, had there been any letters positively necessary, as there were some time ago, when, though the days were shorter, the carriers nevertheless arrived every day up to time, and there was something to say-about Silius, Drusus, and certain other things. At present, if Otho had not cropped up, there would have been nothing to write about: and even that has been deferred. Nevertheless, I feel relieved when I talk to you at a distance, and much more even when I read a letter from you. But since you are out of town—for so I suppose—and there is no immediate necessity for writing, there shall be a lull in our letters, unless anything new turns up.

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What the nature of Caesar's invective in answer to my panegyric [Note] is likely to be, I have seen clearly from the book, which Hirtius has sent me, in which he collects Cato's faults, but combined with very warm praise of myself. Accordingly, I have sent the book to Musca with directions to give it to your copyists. As I wish it to be made public: to facilitate that please give orders to your men. I often try my hand at an "essay of advice." [Note] I can't hit upon anything to say: and yet I have by me Aristotle and Theopompus "to Alexander." But where is the analogy? They were writing what was at once honourable to themselves and acceptable to Alexander. Can you find any similar circumstance in my case? For my part nothing occurs to me. You say in your letter that you fear that both our popularity and influence will suffer by such mourning as mine. I don't know what people object to or expect. That I should not grieve? How can that be? That I should not be prostrated? Who was ever less so? While I was finding consolation in your house, who was ever refused admittance to me? Who ever came to see me who felt any awkwardness? I came to Astura from your house. Those cheerful friends of yours who find fault with me cannot read as much as I have written. Well or ill is not the question: but the substance of my writings was such as no one could have composed who was broken down in spirit. I have been

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thirty days in your suburban villa. [Note] Who ever failed to find me at home or reluctant to converse? At this very moment the amount of my reading and writing is such that my people find a holiday more laborious than I do working days. If anyone wants to know why I am not at Rome,—"because it is the vacation." Or why I am not staying at the humble places of mine on this coast, which are now in season,—"because I should have been annoyed by the crowd of visitors there." I am therefore staying at the place, where the man who considered Baiae the queen of watering-places used year after year to spend this part of the season. When I come to Rome I will give no cause for unfavourable remark either by my look or my conversation. That cheerfulness by which I used to temper the sadness of the situation I have lost for ever; but firmness and fortitude either of heart or speech will not be found wanting. As to Scapula's pleasure-grounds, it seems possible that as a favour, partly to you and partly to me, we might secure their being put up to auction. Unless that is done, we shall be cut out. But if we come to a public auction, we shall outbid Otho's means by our eagerness. For as to what you say about Lentulus, he is not solvent. [Note] If only the Faberian business is certain, [Note] and you are making an effort, as I am sure you are doing, we shall get what we want. You ask how long I am staying on here. Only a few days: but I am not certain. As soon as I have settled, I will write to you: and write to me yourself, and tell me how long you intend to be in your suburban villa. The day on which I am sending this to you, I have the same news as you give me about Pilia and Attica, both by letter and messenger.

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I have nothing to write about. However, I want to know where you are: if you are out of town or about to be so, when you intend to return. Please, therefore, let me know. And, as you wish to be informed when I leave this place, I write to tell you that I have arranged to stay at Lanuvium on the 16th, thence next day at Tusculum or Rome. Which of the two I am going to do you shall know on the day itself. You know how misery is inclined to grumble. It is not at all in regard to yourself, yet I feel a restless desire as to the shrine. I don't say unless it is built, but unless I see it being built—I venture to say this much, and you will take it as you ever do words of mine—my vexation will redound upon you, not that you deserve that it should do so; but you will have to endure what I say, as you endure and always have endured everything that affects me. Pray

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concentrate all your methods of consoling me upon this one thing. If you want to know my wishes, they are these: first Scapula's, second Clodia's; then, if Silius refuses and Drusus does not behave fairly, the property of Cusinius and Trebonius. I think there is a third owner; I know for certain that Rebilus was one. If however you are for Tusculum, as you hinted in one of your letters, I will agree to your suggestion. Pray bring this business to a conclusion in any case, if you wish me to feel consoled. You are already finding fault with me in somewhat severer terms than is customary with you; but you do so with the utmost affection, and perhaps tired out by my weakness. Yet all the same, if you wish me to be consoled, this is the very greatest of consolations and, if you would know the truth, the only one.

If you have read Hirtius's letter, which appears to me to be a kind of "first sketch" of the invective which Caesar has composed against Cato, please let me know, when you can conveniently do so, what you think of it. To return to the shrine: unless it is finished this summer, which you perceive is all before us, I shall not consider myself cleared of positive guilt.


