Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
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DIRECTLY I arrived at Rome, and there was anyone to whom I could safely intrust a letter for you, I thought the very first thing I ought to do was to Congratulate you in your absence on my return. For I knew, to speak candidly, that though in giving me advice you had not been more courageous or far-seeing than myself, nor-considering my devotion to you in the past-too careful in protecting me from disaster, yet that you—though sharing in the first instance in my mistake, or rather madness, and in my ground-less terror—had nevertheless been deeply grieved at our separation, and had bestowed immense pains, zeal, care, and labour in securing my return. Accordingly, I can truly assure you of this, that in the midst of supreme joy and the most gratifying congratulations, the one thing wanting to fill my cup of happiness to the brim is the sight of you, or rather your embrace; and if I ever forfeit that again, when I have once got possession of it, and if, too, I do not exact the full delights of your charming society that have fallen into arrear in the past, I shall certainly consider myself unworthy of this renewal of my good fortune. In regard to my political position, I have resumed what I thought there would be the utmost difficulty in recovering—my brilliant standing at the bar, my influence in the senate, and a popularity with the loyalists even greater than I desired. In regard, however, to my private property—as to which you are well aware to what an extent it has been crippled, scattered, and plundered—I am in great difficulties, and stand in need, not so much of your means (which I look upon as my own), as of your advice for collecting and restoring to a sound state the fragments that remain. For the present, though I believe everything finds its way to you in the letters of your friends, or even by messengers and

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rumour, yet I will write briefly what I think you would like to learn from my letters above all others. On the 4th of August I started from Dyrrachium, the very day on which the law about me was carried. I arrived at Brundisium on the 5th of August. There my dear Tulliola met me on what was her own birthday, which happened also to be the name-day of the colony of Brundisium and of the temple of Safety, near your house. This coincidence was noticed and celebrated with warm congratulations by the citizens of Brundisium. On the 8th of August, while still at Brundisium, I learnt by a letter from Quintus that the law had been passed at the comilta centuriata with a surprising enthusiasm on the part of all ages and ranks, and with an incredible influx of voters from Italy. I then commenced my journey, amidst the compliments of the men of highest consideration at Brundisium, and was met at every point by legates bearing congratulations. My arrival in the neighbourhood of the city was the signal for every soul of every order known to my nomenclator Coming out to meet me, except those enemies who could not either dissemble or deny the fact of their being such. On my arrival at the Porta Capena, the steps of the temples were already thronged from top to bottom [Note] by the populace; and while their congratulations were displayed by the loudest possible applause, a similar throng and similar applause accompanied me right up to the Capitol, and in the forum and on the Capitol itself there was again a wonderful crowd. Next day, in the senate, that is, the 5th of September, I spoke my thanks to the senators. Two days after that-there having been a very heavy rise in the price of corn, and great crowds having flocked first to the theatre and then to the senate-house, shouting out, at the instigation of Clodius, that the scarcity of corn was my doing—meetings of the senate being held on those days to discuss the corn question, and Pompey being called upon to undertake the management of its supply in the common talk not only of the plebs, but of the aristocrats also, and being himself desirous of the commission, when the people at large called upon me by name to support a decree to that effect,

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I did so, and gave my vote in a carefully-worded speech. The other consulars, except Messalla and Afranius, having absented themselves on the ground that they could not vote with safety to themselves, a decree of the senate was passed in the sense of my motion, namely, that Pompey should be appealed to to undertake the business, and that a law should be proposed to that effect. This decree of the senate having been publicly read, and the people having, after the senseless and new-fangled custom that now prevails, applauded the mention of my name, [Note] I delivered a speech. All the magistrates present, except one praetor and two tribunes, called on me to speak. [Note] Next day a full senate, including all the consulars, granted everything that Pompey asked for. Having demanded fifteen legates, he named me first in the list, and said that he should regard me in all things as a second self. The consuls drew up a law by which complete control over the corn-supply for five years throughout the whole world was given to Pompey. A second law is drawn up by Messius, [Note] granting him power over all money, and adding a fleet and army, and an impedum in the provinces superior to that of their governors. After that our consular law seems moderate indeed: that of Messius is quite intolerable. Pompey professes to prefer the former; his friends the latter. The consulars led by Favonius murmur: I hold my tongue, the more so that the pontifices have as yet given no answer in regard to my house. [Note] If they annul the consecration I shall have a splendid site. The consuls, in accordance with a decree of the senate, will value the cost of the building that stood upon it; but if the pontifices decide otherwise, they will pull down the Clodian building, give out a contract in their own name (for a temple), and value to me the cost of a site and house. So our affairs are

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For happy though but ill, for ill not worst. [Note] In regard to money matters I am, as you know, much embarrassed. Besides, there are certain domestic troubles, which I do not intrust to writing. My brother Quintus I love as he deserves for his eminent qualities of loyalty, virtue, and good faith. I am longing to see you, and beg you to hasten your return, resolved not to allow me to be without the benefit of your advice. I am on the threshold, as it were, of a second life. Already certain persons who defended me in my absence begin to nurse a secret grudge at me now that I am here, and to make no secret of their jealousy. I want you very much.


XC (A IV, 2)


If by any chance you get letters less frequently from me than from others, I beg you not to put it down to my negligence, or even to my engagements; for though they are very heavy, there can be none sufficient to stop the course of our mutual affection and of the attention I owe to you. The fact is that, since my return to Rome, this is only the second time that I have been told of anyone to whom I could deliver a letter, and accordingly this is my second letter to you. In my former I described the reception I had on my return, what my political position was, and how my affairs were For happy though but ill, for ill not worst. The despatch of that letter was followed by a great controversy about my house. I delivered a speech before the pontifices on the 29th of September. I pleaded my cause with care, and if I ever was worth anything as a speaker, or

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even if I never was on any other occasion, on this one at any rate my indignation at the business, and the importance of it, did add a Certain vigour to my style. [Note] Accordingly, the rising generation must not be left without the benefit of this speech, which I shall send you all the same, even if you don't want it. [Note] The decree of the pontifices was as follows: "If neither by order of the people nor vote of the plebs the party alleging that he had dedicated had been appointed by name to that function, nor by order of the people or vote of the plebs had been commanded to do so, we are of opinion that the part of the site in question may be restored to M. Tullius without violence to religion." Upon this I was at once congratulated—for no one doubted that my house was thereby adjudged to me—when all on a sudden that fellow mounts the platform to address a meeting, invited to speak by Appius, [Note] and announces at once to the people that the pontifices had decided in his favour, [Note] but that I was endeavouring to take forcible possession; he exhorts them to follow himself and Appius to defend their own shrine of Liberty. [Note] Hereupon, when even those Credulous hearers partly wondered and partly laughed at the fellow's mad folly, I resolved not to go near the place until such time as the

