Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 - 46 63:
Letters to Atticus
 
1 About Me 8
2 Education
3 Philosophy
4 Politics
5 News
6 Travel
7 Sports
8 Funding
 
3 27
 
419
Page Data
Menu Pages .5 Time 25
Body Pages 218 Time 3:02
Menu to Body .2% 1/436
Chapters 114
Pages per chapter 1.9
5 20
1
1 - 1 To Athens from Rome 65 BC

The state of things in regard to my candidature, in which I know that you are supremely interested, is this, as far as can be as yet conjectured. The only person actually canvassing is P. Sulpicius Galba.

 He meets with a good old-fashioned refusal without reserve or disguise. In the general opinion this premature canvass of his is not unfavourable to my interests; for the voters generally give as a reason for their refusal that they are under obligations to me. So I hope my prospects are to a certain degree improved by the report getting about that my friends are found to be numerous. My intention was to begin my own canvass just at the very time that Cincius  tells me that your servant starts with this letter, namely, in the campus at the time of the tribunician elections on the 17th of July. My fellow candidates, to mention only those who seem certain, are Galba and Antonius and Q. Cornificius. At this I imagine you smiling or sighing. Well, to make you positively smite your forehead, there are people who actually think that Caesonius will stand. I don't think Aquilius will, for he openly disclaims it and has alleged as an excuse his health and his leading position at the bar. Catiline will certainly be a candidate, if you can imagine a jury finding that the sun does not shine at noon. As for Aufidius and Palicanus,  I don't think you will expect to hear from me about them. Of the candidates for this year's election Caesar is considered certain. Thermus is looked upon as the rival of Silanus.  These latter are so weak both in friends and reputation that it seems pas impossible to bring in Curius over their heads. But no one else thinks so. What seems most to my interests is that Thermus should get in with Caesar. For there is none of those at present canvassing who, if left over to my year, seems likely to be a stronger candidate, from the fact that he is Commissioner of the via Flaminia, and when that has been finished, I shall be greatly relieved to have seen him elected consul this election.  Such in outline is the position of affairs in regard to candidates up to date. For myself I shall take the greatest pains to carry out all the duties of a candidate, and perhaps, as Gaul seems to have a considerable voting power, as soon as business at Rome has come to a standstill I shall obtain a libera legatio and make an excursion in the courseof September to visit Piso,  but so as not to be back later than January. When I have ascertained the feelings of the nobility I will write you word. Everything else I hope will go smoothly, at any rate while my competitors are such as are now in town. You must undertake to secure for me the entourage of our friend Pompey, since you are nearer than I. Tell him I shall not be annoyed if he doesn't come to my election. So much for that business. But there is a matter for which I am very anxious that you should forgive me. Your uncle Caecilius having been defrauded of a large sum of money by P. Varius, began an action against his cousin A. Caninius Satyrus for the property which (as he alleged) the latter had received from Varius by a collusive sale. He was joined in this action by the other creditors, among whom were Lucullus and P. Scipio, and the man whom they thought would be official receiver if the property was put up for sale, Lucius Pontius; though it is ridiculous to be talking about a receiver at this stage in the proceedings. Caecilius asked me to appear for him against satyrus. Now, scarcely a day passes that Satyrus does not call at my house. The chief object of his attentions is L Domitius,  but I am next in his regard. He has been of great service both to myself and to my brother Quintus in our elections. I was very much embarrassed by my intimacy with Satyrus as well as that with Domitius, on whom the success of my election depends more than on anyone else. I pointed out these facts to Caecilius; at the same time I assured him that if the case had been one exclusively between himself and Satyrus, I would have done what he wished. As the matter actually stood, all the creditors being concerned--and that too men of the highest rank, who without the aid of anyone specially retained by Caecilius, would have no difficulty in maintaining their common cause--it was only fair that he should have consideration both for my private friendship and my present situation. He seemed to take this somewhat less courteously than I could have wished or than is usual among gentlemen; and from that time forth 'he has entirely withdrawn from the intimacy with me, which was only of a few day's standing.  Pray forgive me, and believe that I was prevented by nothing but natural kindness from assailing the reputation of a friend in so vital a point at a time of such very great distress, considering that he had shown me every sort of kindness and attention. But if you incline to the harsher view of my conduct, take it that the interests of my canvass prevented me. Yet, even granting that to be so, I think you should pardon me, "since not for sacred beast or oxhide shield."  You see in fact the position I am in and how necessary I regard it, not only to retain but even 'to acquire all possible sources of popularity. I hope I have justified myself in your eyes, I am at any rate anxious to have done so. The Hermathena you sent I am delighted with: it has been placed with such Charming effect that the whole gymnasium seems arranged specially for it.  I am exceedingly obliged to you.

 
1 - 2 To Athens from Rome 65 BC

I have to inform you that on the day of the election of L. Iulius Caesar and C. Marcius Figulus to the Consulship, I had an addition to my family in the shape of a baby boy. Terentia doing well.

Why such a time without a letter from you? I have already written to you fully about my circumstances. At this present time I am considering whether to undertake the defence of my fellow candidate, Catiline.  We have a jury to our minds with full consent of the prosecutor. I hope that if he is acquitted he will be more closely united with me in the conduct of our canvass; but if the result be otherwise I shall bear it with resignation. Your early return is of great importance to me, for there is a very strong idea prevailing that some intimate friends of yours, persons of high rank, will be opposed to my election. To win me their favour I see that I shall want you very much. Wherefore be sure to be in Rome in January, as you have agreed to be.

 
1 - 3 To Athens from Rome 65 BC

I have to inform you of the death of your grandmother from pining at your long absence, and at the same time because she was afraid that the Latin towns would revolt and fail to bring the victims up the Alban Mount. I presume that L. Saufeius will send you a letter of condolence on the subject.   I am expecting you here in the course of January--is it a mere rumour or does it come from letters of yours to others? For to me you have not mentioned the subject. The statues which you got for me have been landed at Caieta. I haven't seen them, for I have been unable to leave Rome. I have sent a man to clear the freightage. I am exceedingly obliged to you for having taken so much trouble to get them, and so reasonably. As to your frequent remarks in your letters about pacifying my friend, I have done everything I could and tried every expedient; but he is inveterate against you to a surprising degree, on what suspicions though I think you have been told, you shall yet learn from me when you come. I failed to restore Sallustius to his old place in his affections, and yet he was on the spot I tell you this because the latter used to find fault with me in regard to you Well, he has found by personal experience that he is not so easy to pacify, and that on my part no zeal has been lacking either on his or your behalf. I have betrothed Tulliola to C. Piso Frugi, son of Lucius.

 
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You keep on making me expect you again and again. Only the other day, when I thought you on the point of arriving, I was suddenly put off by you till Quintilis (July). Now, however, I do think that you should Come at the time you mention if you possibly can. You will thereby be in time for my brother Quintus's election, will pay me long-deferred visit, and will settle the dispute with Acutilius. This latter Peducaeus also suggested my mentioning to you, for I think it is full time that you settled that affair. My good offices are at your service and always have been so. Here at Rome I have conducted the case of Gaius Macer with a popular approval surpassing belief and unparalleled. Though I had been inclined to take a lenient view of his case, yet I gained much more substantial advantage from the popular approval on his condemnation than I should have got from his gratitude if he had been acquitted.  I am very glad to hear what you say about the Hermathena. It is an ornament appropriate to my "Academia" for two reasons: Hermes is a sign Common to all gymnasia, Minerva specially of this particular one. So I would have you, as you say, adorn the place with the other objects also, and the more the better. The statues which you sent me before I have not yet seen. They are in my villa at Formiae, whither I am at this moment thinking of going. I shall get them all transferred to my Tusculan villa. If I find myself with more than I want there I shall begin adorning Caieta. Please reserve your books, and don't despair of my being able to make them mine. If I succeed in that, I am superior to Crassus in wealth and look down on everybody's manors and pastures.

 
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We are such intimate friends that more than almost anyone else you can appreciate the grief as well as the actual public and private loss that the death of my cousin Lucius is to me. There is absolutely no gratification which any human being can receive from the kindly character of another that I have not been accustomed to receive from him. I am sure, therefore, that you will share my grief. For, in the first place, whatever affects me affects you; and in the second place, you have yourself lost in him a friend and connexion of the highest character and most obliging disposition, who was attached to you from personal inclination, as well as from my conversation.

As to what you say in your letter about your sister,  she will herself bear me witness what pains I have taken that my brother Quintus should show her proper affection. Thinking him somewhat inclined to be angry with her, I wrote to him in such a way as I thought would not hurt his feelings as a brother, while giving him some good advice as my junior, and remonstrating with him as being in the wrong. The result is that, from frequent letters since received from him, I feel confident that everything is as it ought and as we should wish it to be.

As to the frequency of my letters you have no ground for your complaint. The fact is our good sister Pomponia never informed me of there being a courier ready to take a letter. Farthermore, I never chanced to know of anyone going to Epirus,  and I was not till recently informed of your being at Athens.

Again, as to the business of Acutilius which you had left in my hands. I had settled it on my first visit to Rome after your departure. But it turned out that, in the first place, there was no urgency in the matter, and, in the second place, as I felt confidence in your judgment, I preferred that Peducaeus  rather than myself should advise you by letter on the subject. For having submitted my ears to Acutilius for several days (and I think you know his style), I should scarcely have regarded it as a hardship to write you a letter describing his grumblings after patiently enduring the bore (and it was rather a bore, I can tell you) of hearing them. Moreover, though you find fault with me, allow me to observe that I have had only one letter from you, though you had greater leisure for writing, and more opportunity of sending letters.

As to what you say in your letter, "Even if anyone is inclined to be offended with you, I ought to bring him to a better mind"—I understand to what you allude, and I have not neglected the matter. But the truth is that the extent of his displeasure is something surprising. However, I have not omitted to say anything there was to say in your behalf: but on what points I am to hold out your wishes, I consider, ought to be my guide. If you will write me word distinctly what they are, you will find that I have had no desire to be more exacting, and in the future shall be no more yielding, than you wish.

As to the business of Tadius. He tells me that you have written him word that there was no need of farther trouble, since the property is secured by prescription. I am surprised that you do not know that in the case of a statutory wardship of an unmarried girl prescription cannot be pleaded.

I am glad you like your purchase in Epirus. What I commissioned you to get for me, and anything you see suitable to my Tusculan villa, I should be glad if you will, as you say in your letter, procure for me, only don't put yourself to any inconvenience. The truth is, there is no other place that gives me complete rest after all my worries and hard work.

I am expecting my brother Quintus every day. Terentia has a severe attack of rheumatism. She is devoted to you, to your sister, and your mother, and adds her kindest regards in a postscript. So does my pet Tulliola. Love me, and be assured that I love you as a brother.

 
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I won¹t give you any excuse hereafter for accusing me of neglecting to write. It is you that must take care that with all your leisure you keep up with me.

Rabirius's house at Naples  for the improvement of which you have designs drawn out and completed in imagination, has been bought by M. Fonteius  for 130,000 sesterces. I wished you to know this in case you were still hankering after it.

We may be quite satisfied, I think, with my brother's feelings towards Pomponia. He is with her at present in his villa at Arpinum, and has Decimus Turanius with him, who is great in belles lettres.

The date of my father's death was the 28th of November.

That is about all my news. If you light on any articles of vertu suitable for a gymnasium, which would look well in the place you know of;  please don't let them slip. I am so delighted with my Tusculan villa that I never feel really happy till I get there. Let me know exactly what you are doing and intending to do about everything.

 
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All's well at your mother's,  and I keep an eye on her. I have undertaken to pay L. Cincius 20,400 sesterces  to your credit on the Ides of February. Pray see that I receive at the earliest possible opportunity what you say in your letters that you have bought and secured for me. I should also be very much obliged if you would, as you promised, think over the means of securing the library for me. My hope of getting the one enjoyment which I care for, when I come to retire, depends entirely on your kindness.

 
1 - 8 To Athens from Rome 67 BC

All well at your house. Your mother and sister are regarded with affection by me and my brother Quintus. I have spoken to Acutilius. He says that he has not heard from his agent, and professes surprise that you should make any difficulty of his having refused to guarantee you against farther demands. As to the business of Tadius, the announcement in your letter that you have settled the matter Out of court I saw gratified and pleased him very much. That friend of mine --a most excellent man, upon my honour, and most warmly attached to me--is very angry with you. If I could but know how much you care about it, I should be able to decide how much trouble I am to take in the matter. I have paid L. Cincius the 20,400 sesterces written for the Megaric statues in accordance with your letter to me. As to your Hermae of Pentelic marble with bronze heads, about which you wrote to me--I have fallen in love with them on the spot. So pray send both them and the statues, and anything else that may appear to you to suit the place you know of, my passion, and your taste--as large a supply and as early as possible. Above all, anything you think appropriate to a gymnasium and terrace. I have such a passion for things of this sort that while I expect assistance from you, I must expect something like rebuke from others. If Lentulus has no vessel there, put them on board anyone you please. My pet Tulliola claims your present and duns me as your security. I am resolved, however, to disown the obligation rather than pay up for you.

 
1 - 9 To Athens from Rome 67 BC

I get letters from you far too seldom considering that you can much more easily find people starting for Rome than I to Athens: considering, too, that you are more certain of my being at Rome than I of your being at Athens. For instance, it is owing to this uncertainty on my part that this very letter is somewhat short, because not being sure as to where you are, I don't choose my confidential talk to fall into strange hands. The Megaric statues and the Hermae, which you mentioned in your letters, I am waiting for impatiently. Anything you have of the same kind which may strike you as worthy of my "Academia," do not hesitate to send, and have Complete Confidence in my money-chest. My present delight is to pick up anything particularly suitable to a "gymnasium." Lentulus promises the use of his ships. I beg you to be zealous in these matters. Thyillus begs you (and I also at his request) to get him some writings of the Eumolpidae.

 
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"Being in my Tusculan villa" (that's for your "being in the Ceramicus")--however, I being there, a courier sent by your sister arrived from Rome and delivered me a letter from you, announcing at the same time that the courier who was going to you started that very afternoon. The result is that, though I do send an answer, I am forced by the shortness of the time to write only these few words. First, as to softening my friend's feeling towards you, or even reconciling him outright, I pledge you my word to do so. Though I have been attempting it already on my own account, I will now urge the point more earnestly and press him closer, as I think I gather from your letter that you are so set upon it. This much I should like you to realize, that he is very deeply offended; but since I cannot see any serious ground for it, I feel confident that he will do as I wish and yield to my influence. As for my statues and Hermeracles, pray put them on board, as you say in your letter, at your very earliest convenience, and anything else you light upon that may seem to you appropriate to the place you know of, especially anything you think suitable to a palaestra and gymnasium. I say this because I am sitting there as I write. so that the very place itself reminds me. Besides these, I commission you to get me some medallions to let into the walls of my little entrance-court, and two engraved stone-curbs. Mind you don't engage your library to anyone, however keen a lover you may find; for I am hoarding up my little savings expressly to secure that resource for my old age. As to my brother, I trust that all is as I have ever wished and tried to make it. There are many signs of that result--not least that your sister is enceinte. As for my election, I don't forget that I left the question entirely to you, and I have all along been telling our common friends that I have not only not asked you to come, but have positively forbidden you to do so, because I understood that it was much more important to you to carry through the business you have now in hand, than it is to me to have you at my election. I wish you therefore to feel as though you had been sent to where you are in my interests. Nay, you will find me feeling towards you, and hear of it from others, exactly as though my success were obtained not only in your presence, but by your direct agency.

Tulliola gives notice of action against you. She is dunning me as your surety.

 
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I was doing so before spontaneously, and have been since greatly stirred by your two letters, with their earnest expressions to the same effect. Besides, Sallustius has been always at my side to prompt me to spare no pains to induce Lucceius to be reconciled to you. But after doing everything that could be done, not only did I fail to renew his old feelings towards you, but I could not even succeed in eliciting the reason of his alienation. On his part, however, he keeps harping on that arbitration case of his, and the other matters which I knew very well before you left Rome were causing him offence. Still, he has certainly got something else fixed deeper in his mind; and this no letters from you, and no commissioning of me will obliterate as easily as you will do in a personal interview, I don't mean merely by your words, but by the old familiar expression of your face--if only you think it worth while, as you will if you will listen to me, and be willing to act with your habitual kindness. Finally, you need not wonder why it is that, whereas I intimated in my letters that I felt hopeful of his yielding to my influence, I now appear to have no such confidence; for you can scarcely believe how much more stubborn his sentiment appears to me than I expected, and how much more obstinate he is in this anger. However, all this will either be cured when you come, or will only be painful to the party in fault.

As to the sentence in your letter, "you suppose by this time I am praetor-elect," let me tell you that there is no class of people at Rome so harassed by every kind of unreasonable difficulty as candidates for office; and that no one knows when the elections will be. 1 However, you will hear all this from Philadelphus. Pray despatch at the earliest opportunity what you have bought for my "Academia." I am surprisingly delighted with the mere thought of that place, to say nothing of its actual occupation. Mind also not to let anyone else have your books. Reserve them, as you say in your letter, for me. I am possessed with the utmost longing for them, as I am with a loathing for affairs of every other kind, which you will find in an incredibly worse position than when you left them.

