Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
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7.12

CCCIV (A VII, 12)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME) FORMIAE, 22 JANUARY

As yet I have received only one letter from you dated the 19th, and in it you indicated that you had written another, which I have not received. But I beg you to write as often as possible, not only whatever you know or have been told, but also what you suspect, and above all what you think I ought to do or not to do. You ask me to be sure to let you know what Pompey is doing: I don't think he knows himself, certainly none of us do. I saw the consul Lentulus at Formiae on the 21st; I have seen Libo. Nothing but terror and uncertainty everywhere! Pompey is on the road to Larinum; for there are some cohorts there, as also at Luceria and Teanum, and in the rest of Apulia. After that nobody knows whether he means to make a stand anywhere, or to cross the sea. If he stays in Italy, I am afraid he cannot have a dependable army: but if he goes away, where I am to go or stay, or what I am to do, I don't know. For the man, whose "Phalarism" [Note] you dread, will, I think, spare no form of brutality: nor will the suspension

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of business, nor the departure of senate and magistrates, nor the Closing of the treasury Cause him to pause. But all this, as you say, we shall know before long. Meanwhile, forgive my writing to you at such length and so often. For I find some relief in it, and at the same time want to draw a letter from you, and above all some advice as to what I am to do and how to conduct myself. Shall I commit myself wholly to this side? I am not deterred by the danger, but I am bursting with vexation. Such a want of all plan! so utterly opposed in every respect to my advice! Am I to procrastinate and trim, and then join the winning side, the party in power? "I dread to face the Trojans," [Note] and I am held back from that course by the duty not only of a citizen, but also of a friend, though my resolution is often weakened by pity for my children. Do, therefore, though equally anxious yourself; write something to a man in this state of utter uncertainty, and especially what you think I ought to do in case of Pompey's quitting Italy. Manius Lepidus, for his part—for we have been together-draws the line at that, and so does L. Torquatus I am hampered, among many other things, by my lictors: I have never seen such a hopeless entanglement. Accordingly, I don't expect anything positive from you, but merely your present impression. In fact, I want to know what the precise difficulty in your mind is. It is all but certain that Labienus [Note] has abandoned him. If it could only have been possible that on coming to Rome Labienus had found magistrates and a senate there, he would have been of eminent service to our cause.. For it would have been Clear that loyalty to the Republic had caused him to hold one who was his friend guilty of treason. This is clear even now, but of less practical advantage: for there is no one to be of advantage to, and I expect him to feel some dissatisfaction—unless perchance

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it is not true, after all, that he has abandoned Caesar. For myself; I am convinced that it is true. Pray, though you say you confine yourself to the limits of your own house, do give me a sketch of the City. Is Pompey missed? Is there any appearance of a feeling against Caesar? What, too, is your opinion as to Terentia and Tullia? Should they stay at Rome, or join me, or seek some place of safety? On this, and indeed on any other point, pray write to me, or rather keep on writing.



Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Att.].
<<Cic. Att. 7.11 Cic. Att. 7.12 (Latin) >>Cic. Att. 7.13

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