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consuls by decree of the senate had given out the contract for restoring the colonnade of Catulus. [Note] On the 1st of October there was a full meeting of the senate. All the pontilices who were senators were invited to attend, and MarCellinus, [Note] who is a great admirer of mine, being called on to speak first, asked them what was the purport of their decree. Then M. Lucullus, speaking for all his colleagues, answered that the pontifices were judges of a question of religion, the senate of the validity of a law: that he and his colleagues had given a decision on a point of religion; in the senate they would with the other senators decide on the law. Accordingly, each of them, when asked in their proper order for their opinion, delivered long arguments in my favour. When it came to Clodius's turn, he wished to talk out the day, and he went on endlessly; however, after he had spoken for nearly three hours, he was forced by the loud expression of the senate's disgust to finish his speech at last. On the decree in accordance with the proposal of Marcellinus passing the senate against a minority of one, Serranus interposed his veto. [Note] At once both consuls referred the question of Serranus's veto to the senate. After some very resolute speeches had been delivered—"that it was the decision of the senate that the house should be restored to me": "that a contract should be given out for the colonnade of Catulus": "that the resolution of the house should be supported by all the magistrates": "that if any violence occurred, the senate would consider it to be the fault of the magistrate who vetoed the decree of the senate"—Serranus became thoroughly frightened, and Cornicinus repeated his old farce: throwing off his toga, he flung himself at his son-in-law's feet. [Note] The former demanded a night for consideration.

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They would not grant it: for they remembered the 1st of January. It was, however, at last granted with difficulty on my interposition. Next day the decree of the senate was passed which I send you. Thereupon the consuls gave out a contract for the restoration of the colonnade of Catulus: the contractors immediately cleared that portico of his away to the satisfaction of all. [Note] The buildings of my house the consuls, by the advice of their assessors, valued at 2,000,000 sesterces. [Note] The rest was valued very stingily. My Tusculan villa at 500,000 sesterces : my villa at Formiae at 250,000 sesterces—an estimate loudly exclaimed against not only by all the best men, but even by the common people. You Will say, "What was the reason?" They for their part say it was my modesty—because I would neither say no, nor make any violent expostulation. But that is not the real cause: for that indeed in itself would have been in my favour. [Note] But, my dear Pomponius, those very same men, I tell you, of whom you are no more ignorant than myself, having clipped my wings, are unwilling that they should grow again to their old size. But, as I hope, they are already growing again. Only come to me! But this, I fear, may be retarded by the visit of your and my friend Varro. Having now heard the actual course of public business, let me inform you of what I have in my thoughts besides. I have allowed myself to be made legatus to Pompey, but only on condition that nothing should stand in the way of my being entirely free either to stand, if I choose, for the censorship—if the next consuls hold a censorial election—or to assume

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a "votive commission" in connexion with nearly any fanes or sacred groves. [Note] For this is what falls in best with our general policy and my particular occasions. But I wished the power to remain in my hands of either standing for election, or at the beginning of the summer of going out of town: and meanwhile I thought it not disadvantageous to keep myself before the eyes of the citizens who had treated me generously. Well, such are my plans in regard to public affairs; my domestic affairs are very intricate and difficult. My town house is being built: you know how much expense and annoyance the repair of my Formian villa occasions me, which I can neither bear to relinquish nor to look at. I have advertised my Tusculan property for sale; I don't much care for a suburban residence. [Note] The liberality of friends has been exhausted in a business which brought me nothing but dishonour: and this you perceived though absent, as did others on the spot, by whose zeal and wealth I could easily have obtained all I wanted, had only my supporters allowed it. [Note] In this respect I am now in serious difficulty. Other causes of anxiety are somewhat more of the tacenda kind. [Note] My

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brother and daughter treat me with affection. I am looking forward to seeing you.


XCI (A IV, 3)


I am very well aware that you long to know what is going on here, and also to know it from me, not because things done before the eyes of the whole world are better realized when narrated by my band than when reported to you by the pens or lips of others, but because it is from my letters that you get what you want—a knowledge of my feelings in regard to the occurrences, and what at such a juncture is the state of my mind, or, in a word, the conditions in which I am living. On the 3rd of November the workmen were driven from the site of my house by armed ruffians: the porticus Catuli, [Note] which was being rebuilt on a contract given out by the consuls, in accordance with a decree of the senate, and had nearly reached the roof, was battered down: the house of my brother Quintus [Note] was first smashed with volleys of stones thrown from my site, and then set on fire by order of Clodius, firebrands having been thrown into it in the sight of the whole town, amidst loud exclamations of indignation and sorrow, I will not say of the loyalists—for I rather think there are none—but of simply every human being. That madman runs riot: thinks after this mad prank of nothing short of murdering his opponents: canvasses the city street by street: makes open offers of freedom to slaves. For the fact is that up to this time, while trying to avoid prosecution, [Note]

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he had a case, difficult indeed to support, and obviously bad, but still a case: he might have denied the facts, he might have shifted the blame on others, he might even have pleaded that some part of his proceedings had been legal. But after such wrecking of buildings, incendiaries, and wholesale robberies as these, being abandoned by his supporters, he hardly retains on his side Decimus the marshal, [Note] or Gellius; takes slaves into his confidence; sees that, even if he openly assassinates everyone he wishes to, he will not have a worse case before a court of law than he has at present. Accordingly, on the uth of November, as I was going down the Sacred Way, he followed me with his gang. There were shouts, stone-throwing, brandishing of clubs and swords, and all this without a moment's warning. I and my party stepped aside into Tettius Damio's vestibule: those accompanying me easily prevented his roughs from getting in. He might have been killed himself. [Note] But I am now on a system of cure by regimen: I am tired of surgery. The fellow, seeing that what everybody called for was not his prosecution but his instant execution, has since made all your Catilines seem models of respectability. [Note] For on the 12th of November he tried to storm and set fire to Milo's house, I mean the one on Germalus: [Note] and so openly was this done, that at eleven o'clock in the morning he brought men there armed with shields and with their swords drawn, and others with lighted torches. He had himself occupied the