 
1 - 12 To Epirus from Rome 61 BC

The Teucris  business hangs fire, and Cornelius has not called on Terentia since. I suppose I must have recourse to Considius, Axius, and Selicius:  for his nearest relations can't get a penny out of Caecilius  at under twelve per cent. But to return to my first remark: I never saw anything more shameless, artful, and dilatory. "I am on the point of sending my freedman," "I have commissioned Titus"—excuses and delays at every turn! But perhaps it is a case of l'homme propose,  for Pompey's advance couriers tell me that he means to move in the senate that a successor to Antonius ought to be named, and the praetor intends to bring the proposal before the people at the same time. The facts are such that I cannot defend him in view of the opinion either of the aristocrats or the people, and, what is more than anything else, that I have no wish to do so. For a thing has happened into the truth of which I charge you to look thoroughly. I have a freedman, who is a worthless fellow enough; I mean Hilarus, an accountant and a client of your own. The interpreter Valerius gives me this information about him, and Thyillus writes me word that he has been told the same story: that the fellow is with Antonius, and that Antonius, in exacting money payments, frequently remarks that a part is being collected for me, and that I have sent a freedman to look after our common interests. I felt exceedingly disturbed, and yet could not believe it; but at any rate there has been some gossip of the sort. Pray look into the whole matter, learn the truth, find out the author, and get the empty-headed idiot out of the Country, if you possibly can. Valerius mentions Cn. Plancius as the origin of this gossip. I trust you thoroughly to investigate and find out what is at the bottom of it. I have good reason to believe that Pompey is most kindly disposed to me. His divorce of Mucia is strongly approved.  I suppose you have heard that P. Clodius, son of Appius, was caught in woman's clothes at Gaius Caesar's house, while the state function was going on, and that he was saved and got out by means of a maid-servant: and that the affair is causing immense scandal. I feel sure you will be sorry for it.  I have nothing else to tell you. And, indeed, at the moment of writing, I am in considerable distress: for a delightful youth, my reader Sosthenes, has just died, and his death has affected me more than that of a slave should, I think, do. Pray write often. If you have no news, write just what comes uppermost.

1 January, in the consulship of M. Messalla and M. Piso.

 
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I have now received three letters from you—one by the hands of M. Cornelius, which you gave him, I think, at Three Taverns; a second which your host at Canusium delivered to me; a third dated, according to you, from on board your pinnace, when the cable was already slipped.  They were all three, to use a phrase from the schools of rhetoric flavoured with the salt of learning, and illumined with the marks of affection. In these letters, indeed, I am urgently pressed by you to send answers, but what renders me rather dilatory in this respect is the difficulty of finding a trustworthy carrier. How few of these gentry are able to convey a letter rather weightier than usual without lightening it by skimming its contents! Besides, I do not always care to send  whenever anyone is starting for Epirus: for I suppose that, having offered victims before your Amaltheia, you at once started for the siege of Sicyon. And yet I am not even certain when you start to visit Antonius or how much time you are devoting to Epirus. Accordingly, I don't venture to trust either Achaeans or Epirotes with a letter somewhat more outspoken than usual. Now some events have occurred since you left me worth my writing to you, but they must not be trusted to the risk of a letter being lost, opened, or intercepted.

Well, then, to begin with: I was not called upon to speak first, and the pacifier of the Allobroges  was preferred to me, and though this met with some murmurs of disapprobation from the senate, I was not sorry it was done. For I am thereby freed from any obligation to show respect to an ill-conditioned man, and am at liberty to support my position in the Republic in spite of him. Besides, the second place has a dignity almost equal to that of princeps senatus, and does not put one under too much of an obligation to the consul. The third called on was Catulus; the fourth, if you want to go still farther, Hortensius. The consul himself  is a man of a small and ill-regulated mind, a mere buffoon of that splenetic kind which raises a laugh even in the absence of wit: it is his face rather than his facetiousness  that causes merriment : he takes practically no part in public business, and is quite alienated from the Optimates. You need expect no service to the state from him, for he has not the will to do any, nor fear any damage, for he hasn't the courage to inflict it. His colleague, however, treats me with great distinction, and is also a zealous supporter of the loyalist party. For the present their disagreement has not come to much; but I fear that this taint may spread farther. For I suppose you have heard that when the state function was being performed in Caesar's house a man in woman's dress got in,  and that the Vestals having performed the rite again, mention was made of the matter in the senate by Q. Cornificius—he was the first, so don't think that it was one of us consulars—and that on the matter being referred by a decree of the senate to the Virgins and pontifices, they decided that a sacrilege had been committed: that then, on a farther decree of the senate, the consuls published a bill: and that Caesar divorced his wife. On this question Piso, from friendship for P. Clodius, is doing his best to get the bill promulgated by himself (though in accordance with a decree of the senate and on a point of religion) rejected. Messalla as yet is strongly for severe measures. The loyalists hold aloof owing to the entreaties of Clodius : bands of ruffians are being got together: I myself, at first a stern Lycurgus, am becoming daily less and less keen about it: Cato is hot and eager. In short, I fear that between the indifference of the loyalists and the support of the disloyal it may be the cause of great evils to the Republic. However, your great friend —do you know whom I mean?—of whom you said in your letter that, "not venturing to blame me, he was beginning to be complimentary," is now to all appearance exceedingly fond of me, embraces me, loves and praises me in public, while in secret (though unable to disguise it) he is jealous of me. No good-breeding, no straightforwardness, no political morality, no distinction, no courage, no liberality! But on these points I will write to you more minutely at another time; for in the first place I am not yet quite sure about them, and in the next place I dare not entrust a letter on such weighty matters to such a casual nobody's son as this messenger.

The praetors have not yet drawn their lots for the provinces. The matter remains just where you left it. The description of the scenery of Misenum and Puteoli which you ask for I will include in my speech.  I had already noticed the mistake in the date, 3rd of December. The points in my speeches which you praise, believe me, I liked very much myself, but did not venture to say so before. Now, however, as they have received your approval, I think them much more "Attic" than ever. To the speech in answer to Metellus.  I have made some additions. The book shall be sent you, since affection for me gives you a taste for rhetoric. What news have I for you? Let me see. Oh, yes! The consul Messalla has bought Antonius's house for 3,400 sestertia. What is that to me? you will say. Why, thus much. The price has convinced people that I made no bad bargain, and they begin to understand that in making a purchase a man may properly use his friends' means to get what suits his position. The Teucris affair drags on, yet I have hopes. Pray settle the business you have in hand. You shall have a more outspoken letter soon.

27 January, in the consulship of M. Messalla and M. Piso.

 
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I fear it may seem affectation to tell you how occupied I have been; but I am so distracted with business that I have only just found time for this short letter, and that has been stolen from the most urgent engagements. I have already described to you Pompey's first public speech—it did not please the poor, nor satisfy the disloyal, nor find favour with the wealthy, nor appear sound to the loyalists; accordingly, he is down in the world. Presently, on the instigation of the consul Piso, that most insignificant of tribunes, Fufius, brought Pompey on to the platform. The meeting was in the circus Flaminius, and there was in the same place that day a crowd of market people—a kind of tiers état.  He asked him to say whether he approved of the jurymen being selected by the praetor, to form a panel for the praetor himself to employ. That was the regulation made by the senate in the matter of Clodius's sacrilege. Thereupon Pompey made a highly "aristocratic" speech, and replied (and at great length) that in all matters the authority of the senate was of the greatest weight in his eyes and had always been so. Later on the consul Messalla in the senate asked Pompey his opinion as to the sacrilege and the bill that had been published. His speech in the senate amounted to a general commendation of all decrees of the house, and when he sat down he said to me, "I think my answer covers your case also." When Crassus observed that Pompey had got a cheer from the idea in men's minds that he approved my consulship, he rose also to his feet and delivered a speech in the most complimentary terms on my consulship, going so far as to say that he owed it to me that he was still a senator, a citizen, nay, a free man; and that he never beheld wife, home, or country without beholding the fruits of my conduct. In short: that whole topic, which I am wont to paint in various colours in my speeches (of which you are the Aristarchus), the fire, the sword—you know my paint-pots—he elaborated to the highest pitch. I was sitting next to Pompey. I noticed that he was agitated, either at Crassus earning the gratitude which he had himself neglected, or to think that my achievements were, after all, of such magnitude that the senate was so glad to hear them praised, especially by a man who was the less under an obligation to praise me, because in everything I ever wrote  my praise of Pompey was practically a reflection on him. This day has brought me very close to Crassus, and yet in spite of all I accepted with pleasure any compliment—open or covert—from Pompey. But as for my own speech, good heavens! how I did "put it on" for the benefit of my new auditor Pompey! If I ever did bring every art into play, I did then—period, transition, enthymeme, deduction—everything. In short, I was cheered to the echo. For the subject of my speech was the dignity of the senate, its harmony with the equites, the unanimity of Italy, the dying embers of the conspiracy, the fall in prices, the establishment of peace. You know my thunder when these are my themes. It was so loud, in fact, that I may cut short my description, as I think you must have heard it even in Epirus.

The state of things at Rome is this: the senate is a perfect Areopagus. You cannot conceive anything firmer, more grave, or more high-spirited. For when the day came for proposing the bill in accordance with the vote of the senate, a crowd of our dandies with their chin-tufts assembled, all the Catiline set, with Curio's girlish son at their head, and implored the people to reject it. Moreover, Piso the consul, who formally introduced the bill, spoke against it. Clodius's hired ruffians had filled up the entrances to the voting boxes. The voting tickets were so manipulated that no "ayes" were distributed. Hereupon imagine Cato hurrying to the rostra, delivering an admirable invective against the consul, if we can call that an "invective" which was really a speech of the utmost weight and authority, and in fact containing the most salutary advice. He is followed to the same effect by your friend Hortensius, and many loyalists besides, among whom, however, the contribution of Favonius was conspicuous. By this rally of the Optimates the comitia is dissolved, the senate summoned. On the question being put in a full house—in spite of the opposition of Piso, and in spite of Clodius throwing himself at the feet of the senators one after the other—that the consuls should exhort the people to pass the bill, about fifteen voted with Curio, who was against any decree being passed; on the other side there were fully four hundred. So the vote passed. The tribune Fufius then gave in.  Clodius delivered some wretched speeches to the people, in which he bestowed some injurious epithets on Lucullus, Hortensius, C. Piso, and the consul Messalla; me he only charged with having "discovered" everything.  In regard to the assignation of provinces to the praetors, the hearing legations, and other business, the senate voted that nothing should be brought before it till the bill had been brought before the people. There is the state of things at Rome for you. Yet pray listen to this one thing more which has surpassed my hopes. Messalla is a superlatively good consul, courageous, firm, painstaking; he praises, shows attachment to, and imitates me. That other one (Piso) is the less mischievous because of one vice—he is lazy, sleepy, unbusinesslike, an utter fainéant, but in intention he is so disaffected that he has begun to loathe Pompey since he made the speech in which some praise was bestowed on the senate. Accordingly, he has alienated all the loyalists to a remarkable degree. And his action is not dictated by love for Clodius more than by a taste for a profligate policy and a profligate party. But he has nobody among the magistrates like himself, with the single exception of the tribune Fufius. The tribunes are excellent, and in Cornutus we have a quasi-Cato. Can I say more?

Now to return to private matters. "Teucris" has fulfilled her promise.  Pray execute the commission you undertook. My brother Quintus, who purchased the remaining three-fourths of the house in the Argiletum for 725 sestertia, is now trying to sell his Tusculan property, in order to purchase, if he can, the town house of Pacilius. Make it up with Lucceius! I see that he is all agog to stand for the consulship. I will do my best. Be careful to let me know exactly how you are, where you are, and how your business goes on.

13 February.

 
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You have heard that my dearest brother Quintus has got Asia; for I do not doubt that rumour has conveyed the news to you quicker than a letter from any of us. Now then, considering how desirous of a good reputation he and I have ever been, and how unusually Philhellenic we are and have the reputation of being, and considering how many there are whose enmity we have incurred for the sake of the Republic, "call to mind all your valour," to secure us the praise and affection of all concerned. I will write at greater length to you on these points in the letter which I shall give to Quintus himself.  Please let me know what you have done about the business I confided to you, and also in your own affair; for I have had no letter from you since you left Brundisium. I am very anxious to hear how you are.

 
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You ask me what has happened about the trial, the result of which was so contrary to the general expectation, and at the same time you want to know how I came to make a worse fight of it than usual. I will answer the last first, after the manner of Homer.  The fact is that, so long as I had to defend the authority of the senate, I battled with such gallantry and vigour that there were shouts of applause and crowds round me in the house ringing with my praise. Nay, if you ever thought that I showed courage in political business, you certainly would have admired my conduct in that cause. For when the culprit had betaken himself to public meetings, and had made an invidious use of my name, immortal gods! What battles! What havoc! What sallies I made upon Piso, Curio, on the whole of that set! How I fell upon the old men for their instability, on the young for their profligacy! Again and again, so help me heaven! I regretted your absence not only as the supporter of my policy, but as the spectator also of my admirable fighting. However, when Hortensius hit on the idea of a law as to the sacrilege being proposed by the tribune Fufius, in which there was no difference from the bill of the consul except as to the kind of jurymen—on that point, however, the whole question turned—and got it carried by sheer fighting, because he had persuaded himself and others that he could not get an acquittal no matter who were the jurymen, I drew in my sails, seeing the neediness of the jurors, and gave no evidence beyond what was so notorious and well attested that I could not omit it.  Therefore, if you ask reason of the acquittal—to return at length to the former of the two questions—it was entirely the poverty and low character of the jury. But that this was possible was entirely the result of Hortensius's policy. In his alarm lest Fufius should veto the law which was to be proposed in virtue of a senatorial decree, he failed to see that it was better that the culprit should be left under a cloud of disgrace and dishonour than that he should be trusted to the discretion of a weak jury. But in his passionate resentment he hastened to bring the case into court, saying that a leaden sword was good enough to cut his throat. But if you want to know the history of the trial, with its incredible verdict, it was such that Hortensius's policy is now blamed by other people after the event, though I disapproved of it from the first. When the rejection of jurors had taken place, amidst loud cheers and counter-cheers—the accuser like a strict censor rejecting the most worthless, the defendant like a kind-hearted trainer of gladiators all the best—as soon as the jury had taken their seats, the loyalists at once began to feel distrust. There never was a seedier lot round a table in a gambling hell. Senators under a cloud, equites out at elbows, tribunes who were not so much made of money as "collectors" of it, according to their official title.  However, there were a few honest men in the panel, whom he had been unable to drive off it by rejection, and they took their seats among their uncongenial comrades with gloomy looks and signs of emotion, and were keenly disgusted at having to rub elbows with such rascals. Hereupon, as question after question was referred to the panel in the preliminary proceedings, the severity of the decisions passes belief: there was no disagreement in voting, the defendant carried none of his points, while the accuser got even more than he asked. He was triumphant. Need I say more? Hortensius would have it that he was the only one of us who had seen the truth. There was not a man who did not think it impossible for him to stand his trial without being condemned a thousand times over. Further, when I was produced as a witness, I suppose you have been told how the shouts of Clodius's supporters were answered by the jury rising to their feet to gather round me, and openly to offer their throats to P. Clodius in my defence. This seemed to me a greater compliment than the well-known occasion when your fellow citizens stopped Xenocrates from taking an oath in the witness-box, or when, upon the accounts of Metellus Numidicus being as usual handed round, a Roman jury refused to look at them. The compliment paid me, I repeat, was much greater. Accordingly, as the jurymen were protecting me as the mainstay of the country, it was by their voices that the defendant was overwhelmed, and with him all his advocates suffered a crushing blow. Next day my house was visited by as great a throng as that which escorted me home when I laid down the consulship. Our eminent Areopagites then exclaimed that they would not come into court unless a guard was assigned them. The question was put to the whole panel: there was only one vote against the need of a guard. The question is brought before the senate: the decree is passed in the most solemn and laudatory terms : the jurymen are complimented: the magistrates are commissioned to carry it out: no one thought that the fellow would venture on a defence. "Tell me, ye Muses, now how first the fire befell!"  You know Bald-head, the Nanneian millionaire,  that panegyrist of mine, whose complimentary oration I have already mentioned to you in a letter. In two days' time, by the agency of a single slave, and one, too, from a school of gladiators, he settled the whole business—he summoned them to an interview, made a promise, offered security, paid money down. Still farther, good heavens, what a scandal! even favours from certain ladies, and introductions to young men of rank, were thrown in as a kind of pourboire to some of the jurors. Accordingly, with the loyalists holding completely aloof, with the forum full of slaves, twenty-five jurors were yet found so courageous that, though at the risk of their lives, they preferred even death to producing universal ruin. There were thirty-one who were more influenced by famine than fame. On seeing one of these latter Catulus said to him, "Why did you ask us for a guard? Did you fear being robbed of the money?" There you have, as briefly as I could put it, the nature of the trial and the cause of the acquittal.