DLXXXV (A XII, 42.1-3)


I never desired you to have a regular day for writing: for I understood the state of things you mention, [Note] and yet I suspected or rather was quite aware that there was nothing for you to tell me. On the 10th of the month, indeed, I think you must be out of town and quite see that you have no news to give. However, I shall continue sending you a letter nearly every day. For I prefer writing for nothing to your not having a carrier at hand to whom to give a letter, if anything does turn up which you think I ought to know. Accordingly, I have received on the 10th your letter with its dearth of news. For what was there for you to send? To me however that was not unpleasing, whatever it contained, even if I learnt nothing else but that you had nothing to tell me. Yet, after all, you did say something-about Clodia. Where then is she, and when does she arrive? I like her property so much, that I put it next to Otho's above all others. But I don't think that she will sell, for she likes it and is rich: and as for that other, you are quite aware of the difficulty. But pray let us exert ourselves to hit upon some way of obtaining what I desire. I think

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of leaving this place on the 16th: but it will be either to Tusculum or my town house, and thence perhaps to Arpinum. when I know for certain I will write you word.


DLXXXVIII (A XII, 42.3, 43)


IT has occurred to me to remind you to do the very thing which you are doing. For I think you can transact the business you have in hand more conveniently at home by preventing any interruption. For myself, I intend, as I told you before, to stay at Lanuvium on the 16th, and thence to go to Tusculum or Rome. You shall know which of the two. You say truly that this erection will be a consolation to me. Thank you for saying so: but it is a consolation to

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a degree beyond what you can conceive. [Note] It is a sufficient proof of how keenly desirous I am for it, that I venture to confess it to you, though I think you do not approve of it so very warmly. But you must put up with my aberration in this matter. Put up with it, do I say? Nay, you must even assist it. About Otho I feel uncertain: perhaps because I am eager for it. But after all the property is beyond my means, especially with a competitor in the field anxious to purchase, rich, and one of the heirs. The next to my taste is Clodia's. But if that can't be secured, make any bargain you please. I regard myself as under a more sacred obligation than anyone ever was to any vow. See also about the pleasure-grounds of Trebonius, though the owners are away. But, as I said yesterday, please also consider the Tusculan suggestion, lest the summer slip away. That must not be allowed on any account.


DLXXXIX (A XII, 44, 45.1)


THAT Hirtius wrote to you in an agitated tone about me does not trouble me—for he meant it kindly—and that you did not forward me his letter troubles me much less. For that was even kinder of you. His book which he sent me about Cato I wish to be published by your copyists, to enhance Cato's reputation from the nature of their invectives.

So you are negotiating through Mustela: well, he is well suited for the purpose, and much attached to me since the affair of Pontianus. Therefore make some bargain or other. Why, what else is wanted except an opening for a purchaser? And that could be secured by means of any one of the heirs. But I think Mustela will accomplish that, if

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you ask him. For myself, you will have secured for me not only a site for the purpose I have at heart, but also a solace for my old age. For the properties of Silius and Drusus do not seem to me to be sufficiently suited to a paterfamilias. What! spend whole days in the country house! [Note] My preference therefore is-first Otho's, second Clodia's. If neither of them comes off; we must try and outwit Drusus, or have recourse to the Tusculan site. You have acted prudently in shutting yourself in your house. But pray finish off your business and let me find you once more at leisure. I leave this place for Lanuvium, as I told you, on the 16th. Next day I shall be at Tusculum. For I have well disciplined my feelings, and perhaps conquered them, if only I keep to it. [Note] You shall know, therefore, perhaps tomorrow, at the latest the day after.

But what does this mean, pray? Philotimus reports that Pompeius is not invested at Carteia, and that a serious war remains to be fought. Oppius and Balbus had sent me a copy of a letter written to Clodius of Patavium on this investment, saying that they thought it was so. It is just like Philotimus to act the second-rate Fulvinius. [Note] Nevertheless, tell me anything you know. About the shipwreck of Caninius also I want to know the truth. [Note]

While here I have finished two long treatises. [Note] It was the only way I had to give my unhappiness the slip, if I may use the expression. As for you, even if you have nothing to tell, as I foresee will be the case, still write to say that you have nothing to say—so long as you don't use these exact words.

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DXCIV (A XII, 45.2-3)


As to Attica,—excellent! Your depression makes me uneasy, though you say in your letter that it is nothing. I shall find being at Tusculum all the more convenient that I shall

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get letters from you more frequently and shall see you personally from time to time. In other respects life was more tolerable at Astura, but the thoughts that re-open my wounds do not give me greater pain here than there; though after all, wherever I am, they are ever with me. I mentioned your "neighbour " [Note] Caesar to you because I learnt about it from your own letter. I would rather he shared temples with Quirinus than with "Safety." Yes, publish Hirtius, [Note] For I entertained precisely the opinion expressed in your letter, that while our friend's ability was shewn by it, the purpose of discrediting Cato was rendered ridiculous.


DXCI (A XII, 46, 47.1)


I SHALL conquer my feelings, I think, and go from Lanuvium to Tusculum. For either I must for ever give up the use of that property—for the sorrow will remain unchanged, only somewhat less evident—or I must regard it as immaterial whether I go now or ten years hence. [Note] For it will not remind me a whit more vividly than the thoughts by which I am racked day and night. What then, you will say, can literature do nothing for you? In this particular I fear rather the reverse. For perhaps I should have been less sensitive without it. In a cultivated mind there is no coarse fibre, no insensibility. Yes, do come as you suggest, but not if it is inconvenient to you. One letter and its answer will be enough. I will even come to see you if necessary. So that shall be as you find it possible.