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house of P. Sulla [Note] as his headquarters from which to Conduct the assault upon Milo's. Thereupon Q. Flaccus led out some gallant fellows from Milo's other house (the Anniana) : killed the most notorious bravoes of all Clodius's gang: wanted to kill Clodius himself; but my gentleman took refuge in the inner part of Sulla's house. The next thing was a meeting of the senate on the i4th. Clodius stayed at home: Marcellinus [Note] was splendid : all were keen. Metellus [Note] talked the business out by an obstructive speech, aided by Appius, and also, by Hercules! by your friend on whose firmness you wrote me such a wonderfully true letter! Sestius [Note] was fuming. Aft erwards the fellow vows vengeance on the city if his election is stopped. Marcellinus's resolution having been exposed for public perusal (he had read it from a written copy, and it embraced our entire case—the prosecution was to include his violent proceedings on the site of my house, his arson, his assault on me personally, and was to take place before the elections), he put up a notice that he intended to watch the sky during all comitial days. [Note] Public speeches of Metellus disorderly,

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of Appius hot-beaded, of Publius stark mad. The upshot, however, was that, had not Milo served his notice of bad omens in the campus, the elections would have been held. On the i9th of November Milo arrived on the campus before midnight with a large company. Clodius, though he had picked gangs of runaway slaves, did not venture into the campus. Milo stopped there till midday, [Note] to everybody's great delight and his own infinite credit: the movement of the three brethren [Note] ended in their own disgrace; their violence was crushed, their madness made ridiculous. However, Metellus demands that the obstructive notice should be served on him next day in the forum: "there was no need to come to the campus before daybreak: he would be in the c"ml'ium at the first hour of the day." [Note] Accordingly, on the 20th Milo Came to the forum before sunrise. Metellus at the first sign of dawn was stealthily hurrying to the campus, I had almost said by by-lanes: Milo catches our friend up "between the groves" [Note] and serves his notice. The latter returned greeted with loud and insulting remarks by Q. Flaccus. The 21st was a market day. [Note] For two days no public meeting. I am writing this letter on the 23rd at three o'clock in the morning. Milo is already in possession of the campus. The candidate Marcellus [Note] is snoring so loud that I can hear him next door. I am told that Clodius's vestibule is completely deserted: there are a few ragged fellows there and a canvas lantern. [Note] His party complains

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that I am the adviser of the whole business: they little know the Courage and wisdom of that hero! His gallantry is astonishing. Some recent instances of his superhuman excellence I pass over; but the upshot is this: I don't think the election will take place. I think Publius will be brought to trial by Milo—unless he is killed first. If he once puts himself in his way in a riot, I can see that he will be killed by Milo himself. The latter has no scruple about doing it; he avows his intention; he isn't at all afraid of what happened to me, for he will never listen to the advice of a jealous and faithless friend, nor trust a feeble aristocrat. In spirit, at any rate, I am as vigorous as in my zenith, or even more so; in regard to money I am crippled. However, the liberality of my brother I have, in spite of his protests, repaid (as the state of my finances compelled) by the aid of my friends, that I might not be drained quite dry myself. What line of policy to adopt in regard to my position as a whole, I cannot decide in your absence: wherefore make haste to town.


C (A IV, 4)


I was charmed to see Cincius when he called on me on the 28th of January before daybreak. For he told me that you were in Italy and that he was sending slaves to you. I did not like them to go without a letter from me; not that I had anything to say to you, especially as you are all but here, but that

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I might express merely this one thing—that your arrival is most delightful and most ardently wished for by me. Wherefore fly to us with the full assurance that your affection for me is fully reciprocated. The rest shall be reserved for our meeting. I write in great haste. The day you arrive, mind, you and your party are to dine with me.


CVI (A IV, 4 a)


IT will be delightful if you come to see us here. You will find that Tyrannio has made a wonderfully good arrangement of my books, the remains of which are better than I had expected. Still, I wish you would send me a couple of your library slaves for Tyrannio to employ as gluers, and in other subordinate work, and tell them to get some fine parchment to make title-pieces, which you Greeks, I think, call "sillybi." But all this is only if not inconvenient to you. In any case, be sure you come yourself, if you can halt for a while in such a place, and can persuade Pilia [Note] to accompany you. For that is only fair, and Tullia is anxious that she should come. My word! You have purchased a fine troop! Your gladiators, I am told, fight superbly. If you had chosen to let them out you would have cleared your expenses by the last two spectacles. But we will talk about this later on. Be sure to come, and, as you love me, see about the library slaves.

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CVII (A IV, 5)


Do you really mean it? Do you think that there is anyone by whom I prefer to have what I write read and approved of before yourself? "Why, then, did I send it to anyone before you?" I was pressed by the man to whom I sent it, and had no copy. And—well! I am nibbling at what I must, after all, swallow—my "recantation " [Note] did seem to me a trifle discreditable! But good-bye to straightforward, honest, and high-minded policy! One could scarcely believe the amount of treachery there is in those leaders of the state, as they wish to be, and might be, if they had any principle of honour in them. I had felt it, known it-taken in, abandoned, and cast aside by them, as I had been! and yet my purpose still was to stick by them in politics. They were the same men as they ever had been. At last, on your advice, my eyes have been opened. You will say that your advice only extended to action, not to writing also. The truth is that I wanted to bind myself to this new combination, that I might have no excuse for slipping back to those who, even at a time when I could claim their Compassion, never cease being jealous of me. However, I kept within due limits in my subject, when I did put pen to paper. I shall launch out more copiously if he shews that he is glad to receive it, and those make wry faces who are angry at my possessing the villa which once belonged to Catulus, without reflecting that I bought it from Vettius: who say that I ought not to have built a town house, and declare that I ought to have sold.

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But what is all this to the fact that, when I have delivered senatorial speeches in agreement with their own views, their chief pleasure has yet been that I spoke contrary to Pompey's wishes? Let us have an end of it. Since those who have no power refuse me their affection, let us take care to secure the affection of those who have power. You will say, "I could have wished that you had done so before." I know you did wish it, and that I have made a real ass of myself. But now the time has Come to shew a little affection for myself, since I can get none from them on any terms.

I am much obliged to you for frequently going to see my house. Crassipes [Note] swallows up my money for travelling. Tullia will go straight to your suburban villa. [Note] That seems the more convenient plan. Consequently she will be at your town house the next day: for what can it matter to you? But we shall see. Your men have beautified my library by making up the books and appending title-slips. Please thank them.