Next you want to know the present state of public affairs and of my own. That settlement of the Republic—firmly established by my wisdom, as you thought, as I thought by God's—which seemed fixed on a sure foundation by the unanimity of all loyalists and the influence of my consulship—that I assure you, unless some God take compassion on us, has by this one verdict escaped from our grasp: if "verdict" it is to be called, when thirty of the most worthless and dissolute fellows in Rome for a paltry sum of money obliterate every principle of law and justice, and when that which every man—I had almost said every animal—knows to have taken place, a Thalna, a Plautus, and a Spongia, and other scum of that sort decide not to have taken place. However, to console you as to the state of the Republic, rascaldom is not as cheerful and exultant in its victory as the disloyal hoped after the infliction of such a wound upon the Republic. For they fully expected that when religion, morality, the honour of juries, and the prestige of the senate had sustained such a crushing fall, victorious profligacy and lawless lust would openly exact vengeance from all the best men for the mortification which the strictness of my consulship had branded in upon all the worst. And it is once more I—for I do not feel as if I were boasting vaingloriously when speaking of myself to you, especially in a letter not intended to be read by others—it was I once more, I say, who revived the fainting spirits of the loyalists, cheering and encouraging each personally. Moreover, by my denunciations and invectives against those corrupt jurors I left none of the favourers and supporters of that victory a word to say for themselves. I gave the consul Piso no rest anywhere, I got him deprived of Syria, which had been already plighted to him, I revived the fainting spirit of the senate and recalled it to its former severity. I overwhelmed Clodius in the senate to his face, both in a set speech, very weighty and serious, and also in an interchange of repartees, of which I append a specimen for your delectation. The rest lose all point and grace without the excitement of the contest, or, as you Greeks call it, the agôn. Well, at the meeting of the senate on the 15th of May, being called on for my opinion, I spoke at considerable length on the high interests of the Republic, and brought in the following passage by a happy inspiration: "Do not, Fathers, regard yourselves as fallen utterly, do not faint, because you have received one blow. The wound is one which I cannot disguise, but which I yet feel sure should not be regarded with extreme fear: to fear would show us to be the greatest of cowards, to ignore it the greatest of fools. Lentulus was twice acquitted, so was Catiline, a third such criminal has now been let loose by jurors upon the Republic. You are mistaken, Clodius: it is not for the city but for the prison that the jurors have reserved you, and their intention was not to retain you in the state, but to deprive you of the privilege of exile. Wherefore, Fathers, rouse up all your courage, hold fast to your high calling. There still remains in the Republic the old unanimity of the loyalists: their feelings have been outraged, their resolution has not been weakened: no fresh mischief has been done, only what was actually existing has been discovered. In the trial of one profligate many like him have been detected."—But what am I about? I have copied almost a speech into a letter. I return to the duel of words. Up gets our dandified young gentleman, and throws in my teeth my having been at Baiae. It wasn't true, but what did that matter to him? "It is as though you were to say," replied I, "that I had been in disguise!" "What business," quoth he, "has an Arpinate with hot baths?" "Say that to your patron," said I, "who coveted the watering-place of an Arpinate."  For you know about the marine villa. "How long," said he, "are we to put up with this king?" "Do you mention a king," quoth I, "when Rex  made no mention of you?" He, you know, had swallowed the inheritance of Rex in anticipation. "You have bought a house," says he. "You would think that he said," quoth I, "you have bought a jury." "They didn't trust you on your oath," said he. "Yes," said I, "twenty-five jurors did trust me, thirty-one didn't trust you, for they took care to get their money beforehand." Here he was overpowered by a burst of applause and broke down without a word to say.

My own position is this: with the loyalists I hold the same place as when you left town, with the tagrag and bobtail of the City I hold a much better one than at your departure. For it does me no harm that my evidence appears not to have availed. Envy has been let blood without causing pain, and even more so from the fact that all the supporters of that flagitious proceeding confess that a perfectly notorious fact has been hushed up by bribing the jury. Besides, the wretched starveling mob, the blood-sucker of the treasury, imagines me to be high in the favour of Magnus—and indeed we have been mutually united by frequent pleasant intercourse to such an extent, that our friends the boon companions of the conspiracy, the young chin-tufts, speak of him in ordinary conversation as Gnaeus Cicero. Accordingly, both in the circus and at the gladiatorial games, I received a remarkable ovation without a single cat-call. There is at present a lively anticipation of the elections, in which, contrary to everybody's wishes, our friend Magnus is pushing the claims of Aulus's son;  and in that matter his weapons are neither his prestige nor his popularity, but those by which Philip said that any fortress could be taken—if only an ass laden with gold could make its way up into it. Furthermore, that precious consul, playing as it were second fiddle to Pompey,  is said to have undertaken the business and to have bribery agents at his house, which I don't believe. But two decrees have already passed the house of an unpopular character, because they are thought to be directed against the consul on the demand of Cato and Domitius —one that search should be allowed in magistrates' houses, and a second, that all who had bribery agents in their houses were guilty of treason. The tribune Lurco also, having entered on his office irregularly in view of the Aelian law, has been relieved from the provisions both of the Aelian and Fufian laws, in order to enable him to propose his law on bribery, which he promulgated with correct auspices though a cripple.  Accordingly, the comitia have been postponed to the 27th of July. There is this novelty in his bill, that a man who has promised money among the tribes, but not paid it, is not liable, but, if he has paid, he is liable for life to pay 3,000 sesterces to each tribe. I remarked that P. Clodius had obeyed this law by anticipation, for he was accustomed to promise, and not pay. But observe! Don't you see that the consulship of which we thought so much, which Curio used of old to call an apotheosis, if this Afranius is elected, will become a mere farce and mockery? Therefore I think one should play the philosopher, as you in fact do, and not care a straw for your consulships!

You say in your letter that you have decided not to go to Asia. For my part I should have preferred your going, and I fear that there may be some offence  given in that matter. Nevertheless, I am not the man to blame you, especially considering that I have not gone to a province myself. I shall be quite content with the inscriptions you have placed in your Amaltheium, especially as Thyillus has deserted me and Archias written nothing about me. The latter, I am afraid, having composed a Greek poem on the Luculli, is now turning his attention to the Caecilian drama.  I have thanked Antonius on your account, and I have intrusted the letter to Mallius I have heretofore written to you more rarely because I had no one to whom I could trust a letter, and was not sure of your address. I have puffed you well. If Cincius should refer any business of yours to me, I will undertake it. But at present he is more intent on his own business, in which I am rendering him some assistance. If you mean to stay any length of time in one place you may expect frequent letters from me: but pray send even more yourself. I wish you would describe your Amaltheium to me, its decoration and its plan; and send me any poems or stories you may have about Amaltheia.  I should like to make a copy of it at Arpinum. I will forward you something of what I have written. At present there is nothing finished.

 
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Your letter, in which you inclose copies of his letters, has made me realize that my brother Quintus's feelings have undergone many alternations, and that his opinions and judgments have varied widely from time to time.  This has not only caused me all the pain which my extreme affection for both of you was bound to bring, but it has also made me wonder what can have happened to cause my brother Quintus such deep offence, or such an extraordinary change of feeling. And yet I was already aware, as I saw that you also, when you took leave of me, were beginning to suspect, that there was some lurking dissatisfaction, that his feelings were wounded, and that certain unfriendly suspicions had sunk deep into his heart. On trying on several previous occasions, but more eagerly than ever after the allotment of his province, to assuage these feelings, I failed to discover on the one hand that the extent of his offence was so great as your letter indicates; but on the other I did not make as much progress in allaying it as I wished. However, I consoled myself with thinking that there would be no doubt of his seeing you at Dyrrachium, or somewhere in your part of the country: and, if that happened, I felt sure and fully persuaded that everything would be made smooth between you, not only by conversation and mutual explanation, but by the very sight of each other in such an interview. For I need not say in writing to you, who know it quite well, how kind and sweet-tempered my brother is, as ready to forgive as he is sensitive in taking offence. But it most unfortunately happened that you did not see him anywhere. For the impression he had received from the artifices of others had more weight with him than duty or relationship, or the old affection so long existing between you, which ought to have been the strongest influence of all. And yet, as to where the blame for this misunderstanding resides, I can more easily conceive than write: since I am afraid that, while defending my own relations, I should not spare yours. For I perceive that, though no actual wound was inflicted by members of the family, they yet could at least have cured it. But the root of the mischief in this case, which perhaps extends farther than appears, I shall more conveniently explain to you when we meet. As to the letter he sent to you from Thessalonica,  and about the language which you suppose him to have used both at Rome among your friends and on his journey, I don't know how far the matter went, but my whole hope of removing this unpleasantness rests on your kindness. For if you will only make up your mind to believe that the best men are often those whose feelings are most easily irritated and appeased, and that this quickness, so to speak, and sensitiveness of disposition are generally signs of a good heart and lastly—and this is the main thing—that we must mutually put up with each other's gaucheries (shall I call them?), or faults, or injurious acts, then these misunderstandings will, I hope, be easily smoothed away. I beg you to take this view, for it is the dearest wish of my heart (which is yours as no one else's can be) that there should not be one of my family or friends who does not love you and is not loved by you.

That part of your letter was entirely superfluous, in which you mention what opportunities of doing good business in the provinces or the city you let pass at other times as well as in the year of my consulship: for I am thoroughly persuaded of your unselfishness and magnanimity, nor did I ever think that there was any difference between you and me except in our choice of a career. Ambition led me to seek official advancement, while another and perfectly laudable resolution led you to seek an honourable privacy. In the true glory, which is founded on honesty, industry, and piety, I place neither myself nor anyone else above you. In affection towards myself, next to my brother and immediate family, I put you first. For indeed, indeed I have seen and thoroughly appreciated how your anxiety and joy have corresponded with the variations of my fortunes. Often has your congratulation added a charm to praise, and your consolation a welcome antidote to alarm. Nay, at this moment of your absence, it is not only your advice—in which you excel—but the interchange of speech—in which no one gives me so much delight as you do—that I miss most, shall I say in politics, in which circumspection is always incumbent on me, or in my forensic labour, which I formerly sustained with a view to official promotion, and nowadays to maintain my position by securing popularity, or in the mere business of my family? In all these I missed you and our conversations before my brother left Rome, and still more do I miss them since. Finally, neither my work nor rest, neither my business nor leisure, neither my affairs in the forum or at home, public or private, can any longer do without your most consolatory and affectionate counsel and conversation. The modest reserve which characterizes both of us has often prevented my mentioning these facts; but on this occasion it was rendered necessary by that part of your letter in which you expressed a wish to have yourself and your character "put straight" and "cleared" in my eyes. Yet, in the midst of all this unfortunate alienation and anger, there is one fortunate circumstance—that your determination of not going to a province was known to me and your other friends, and had been at various times before distinctly expressed by yourself; so that your not being his guest may be attributed to your personal tastes and judgments, not to the quarrel and rupture between you. And so those ties which have been broken will be restored, and ours which have been so religiously preserved will retain all their old inviolability.

At Rome I find politics in a shaky condition; everything is unsatisfactory and foreboding change. For I have no doubt you have been told that our friends, the equites, are all but alienated from the senate. Their first grievance was the promulgation of a bill on the authority of the senate for the trial of such as had taken bribes for giving a verdict. I happened not to be in the house when that decree was passed, but when I found that the equestrian order was indignant at it, and yet refrained from openly saying so, I remonstrated with the senate, as I thought, in very impressive language, and was very weighty and eloquent considering the unsatisfactory nature of my cause. But here is another piece of almost intolerable coolness on the part of the equites, which I have not only submitted to, but have even put in as good a light as possible! The companies which had contracted with the censors for Asia complained that in the heat of the competition they had taken the contract at an excessive price; they demanded that the contract should be annulled. I led in their support, or rather, I was second, for it was Crassus who induced them to venture on this demand. The case is scandalous, the demand a disgraceful one, and a confession of rash speculation. Yet there was a very great risk that, if they got no concession, they would be completely alienated from the senate. Here again I came to the rescue more than anyone else, and secured them a full and very friendly house, in which I, on the 1st and 2nd of December, delivered long speeches on the dignity and harmony of the two orders. The business is not yet settled, but the favourable feeling of the senate has been made manifest: for no one had spoken against it except the consul-designate, Metellus; while our hero Cato had still to speak, the shortness of the day having prevented his turn being reached. Thus I, in the maintenance of my steady policy, preserve to the best of my ability that harmony of the orders which was originally my joiner's work; but since it all now seems in such a crazy condition, I am constructing what I may call a road towards the maintenance of our power, a safe one I hope, which I cannot fully describe to you in a letter, but of which I will nevertheless give you a hint. I cultivate close intimacy with Pompey. I foresee what you will say. I will use all necessary precautions, and I will write another time at greater length about my schemes for managing the Republic. You must know that Lucceius has it in his mind to stand for the consulship at once; for there are said to be only two candidates in prospect. Caesar is thinking of coming to terms with him by the agency of Arrius, and Bibulus also thinks he may effect a coalition with him by means of C. Piso.  You smile? This is no laughing matter, believe me. What else shall I write to you? What? I have plenty to say, but must put it off to another time. If you mean to wait till you hear, let me know. For the moment I am satisfied with a modest request, though it is what I desire above everything—that you should come to Rome as soon as possible.

5 December.

 
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Believe me there is nothing at this moment of which I stand so much in need as a man with whom to share all that causes me anxiety: a man to love me; a man of sense to whom I can speak without affectation, reserve, or concealment. For my brother is away—that most open-hearted and affectionate of men. Metellus is not a human being, but

"Mere sound and air, a howling wilderness."

While you, who have so often lightened my anxiety and my anguish of soul by your conversation and advice, who are ever my ally in public affairs, my confidant in all private business, the sharer in all my conversations and projects—where are you? So entirely am I abandoned by all, that the only moments of repose left me are those which are spent with my wife, pet daughter, and sweet little Cicero. For as to those friendships with the great, and their artificial attractions, they have indeed a certain glitter in the outside world, but they bring no private satisfaction. And so, after a crowded morning levée, as I go down to the forum surrounded by troops of friends, I can find no one out of all that crowd with whom to jest freely, or into whose ear I can breathe a familiar sigh. Therefore I wait for you, I long for you, I even urge on you to come for I have many anxieties, many pressing cares, of which I think, if I once had your ears to listen to me, I could unburden myself in the conversation of a single walk. And of my private anxieties, indeed, I shall conceal all the stings and vexations, and not trust them to this letter and an unknown letter-carrier. These, however—for I don't want you to be made too anxious—are not very painful: yet they are persistent and worrying, and are not put to rest by the advice or conversation of any friend. But in regard to the Republic I have still the same courage and purpose, though it has again and again of its own act eluded treatment.  For should I put briefly what has occurred since you left, you would certainly exclaim that the Roman empire cannot be maintained much longer. Well, after your departure our first scene, I think, was the appearance of the Clodian scandal, in which having, as I thought, got an opportunity of pruning licentiousness and keeping our young men within bounds, I exerted myself to the utmost, and lavished all the resources of my intellect and genius, not from dislike to an individual, but from the hope of not merely correcting, but of completely curing the state. The Republic received a crushing blow when this jury was won over by money and the opportunity of debauchery. See what has followed we have had a consul inflicted upon us, whom none except us philosophers can look at without a sigh. What a blow that is! Though a decree of the senate has been passed about bribery and the corruption of juries, no law has been carried; the senate has been harassed to death, the Roman knights alienated. So that one year has undermined two buttresses of the Republic, which owed their existence to me, and me alone; for it has at once destroyed the prestige of the senate and broken up the harmony of the orders. And now enter this precious year! It was inaugurated by the suspension of the annual rites of Iuventas;  for Memmius initiated M. Lucullus's wife in some rites of his own! Our Menelaus, being annoyed at that, divorced his wife. Yet the old Idaean shepherd had only injured Menelaus; our Roman Paris thought Agamemnon as proper an object of injury as Menelaus. Next there is a certain tribune named C. Herennius, whom you, perhaps, do not even know—and yet you may know him, for he is of your tribe, and his father Sextus used to distribute money to your tribesmen—this person is trying to transfer P. Clodius to the plebs, and is actually proposing a law to authorize the whole people to vote in Clodius's affair in the campus.  I have given him a characteristic reception in the senate, but he is the thickest-skinned fellow in the world. Metellus is an excellent consul, and much attached to me, but he has lowered his influence by promulgating (though only for form's sake) an identical bill about Clodius. But the son of Aulus,  God in heaven! What a cowardly and spiritless fellow for a soldier! How well he deserves to be exposed, as he is, day after day to the abuse of Palicanus!  Farther, an agrarian law has been promulgated by Flavius, a poor production enough, almost identical with that of Plotius. But meanwhile a genuine statesman is not to be found, even "in a dream." The man who could be one, my friend Pompey—for such he is, as I would have you know—defends his two penny embroidered toga by saying nothing. Crassus never risks his popularity by a word. The others you know without my telling you. They are such fools that they seem to expect that, though the Republic is lost, their fish-ponds will be safe. There is one man who does take some trouble, but rather, as it seems to me, with consistency and honesty, than with either prudence or ability—Cato. He has been for the last three months worrying those unhappy publicani, who were formerly devoted to him, and refuses to allow of an answer being given them by the senate. And so we are forced to suspend all decrees on other subjects until the publicani have got their answer. For the same reason I suppose even the business of the foreign embassies will be postponed. You now understand in what stormy water we are and as from what I have written to you in such strong terms you have a view also of what I have not written, come back to me, for it is time you did. And though the state of affairs to which I invite you is one to be avoided, yet let your value for me so far prevail, as to induce you to come there even in these vexatious circumstances. For the rest I will take care that due warning is given, and a notice put up in all places, to prevent you being entered on the census as absent; and to get put on the census just before the lustration is the mark of your true man of business.  So let me see you at the earliest possible moment. Farewell.