DXCII (A XII, 47.1-2)


ABOUT Mustela [Note] do as you say in your letter, though it is a big business. All the more am I inclining to Clodia. However, in either case we must find out about the money due from Faberius. [Note] On that subject it will do no harm if you talk to Balbus, telling him indeed—what is the fact—that we neither will nor can buy unless we recover that debt, and should not venture upon it whilst any doubt remained on that point. But when is Clodia to be at Rome, and at what do you value

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her property? My eyes are quite turned in her direction: not but that I should prefer the other, but it is a serious venture; and it is besides difficult to outbid one who is at once eager, rich, and an heir. Though in the matter of eagerness I shall yield to none; in other respects we are in a weaker position. But of this when we meet.


DXCIII (A XII, 47.3, 48.1)


YES, go on to publish Hirtius's book. As to Philotimus, I think the same as you do. I can see that the market value of your house will go up with Caesar for a neighbour. [Note] I am expecting my letter-carrier today: he will give me news of Pilia and Attica. I can easily believe that you are glad to be at home. But I should like to know how much you have still to do, or whether you have finished by this time. I expect you at Tusculum, and the more because you wrote word to Tiro that you were coming, and added that you thought it necessary.


DXCVI (A XII, 48 AND 49)


I FELT all along how much good your presence was doing me, but I feel it much more since your departure.

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Wherefore, as I wrote to you before, either I must come bodily to you or you to me, as may be possible. Yesterday, not much after you left my house, I think, some men from the city, as they seemed, brought me a message and a letter from "Gaius Marius, son of Gaius, grandson of Gains," [Note] written at great length: "they begged me in the name of our relationship to them, in the name of the famous Marius on whom I had composed a poem, [Note] in the name of the eloquence of his grandfather L. Cassius, to undertake his defence,"—he then stated his case in full detail. I wrote back to say that he had no need of counsel, as all power was in the hands of his relation Caesar, who was a most excellent and fair-minded man, but that I would support him.

What times we live in! To think that Curtius should be hesitating as to whether he should stand for the consulship ! [Note] But enough of this. I am anxious about Tiro. But I shall know directly how he is: for I sent a man yesterday to see, to whom also I entrusted a letter for you. I enclose a letter for my son. Please let me know what day is advertised for the sale of the pleasure-grounds.

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DXCV (A XII, 50)


As your arrival cheered, so your departure has depressed me. Wherefore, as soon as you can, that is, after attending Sextus's auction, repeat your visit. Even one day will do me good, to say nothing of the pleasure. I would come to Rome myself, that we might enjoy each other's society, if I could see my way on a certain matter.




TIRO is come back sooner than I hoped. Nicias has also arrived, and I hear that Valerius is coming today. However many they may be, I shall still be more alone than if you were here by yourself. But I expect you, at any rate after you have done with Peducaeus. [Note] You however give some hints of an earlier date; but that must be as you find it possible. As to Vergilius, [Note] it is as you say. Yet what I should like to know is when the auction is to be. I see you are of opinion that the letter should be sent to Caesar. Well! I was very much of that opinion also, and the more so that there is not a word in it unbecoming the most loyal of citizens, that is, as loyal as the state of the times permit, to which all political writers teach us that we must bow. But observe, I stipulate that your Caesarian friends read it first. [Note] So please see to it. But unless you clearly understand that they approve, it must not be sent. Now you will detect whether they really approve or only pretend to do so. Pretence will in my eyes be equivalent to rejection. You must probe that question.

Tiro told me what you thought ought to be done about Caerellia: that it was unbecoming to me to be in debt; that you were in favour of an assignment : [Note]

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Fear this and not the other? passing strange! [Note] But this and much besides when we meet. However, we must suspend the payment of the debt to Caerellia till we know about Meton and Faberius.




You know L. Tullius Montanus, who has gone abroad with my son. I have received a letter from his sister's husband saying that Montanus owes Plancus twenty-five sestertia (about £200) as security for Flaminius; and that you had received some request from Montanus on that subject. I should be much obliged if you could assist him either by making an application to Plancus, if that is necessary, or by any other way. I think myself bound to do something for him. If it happens that you know more about the business than I do, or if you think application should be made to Plancus, please write and tell me, that I may know how the matter stands and what sort of application ought to be made. I am waiting to hear what you have done about the letter to Caesar. About Silius I don't so very much care. Yes, you must secure either the grounds of Scapula or Clodia. But you seem to have some hesitation about Clodia—is it as to the time of her return or as to whether her grounds are for sale? But what is this I hear of Spinther having divorced his wife? [Note] As to the Latin language, set your mind at ease. You will say—"What, when you write on such subjects?" [Note]

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They are translations. They don't cost so much trouble therefore; I only contribute the language, in which I am well provided.




THOUGH I have nothing to write about to you, I write all the same, because it makes me think that I am talking to you. I have Nicias and Valerius with me here. I am expecting a letter from you early today. Perhaps there will be another in the afternoon, unless your Epirus correspondence hinders you, which I do not wish to interrupt. I am sending you letters for Marcianus and Montanus. Please put them into the same packet, unless you chance to have already despatched it.

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