CIX (A IV, 6)


Of course I am as sorry about Lentulus as I am bound to be: we have lost a good patriot and a great man, one who to great strength of character united a culture equally profound. My consolation is a miserable one, but still it is a consolation—that I do not grieve on his account: I don't mean in the sense of Saufeius and your Epicurean friends, but, by Hercules, because he loved his country so deeply, that he seems to me to have been snatched away by a special favour of providence from its conflagration. For what could be more humiliating than the life we are living, especially mine? For as to yourself, though by nature a politician, you have yet avoided having any servitude peculiar to yourself: you merely come under an appellation common to us all. [Note] But!; who, if I say what I ought about the Republic, am looked on as mad, if what expediency

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dictates, as a slave, and if I say nothing, as utterly crushed and helpless—what must I be suffering? Suffer, indeed, I do, and all the more keenly that I cannot even shew my pain without appearing ungrateful. Again: what if I should choose a life of inactivity and take refuge in the harbour of retired leisure? Impossible! Rather war and the camp Am I to serve in the ranks after refusing to be a general? I suppose I must. For I perceive you, too, think so, you whom I wish that I had always obeyed. All that is left to me now is, "You have drawn Sparta: make the best of it!" But, by heavens, I can't: and I feel for Philoxenus, [Note] who preferred a return to jail. However, in my present retirement I am thinking over how to express my rejection of the old policy, and when we meet you will strengthen me in it.

I notice that you have written to me at frequent intervals, but I received all the letters at once. This circumstance increased my grief. For I had read three to begin with, in which the report of Lentulus was that he was a little better. Then came the thunderbolt of the fourth. But it is not he, as I said, who is to be pitied, but we who are so callous as to live on. [Note] You remind me to write that essay on Hortensius: I have digressed into other subjects, but have not forgotten your charge. But, by heaven, at the first line I shrank from the task, lest I, who seem to have acted foolishly in resenting foolishly rendering his injurious treatment of me conspicuous, his intemperate conduct as a friend, should once more be if I wrote anything; and at the same time lest my high morale, manifested in my actions, should be somewhat obscured in my writing, and this mode of taking satisfaction

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should seem to imply a certain instability. But we shall see. Only be sure to write me something as often as possible. I sent a letter to Lucceius asking him to write the history of my consulship: be sure you get it from him, for it is a very pretty bit of writing, and urge him to use despatch, and thank him for having written me an answer saying that he would do so. Go and see my house as often as you can. Say something to Vestorius : [Note] for he is acting very liberally in regard to me.


CX (A IV, 7)


Nothing could be better timed than your letter, which much relieved the anxiety I was feeling about that excellent boy, our Quintus. Two hours earlier Chaerippus had arrived: his news was simply awful. As to what you say about Apollonius, why, heaven confound him ! a Greek and turn bankrupt! Thinks he may do what Roman knights do ! For, of course, Terentius is within his rights ! As to Metellus—de mortuis, etc. [Note]—yet there has been no citizen die these many years past who——. Well, I am willing to warrant your getting the money: for what have you to fear, whomsoever he made his heir, unless it were Publius? But he has, in fact, made a respectable man his heir, though he was himself——! Wherefore in this business you will not have to open your money-chest: another time you will be more cautious. Please see to my instructions about my house: hire some guards: give Milo a hint. [Note] The Arpinates

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grumble amazingly about Laterium. [Note] Well, what can I say? I was much annoyed myself, but "to words of mine he gave no heed." [Note] For the rest, take care of young Cicero and love him as always.


CXI (A IV, 8)


There were many things in your letter which pleased me, but nothing more than your "dish of cheese and salt fish"! [Note] For as to what you say about the sale, Boast not yourself before you see the end,
[Note] I can find nothing in the way of a building for you in the neighbourhood. In the town there is something of the sort, though it is doubtful whether it is for sale, and, in fact, close to my own house. Let me tell you that Antium is the Buthrotum of Rome, just what your Buthrotum is to Corcyra. Nothing can be quieter, cooler, or prettier—"be this mine own dear home." [Note] Moreover, since Tyrannio has arranged my books for me, my house seems to have had a soul added to it; in which matter your Dionysius and Menophilus were

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of wonderful service. Nothing can be more charming than those bookcases of yours, since the title-slips have shewn off the books. Good-bye. I should like you to write me word about the gladiators, but only if they fight well, I don't want to know about them if they were failures.




[Note] (JANUARY) Apenas had scarcely left me, when your letter came. Really? Do you suppose he won't propose his law ? [Note] Pray speak a little louder: I seem scarcely to have caught what you said. But let me know it at once, if it is all the same to you, that is! Well, since an additional day has been assigned to the games, I am all the more content to spend that day with Dionysius. About Trebonius I cordially agree with you. About Domitius, [Note]

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I swear by Ceres that no single fig
Was e'er so like another,
as his case to mine, either in the sameness of persons, the unexpectedness of it, or the futility of the loyalists. There is one difference—he has brought it upon himself. For as to the misfortune itself I rather think mine is the less grievous. For what could be more mortifying than that a man, who has been consul-designate, so to speak, ever since he was born, should fail in securing his election? Especially when he is the only (plebeian) Candidate, or at most had but one opponent. If it is also the fact, which I rather think it is, that he [Note] has in the register of his pocket-book some equally long pages of future, no less than of past consuls, what more humiliating position than our friend's, except that of the Republic? My first information about Natta [Note] was from your letter: I couldn't bear the man. As to your question about my poem: what if it is all agog to escape from my hands? Well? Would you permit it? About Fabius Luscus—I was just going to speak of him: the man was always very cordial to me, and I never had any cause to dislike him; for he is intelligent, very well-behaved, and serviceable enough. As I was seeing nothing of him, I supposed him to be out of town: but was told by this fellow Gavius of Firmum, that he was at Rome, and had never been away. It made a disagreeable impression on me. "Such a trifle as that?" you will say. Well, he had told me a good deal of which there could be no doubt as to these brothers of Firmum. What it is that has made him hold aloof from me, if he has done so, I have no idea. As to your advice to me to act "diplomatically" and keep to the " outside course"—I will obey you. But I want still more worldly wisdom, for which, as usual, I shall come to you. Pray smell things out from Fabius, [Note] if you can get at him, and pick the brains of your guest, and write me word on these points and all others every day. When there is nothing for you to write, write and say so. Take care of your health.