20 January in the Consulship of Q. Metellus and L. Afranius.

 
1 - 19 To Epirus from Rome 61 BC

It is not only if I had as much leisure as you, but also if I chose to send letters as short as yours usually are, should I easily beat you and be much the more regular in writing. But, in fact, it is only one more item in an immense and inconceivable amount of business, that I allow no letter to reach you from me without its containing some definite sketch of events and the reflections arising from it. And in writing to you, as a lover of your country, my first subject will naturally be the state of the republic; next, as I am the nearest object of your affection, I will also write about myself, and tell you what I think you will not be indisposed to know. Well then, in public affairs for the moment the chief subject of interest is the disturbance in Gaul. For the Aedui—"our brethren" —have recently fought a losing battle, and the Helvetii are undoubtedly in arms and making raids upon our province.  The senate has decreed that the two Consuls should draw lots for the Gauls, that a levy should be held, all exemptions from service be suspended, and legates with full powers be sent to visit the states in Gaul, and see that they do not join the Helvetii. The legates are Quintus Metellus Creticus,  L. Flaccus,  and lastly—a case of "rich unguent on lentils"—Lentulus, son of Clodianus. And while on this subject I cannot omit mentioning that when among the consulars my name was the first to come up in the ballot, a full meeting of the senate declared with one voice that I must be kept in the city. The same occurred to Pompey after me; so that we two appeared to be kept at home as pledges of the safety of the Republic. Why should I look for the "bravos" of others when I get these compliments at home? Well, the state of affairs in the city is as follows. The agrarian law is being vehemently pushed by the tribune Flavius, with the support of Pompey, but it has nothing popular about it except its supporter. From this law I, with the full assent of a public meeting, proposed to omit all clauses which adversely affected private rights. I proposed to except from its operation such public land as had been so in the consulship of P. Mucius and L. Calpurnius.  I proposed to confirm the titles of holders of those to whom Sulla had actually assigned lands. I proposed to retain the men of Volaterrae and Arretium—whose lands Sulla had declared forfeited but had not allotted—in their holdings. There was only one section in the bill that I did not propose to omit, namely, that land should be purchased with this money from abroad, the proceeds of the new revenues for the next five years.  But to this whole agrarian scheme the senate was opposed, suspecting that some novel power for Pompey was aimed at. Pompey, indeed, had set his heart on getting the law passed. I, however, with the full approval of the applicants for land, maintained the holdings of all private owners—for, as you know, the landed gentry form the bulk of our party's forces—while I nevertheless satisfied the people and Pompey (for I wanted to do that also) by the purchase clause; for, if that was put on a sound footing, I thought that two advantages would accrue—the dregs might be drawn from the city, and the deserted portions of Italy be repeopled. But this whole business was interrupted by the war, and has cooled off. Metellus is an exceedingly good consul, and much attached to me. That other one is such a ninny that he clearly doesn't know what to do with his purchase. This is all my public news, unless you regard as touching on public affairs the fact that a certain Herennius, a tribune, and a fellow tribesman of yours—a fellow as unprincipled as he is needy—has now begun making frequent proposals for transferring P. Clodius to the plebs; he is vetoed by many of his colleagues. That is really, I think, all the public news.

For my part, ever since I won what I may call the splendid and immortal glory of the famous fifth of December (though it was accompanied by the jealousy and hostility of many), I have never ceased to play my part in the Republic in the same lofty spirit, and to maintain the position I then inaugurated and took upon myself. But when, first, by the acquittal of Clodius I clearly perceived the insecurity and rotten state of the law courts; and, secondly, when I saw that it took so little to alienate my friends the publicani from the senate—though with me personally they had no quarrel; and, thirdly, that the rich (I mean your friends the fish-breeders) did not disguise their jealousy of me, I thought I must look out for some greater security and stronger support. So, to begin with, I have brought the man who had been too long silent on my achievements, Pompey himself, to such a frame of mind as not once only in the senate, but many times and in many words, to ascribe to me the preservation of this empire and of the world. And this was not so important to me—for those transactions are neither so obscure as to need and Pompey from a difference of opinion on these measures. testimony, nor so dubious as to need commendation—as to the Republic; for there were certain persons base enough to think that some misunderstanding would arise between me with him I have united myself in such close intimacy that both of us can by this union be better fortified in his own views, and more secure in his political position. However, the dislike of the licentious dandies, which had been roused against me, has been so far softened by a Conciliatory manner on my part, that they all combine to show me marked attention. In fine, while avoiding churlishness to anyone, I do not curry favour with the populace or relax any principle; but my whole course of conduct is so carefully regulated, that, while exhibiting an example of firmness to the Republic, in my own private concerns—in view of the instability of the loyalists, the hostility of the disaffected, and the hatred of the disloyal towards me—I employ a certain caution and circumspection, and do not allow myself, after all, to be involved in these new friendships so far but that the famous refrain of the cunning Sicilian frequently sounds in my ears:

Keep sober and distrust these wisdom's sinews!

Of my course and way of life, therefore, you see, I think, what may be called a sketch or outline. Of your own business, however, you frequently write to me, but I cannot at the moment supply the remedy you require. For that decree of the senate was passed with the greatest unanimity on the part of the rank and file,  though without the support of any of us consulars. For as to your seeing my name at the foot of the decree, you can ascertain from the decree itself that the subject put to the vote at the time was a different one, and that this clause about "free peoples" was added without good reason. It was done by P. Servilius the younger, who delivered his vote among the last, but it cannot be altered after such an interval of time. Accordingly, the meetings, which at first were crowded, have long ceased to be held. If you have been able, notwithstanding, by your insinuating address to get a trifle of money out of the Sicyonians, I wish you would let me know.  I have sent you an account of my consulship written in Greek. If there is anything in it which to a genuine Attic like yourself seems to be un-Greek or unscholarly, I shall not say as Lucullus said to you (at Panhormus, was it not?) about his own history, that he had interspersed certain barbarisms and solecisms for the express purpose of proving that it was the work of a Roman. No, if there is anything of that sort in my book, it will be without my knowledge and against my will. When I have finished the Latin version I will send it to you; and thirdly, you may expect a poem on the subject, for I would not have any method of celebrating my praise omitted by myself. In this regard pray do not quote "Who will praise his sire?"  For if there is anything in the world to be preferred to this, let it receive its due meed of praise, and I mine of blame for not selecting another theme for my praise. However, what I write is not panegyric but history. My brother Quintus clears himself to me in a letter, and asserts that he has never said a disparaging word of you to anyone. But this we must discuss face to face with the greatest care and earnestness: only do come to see me again at last! This Cossinius, to whom I intrust my letter, seems to me a very good fellow, steady, devoted to you, and exactly the sort of man which your letter to me had described.

15 March.

 
1 - 20 To Epirus from Rome 61 BC

On my return to Rome from my villa at Pompeii on the 12th of May, our friend Cincius handed me your letter dated 13th February. It is this letter of yours which I will now proceed to answer. And first let me say how glad I am that you have fully understood my appreciation of you;  and next how excessively rejoiced I am that you have been so extremely reasonable in regard to those particulars in which you thought  that I and mine had behaved unkindly, or with insufficient consideration for your feelings: and this I regard as a proof of no common affection, and of the most excellent judgment and wisdom. Wherefore, since you have written to me in a tone so delightful, considerate, friendly and kind, that I not only have no call to press you any farther, but can never even hope to meet from you or any other man with so much gentleness and good nature, I think the very best course I can pursue is not to say another word on the subject in my letters. When we meet, if the occasion should arise, we will discuss it together. As to what you say about politics, your suggestions indeed are both affectionate and wise, and the course you suggest does not differ substantially from my own policy—for I must neither budge an inch from the position imposed upon me by my rank, nor must I without forces of my own enter the lines of another, while that other, whom you mention in your letter, has nothing large-minded about him, nothing lofty,—nothing which is not abject and time-serving. However, the course I took was, after all, perhaps not ill-calculated for securing the tranquillity of my own life; but, by heaven, I did greater service to the Republic than, by suppressing the attacks of the disloyal, I did to myself, when I brought conviction home to the wavering mind of a man of the most splendid fortune, influence and popularity, and induced him to disappoint the disloyal and praise my acts. Now if I had been forced to sacrifice consistency in this transaction, I should not have thought anything worth that price; but the fact is that I have so worked the whole business, that I did not seem to be less consistent from my complacency to him, but that he appeared to gain in character by his approbation of me. In everything else I am so acting, and shall continue so to act, as to prevent my seeming to have done what I did do by mere chance. My friends the loyalists, the men at whom you hint, and that "Sparta" which you say has fallen to my lot,  I will not only never desert, but even if I am deserted by her, I shall still stand by my ancient creed. However, please consider this, that since the death of Catulus I am holding this road for the loyalists without any garrison or Company. For as Rhinton, I think, says:

Some are stark naught, and some care not at all.

However, how our friends the fish-breeders envy me I will write you word another time, or will reserve it till we meet. But from the senate-house nothing shall ever tear me: either because that course is the right one, or because it is most to my interests, or because I am far from being dissatisfied with the estimation in which I am held by the senate. As to the Sicyonians, as I wrote to you before,  there is not much to be hoped for in the senate. For there is no one now to lay a complaint before it. Therefore, if you are waiting for that, you will find it a tedious business. Fight some other way if you can. At the time the decree was passed no one noticed who would be affected by it, and besides the rank and file of the senators voted in a great hurry for that clause. For cancelling the senatorial decree the time is not yet ripe, because there are none to complain of it, and because also many are glad to have it so, some from spite, some from a notion of its equity. Your friend Metellus is an admirable consul: I have only one fault to find with him—he doesn't receive the news from Gaul of the restoration of peace with much pleasure. He wants a triumph, I suppose. I could have wished a little less of that sort of thing: in other respects he is splendid. But the son of Aulus behaves in such a way, that his consulship is not a consulship but a stigma on our friend Magnus. Of my writings I send you my consulship in Greek completed. I have handed that book to L. Cossinius. My Latin works I think you like, but as a Greek you envy this Greek book. If others write treatises on the subject I will send them to you, but I assure you that, as soon as they have read mine, somehow or other they become slack. To return to my own affairs, L. Papirius Paetus, an excellent man and an admirer of mine, has presented me with the books left him by Servius Claudius. As your friend Cincius told me that I could take them without breaking the lex Cincia,  I told him that I should have great pleasure in accepting them, if he brought them to Italy. Wherefore, as you love me, as you know that I love you, do try by means of friends, clients, guests, or even your freedmen or slaves, to prevent the loss of a single leaf. For I am in urgent need of the Greek books which I suspect, and of the Latin books which I know, that he left: and more and more every day I find repose in such studies every moment left to me from my labours in the forum. You will, I say, do me a very great favour, if you will be as zealous in this matter as you ever are in matters in which you suppose me to feel strongly; and Paetus's own affairs I recommend to your kindness, for which he thanks you extremely. A prompt visit from yourself is a thing which I do not merely ask for, I advise it.

 
2
2 - 1 To Rome from Formae 59 BC

On the 1st of June, as I was on my way to Antium, and eagerly getting out of the way of M. Metellus's gladiators, your boy met me, and delivered to me a letter from you and a history of my consulship written in Greek. This made me glad that I had some time before delivered to L. Cossinius a book, also written in Greek, on the same subject, to take to you. For if I had read yours first you might have said that I had pilfered from you. Although your essay (which I have read with pleasure) seemed to me just a trifle rough and bald, yet its very neglect of ornament is an ornament in itself, as women were once thought to have the best perfume who used none. My book, on the other hand, has exhausted the whole of Isocrates's unguent case, and all the paint-boxes of his pupils, and even Aristotle's colours. This, as you tell me in another letter, you glanced over at Corcyra, and afterwards I suppose received it from Cossinius.  I should not have ventured to send it to you until I had slowly and fastidiously revised it. However, Posidonius, in his letter of acknowledgment from Rhodes, says that as he read my memoir, which I had sent him with a view to his writing on the same subject with more elaboration, he was not only not incited to write, but absolutely made afraid to do so. In a word, I have routed the Greeks. Accordingly, as a general rule, those who were pressing me for material to work up, have now ceased to bother me. Pray, if you like the book, see to there being copies at Athens and other Greek towns for it may possibly throw some lustre on my actions. As for my poor speeches, I will send you both those you ask for and some more also, since what I write to satisfy the studious youth finds favour, it seems, with you also. For it suited my purpose —both because it was in his Philippics that your fellow citizen Demosthenes gained his reputation, and because it was by withdrawing from the mere controversial and forensic style of oratory that he acquired the character of a serious politician—to see that I too should have speeches that may properly be called consular. Of these are, first, one delivered on the 1st of January in the senate, a second to the people on the agrarian law, a third on Otho, a fourth for Rabirius, a fifth on the Sons of the Proscribed, a sixth when I declined a province in public meeting, a seventh when I allowed Catiline to escape, which I delivered the day after Catiline fled, a ninth in public meeting on the day that the Allobroges made their revelation, a tenth in the senate on the 5th of December. There are also two short ones, which may be called fragments, on the agrarian law. This whole cycle I will see that you have. And since you like my writings as well as my actions, from these same rolls you will learn both what I have done and what I have said—or you should not have asked for them, for I did not make you an offer of them.

You ask me why I urge you to come home, and at the same time you intimate that you are hampered by business affairs, and yet say that you will nevertheless hasten back, not only if it is needful, but even if I desire it. Well, there is certainly no absolute necessity, yet I do think you might plan the periods of your tour somewhat more conveniently. Your absence is too prolonged, especially as you are in a neighbouring country, while yet I cannot enjoy your society, nor you mine. For the present there is peace, but if my young friend Pulcher's  madness found means to advance a little farther, I should certainly summon you from your present sojourn. But Metellus is offering him a splendid opposition and will continue to do so. Need I say more? He is a truly patriotic consul and, as I have ever thought, naturally an honest man. That person, however, makes no disguise, but avowedly desires to be elected tribune. But when the matter was mooted in the senate, I cut the fellow to pieces, and taunted him with his changeableness in seeking the tribuneship at Rome after having given out at Hera, in Sicily, that he was a candidate for the aedileship; and went on to say that we needn't much trouble ourselves, for that he would not be permitted to ruin the Republic any more as a plebeian, than patricians like him had been allowed to do so in my consulship. Presently, on his saying that he had completed the journey from the straits in seven days, and that it was impossible for anyone to have gone out to meet him, and that he had entered the city by night,  and making a great parade of this in a public meeting, I remarked that that was nothing new for him: seven days from Sicily to Rome, three hours from Rome to Interamna! Entered by night, did he? so he did before! No one went to meet him? neither did anyone on the other occasion, exactly when it should have been done! In short, I bring our young upstart to his bearings, not only by a set and serious speech, but also by repartees of this sort. Accordingly, I have come now to rally him and jest with him in quite a familiar manner. For instance, when we were escorting a candidate, he asked me "whether I had been accustomed to secure Sicilians places at the gladiatorial shows?" " No," said I. "Well, I intend to start the practice," said he, "as their new patron; but my sister,  who has the control of such a large part of the consul's space, won't give me more than a single foot." "Don't grumble," said I, "about one of your sister's feet; you may lift the other also." A jest, you will say, unbecoming to a consular. I confess it, but I detest that woman--so unworthy of a consul. For

A shrew she is and with her husband jars,

and not only with Metellus, but also with Fabius, because she is annoyed at their interference in this business.  You ask about the agrarian law: it has completely lost all interest, I think. You rather chide me, though gently, about my intimacy with Pompey. I would not have you think that I have made friends with him for my own protection; but things had come to such a pass that, if by any chance we had quarreled, there would inevitably have been violent dissensions in the state. And in taking precautions and making provision against that, I by no means swerved from my well-known loyalist policy, but my object was to make him more of a loyalist and induce him to drop somewhat of his time-serving vacillation: and he, let me assure you, now speaks in much higher terms of my achievements (against which many had tried to incite him) than of his own. He testifies that while he served the state well, I preserved it. What if I even make a better citizen of Caesar,  who has now the wind full in his sails—am I doing so poor a service to the Republic? Furthermore, if there was no one to envy me, if all, as they ought to be, were my supporters, nevertheless a preference should still be given to a treatment that would cure the diseased parts of the state, rather than to the use of the knife. As it is, however, since the knighthood, which I once stationed on the slope of the Capitoline,  with you as their standard-bearer and leader, has deserted the senate, and since our leading men think themselves in a seventh heaven, if there are bearded mullets in their fish-ponds that will come to hand for food, and neglect everything else, do not you think that I am doing no mean service if I secure that those who have the power, should not have the will, to do any harm? As for our friend Cato, you do not love him more than I do: but after all, with the very best intentions and the most absolute honesty, he sometimes does harm to the Republic. He speaks and votes as though he were in the Republic of Plato, not in the scum of Romulus. What could be fairer than that a man should be brought to trial who has taken a bribe for his verdict? Cato voted for this: the senate agreed with him. The equites declared war on the senate, not on me, for I voted against it. What could be a greater piece of impudence than the equites renouncing the obligations of their contract? Yet for the sake of keeping the friendship of the order it was necessary to submit to the loss. Cato resisted and carried his point. Accordingly, though we have now had the spectacle of a consul thrown into prison,  of riots again and again stirred up, not one of those moved a finger to help, with whose support I and the consuls that immediately followed me were accustomed to defend the Republic. "Well, but," say you, "are we to pay them for their support?" What are we to do if we can't get it on any other terms? Are we to be slaves to freedmen or even slaves? But, as you say, assez de serieux! Favonius  carried my tribe with better credit than his own; he lost that of Lucceius. His accusation of Nasica  was not creditable, but was conducted with moderation: he spoke so badly that he appeared when in Rhodes to have ground at the mills more than at the lessons of Molon. He was somewhat angry with me because I appeared for the defence: however, he is now making up to me again on public grounds. I will write you word how Lucceius is getting on when I have seen Caesar, who will be here in a couple of days. The injury done you by the Sicyonians you attribute to Cato and his imitator Servilius.  Why? did not that blow reach many excellent citizens? But since the senate has so determined, let us commend it, and not be in a minority of one.  My "Amaltheia"  is waiting and longing for you. My Tusculan and Pompeian properties please me immensely, except that they have overwhelmed me—me, the scourge of debt—not exactly in Corinthian bronze, but in the bronze which is current in the market.  In Gaul I hope peace is restored. My "Prognostics,"  along with my poor speeches, expect shortly. Yet write and tell me what your ideas are as to returning. For Pomponia sent a message to me that you would be at Rome some time in July. That does not agree with your letter which you wrote to me about your name being put on the Census roll. Paetus, as I have already told you, has presented me with all books left by his brother. This gift of his depends upon your seeing to it with care. Pray, if you love me, take measures for their preservation and transmission to me. You could do me no greater favour, and I want the Latin books preserved with as much care as the Greek. I shall look upon them as virtually a present from yourself. I have written to Octavius:  I had not said anything to him about you by word of mouth; for I did not suppose that you carried on your business in that province, or look upon you in the light of general money-lender: but I have written, as in duty bound, with all seriousness.