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CXXI (A IV, 9)


I should much like to know whether the tribunes are hindering the census by stopping business with their bad omens [Note] (for there is a rumour to that effect), and what they are doing and contriving as to the censorship altogether. I have had an interview with Pompey here. He talked a good deal to me about politics. He is not at all satisfied with himself, to judge from what he says—one is obliged to put in that proviso in his case. He thinks very little of Syria as a province; talks a good deal about Spain—here, too, I must add, "to judge from what he says," and, I think, his whole conversation requires that reservation, and to be ticketed as Phocylides did his verses—καὶ τόδε φωκυλίδου. [Note]

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He expressed gratitude to you for undertaking to arrange the statues : [Note] towards myself he was, by Hercules, most effusively cordial. He even came to my Cuman house to call on me. However, the last thing he seemed to wish was that Messalla should stand for the consulship: that is the very point on which I should like to hear what you know. I am much obliged by your saying that you will recommend my fame to Lucceius, and for your frequent inspection of my house. My brother Quintus has written to tell me that, as you have that dear boy, his son Quintus, staying with you, he intends coming to your house on the 7th of May. I left my Cuman villa on the 26th of April. That night I spent at Naples with Paetus. I write this very early on the 27th, on my road to my Pompeian house.


CXX (A IV, 10)


At Puteoli there is a great report that Ptolemy has been restored. If you have any more certain news, I should like to know it. I am here devouring the library of Faustus. [Note] [Note] [Note] curule

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chair, and be taking a stroll with you rather than with the great man [Note] with whom I see I shall have to walk. But as to that walk, let fortune look to it, or god, if there is any god who cares for such things. I wish, when possible, you would come and see my walk and Spartan bath, and the buildings planned by Cyrus, and would urge Philotimus to make haste, that I may have something to match with yours in that department. [Note] Pompey came to his Cuman property on the Parilia (19th April). He at once sent a man to me with his compliments. I am going to call on him on the morning of the 20th, as soon as I have written this letter.




I was delighted with your two letters which I received together on the 26th. Go on with the story. I long to know all the facts of what you write about. Also I should like you to find out what this means: you can do so from Demetrius. Pompey told me that he was expecting Crassus in his Alban villa on the 27th: that as soon as he arrived, they were going at once to Rome to settle accounts with the publicani. I asked, "During the gladiatorial exhibitions?" He answered, "Before they were begun." What that means I wish you would send me word either at once, if you know, or when he has reached Rome. I am engaged here in devouring books with the aid of that wonderful fellow Dionysius, [Note] for, by Hercules, that is what he seems to me to be. He sends compliments to you and all your party.

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No bliss so great as knowing all that is.
Wherefore indulge my thirst for knowledge by telling what happened on the first and on the second day of the shows: what about the Censors, [Note] what about Appius, [Note] what about that she—Appuleius of the people ? [Note] Finally, pray write me word what you are doing yourself. For, to tell the truth, revolutions don't give me so much pleasure as a letter from you. I took no one out of town with me except Dionysius: yet I am in no fear of wanting conversation—so delightful do I find that youth. Pray give my book to Lucceius. [Note] I send you the book of Demetrius of Magnesia, [Note] that there may be a messenger on the spot to bring me back a letter from you.


CXXIV (A IV, 12)


Egnatius [Note] is at Rome. But I spoke strongly to him at Antium about Halimetus's business. He assured me that he would speak seriously to Aquilius. [Note] You will see the man therefore, if you please. I think I can scarcely be ready for Macro : [Note] for I see that the auction at Larinum is on the Ides and the two days following. Pray forgive me for that, since you think so much of Macro. But, as you love me, dine

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with me on the 2nd, and bring Pilia. You must absolutely do so. On the 1st I think of dining at Crassipes' suburban villa as a kind of inn. I thus elude the decree of the senate. Thence to my town house after dinner, so as to be ready to be at Milo's in the morning. [Note] There, then, I shall see you, and shall march you on with me. My whole household sends you greeting.


CXXIX (A IV, 13)


I see that you know of my arrival at Tusculum on the 14th of November. I found Dionysius there. I wish to be at Rome on the 17th. Why do I say "wish"? Rather I am forced to be so. Milo's wedding. There is some idea of an election. Even supposing that to be confirmed, [Note] I am glad to have been absent from the wrangling debates which I am told have taken place in the senate. For I should either have defended him, which would have been against my opinion, or have deserted him whom I was bound to defend. But, by Hercules, describe to me to the utmost of your power those events, and the present state of politics, and how the consuls stand this bother. I am very ravenous for news, and, to tell you the truth, I feel no confidence in anything. Our friend Crassus indeed, people say, started in his official robes with less dignity than in the old times did L. Paullus, [Note] at the same time of life as he is, and, like him, in his second consulship. What a sorry fellow! About my oratorical books, I have been working hard. They have been long in hand and much revised: you can get them copied. [Note] I again beg of you an outline sketch of the present situation, that I may not arrive in Rome quite a stranger.

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Our friend Vestorius [Note] has informed me by letter that you are believed to have left Rome on the 10th of May—later

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than you said that you intended—because you had not been very well. If you are now better I rejoice indeed. I wish you would write to your town house, ordering your books to be at my service just as if you were at home, especially those of Varro. For I have occasion to use some passages of those books in reference to those which I have in hand, and which, I hope, will meet with your strong approval. [Note] Pray, if by chance you have any news, principally from my brother Quintus, next from Caesar, and, finally, anything about the elections or about politics—for you have an excellent nose for such things-write and tell me about them: if you have no news, nevertheless write something. For a letter from you never yet seemed to me either ill-timed or too long-winded. But above all I beg that, when your business and your whole tour has been concluded to your mind, you will come back to us as soon as possible. Give my compliments to Dionysius. Take care of your health.




I am glad about Eutychides, who, using your old praenomen and your new nomen, will be called Titus Caecilius, just as Dionysius, from a combination of your names and mine, is Marcus Pomponius. I am, by Hercules, exceedingly gratified that Eutychides has had cause to know your kindness to me, and that the sympathy he shewed me in the time of my sorrow was neither unnoticed at the time nor afterwards forgotten by me. I suppose you were obliged to undertake your journey to Asia. For you never would have been willing, without the most urgent cause, to be so far from so many persons and things which you love so much, and which give you so much delight. But the speed of your return will shew your kindness and love for your friends. Yet I fear lest the rhetorician Clodius, by his charms, and Pituanius, that excellent scholar, as he is said to be, and now, indeed, so wholly devoted to Greek letters, may detain you. But if you would shew the feelings of a man, come back to us at the time you promised. You will, after all, be able to enjoy their society at Rome, when they get there safe. You say you desire something in the way of a letter from me: I have written, and, indeed, on many subjects—everything detailed

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like a journal—but, as I conjecture from your not having, as it seems, remained long in Epirus, I suppose it has not reached you. Moreover, my letters to you are generally of such a kind, that I don't like to put them in anyone's hands, unless I can feel certain that he will deliver them to you.

Now for affairs at Rome. On the 4th of July Sufenas and Cato were acquitted, Procilius condemned. From which we have learnt that our treble-distilled Areopagites care not a rush for bribery, elections, Interregnum, , or, in fact, for the state generally; but that they would rather that a father of a family were not murdered on his own hearthstone—and even that preference not very decided. There were twenty-two votes for acquittal, twenty-nine for condemnation! [Note] Publius, no doubt by an eloquent peroration in his speech for the prosecution, had quickened the feelings of the jurors ! Herbalus [Note] was in the case. and behaved as usual. I said never a word. For my little girl, who is unwell, was afraid of offending Publius's feelings. After this was over the people of Reate conducted me to their Tempe, to plead their cause against the people of Interamna before the consul and ten commissioners, because the Veline Lake, which had been drained by Manius Curius by cutting away the mountain, flowed into the Nar, by which means the famous Rosia has been reclaimed from the swamp, though still fairly moist. [Note] I lived with Axius, who took me also to visit Seven Waters. I returned to Rome on the 9th of July for the sake of Fonteius. I entered the theatre. At first I was greeted with loud and general applause—but don't take any notice of that, I was a fool to mention it—then I turned my attention to Antiphon. He had been manumitted before being brought on to the stage. Not to keep you in suspense, he bore away the palm. But there never was anything so dwarfish, so destitute of voice, so—— But keep

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this to yourself. However, in the Andromache he was just taller than Astyanax: among the rest he had not one of his own height. You next ask about Arbuscula: she had a great success. The games were splendid and much liked. The wild-beast hunt was put off to a future occasion. Next follow me into the campus. Bribery is raging. "and I a sign to you will tell." [Note] The rate of interest from being four per cent. on the 15th of July has gone up to eight per cent. You will say, "Well, I don't mind that." [Note] What a man! What a citizen! Memmius is supported by all Caesar's influence. The consuls have formed a coalition between him and Domitius (Calvinus) on terms which I dare not commit to paper. Pompey rages, remonstrates, backs Scaurus, but whether only ostensibly or from the heart people don't feel sure. No one takes the lead: money reduces all to the same level. Messalla's chance is at a low ebb: not because he is wanting in spirit or friends, but because this coalition of the consuls, as well as Pompey's opposition, stands in his way. I think the result will be a postponement of the elections. The tribunician candidates have taken an oath to conduct their canvass according to the direction of Cato. They have deposited with him 500 sestertia apiece, on condition that whoever Cato condemns should forfeit it, and that it should be paid over to his competitors. I write this the day before the elections are to take place. But on the 28th of July, if they have taken place, and if the letter-carrier has not started, I will write you an account of the whole comitia: and, if they are conducted without corruption, Cato by himself will have been more efficacious than all laws and jurors put together. I have undertaken to defend Messius, who has been recalled from his legation: for Appius had named him legatus to Caesar. Servilius ordered his attendance in an edict. His jurors are to be from the tribes Pomptina, Velina, and Maecia. It is a sharp fight: however, it is going fairly well. After that I have to prepare myself for Drusus, then for Scaurus. Very high-sounding title-slips are being prepared for my speeches! Perhaps even the consuls-designate will be added to the list of my clients: and

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if Scaurus is not one of them, he will find himself in serious difficulties in this trial. Judging from my brother Quintus's letter, I suspect that by this time he is in Britain. I await news of him with anxiety. We have certainly gained one advantage—many unmistakable indications enable us to feel sure that we are in the highest degree liked and valued by Caesar. Please give my compliments to Dionysius, and beg and exhort him to come as soon as possible, that he may continue the instruction of my son and of myself as well.


CXLII (A IV, 16)


The bare fact of my letter being by the hand of an amanuensis will be a sign of the amount of my engagements. I have no fault to find with you as to the number of your letters, but most of them told me nothing except where you were, or at most shewed by the fact that they Came from you that no harm had happened to you. Of this class of letters there were two which gave me very great pleasure, dated by you from Buthrotum almost at the same time: for I was anxious to know that you had had a favourable crossing. But this constant supply of your letters did not give me so much pleasure by the richness of their contents as by their frequency. The one which your guest, M. Paccius, delivered to me was important and full of matter. I will therefore answer it. And this is the first thing I have to say: I have shewn Paccius, both by word and deed, what weight a recommendation from you has: accordingly, he is among my intimate friends, though unknown to me before. Now for the rest. Varro, of whom you write, shall be got in somewhere, if l can but find a place for him. [Note] But you know the style of my Dialogues: just as in those On the Orator, which you praise to the skies, a mention of anyone by the interlocutors was impossible, unless he had been known to or heard of by them, so in the "Dialogue on the Republic," which I have begun, I have put the discussion in the mouths of Africanus, Philus, Laelius, and Manilius. I have added two young men, Q. Tubero and P. Rutilius, and the two sons-in-law of Laelius, Scaevola and Fannius. So I am thinking how (since I employ introductions to each book, as Aristotle

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does in what he calls his "Exoterics") to contrive some pretext for naming your friend in a natural way, as I understand is your wish. May I only be enabled to carry out my attempt! For, as you cannot but observe, I have undertaken a subject wide, difficult, and requiring the utmost leisure—the very thing that, above all others, I lack. In those books which you commend you complain of the absence of Scaevola among the speakers. Well, I did not withdraw him without a set purpose, but I did exactly what that god of our idolatry, Plato, did in his Republic. When Socrates had come to the Piraeus on a visit to Cephalus, a wealthy and cheerful old man, during all the introductory conversation the old man takes part in the discussion; then, after having himself made a speech very much to the point, he says that he wants to go away to attend on the religious rites, and does not return again. I believe Plato hardly thought that it would be quite natural, if he kept a man of that age any longer in a conversation so protracted. I thought that I was bound to be still more careful in the case of Scaevola, who was at the age and with the broken health as you remember he then was, and who had enjoyed such high offices, that it was scarcely in accordance with etiquette for him to be staying several days in the Tusculan villa of Crassus. Besides, the conversation in the first book was not unconnected with Scaevola's special pursuits: the other books, as you know, contain a technical discussion. In such I was unwilling that that facetious veteran, as you know he was, should take part.