 
2 - 2 Atticus On his way to Rome from Tusculum

Take care of my dear nephew Cicero, I beg of you. I seem to share his illness. I am engaged on the "Constitution of Pellene," and, by heaven, have piled up a huge heap of Dicaearchus at my feet.  What a great man! You may learn much more from him than from Procilius. His "Constitution of Corinth" and "Constitution of Athens" I have, I think, at Rome. Upon my word, you will say, if you read these, "What a remarkable man!" Herodes, if he had any sense, would have read him rather than write a single letter himself. He has attacked me by letter; with you I see he has come to close quarters. I would have joined a conspiracy rather than resisted one, if I had thought that I should have to listen to him as my reward. As to Lollius, you must be mad. As to the wine, I think you are right.  But look here! Don't you see that the Kalends are approaching, and no Antonius?  That the jury is being empanelled? For so they send me word. That Nigidius  threatens in public meeting that he will personally cite any juror who does not appear? However, I should be glad if you would write me word whether you have heard anything about the return of Antonius; and since you don't mean to come here, dine with me in any case on the 29th. Mind you do this, and take care of your health.

 
2 - 3 Atticus On his way to Rome from Tusculum

First, I have good news for you, as I think. Valerius has been acquitted. Hortensius was his counsel. The verdict is thought to have been a favour to Aulus's son; and "Epicrates,"  I suspect, has been up to some mischief. I didn't like his boots and his white leggings. What it is I shall know when you arrive. When you find fault with the narrow windows, let me tell you that you are criticising the Cyropaedeia.  For when I made the same remark, Cyrus used to answer that the views of the gardens through broad lights were not so pleasant. For let a be the eye, bg the object seen, d and e the rays ... you see the rest.  For if sight resulted from the impact of images,  the images would be in great difficulties with a narrow entrance: but, as it is, that "effusion" of rays gets on quite nicely. If you have any other fault to find you won't get off without an answer, unless it is something that can be put right without expense.

I now come to January and my "political attitude," in which, after the manner of the Socratics, I shall put the two sides; at the end, however, as they were wont to do, the one which I approve. It is, indeed, a matter for profound refection. For I must either firmly oppose the agrarian law—which will involve a certain struggle, but a struggle full of glory—or I must remain altogether passive, which is about equivalent to retiring to Solonium  or Antium; or, lastly, I must actually assist the bill, which I am told Caesar fully expects from me without any doubt. For Cornelius has been with me (I mean Cornelius Balbus, Caesar's intimate), and solemnly assured me that he meant to avail himself of my advice and Pompey's in everything, and intended to endeavour to reconcile Crassus with Pompey.  In this last course there are the following advantages: a very close union with Pompey, and, if I choose, with Caesar also; a reconciliation with my political enemies, peace with the common herd, ease for my old age. But the conclusion of the third book of my own poem has a strong hold on me:

Meanwhile the tenor of thy youth's first spring,
Which still as consul thou with all thy soul
And all thy manhood heldest, see thou keep,
And swell the chorus of all good men's praise.

These verses Calliope herself dictated to me in that book, which contains much written in an "aristocratic" spirit, and I cannot, therefore, doubt that I shall always hold that

The best of omens is our country's cause.

But let us reserve all this for our walks during the Compitalia. Remember the day before the Compitalia. I will order the bath to be heated, and Terentia is going to invite Pomponia. We will add your mother to the party. Please bring me Theophrastus de Ambitione from my brother's library.

 
2 - 4 To Rome from Tusculum 59 BC

I am exceedingly obliged to you for sending me Serapio's book, of which indeed, between you and me, I scarcely understood a thousandth part. I have ordered the money for it to be paid you at once, that you may not put it down to the cost of presentation copies. But as I have mentioned the subject of money, I will beg you to try to come to a settlement with Titinius in any way you can. If he doesn't stand by his own proposal, what I should like best is that what he bought at too dear a rate should be returned, if that can be done with Pomponia's Consent: if that too is impossible, let the money be paid rather than have any difficulty. I should be very glad if you would settle this before you leave Rome, with your usual kindness and exactness.

So Clodius, you say, is for Tigranes? I only wish he would go—on the same terms as the Skepsian!  But I don't grudge him the job; for a more convenient time for my taking a "free legation" is when my brother Quintus shall have settled down again, as I hope, into private life, and I shall have made certain how that "priest of the Bona Dea"  intends to behave. Meanwhile I shall find my pleasure in the Muses with a mind undisturbed, or rather glad and cheerful; for it will never occur to me to envy Crassus or to regret that I have not been false to myself. As to geography, I will try to satisfy you, but I promise nothing for certain. It is a difficult business, but nevertheless, as you bid me, I will take care that this country excursion produces something for you. Mind you let me know any news you have ferreted out, and especially who you think will be the next consuls. However, I am not very curious; for I have determined not to think about politics. I have examined Terentia's woodlands. What need I say? If there was only a Dodonean oak in them, I should imagine myself to be in possession of Epirus. About the 1st of the month I shall be either at Formiae or Pompeii.  If I am not at Formiae, pray, an you love me, come to Pompeii. It will be a great pleasure to me and not much out of the way for you. About the wall, I have given Philotimus orders not to put any difficulty in the way of your doing whatever you please. I think, however, you had better call in Vettius.  In these bad times, when the life of all the best men hangs on a thread, I value one summer's enjoyment of my Palatine palaestra rather highly; but, of course, the last thing I should wish would be that Pomponia and her boy should live in fear of a falling wall.

 
2 - 5 To Rome from Antium 59 BC

I wish very much, and have long wished, to visit Alexandria, and at the same time to get away from here, where people are tired of me, and return when they have begun to feel my loss—but at such a time and at the bidding of such statesmen!  "I fear to face the men of Troy and Trojan matrons with their trailing robes."  For what would my friends the Optimates say—if there are such persons left? That I had accepted a bribe to change my views? Polydamas the first would lay the charge. I mean my friend Cato, who is as good as a hundred thousand in my eyes. What, too, will history say of me six hundred years hence? I am much more afraid of that than of the petty gossip of the men of today. But, I think, I had better lie low and wait. For if it is really offered to me, I shall be to a certain extent in a position of advantage, and then will be the time to weigh the matter. There is, upon my word, a certain credit even in refusing. Wherefore, if Theophanes  by chance has consulted you on the matter, do not absolutely decline. What I am expecting to hear from you is, what Arrius says, and how he endures being left in the lurch,  and who are intended to be consuls—is it Pompey and Crassus, or, as I am told in a letter, Servius Sulpicius with Gabinius?—and whether there are any new laws or anything new at all; and, since Nepos  is leaving Rome, who is to have the augurship—the one bait by which those personages could catch me! You see what a high price I put on myself! Why do I talk about such things, which I am eager to throw aside, and to devote myself heart and soul to philosophy. That, I tell you, is my intention. I could wish I had done so from the first. Now, however, that I have found by experience the hollowness of what I thought so splendid, I am thinking of doing business exclusively with the Muses. In spite of that, please give me in your next some more definite information about Curtius and who is intended to fill his place, and what is doing about P. Clodius, and, in fact, take your time and tell me everything as you promise; and pray write me word what day you think of leaving Rome, in order that I may tell you where I am likely to be and send me a letter at once on the subjects of which I have written to you. I look forward much to hearing from you.

 
2 - 6 To Rome from Antium 59 BC

As to my promise to you in a former letter that there should be some product of this country excursion, I cannot confirm it to any great extent: for I have become so attached to idleness that I cannot be torn from its arms. Accordingly, I either enjoy myself with books, of which I have a delightful stock at Antium, or I just count the waves—for the rough weather prevents my shrimping! From writing my mind positively recoils. For the geographical treatise, upon which I had settled, is a serious undertaking: so severely is Eratosthenes, whom I had proposed as my model, criticised by Serapio and Hipparchus: what think you will be the case if Tyrannio  is added to the critics? And, by Hercules, the subject is difficult of explanation and monotonous, and does not seem to admit of as much embellishment as I thought, and, in short—which is the chief point—any excuse for being idle seems to me a good one: for I am even hesitating as to settling at Antium and spending the rest of my life there, where, indeed, I would rather have been a duovir  than at Rome. You, indeed, have done more wisely in having made yourself a home at Buthrotum. But, believe me, next to that free town of yours comes the borough of the Antiates. Could you have believed that there could be a town so near Rome, where there are many who have never seen Vatinius? Where there is no one besides myself who Cares whether one of the twenty commissioners  is alive and well? Where no one intrudes upon me, and yet all are fond of me? This, this is the place to play the statesman in. For yonder, not only am I not allowed to do so, but I am sick of it besides. Accordingly, I will compose a book of secret memoirs for your ear alone in the style of Theopompus, or a more acrid one still.  Nor have I now any politics except to hate the disloyal, and even that without any bitterness, but rather with a certain enjoyment in writing. But to return to business: I have written to the city quaestors about my brother's affair. See what they say to it, whether there is any hope of the cash in denarii; or whether we are to be palmed off with Pompeian cistophori. Furthermore, settle what is to be done about the wall. Is there anything else? Yes! Let me know when you are thinking of starting.

 
2 - 7 To Rome from Antium 59 BC

About the geography I will think again and again. But you ask for two of my speeches, one of which I did not care to write out because I had ended it abruptly, the other because I did not want to praise the man I did not like. But that, too, I will see about. At all events, something shall be forth-coming to prevent your thinking that I have been absolutely idle. I am quite delighted to hear what you tell me about Publius; pray ferret out the whole story, and bring it to me you when come, and meanwhile write anything you may make out or suspect, and especially as to what he is going to do about the legation. For my part, before reading your letter, I was anxious that the fellow should go, not, by heaven, in order to avoid his impeachment—for I am wonderfully keen to try issues with him—but it seemed to me that, if he had secured any popularity by becoming a plebeian, he would thereby lose it. "Well, why did you transfer yourself to the Plebs? Was it to make a call on Tigranes? Tell me: do the kings of Armenia refuse to receive patricians?" In a word, I had polished up my weapons to teat this embassy of his to pieces. But if he rejects it, and thus moves the anger of those proposers and augurs of the lex curiata,  it will be a fine sight! By Hercules, to speak the truth, our friend Publius is being treated a little contemptuously! In the first place, though he was once the only man at Caesar's house, he is not now allowed to be one in twenty:  in the next place, one legation had been promised him and another has been given. The former fine fat one  for the levying of money is reserved, I presume, for Drusus of Pisaurum or for the gourmand Vatinius: this latter miserable business, which might be very well done by a courier, is given to him, and his tribuneship deferred till it suits them. Irritate the fellow, I beg you, as much as you can. The one hope of safety is their mutual disagreement, the beginning of which I have got scent of from Curio. Moreover, Arrius is fuming at being cheated out of the consulship. Megabocchus and our blood-thirsty young men are most violently hostile. May there be added to this, I pray, may there be added, this quarrel about the augurate! I hope I shall often have some fine letters to send you on these subjects. But I want to know the meaning of your dark hint that some even of the quinqueviri  are speaking out. What can it be? If there is anything in it, there is more hope than I had thought. And I would not have you believe that I ask you these questions "with any view to action," because my heart is yearning to take part in practical politics. I was long ago getting tired of being at the helm, even when it was in my power. And now that I am forced to quit the ship, and have not cast aside the tiller, but have had it wrenched out of my hands; my only wish is to watch their shipwreck from the shore: I desire, in the words of your favourite Sophocles,

And safe beneath the roof
To hear with drowsy ear the plash of rain.

As to the wall, see to what is necessary. I will correct the mistake of Castricius, and yet Quintus had made it in his letter to me 15,000, while now to your sister he makes it 30,000.  Terentia sends you her regards: my boy Cicero commissions you to give Aristodemus the same answer for him as you gave for his cousin, your sister's son.  I will not neglect your reminder about your Amaltheia.  Take care of your health.

 
2 - 8 To Rome from Antium 59 BC

When I had been eagerly expecting a letter from you as usual till evening, lo and behold a message that slaves have come from Rome. I summon them: I ask if they have any letters. "No," say they. "What do you say," said I, "nothing from Pomponius?" Frightened to death by my voice and look, they confessed that they had received one, and that it had been lost on the journey. Need I say more? I was intensely annoyed. For no letter has come from you for the last few days without something in it important and entertaining. In these circumstances, if there was anything in the letter dated 15th April, worth telling, pray write at once, that I may not be left in ignorance; but if there was nothing but banter, repeat even that for my benefit. And let me inform you that young Curio has been to call on me. What he said about Publius agreed exactly with your letter. He himself, moreover, wonderfully "holds our proud kings in hate." ent state of things. If there is hope in them, we are in a good way. My opinion is that we should leave things to take their course. I am devoting myself to my memoir. However, though you may think me a Saufeius,  I am really the laziest fellow in the world. But get into your head my several journeys, that.you may settle where you intend to come and see me. I intend to arrive at my Formian house on the Parilia (21st April). Next, since you think that at this time I ought to leave out luxurious Crater, on the 1st of May I leave Formiae, intending to reach Antium on the 3rd of May. For there are games at Antium from the 4th to the 6th of May, and Tullia wants to see them. Thence I think of going to Tusculum, thence to Arpinum, and be at Rome on the 1st of June. Be sure that we see you at Formiae or Antium, or at Tusculum. Rewrite your previous letter for me, and add something new.

 
2 - 9 To Rome from Antium 59 BC

Caecilius the quaestor having suddenly informed me that he was sending a slave to Rome, I write these hurried lines in order to get out of you the wonderful conversations with Publius, both those of which you write, and that one which you keep dark, and assert that it would be too long to write your answer to him; and, still farther, the one that has not yet been held, which that Iuno of a woman  is to report to you when she gets back from Solonium. I wish you to believe that there can be nothing I should like more. If, however, the compact made about me is not kept, I am in a seventh heaven to think that our friend the Jerusalemitish plebeian-maker  will learn what a fine return he has made to my brilliant speeches, of which you may expect a splendid recantation. For, as well as I can guess, if that profligate is in favour with our tyrants, he will be able to crow not only over the "cynic consular,"  but over your Tritons of the fish-ponds also. For I shall not possibly be an object of anybody's jealousy when robbed of power and of my influence in the senate. If, on the other hand, he should quarrel with them, it will not suit his purpose to attack me. However, let him attack. Charmingly, believe me, and with less noise than I had thought, has the wheel of the Republic revolved more rapidly, anyhow, than it should have done owing to Cato's error, but still more owing to the unconstitutional conduct of those who have neglected the auspices, the Aelian law, the Iunian, the Licinian, the Caecilian and Didian,  who have squandered all the safeguards of the constitution, who have handed over kingdoms as though they were private estates to tetrarchs,  and immense sums of money to a small coterie. I see plainly now the direction popular jealousy is taking, and where it will finally settle. Believe that I have learnt nothing from experience, nothing from Theophrastus,  if you don't shortly see the time of our government an object of regret. For if the power of the senate was disliked, what do you think will be the case when it has passed, not to the people, but to three unscrupulous men? So let them then make whom they choose consuls, tribunes, and even finally clothe Vatinius's men with the double-dyed purple  of the priesthood, you will see before long that the great men will be not only those who have made no false step,  but even he who did make a mistake, Cato. For, as to myself, if your comrade Publius will let me, I think of playing the sophist: if he forces me, I shall at least defend myself, and, as is the trick of my trade, I publicly promise to

Strike back at him who first is wroth with me.

May the country only be on my side: it has had from me, if not more than its due, at least more than it ever demanded. I would rather have a bad passage with another pilot than be a successful pilot to such ungrateful passengers. But this will do better when we meet. For the present take an answer to your questions. I think of returning to Antium from Formiae on the 3rd of May. From Antium I intend to start for Tuscuium on the 7th of May. But as soon as I have retumed from Formiae (I intend to be there till the 29th of April) I will at once inform you. Terentia sends compliments, and "Cicero the little greets Titus the Athenian."

 
2 - 10 To Rome from Appi Forum 59 BC

Please admire my consistency. I am determined not to be at the games at Antium: for it is somewhat of a solecism to wish to avoid all suspicion of frivolity, and yet suddenly to be shown up as travelling for mere amusement, and that of a foolish kind. Wherefore I shall wait for you till the 7th of May at Formiae. So now let me know what day we shall see you. From Appii Forum,  ten o'clock. I sent another a short time ago from Three Taverns.

 
2 - 11 To Rome from Appi Formiae 59 BC

I tell you what it is: I feel myself a downright exile since arriving at Formiae. For at Antium there was never a day that I didn't know what was going on at Rome better than those who were there. For your letters used to show me not only what was doing at Rome, but the actual political situation also—and not only that, but also what was likely to happen. Now, unless I snatch a bit of news from some passing traveller, I can learn nothing at all. Wherefore, though I am expecting you in person, yet pray give this boy, whom I have ordered to hurry back to me at once, a bulky letter, crammed not only with all occurrences, but with what you think about them; and be careful to let me know the day you are going to leave Rome. I intend staying at Formiae till the 6th of May. If you don't come there by that day, I shall perhaps see you at Rome. For why should I invite you to Arpinum?

 
2 - 12 To Rome from Tres Tabernae 59 BC

Are they going to deny that Publius has been made a plebeian? This is indeed playing the king, and is utterly intolerable. Let Publius send some men to witness and seal my affidavit: I will take an oath that my friend Gnaeus, the colleague of Balbus, told me at Antium that he had been present as augur to take the auspices. Two delightful letters from you delivered at the same time! For which I do not know what I am to pay you by way of reward for good news. That I owe you for them I candidly confess. But observe the coincidence. I had just made my way from Antium on to the via Appia at Three Taverns,  on the very day of the Cerealia (19th April), when my friend Curio meets me on his way from Rome. At the same piace and the same moment comes a slave from you with letters. The former asked me whether I hadn't heard the news? I said, "No." "Publius," says he, "is a candidate for the tribuneship." "You don't mean it?" "Yes, I do," says he, "and at daggers drawn with Caesar. His object is to rescind his acts." "What says Caesar?" said I. "He denies having proposed any lex for his adoption." Then he poured forth about his own hatred, and that of Memmius and Metellus Nepos. I embraced the youth and said good-bye to him, hastening to your letters. A fig for those who talk about a "living voice"! What a much clearer view I got of what was going on from your letters than from his talk! About the current rumours of the day, about the designs of Publius, about "Iuno's" trumpet calls, about Athenio who leads his roughs, about his letter to Gnaeus, about the conversation of Theophanes and Memmius. Besides, how eager you have made me to hear about the "fast" dinner party which you mention! I am greedy in curiosity, yet I do not feel at all hurt at your not writing me a description of the symposium: I would rather hear it by word of mouth. As to your urging me to write something, my material indeed is growing, as you say, but the whole is still in a state of fermentation—"new wine in the autumn." when the liquor has settled down and become clarified, I shall know better what to write. And even if you cannot get it from me at once, you shall be the first to have it: only for some time you must keep it to yourself. You are quite right to like Dicaearchus; he is an excellent writer, and a much better citizen than these rulers of ours who reverse his name.  I write this letter at four o'clock in the afternoon of the Cerealia (12th April), immediately after reading yours, but I shall despatch it, I think, tomorrow, by anyone I may chance to meet on the road. Terentia is delighted with your letter, et Ciceron le philosophe salue Titus l'homme d'état."

 
2 - 13 To Rome from Appi Formiae 59 BC

What an abominable thing! No one gave you my letter written on the spot at Three Taverns in answer to your delightful letters! But the fact is that the packet into which I had put it arrived at my town house on the same day as I wrote it, and has been brought back to me to Formiae. Accordingly, I have directed the letter meant for you to be taken back again, to show you how pleased I was with yours. So you say that the talk has died out at Rome! I thought so: but, by Hercules, it hasn't died out in the country, and it has come to this, that the very country can't stand the despotism you have got at Rome. When you come to "Laestrygonia of the distant gates" —I mean Formiae—what loud murmurs! what angry souls! what unpopularity for our friend Magnus! His surname is getting as much out of fashion as the "Dives" of Crassus. Believe me, I have met no one here to take the present state of things as quietly as I do. Wherefore, credit me, let us stick to philosophy. I am ready to take my oath that there is nothing to beat it. If you have a despatch to send to the Sicyonians,  make haste to Formiae, whence I think of going on the 6th of May.

 
2 - 14 To Rome from Appi Formiae 59 BC

How you rouse my curiosity as to what Bibulus says, as to your conversation with "Iuno," and even as to your "fast" dinner party! Therefore make haste to come, for my ears are thirsty for news. However, there is nothing which I think is now more to be dreaded by me than that our dear Sampsiceramus, finding himself belaboured by the tongues of all, and seeing these proceedings easy to upset, should begin striking out. For myself, I have so completely lost all nerve, that I prefer a despotism, with the existing peace, to a state of war with the best hopes in the world. As to literary composition, to which you frequently urge me, it is impossible! My house is a basilica rather than a villa, owing to the crowds of visitors from Formiae. But (you'll say) do I really compare the Aemilian tribe to the crowd in a basilica? . Arrius is my next door neighbour, or rather, he almost lives in my house, and even declares that the reason for his not going to Rome is that he may spend whole days with me here philosophizing! And then, lo and behold, on my other side is Sebosus, that friend of Catulus! Which way am I to turn? By heaven, I would start at once for Arpinum, only that I see that the most convenient place to await your visit is Formiae: but only up to the 6th of May! For you see with what bores my ears are pestered. What a splendid opportunity, with such fellows in the house, if anyone wanted to buy my Formian property!  And in spite of all this am I to make good my words, "Let us attempt something great, and requiring much thought and leisure"? However, I will do something for you, and not spare my labour.

 
2 - 15 To Rome from Appi Formiae 59 BC

As you say, things are as shifting (I see) in public affairs as in your letter; still, that very variety of talk and opinion has a charm for me. For I seem to be at Rome when I am reading your letter, and, as is the regular thing in questions of such importance, to hear something first on one side and then on the other. But what I can't make out is this—what he can possibly hit upon to settle the land question without encountering opposition. Again, as to Bibulus's firmness in putting off the comitia, it only conveys the expression of his own views, without really offering any remedy for the state of the Republic. Upon my word, my only hope is in Publius! Let him become, let him become a tribune by all means, if for no other reason, yet that you may be brought back from Epirus! For I don't see how you can possibly afford to miss him, especially if he shall elect to have a wrangle with me! But, seriously, if anything of the sort occurs, you would, I am certain, hurry back. But even supposing this not to be the case, yet whether he runs amuck or helps to raise the state, I promise myself a fine spectacle, if only I may enjoy it with you sitting by my side. s Arrius. This is what you call going out of town! I shall really be off to

My native mountains and my childhood's haunts.

In fine, if I can't be alone I would rather be with downright countryfolk than with such ultra-cockneys. However, I shall, since you don't say anything for certain, wait for you up to the 5th of May. Terentia is much pleased with the attention and care you have bestowed on her controversy with Mulvius. She is not aware that you are supporting the common cause of all holders of public land. Yet, after all, you do pay something to the publicani; she declines to pay even that,  and, accordingly, she and Cicero—most conservative of boys—send their kind regards.

 
2 - 16 To Rome from Appi Formiae 59 BC

On the day before the Kalends of May, when I had dined and was just going to sleep, the letter was delivered to me containing your news about the Campanian land. You needn't ask: at first it gave me such a shock that there was no more sleep for me, though that was the result of thought rather than pain. On refection, however, the following ideas occurred to me. In the first place, from what you had said in your previous letter—"that you had heard from a friend of his  that a proposal was going to be made which would satisfy everybody"—I had feared some very sweeping measure, but I don't think this is anything of the sort. In the next place, by way of consolation, I persuaded myself that the hope of a distribution of land is now all centred on the Campanian territory.  That land cannot support more than 5,000, 50 as to give ten iugera apiece: the rest of the crowd of expectants must necessarily be alienated from them. Besides, if there is anything that more than another could inflame the feeling of the aristocrats, who are, I notice, already irritated, it is this; and all the more that with port-dues in Italy abolished,  and the Campanian land divided, what home revenue is there except the five per cent. on manumissions? And even that, I think, it will only take a single trumpery harangue, cheered by our lackeys, to throw away also. What our friend Gnaeus can be thinking of I can't imagine—

For still he blows, and with no slender pipe,
But furious blasts by no mouth-band restrained

to be induced to countenance such a measure as that. For hitherto he has fenced with these questions: "he approved Caesar's laws, but Caesar must be responsible for his proceedings in carrying them"; "he himself was satisfied with the agrarian law"; "whether it could be vetoed by a tribune or no was nothing to do with him"; "he thought the time had come for the business of the Alexandrine king to be settled"; "it was no business of his to inquire whether Bibulus had been watching the sky on that occasion or no"; "as to the publicani he had been willing to oblige that order"; "what was going to happen if Bibulus came down to the forum at that time he could not have guessed."  But now, my Sampsiceramus, what will you say to this? That you have secured us a revenue from the Antilibanus and removed that from the Campanian land? Well, how do you mean to vindicate that? "I shall coerce you," says he, "by means of Caesar's army." You won't coerce me, by Hercules, by your army so much as by the ingratitude of the so-called boni who have never made me any return, even in words, to say nothing of substantial rewards. But if I had put out my strength against that coterie, I should certainly have found some way of holding my own against them. As things are, in view of the controversy between your friend Dicaearchus and my friend Theophrastus—the former recommending the life of action, the latter the life of contemplation--I think I have already obeyed both. For as to Dicaearchus, I think I have satisfied his requirements; at present my eyes are fixed on the school which not only allows of my abstaining from business, but blames me for not having always done so. Wherefore let me throw myself, my dear Titus, into those noble studies, and let me at length return to what I ought never to have left. As to what you say about Quintus's letter, when he wrote to me he was also "in front a lion and behind a ----." I don't know what to say about it; for in the first lines of his letter he makes such a lamentation over his continuance in his province, that no one could help being affected: presently he calms down sufficiently to ask me to correct and edit his Annals. However, I would wish you to have an eye to what you mention, I mean the duty on goods transferred from port to port. He says that by the advice of his council he has referred the question to the senate. He evidently had not read my letter, in which after having considered and investigated the matter, I had sent him a written opinion that they were not payable.  If any Greeks have already arrived at Rome from Asia on that business, please look into it and, if you think it right, explain to them my opinion on the subject. If, to save the good cause in the senate, I can retract, I will gratify the publicani: but if not, to be plain with you, I prefer in this matter the interests of all Asia and the merchants; for it affects the latter also very seriously. I think it is a matter of great importance to us. But you will settle it. Are the quaestors, pray, still hesitating on the cistophorus question?  If nothing better is to be had, after trying everything in our power, I should be for not refusing even the lowest offer. I shall see you at Arpinum and offer you country entertainment, since you have despised this at the seaside.

 
2 - 17 To Rome from Appi Formiae 59 BC

I quite agree with your letter. Sampsiceramus is getting up a disturbance. We have everything to fear. He is preparing a despotism and no mistake about it: For what else is the meaning of that sudden marriage union, the Campanian land affair, the lavish expenditure of money? If these measures were final, even then the mischief had been very great; but the nature of the case makes finality impossible. For how could these measures possibly give them any pleasure in themselves? They would never have gone so far as this unless they had been paving the way for other fatal steps. Immortal Gods! But, as you say, at Arpinum about the 10th of May we will not weep over these questions, lest the hard work and midnight oil I have spent over my studies shall turn out to have been wasted, but discuss them together calmly. For I am not so much consoled by a sanguine disposition as by philosophic "indifference," which I call to my aid in nothing so much as in our civil and political business. Nay, more, whatever vanity or sneaking love of reputation there is lurking in me—for it is well to know one's faults—is tickled by a certain pleasurable feeling. For it used to sting me to the heart to think that centuries hence the services of Sampsiceramus to the state would loom larger than my own. That anxiety, at least, is now put to rest. For he is so utterly fallen that, in comparison with him, Curius might seem to be standing erect after his fall. But all this when we meet. Yet, as far as I can see, you will be at Rome when I come. I shall not be at all sorry for that, if you can conveniently manage it. But if you come to see me, as you say in your letter, I wish you would fish out of Theophanes how "Arabarches" is disposed to me. You will, of course, inquire with your usual zeal, and bring me the result to serve as a kind of suggestion for the line of conduct I am to adopt. From his conversation we shall be able to get an inkling of the whole situation.

 
2 - 18 To Atticus on his way to Epirus, from Rome, June 59 BC

I have received several letters from you, which showed me with what eagerness and anxiety you desired to know the news. We are bound hard and fast on every side, and are no longer making any difficulty as to being slaves, but fearing death and exile as though greater evils, though they are in fact much smaller ones. Well, this is the position—one unanimously groaned over, but not relieved by a word from anyone. The object, I surmise, of the men in power is to leave nothing for anyone to lavish. The only man who opens his mouth and openly disapproves is the young Curio. He is loudly cheered, and greeted in the forum in the most complimentary manner, and many other tokens of goodwill are bestowed on him by the loyalists; while Fufius  is pursued with shouts, jeers, and hisses. From such circumstances it is not hope but indignation that is increased, for you see the citizens allowed to express their sentiments, but debarred from carrying them out with any vigour. And to omit details, the upshot is that there is now no hope, I don't say of private persons, but even of the magistrates being ever free again. Nevertheless, in spite of this policy of repression, conversation, at least in society and at dinner tables, is freer than it was. Indignation is beginning to get the better of fear, though that does not prevent a universal feeling of despair. For this Campanian law  contains a cause imposing an oath to be taken by candidates in public meeting, that they will not suggest any tenure of public land other than that provided in the Julian laws. All the others take the oath without hesitation: Laterensis  is considered to have shown extraordinary virtue in retiring from his canvass for the tribuneship to avoid the oath. But I don't care to write any more about politics. I am dissatisfied with myself, and cannot write without the greatest pain. I hold my own position with some dignity, considering the general repression, but considering my achievements in the past, with less courage than I should like. I am invited by Caesar in a very gentlemanly manner to accept a legation, to act as legatus to himself, and even an "open votive legation" is offered me. But the latter does not give sufficient security, since it depends too much on the scrupulousness of Pulchellus  and removes me just when my brother is returning; the former offers better security and does not prevent my returning when I please. I am retaining the latter, but do not think I shall use it. However, nobody knows about it. I don't like running away; I am itching to fight. There is great warmth of feeling for me. But I don't say anything positive: you will please not to mention it. I am, in fact, very anxious about the manumission of Statius and some other things, but I have become hardened by this time. I could wish, or rather ardently desire, that you were here: then I should not want advice or consolation. But anyhow, be ready to fly hither directly I call for you.

 
2 - 19 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

I have many causes for anxiety, both from the disturbed state of politics and from the personal dangers with which I am threatened. They are very numerous; but nothing gives me more annoyance than the manumission of Statius:  "To think that he should have no reverence for my authority! But of authority I say nothing—that he should have no fear of a quarrel with me, to put it mildly."  But what I am to do I don't know, nor indeed is there so much in the affair as you would think from the talk about it. For myself, I am positively incapable of being angry with those I love deeply. I only feel vexed, and that to a surprising degree. Other vexations are on really important matters. The threats of Clodius and the conflicts before me touch me only slightly. For I think I can either confront them with perfect dignity or decline them without any embarrassment. You will say, perhaps, "Enough of dignity, like the proverb, 'Enough of the oak':  an you love me, take thought for safety!" Ah, dear me, dear me, why are you not here? Nothing, certainly, could have escaped you. I, perhaps, am somewhat blinded, and too much affected by my high ideal. I assure you there never was anything so scandalous, so shameful, so offensive to all sorts, Conditions and ages of men alike, as the present state of affairs. It is more so, by Hercules, than I could have wished, but not more than I had expected. Your populares have now taught even usually quiet men to hiss. Bibulus is praised to the skies: I don't know why, but he has the same sort of applause as his

Who by delays restored alone our State.

Pompey—the man I loved—has, to my infinite sorrow, ruined his own reputation They hold no one by affection, and I fear they will be forced to use terror. I, however, refrain from hostility to their cause owing to my friendship for him, and yet I cannot approve, lest I should stultify my own past. The feeling of the people was shown as clearly as possible in the theatre and at the shows. For at the gladiators both master and supporters were overwhelmed with hisses. At the games of Apollo the actor Diphilus made a pert allusion to Pompey, in the words:

By our misfortunes thou art—Great.