As to Pilia's business, which you mention, I will see to it. For the matter is quite clear, as you say, from the information supplied by Aurelianus, and in managing it I shall have also an opportunity of glorifying myself in my Tullia's eyes. I am supporting Vestorius: for I know that it gratifies you, and I am careful that he should understand that to be the case. But do you know the sort of man he is? Though he has two such good-natured people to deal with, nothing can exceed his impracticability. Now as to what you ask about Gaius Cato. You know that he was acquitted under the lex Junia Licinia : [Note]

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I have to tell you that he will be acquitted under the lex Fufia, [Note] and not so much to the satisfaction of his defenders as of his accusers. However, he has become reconciled to myself and Milo. Drusus has had notice of prosecution by Lucretius. The 3rd of July is the day fixed for challenging his jurors. About Procilius [Note] there are sinister rumours—but you know what the courts are. Hirrus is on good terms with Domitius. [Note] The senatorial decree which the present consuls have carried about the provinces—"whoever henceforth, etc."—does not seem to me likely to have any effect.

As to your question about Messalla, I don't know what to say: I have never seen candidates so closely matched. Messalla's means of support you know. Scaurus has had notice of prosecution from Triarius. If you ask me, no great feeling of sympathy for him has been roused. Still, his aedileship is remembered with some gratitude, and he has a certain hold on the country voters from the memory of his father. The two remaining plebeian candidates have compensating advantages which make them about equal: Domitius Calvinus is strong in friends, and is farther supported by his very popular exhibition of gladiators; Memmius finds favour with Caesar's veterans and relies on Pompey's client towns in Gaul. If this does not avail him, people think that some tribune will be found to push off the elections till Caesar comes back, especially since Cato has been acquitted.

I have answered your letter brought by Paccius: Now allow yourself to be scolded, if you deserve it. For you say in the letter from Buthrotum, delivered to me by C. Decimus, that you think you will have to go to Asia. There did not, by Hercules, seem to me to be anything that made it matter in the least whether you did the business by agents or in person; or anything to make you go so often and so far from your friends. But I could have wished that I had

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urged. this on you before you had taken any step. For I certainly should have had some influence on you. As things are, I will suppress the rest of my scolding. May it only have some effect in hastening your return! The reason of my not writing oftener to you is the uncertainty I am in as to where you are or are going to be. However, I thought I ought to give this letter to a chance messenger, because be seemed to be likely to see you. Since you think you really will go to Asia, pray tell me by what time we may expect you back, and what you have done about Eutychides.




You think I imagine that I write more rarely to you than I used to do from having forgotten my regular habit and purpose, but the fact is that, perceiving your locality and journeys to be equally uncertain, I have never entrusted a letter to anyone—either for Epirus, or Athens, or Asia, or anywhere else—unless he was going expressly to you. For my letters are not of the sort to make their non-delivery a matter of indifference; they contain so many confidential secrets that I do not as a rule trust them even to an amanuensis, for fear of some jest leaking out in some direction or another.

The consuls are in a blaze of infamy because Gaius Memmius, one of the candidates, read out in the senate a compact which he and his fellow candidate, Domitius Calvinus, had made with the consuls—that both were to forfeit to the consuls 40 sestertia apiece (in Case they were themselves elected consuls), if they did not produce three augurs to depose that they had been present at the passing of a lex curiata, which, in fact, had not been passed; and two consulars to depose to having helped to draft a decree for furnishing the consular provinces, though there had not even been a meeting of the senate at all. [Note] As this compact was alleged not to have been a mere verbal one, but to have

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been drawn up with the sums to be paid duly entered, formal orders for payment, and written attestations of many persons, it was, on the suggestion of Pompey, produced by Memmius, but with the names obliterated. It has made no difference to Appius—he had no character to lose! To the other consul it was a real knock-down blow, and he is, I assure you, a ruined man. Memmius, however, having thus dissolved the coalition, has lost all chance of election, and is by this time in a worse position than ever, because we are now informed that his revelation is strongly disapproved of by Caesar. Our friend Messalla and his fellow candidate, Domitius Calvinus, have been very liberal to the people. Nothing can exceed their popularity. They are certain to be consuls. But the senate has passed a decree that a "trial with closed doors" should be held before the elections in respect to each of the candidates severally. by the panels already allotted to them all. The candidates are in a great fright. But certain jurors—among them Opimius, Veiento, and Rantius—appealed to the tribunes to prevent their being called upon to act as jurors without an order of the people. [Note] The business goes on. The comitia are postponed by a decree of the senate till such time as the law for the "trial with closed doors " is carried. The day for passing the law arrived. Terentius vetoed it. The consuls, having all along conducted this business in a half-hearted kind of way, referred the matter back to the senate. Hereupon -Bedlam! my voice being heard with the rest. "Aren't you wise enough to keep quiet, after all?" you will say. Forgive me: I can hardly restrain myself. But, nevertheless, was there ever such a farce? The senate had voted that the elections should not be held till the law was passed: that, in case of a tribunician veto, the whole question should be referred to them afresh. The law is introduced in a perfunctory manner: is vetoed, to the great relief of the proposers: the matter is referred to the senate. Upon that the senate voted that it was for the interest of the state that the elections should be held at the earliest possible time! Scaurus, who had been acquitted a few days before, [Note] after a most elaborate speech from me on his behalf—when all the days up to the 29th of September (On which I write this) had one after the other been rendered impossible for the comitia by notices of ill omens put in by Scaevola—paid the people what they expected at his own house, tribe by tribe. But all the same, though his liberality was more generous, it was not so acceptable as that of the two mentioned above, who had got the start of him. I could have wished to see your face when you read this; [Note] for I am certain you entertain some hope that these transactions will occupy a great many weeks ! But there is to be a meeting of the senate today, that is, the 1st of October—for day is already breaking. There no one will speak his mind except Antius and Favonius, [Note] for Cato is ill. Don't be afraid

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about me : nevertheless, I make no promises. Is there anything else you want to know? Anything? Yes, the trials, I think. Drusus and Scaurus [Note] are believed not to have been guilty. Three candidates are thought likely to be prosecuted: Domitius Calvinus by Memmius, Messalla by Q. Pompeius Rufus, Scaurus [Note] by Triarius or by L. Caesar. "What will you be able to say for them?" quoth you. May I die if I know! In those books [Note] certainly, of which you speak so highly, I find no suggestion.

Now for the rest. From my brother's letter I gather surprising indications of Caesar's affection for me, and they have been confirmed by a very cordial letter from Caesar himself. The result of the British war is a source of anxiety. For it is ascertained that the approaches to the island are protected by astonishing masses of cliff. Moreover, it is now known that there isn't a pennyweight of silver in that island, nor any hope of booty except from slaves, among whom I don't suppose you can expect any instructed in literature or music.

Paullus has almost brought his basilica in the forum to the roof, using the same columns as were in the ancient building: the part for which he gave out a contract he is building on the most magnificent scale. [Note] Need I say more? Nothing could be more gratifying or more to his glory than such a monument. Accordingly, the friends of Caesar—I mean myself and Oppius, though you burst with anger—have thought nothing of 60,000 sestertia for that monument, which you used to speak of in such high terms, in order to enlarge the forum and extend it right up to the Hall of Liberty. The claims of private owners could not be satisfied for less. We will make it a most glorious affair. For in the Campus Martius we are about to erect voting places for the comitia tributa, of marble and covered, and to surround them with a lofty colonnade a mile in circumference: at the same time the Villa Publica will also be connected with these erections. [Note] You will say: "What good will this monument do me?" But why should I trouble myself about that? I have told you all the news at Rome: for I don't suppose you want to know about the lustrum, of which there is now no hope, [Note] or about the trials which are being held under the (Cincian) law. [Note] 4.18

CLIII (A IV, 18)


As it is, [Note] to tell you my opinion of affairs, we must put up with it. You ask me how I have behaved. With firmness and dignity. "What about Pompey," you will say, "how did he take it?" With great consideration, and with the conviction that he must have some regard for my position, until a satisfactory atonement had been made to me. "How, then," you will say, "was the acquittal secured?" It was a case of mere dummies, [Note] and incredible incompetence on the part of the accusers—that is to say, of L. Lentulus, son of Lucius, who, according to the universal murmur, acted collusively. In the next place, Pompey was extraordinarily urgent; and the jurors were a mean set of fellows. Yet, in spite of everything, there were thirty-two votes for conviction, thirty-eight for acquittal. There are the other prosecutions hanging over his head: he is by no means entirely free yet. You will say, "Well, then, how do you bear it?" With the best air possible, by heaven! and I really do plume myself on my behaviour. We have lost, my dear Pomponius, not only all the healthy sap and blood of our old constitution, but even its colour and outward show. There is no Republic to give a moment's pleasure or a feeling of security. "And is that, then," you will say, "a satisfaction to you?" Precisely that. For I recall what a fair course the state had for a short time, while I was at the helm, and what a return has been made me! It does not give me a pang that one man absorbs all power. The men to burst with envy are those who were indignant at my having had some power. There are many things which console me, without my departing an inch from my regular position; and I am returning to the life best suited to my

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natural disposition—to letters and the studies that I love. My labour in pleading I console by my delight in oratory. I find delight in my town house and my country residences. I do not recall the height from which I have fallen, but the humble position from which I have risen. As long as I have my brother and you with me, let those fellows be hanged, drawn, and quartered for all I care: I can play the philosopher with you. That part of my soul, in which in old times irritability had its home, has grown completely callous. I find no pleasure in anything that is not private and domestic. You will find me in a state of magnificent repose, to which nothing contributes more than the prospect of your return. For there is no one in the wide world whose feelings are so much in sympathy with my own. But now let me tell you the rest. Matters are drifting on to an interregnum; and there is a dictatorship in the air, in fact a good deal of talk about it, which did Gabinius also some service with timid jurors. All the candidates for the consulship are charged with bribery. You may add to them Gabinius, on whom L. Sulla had served notice, feeling certain that he was in a hopeless position—Torquatus having, without success, demanded to have the prosecution. But they will all be acquitted, and henceforth no one will be condemned for any. thing except homicide. This last charge is warmly pressed, and accordingly informers are busy. M. Fulvius Nobilior has been convicted. Many others have had the wit to abstain from even putting in an appearance. Is there any more news? Yes! After Gabinius's acquittal another panel of jurors, in a fit of irritation, an hour later condemned Antiochus Gabinius, some fellow from the studio of Sopolis, a freedman and orderly officer of Gabinius, under the lex Papia. Consequently he at once remarked, "So the Republic will not acquit me under the law of treason as it did you!" [Note]

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Pomptinus wants to celebrate a triumph on the 2nd of November. He is openly opposed by the praetors Cato and Servilius and the tribune Q. Mucius. For they say that no law for his imperium was ever carried : [Note] and this one too was carried, by heaven, in a stupid way. But Pomptinus will have the consul Appius on his side. [Note] Cato, however, declares that he shall never triumph so long as he is alive. I think this affair, like many of the same sort, will come to nothing. Appius thinks of going to Cilicia without a law, and at his own expense. [Note] I received a letter on the 24th of October from my brother and from Caesar, dated from the nearest Coasts of Britain on the 26th of September. Britain done with ... hostages taken no booty ... a tribute, however, imposed; they were on the point of bringing back the army. Q. Pilius has just set out to join Caesar. If you have any love for me or your family, or any truth in you, or even if you have any taste left, and any idea of enjoying all your blessings, it is really time for you to be on your way home, and, in fact, almost here. I vow I cannot get on without you. And what wonder that I can't get on without you, when I miss Dionysius so much? The latter, in fact, as soon as the day comes, both I and my young Cicero will demand of you. The last letter I had from you was dated Ephesus, 9th of August.

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CLVII (A IV, 19)


At last the long-expected letter from you! Back to Italy, how delightful! What wonderful fidelity to your promise! What a charming voyage! About this last, by Hercules, I was very nervous, remembering the fur wrappers of your former crossing. But, unless I am mistaken, I shall see you sooner than you say in your letter. For I believe you thought that your ladies were in Apulia, and when you find that not to be the case, what can there be to detain you there? Are you bound to give Vestorius some days, and must you go through the stale banquet of his Latin Atticism again after an interval? Nay, fly hither and visit (the remains) of that genuine Republic of ours! .. [Note] Observe my strength of mind and my supreme indifference to the Felician [Note] one-twelfth legacy, and also, by heaven, my very gratifying connexion with Caesar—for this delights me as the one spar left me from the present shipwreck—Caesar, I say, who treats your and my Quintus, heavens! with what honour, respect, and favours! It is exactly as if I were the imperator. The choice was just lately offered him of selecting any of the winter quarters, as he writes me word. Wouldn't you be fond of such a man as that? Of which of your friends would you, if not of him? But look you! did I write you word that I was legatus to Pompey, and should be outside the city from the 13th of January onwards? This appeared to me to square with many things. But why say more? I will, I think, reserve the rest till we meet,

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that you may, after all, have something to look forward to. My very best regards to Dionysius, for whom, indeed, I have not merely kept a place, but have even built one. In fine, to the supreme joy of your return, a finishing stroke will be added by his arrival. The day you arrive, you and your party will, I entreat you, stay with me.

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