He was encored countless times. When he delivered the line,

The time will come when thou wilt deeply mourn
That self-same valour,

the whole theatre broke out into applause, and so on with the rest. For the verses do seem exactly as though they were written by some enemy of Pompey's to hit the time. "If neither laws nor customs can control," etc., caused great sensation and loud shouts. Caesar having entered as the applause died away, he was followed by the younger Curio. The latter received an ovation such as used to be given to Pompey when the constitution was still intact. Caesar was much annoyed. A despatch is said to have been sent flying off to Pompey at Capua.  They are offended with the equites, who rose to their feet and cheered Curio, and are at war with everybody. They are threatening the Roscian law,  and even the corn law.  There has been a great hubbub altogether. For my part, I should have preferred their doings being silently ignored; but that, I fear, won't be allowed. Men are indignant at what nevertheless must, it seems, be put up with. The whole people have indeed now one voice, but its strength depends rather on exasperation than anything to back it up. Furthermore, our Publius is threatening me: he is hostile, and a storm is hanging over my head which should bring you post haste to town. I believe that I am still firmly supported by the same phalanx of all loyal or even tolerably loyal men which supported me when consul. Pompey displays no common affection for me. He also asserts that Clodius is not going to say a word about me. In which he is not deceiving me, but is himself deceived. Cosconius having died, I am invited to fill his place.  That would indeed be a case of "invited to a dead man's place." I should have been beneath contempt in the eyes of the world, and nothing could be conceived less likely to secure that very "personal safety" of which you speak. For those commissioners are disliked by the loyalists, and so I should have retained my own unpopularity with the disloyal, with the addition of that attaching to others. Caesar wishes me to accept a legateship under him. This is a more honourable method of avoiding the danger. But I don't wish to avoid it. What do I want, then? Why, I prefer fighting. However, I have not made up my mind. Again I say, Oh that you were here! However, if it is absolutely necessary I will summon you. What else is there to say? What else? This, I think: I am certain that all is lost. For why mince matters any longer? But I write this in haste, and, by Hercules, in rather a nervous state. On some future occasion I will either write to you at full length, if I find a very trustworthy person to whom to give a letter, or if I write darkly you will understand all the same. In these letters I will be Laelius, you Furius; the rest shall be in riddles. Here I cultivate Caecilius,  and pay him assiduous attention. I hear Bibulus's edicts have been sent to you. Our friend Pompey is hot with indignation and wrath at them.

 
2 - 20 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

I have done everything I could for Anicatus, as I understood was your wish. Numestius, in accordance with your earnestly expressed letter, I have adopted as a friend. Caecilius I look after diligently in all ways possible. Varro  does all I could expect for me. Pompey loves me and regards me as a dear friend. "Do you believe that?" you will say. I do: he quite convinces me. But seeing that men of the world in all histories, precepts, and even verses, are for ever bidding one be on one's guard and forbidding belief, I carry out the former—"to be on my guard"—the latter—"to disbelieve" —I cannot carry out. Clodius is still threatening me with danger. Pompey asserts that there is no danger. He swears it. He even adds that he will himself be murdered by him sooner than I injured. The negotiation is going on. As soon as anything is settled I will write you word. If I have to fight, I will summon you to share in the work. If I am let alone, I won't rout you out of your "Amaltheia." About politics I will write briefly: for I am now afraid lest the very paper should betray me. Accordingly, in future, if I have anything more to write to you, I shall clothe it in covert language. For the present the state is dying of a novel disorder for although everybody disapproves of what has been done, complains, and is indignant about it, and though there is absolutely no difference of opinion on the subject, and people now speak openly and groan aloud, yet no remedy is applied: for we do not think resistance possible without a general slaughter, nor see what the end of concession is to be except ruin. Bibulus is exalted to the skies as far as admiration and affection go. His edicts and speeches are copied out and read. He has reached the summit of glory in a novel way. There is now nothing so popular as the dislike of the popular party. I have my fears as to how this will end. But if I ever see my way clearly in anything, I will write to you more explicitly. For yourself, if you love me as much as I am sure you do, take care to be ready to come in all haste as soon as I call for you. But I do my best, and shall do so, to make it unnecessary. I said I would call you Furius in my letters, but it is not necessary to change your name. I'll call myself Laelius and you Atticus, but I will use neither my own hand-writing nor seal, if the letter happens to be such as I should not wish to fall into the hands of a stranger. Diodotus is dead; he has left me perhaps 1,000 sestertia. Bibulus has postponed the elections to the 18th of October, in an edict expressed in the vein of Archilochus.  I have received the books from Vibius: he is a miserable poet, but yet he is not without some knowledge nor wholly useless. I am going to copy the book out and send it back.

 
2 - 21 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

Why should I write to you on the Republic in detail? It is utterly ruined; and is, so far, in a worse state than when you left it, that then a despotism seemed to be oppressing it which was popular with the multitude, and though offensive to the loyalists, yet short of actual mischief; but now all on a sudden they have become so universally hated, that I tremble to think what will be the end of it. For we have had experience of those men's resentment and violence, who have ruined everything in their anger against Cato; yet they were employing such slow poisons, that it seemed as though our end might be painless. Now, however, I fear they have been exasperated by the hisses of the crowd, the talk of the respectable classes, and the murmurs of Italy. For my part, I was in hopes, as I often used actually to say to you, that the wheel of the state chariot had made its revolution with scarcely any noise and leaving scarcely any visible rut; and it would have been so, if people could only have waited till the storm had blown over. But after sighing in secret for a long time they all began, first to groan, and at last to talk and shout. Accordingly, that friend of ours, unaccustomed to being unpopular, always used to an atmosphere of praise, and revelling in glory, now disfigured in body and broken in spirit, does not know which way to turn; sees that to go on is dangerous, to return a betrayal of vacillation; has the loyalists his enemies, the disloyal themselves not his friends. Yet see how soft-hearted I am. I could not refrain from tears when, on the 25th of July, I saw him making a speech on the edicts of Bibulus. The man who in old times had been used to bear himself in that place with the utmost confidence and dignity, surrounded by the warmest affection of the people, amidst universal favour—how humble, how cast down he was then! How ill-content with himself, to say nothing of how unpleasing to his audience! Oh, what a spectacle! No one could have liked it but Crassus--no one else in the world! Not I, for considering his headlong descent from the stars, he seemed to me have lost his footing rather than to have been deliberately following a path; and, as Apelles, if he had seen his Venus, or Protogenes his Ialysus daubed with mud, would, I presume, have felt great sorrow, so neither could I behold without great sorrow a man, portrayed and embellished with all the colours of my art, suddenly disfigured. Although no one thought, in view of the Clodius business, that I was bound to be his friend, yet so great was my affection for him, that no amount of injury was capable of making it run dry. The result is that those Archilochian edicts of Bibulus against him are so popular, that one can't get past the place where they are put up for the crowd of readers, and so deeply annoying to himself that he is pining with vexation. To me, by Hercules, they are distressing, both because they give excessive pain to a man whom I have always loved, and because I fear lest one so impulsive and so quick to strike, and so unaccustomed to personal abuse, may, in his passionate resentment, obey the dictates of indignation and anger. I don't know what is to be the end of Bibulus. As things stand at present he is enjoying a wonderful reputation. For on his having postponed the comitia to October, as that is a measure which is always against the popular feeling, Caesar had imagined that the assembly could be induced by a speech of his to go to Bibulus's house; but after a long harangue full of seditious suggestions, he failed to extract a word from any-one. In short, they feel that they do not possess the cordial goodwill of any section: all the more must we fear some act of violence. Clodius is hostile to us. Pompey persists in asserting that he will do nothing against me. It is risky for me to believe that, and I am preparing myself to meet his attack. I hope to have the warmest feelings of all orders on my side. I have personally a longing for you, and circumstances also demand your presence at that time. I shall feel it a very great addition to my policy, to my courage, and, in a word, to my safety, if I see you in time. Varro does all I can expect. Pompey talks like an angel. I have hopes that I shall come off with flying colours, or at any rate without being molested. Be sure and tell me how you are, how you are amusing yourself, and what settlement you have come to with the Sicyonians.

 
2 - 22 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

How I wished you had stayed at Rome! I am sure you would have stayed if you had foreseen what was going to happen. For then we should have had no difficulty in keeping "Pulchellus" in order, or at least should have known what he was going to do. As things are, he darts about, talks like a madman, never sticks to anything: threatens now this one and now that: seems likely, in reality, to do whatever turns up. When he sees how unpopular the present state of things is, he seems to intend an attack upon the authors of it; but when he again recalls their power and armies, he transfers his hostility to the loyalists. Me personally he threatens at one time with violence, at another with impeachment. With him Pompey has remonstrated, and, as he tells me himself—for I have no other evidence—has urgently remonstrated, pointing out that he would himself lie under the extreme imputation of perfidy and unprincipled conduct, if any danger to me were created by the man whom he had himself armed by acquiescing in his becoming a plebeian: that both he and Appius had pledged themselves in regard to me: if Clodius did not respect that, he should show such annoyance that everyone would understand that he valued my friendship above everything. Having said this and much else to the same effect, he told me that the fellow at first argued against it at great length and for a long time, but eventually gave way and declared that he would do nothing against his wishes. Nevertheless, he has not ceased since then speaking of me with the greatest bitterness. But even if be had not done so, I should have felt no confidence in him, but should have been making every preparation, as in fact I am doing. As it is, I am so conducting myself that every day the affections of people towards me and the strength of my position are enhanced. I don't touch politics in any shape or way; I employ myself with the greatest assiduity in pleading causes and in my regular forensic business.  And this I feel is extremely gratifying, not only to those who enjoy my services, but also to the people generally. My house is crowded; I am met by processions; the memory of my consulship is renewed; men's feelings are clearly shown: my hopes are so raised, that the struggle hanging over me seems at times one from which I need not shrink. Now is the time that I need your advice, your love and fidelity. Wherefore come post haste! Everything will be easy for me if I have you. I can carry on many negotiations through our friend Varro, which will be on firmer ground with you to back them up; a great deal can be elicited from Publius himself, and be brought to my knowledge, which cannot possibly be kept concealed from you; a great deal also--but it is absurd to enumerate particulars, when I want you for everything. I would like you to be convinced of this above all, that everything will be simplified for me if I see you: but it all turns on this coming to pass before he enters on his office. I think that if you are here while Crassus is egging on Pompey—as you can get out of Clodius himself, by the agency of "Iuno,"  how far they are acting in good faith—we shall escape molestation, or at any rate not be left under a delusion. You don't stand in need of entreaties or urgency from me. You understand what my wish is, and what the hour and the importance of the business demand. As to politics, I can tell you nothing except that everybody entertains the greatest detestation for those who are masters of everything. There is, however, no hope of a change. But, as you easily understand, Pompey himself is discontented and extremely dissatisfied with himself. I don't see Clearly what issue to expect: but Certainly such a state of affairs seems likely to lead to an outbreak of some sort. Alexander's books —a careless writer and a poor poet, and yet not without some useful information—I have sent back to you. I have had pleasure in admitting Numerius Numestius to my friendship, and I find him a man of character and good sense, worthy of your recommendation.

 
2 - 23 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

I don¹t think you have ever before read a letter of mine not written by my own hand. You will be able to gather from that how I am distracted with business. For as I had not a moment to spare and was obliged to take a walk in order to refresh my poor voice, I have dictated this while walking. The first thing, then, which I wish you to know is that our friend "Sampsiceramus" is exceedingly dissatisfied with his position, and desires to be restored to the place from which he has fallen; that he confides his annoyance to me, and is without disguise seeking for a remedy—which I don't think can be found. The second thing is that all on that side, whether promoters or mere hangers-on, are falling out of fashion, though no one opposes them: there never was a greater unanimity of feeling or talk everywhere. For myself (for I am sure you wish to know it) I take part in no political deliberations, and have devoted myself entirely to my forensic business and work. Thereby, as may easily be understood, I have frequent occasion to refer to my past achievements and to express my regret. But the brother of our "Iuno" is giving utterance to all kinds of alarming threats, and, while disclaiming them to "Sampsiceramus," makes an open avowal and parade of them to others. Wherefore, loving me as much as I know you do, if you are asleep, wake up; if you are standing, start walking; if you are walking, set off running; if you are running, take wings and fly. You can scarcely believe how much I confide in your advice and wisdom, and above all in your affection and fidelity. The importance of the interests involved perhaps demands a long disquisition, but the close union of our hearts is contented with brevity. It is of very great importance to me that, if you can't be at Rome at the elections, you should at least be here after his election is declared.  Take care of your health.

 
2 - 24 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

In the letter which I delivered to Numestius I begged you to come back, in the most urgent and vehement terms it was possible to use. To the speed which I then enjoined even add something if you possibly can. And yet do not be agitated, for I know you well, and am not ignorant of "how love is all compact of thought and fear." But the matter, I hope, is going to be less formidable in the end than it was at its beginning. That fellow Vettius, our old informer, promised Caesar, as far as I can make out, that he would secure young Curio being brought under some suspicion of guilt. Accordingly, he wormed his way into intimacy with the young man, and having, as is proved, often met him, at last went the length of telling him that he had resolved by the help of his slaves to make an attack upon Pompey and assassinate him. Curio reported this to his father, the latter to Pompey. The matter was reported to the senate. Vettius, on being brought in, at first denied that he had ever had any appointment with Curio. However, he did not long stick to that, but immediately claimed the protection of the state as giving information. There was a shout of "no" to this but he went on to state that there had been a confederacy of young men under the leadership of Curio, to which Paullus had at first belonged, and Q. Caepio (I mean Brutus)  and Lentulus, son of the flamen, with the privity of his father: that afterwards C. Septimius, secretary to Bibulus, had brought him a dagger from Bibulus. That made the whole thing ridiculous, as though Vettius would have been at a loss for a dagger unless the consul had given him one; and it was all the more scouted because on the 5th of May Bibulus had told Pompey to be on his guard against plots; on which occasion Pompey had thanked him. Young Curio, being brought into the senate, spoke in answer to the allegations of Vettius; and on this particular occasion the strongest thing against Vettius was his having said that the plan of the young men was to attack Pompey in the forum, with the help of Gabinius's gladiators,  and that in this the ring-leader was Paullus, who was ascertained to have been in Macedonia at that time. A decree of the senate is passed that" Vettius, having confessed to having 'worn a dagger,'  should be cast into prison; that anyone releasing him would be guilty of treason to the state." The opinion generally held is that the whole affair had been arranged. Vettius was to be caught in the forum with a dagger, and his slaves also with weapons, and he was then to offer to lay an information; and this would have been carried out, had not the Curios given Pompey previous information. Presently the decree of the senate was read in public assembly. Next day, however, Caesar—the man who formerly as praetor had bidden Q. Catulus  speak on the ground below—now brought Vettius on to the rostra, and placed him on an elevation to which Bibulus, though consul, was prevented from aspiring. Here that fellow said exactly what he chose about public affairs, and, having come there primed and instructed, first struck Caepio's name out of his speech, though he had named him most emphatically in the senate, so that it was easy to see that a night and a nocturnal intercession  had intervened: next he named certain men on whom he had not cast even the slightest suspicion in the senate: L. Lucullus, by whom he said that C. Fannius was usually sent to him—the man who on a former occasion had backed a prosecution of Clodius; L. Domitius, whose house had been agreed on as the headquarters of the Conspirators. Me he did not name, but he said that "an eloquent consular, who lived near the consul, had said to him that there was need of some Servilius Ahala or Brutus being found." He added at the very end, on being recalled by Vatinius after the assembly had been dismissed, that he had been told by Curio that my son-in-law Piso was privy to these proceedings, as M. Laterensis also. At present Vettius is on trial for "violence" before Crassus Dives,  and when condemned he intends to claim the impunity of an informer; and if he obtains that, there seem likely to be some prosecutions. I don't despise the danger, for I never despise any danger, but neither do I much fear it. People indeed show very great affection for me, but I am quite tired of life: such a scene of misery is it all. It was only the other day that we were fearing a massacre, which the speech of that gallant old man Q. Considius prevented:  now this one, which we might have feared any day, has suddenly turned up. In short, nothing can be more unfortunate than I, or more fortunate than Catulus, both in the splendour of his life and in the time of his death. However, in the midst of these miseries I keep my spirit erect and undismayed, and maintain my position in a most dignified manner and with great caution. Pompey bids me have no anxiety about Clodius, and shows the most cordial goodwill to me in everything he says. I desire to have you to suggest my policy, to be the partner in my anxieties, and to share my every thought. Therefore I have commissioned Numestius to urge you, and I now entreat you with the same or, if possible, greater earnestness, to literally fly to us. I shall breathe again when I once see you.

 
2 - 25 To Epirus from Rome 59 BC

When I have praised any one of your friends to you I should like you tell him that I have done so. For instance, you know I lately wrote to you about Varro's kindness to me, and that you wrote me back word that the circumstance gave you the greatest delight. But I should have preferred your writing to him and saying that he was doing all I could expect—not because he was, but in order that he might do so. For he is a man of astonishing whims, as you know, "tortuous and no wise--."  But I stick to the rule "Follies of those in power," etc.  But, by Hercules, that other friend of yours, Hortalus—with what a liberal hand, with what candour, and in what ornate language has he praised me to the skies, when speaking of the praetorship of Flaccus and that incident of the Allobroges.  I assure you nothing could have been more affectionate, complimentary, or more lavishly expressed. I very much wish that you would write and tell him that I sent you word of it. Yet why write? I think you are on your way and are all but here. For I have urged you so strongly to come in my previous letters. I am expecting you with great impatience, longing for you very much; nor do I call for you more than circumstances themselves and the state of the times. Nothing can be more desperate than the position of politics, nothing more unpopular than the authors of it. I—as I think, hope, and imagine--am safe behind a rampart of goodwill of the strongest kind. Wherefore fly to me: you will either relieve me from all annoyance or will share it. My letter is all the shorter because, as I hope, I shall be able in a very short time to talk over what I want to say face to face. Take care of your health.

 
3
3 - 1 To Rome from Turium 58 BC

I always thought that it was of great importance to me that you should be with me: but when I read the bill, then, indeed, I understood that there could be nothing more desirable for me than that you should overtake me as soon as possible, in order that, if after quitting Italy I should have to travel through Epirus, I might avail myself of your protection and that of your friends; or, if I had to adopt any other plan, I might come to some definite resolution in accordance with your opinion. Wherefore I beg you to do your best to overtake me promptly, which will be easier for you to do since the law about the province of Macedonia has now been passed.  I would urge you at greater length were it not that with you facts speak for me.

 
3 - 2 To Rome from Nares Lucenae 58 BC

The reason for having come this journey is that there was no place where I could be independent except on Sica's estate,  especially till the bill is emended,  and at the same time because I find that from this spot I can reach Brundisium, if you were only with me, but without you I cannot stay in those parts owing to Autronius.  At present, as I said in my previous letter, if you will come to me, we shall be able to form a plan for the whole business. I know the journey is troublesome, but the whole Calamity is full of troubles. I Cannot write more, I am so heart-broken and dejected. Take Care of your health. From Nares Lucanae,  8 April.

 
3 - 3 To Rome from Vibo 58 BC

I hope I may see the day when I shall thank you for having compelled me to remain alive! At present I thoroughly repent it. But I beg you to come and see me at Vibo at once, to which town I have for several reasons directed my journey.  But if you will only come there, I shall be able to consult you about my entire journey and exile. If you don't do so, I shall be surprised, but I feel sure you will.

 
3 - 4 To Rome from Near Vibo 58 BC

I hope you will attribute my sudden departure from Vibo, whither I had asked you come, to my unhappiness rather than to fickleness. A copy of the bill for my ruin was brought to me, in which the correction of which I had been told was to the effect that I might legally remain anywhere beyond 400 miles. Since I was not allowed to go yonder,  I set out towards Brundisium before the day for carrying the bill had come, both to prevent Sica, in whose house I was staying, from being ruined,  and because I was prevented from residing at Malta. So now make haste to catch me up, if only I shall find any welcome there.  At present I receive kind invitations. But about the rest of my journey I am nervous. Truly, my dear Pomponius, I am very sorry I consented to live: in which matter you exercised the chief influence with me. But of these things when we meet. Only be sure and come.

 
3 - 5 To Rome from Turium 58 BC

Terentia thanks you frequently and very warmly. That is a great comfort to me. I am the most miserable man alive, and am being worn out with the most poignant sorrow. I don't know what to write to you. For if you are at Rome, it is now too late for you to reach me; but if you are on the road, we shall discuss together all that needs to be discussed when you have overtaken me. All I ask you is to retain the same affection for me, since it was always myself you loved. For I am the same man: my enemies have taken what was mine, they have not taken myself. Take care of your health.

 
3 - 6 To Rome from on the way to Tarentum 58 BC

I had felt certain of seeing you at Tarentum or Brundisium, and that was of importance to me in many respects: among others, as to my being able to stay in Epirus and consult you about the future. My disappointment in this is only another item in the long list of my misfortunes.  I mean to go to Asia, to Cyzicus for choice. I commend my family to you. I am very wretched and can scarcely support my life. From near Tarentum, 17 April.

 
3 - 7 To Rome from Brundusium 58 BC

I arrived at Brundisium on the 17th of April. On that day your slaves delivered me your letter, and some other slaves, on the next day but one, brought me another. As to your invitation and advice to stay at your house in Epirus, your kindness is most gratifying, and far from being a novelty. It is a plan that would have exactly suited my wishes, if I might have spent all my time there: for I loathe a crowd of visitors, I can scarcely bear the light, and that solitude, especially in a spot so familiar, would have been the reverse of disagreeable. But to put up there as a mere stage in my journey! In the first place it is far out of my way, and in the next it is only four days from Autronius and the rest, and in the third place you are not there. Had I been going to reside permanently, a fortified castle would have been an advantage, but to one only passing through it is unnecessary. Why, if I had not been afraid, I should have made for Athens —there were circumstances that made me much wish to go—but as it is, I have enemies in the neighbourhood, you are not there, and I fear they  might hold even that town not to be the legal distance from Italy, nor do you mention by what day I am to expect you. As to your urging me to remain alive, you carry one point—that I should not lay violent hands upon myself: the other you cannot bring to pass—that I should not regret my policy and my continuance in life. For what is there to attach me to it, especially if the hope which accompanied me on my departure is nonexistent? I will not attempt to enumerate all the miseries into which I have fallen through the extreme injustice and unprincipled conduct, not so much of my enemies, as of those who were jealous of me, because I do not wish to stir up a fresh burst of grief in myself, or invite you to share the same sorrow. I say this deliberately—that no one was ever afflicted with so heavy a calamity, that no one had ever greater cause to wish for death; while I have let slip the time when I might have sought it most creditably. Henceforth death can never heal, it can only end my sorrow.  In politics I perceive that you collect all circumstances that you think may inspire me with a hope of a change: and though they are insignificant, yet, since you will have it so, let us have patience. In spite of what you say, you will catch us up if you make haste. For I will either come into Epirus to be near you, or I will travel slowly through Candavia.  My hesitation about Epirus is not caused by vacillation on my part, but by the fact that I do not know where I am likely to see my brother. As to him, I neither know how I am to see him, nor how I shall let him go. That is the greatest and most distressing of all my distresses. I would indeed have written to you oftener, and at greater length, had it not been that sorrow, while it has affected all parts of my intellect, has above all entirely destroyed my faculty for this kind of writing. I long to see you. Take care of your health. Brundisium, 29 April.

 
3 - 8 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

I wrote to you at Brundisium, when on the point of starting, the reasons for my not going to Epirus: namely, the proximity of Achaia, which was full of enemies of the most unscrupulous character, and secondly, the difficulty of leaving it when I wished to resume my journey. Added to this, while I was at Dyrrachium two messages reached me: the first, that my brother was coming from Ephesus to Athens by ship; the second, that he was coming through Macedonia by land. Accordingly, I sent a message to meet him at Athens, telling him to come thence to Thessalonica. I myself continued my journey, and arrived at Thessalonica on the 23rd of May, but have no certain intelligence about his journey except that he had left Ephesus some time ago. At present I am feeling very nervous as to what steps are being taken at Rome. Although you say in one of your letters, dated the 15th of May, that you hear that he will be vigorously prosecuted, in another you say that things are calming down. But then the latter is dated a day before the former; which makes me all the more anxious. So while my own personal sorrow is every day tearing my heart and wearing out my strength, this additional anxiety indeed scarcely leaves me any life at all. However, the voyage itself was very difficult, and he perhaps, being uncertain where I was, has taken some other course. For my freedman Phaetho saw nothing of him. Phaetho was driven by the wind from Ilium  to Macedonia, and met me at Pella. How formidable other circumstances are I am fully aware, and I don't know what to say to you. I fear everything, nor is there any misery which would not seem possible in my present unfortunate position. Miserable as I still am in the midst of my heavy trials and sorrows, now that this anxiety is added to them, I remain at Thessalonica in a state of suspense without venturing upon any step whatever.

Now to answer you. I have not seen Caecilius Trypho. I comprehend from your letter what you and Pompey have been saying. That any movement in politics is impending I cannot see as clearly as you either see, or perhaps only suggest for my consolation. For, as the Case of Tigranes was passed over, all hope of a rupture is at an end.  You bid me thank Varro: I will do so; also Hypsaeus.  As to your advice not to go farther off till the acta  of the month of May reach me, I think I shall do as you suggest. But where to stay? I have not yet come to any decision. And indeed my mind is so uneasy about Quintus, that I can determine on nothing. However, I will let you know immediately. From the incoherent nature of my letters I think you will understand the agitation of my mind, caused not so much by my misery, though I have been overwhelmed by an incredible and unparalleled calamity, as by the recollection of my blunder. For by whose unprincipled advice I was egged on and betrayed you certainly now perceive,  and oh that you had perceived it before, and had not given your whole mind to lamentation along with me! Wherefore, when you are told that I am prostrate and unmanned with grief, consider that I am more distressed at my own folly than at the result of it, in having believed a man whom I did not think to be treacherous. My writing is impeded both by the recollection of my own disasters, and by my alarm about my brother. Yes, pray look after and direct all the affairs you mention. Terentia expresses the warmest gratitude to you. I have sent you a copy of the letter which I have written to Pompey. Thessalonica, 29 May.

 
3 - 9 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

My brother Quintus having quitted Asia before the 1st of May, and arrived at Athens on the 15th, he would have to make great haste to prevent proceedings being commenced against him in his absence, supposing there to be some one who was not content with the misfortunes we have already sustained. Accordingly, I preferred that he should hurry on to Rome rather than come to me; and at the same time—for I will tell you the truth, and it will give you a notion of the extent of my wretchedness—I could not make up my mind to see him, devotedly attached to me as he is, and a man of most tender feelings, or to obtrude upon him my miseries and ruin in all their wretchedness, or to endure their being seen by him. And I was besides afraid of what certainly would have happened—that he would not have had the resolution to leave me. I had ever before my eyes the time when he would either have to dismiss his lictors, or be violently torn from my arms. The prospect of this bitter pain I have avoided by the other bitter pain of not seeing my brother. It is all you, who advised me to continue living, that have forced me into this distressful position. Accordingly, I am paying the penalty of my error. However, I am sustained by your letter, from which I easily perceive how high your own hopes are. This did give me some consolation, but only, after all, till you passed from the mention of Pompey because, though a provincial governor retained his lictors till he reached Rome, he was bound to go straight home or dismiss them. To the passage beginning "Now try and win over Hortensius and men of that sort." In heaven's name, my dear Pomponius, don't you yet perceive by whose means, by whose treachery, by whose dishonest advice, I have been ruined? But all this I will discuss with you when we meet. I will only say this much, which I think you know: it is not my enemies, but my jealous rivals, that have ruined me. Now, however, if things are really as you hope, I will keep up my spirits, and will rely upon the hope on which you bid me rely. But if, as I myself think, this proves illusory, what I was not allowed to do at the best time shall be done at a worse.  Terentia often expresses her gratitude to you. For myself one of my miseries also consists in fear—the business of my unhappy brother. If I could only know how it stands, I should know what I ought to do. Personally, the hope of the advantages and of the letters you mention keeps me still, as you advise, at Thessalonica. If I get any news, I shall know what I ought to do about the rest. Yes, if, as you say in your letter, you left Rome on the 1st of June, you will soon see us. I have sent you a letter which I wrote to Pompey. Thessalonica, 15 June.

 
3 - 10 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

The public transactions up to the 25th of May I have learnt from your letter. I am waiting for the rest, as you advised, at Thessalonica; and when they arrive I shall be better able to decide where to be. For if there is any reason, if any action is being taken, if I shall see any hopes, I shall either wait in the same place or go to your house; but if, as you say, these hopes have vanished into air, I shall look out for something else. At present you do not give me any indication except the disagreement of those friends of yours, which, however, arises between them on every kind of subject rather than myself. Therefore I don't see what good it is to me. However, as long as you all will have me hope, I shall obey you. For as to your scoldings so frequent and so severe, and your saying that I am faint-hearted, I would ask you what misery is there so heavy as not to be included in my disfranchisement? Did anyone ever fall from such a high position, in so good a cause, with such endowments of genius, wisdom and popularity, with such powerful supports from all loyalists? Can I forget what I was, and not feel what I am? Of what honour, of what glory, of what children, of what means, of what a brother I am deprived? This last, indeed, to draw your attention to a new kind of disaster—though I valued him, and always had done so, more than myself—I have avoided seeing, lest I should behold his grief and mourning, or lest I—whom he had left in the highest prosperity—should obtrude myself upon him in a state of ruin and humiliation. I pass over the other particulars that are past bearing: for I am prevented by my tears. And here, let me ask, am I to be blamed for my grief, or for the unfortunate mistake of not retaining these advantages (and I could easily have done so, had not a plot for my destruction been hatched within my own walls), or at least of not losing them without losing my life at the same time? My purpose in writing these words is that you should rather console me, as you do, than think me deserving of correction or chiding; and the reason of the comparative brevity of my letters is, in the first place, that I am hindered by outbursts of sorrow, and, in the second place, that I have news to expect from Rome rather than any to communicate myself. But when that news arrives I will let you know my plans. Pray, as you have done hitherto, write to me on as many subjects as possible, that I may not be ignorant of any possible thing there is to know. Thessalonica, 17 June.

 
3 - 11 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

I have been kept at Thessalonica up to this time as well by your letter and some good news (which, however, did not rest on the best authority), and the expectation of hearing from you all at Rome, as by the fact that you advised my doing so. When I receive the letters which I expect, if there turns out to be the hope which rumour brings me, I shall go to your house;  if otherwise, I will inform you of what I have done. Pray go on, as you are doing, and help me by your exertions, advice, and influence. Cease now consoling me, but yet don't chide me; for when you do that, I fail to recognize your affection and regret! Yet I believe you to be so distressed yourself at my wretchedness, that it is not within anyone's power to console you. Give your support to Quintus, my best and kindest of brothers. Pray write to me fully on everything.

 
3 - 12 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

Well, you argue earnestly as to what hope is to be entertained, and especially through the action of the senate, and yet you mention that the clause of the bill is being posted up, in virtue of which the subject is forbidden to be mentioned in the senate. Accordingly, not a word is said about it. In these circumstances you find fault with me for distressing myself, when the fact is I am already more distressed than anybody ever was, as you know very well. You hold out hope as a consequence of the elections. What hope can there be with the same man tribune, and a consul-designate who is my enemy?  But you have dealt me a blow in what you say about my speech having got abroad.  Pray do your best to heal that wound, as you express it. I did indeed write one some time ago, in a fit of anger at what he had first composed against me; but I had taken such pains to suppress it, that I thought it would never get into circulation. How it has leaked out I cannot think. But since the occasion never arose for my having a word of dispute with him, and since it appears to me to be more carelessly written than my other speeches, I think it might be maintained not to be by me. Pray look after this if you think I can do anything to remedy the mischief; but if my ruin is inevitable, I don't so much care about it. I am still lying idle in the same place, without conversation, without being able to think. Though, as you say, I have "intimated" to you my desire that you should come to me, yet it is now clear to me that you are doing me useful service where you are, but could not give me even a word of relief here. I cannot write any more, nor have I anything to say: I am rather waiting to hear from you all. Thessalonica, 17 July.

 
3 - 13 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

As to my having written you word that I meant to go to Epirus, I changed my plan when I saw that my hope was vanishing and fading away, and did not remove from Thessalonica. I resolved to remain there until I heard from you on the subject mentioned in your last letter, namely, that there was going to be some motion made in the senate on my case immediately after the elections, and that Pompey had told you so. Wherefore, as the elections are over and I have no letter from you, I shall consider it as though you had written to say that nothing has come of it, and I shall not feel annoyed at having been buoyed up by a hope which did not keep me long in suspense. But the movement, which you said in your letter that you foresaw as likely to be to my advantage, people arriving here tell me will not occur.  My sole remaining hope is in the tribunes-designate: and if I wait to see how that turns out, you will have no reason to think of me as having been wanting to my own cause or the wishes of my friends. As to your constantly finding fault with me for being so overwhelmed by my misfortune, you ought to pardon me when you see that I have sustained a more crushing blow than anyone you have ever seen or heard of. As to your saying that you are told that my intellect in even affected by grief, that is not so; my intellect is quite sound. Oh that it had been as much so in the hour of danger! when I found those, to whom I thought my safety was the dearest object of their life, most bitterly and unfeelingly hostile: who, when they saw that I had somewhat lost my balance from fear, left nothing undone which malice and treachery could suggest in giving me the final push, to my utter ruin. Now, as I must go to Cyzicus, where I shall get letters more rarely, I beg you to write me word all the more carefully of everything you may think I ought to know. Be sure you are affectionate to my brother Quintus: if in all my misery I still leave him with rights undiminished, I shall not Consider myself utterly ruined.

 
3 - 14 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

From your letter I am full of anxiety to hear what Pompey's view is of my case, or what he professes to be his view. The elections, I presume, are over; and when they were over you say that he was of opinion that my case should be mooted. If I seem foolish to you for entertaining hopes, it is at your bidding that I do so: yet I know that you have in your letters been usually inclined rather to check me and my hopes. Now pray write distinctly what your view is. I know that I have fallen into this distress from numerous errors of my own. If certain accidents have in any degree corrected those errors, I shall be less sorry that I preserved my life then and am still living. Owing to the constant traffic along the road and the daily expectation of political change, I have as yet not removed from Thessalonica. But now I am being forced away, not by Plancius—for he, indeed, wishes to keep me here—but by the nature of the place, which is not at all calculated for the residence of a disfranchised man in such a state of sorrow. I have not gone to Epirus, as I had said I would, because all of a sudden the messages and letters that arrived have all indicated it to be unnecessary for me to be in the immediate neighbourhood of Italy. From this place, as soon as I have heard something about the elections, I shall set my face towards Asia, but to what particular part I am not yet certain: however, you shall know. Thessalonica, 21 July.

 
3 - 15 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

On the 13th of August I received four letters from you: one in which you urge me in a tone of reproof to be less weak; a second, in which you say that Crassus's freedman has told you about my anxiety and leanness; a third, in which you describe the proceedings in the senate; a fourth on the subject of Varro's assurances to you as to the friendly feelings of Pompey. To the first my answer is this: though I do grieve, yet I keep all my mental faculties, and it is precisely that which vexes me—I have no opportunity and no one with whom to employ so sound an intellect. For if you cannot find yourself separated from one individual like myself without sorrow, what do you think must be my case, who am deprived both of you and of everyone else? And if you, while still in possession of all your rights, miss me, to what an extent do you think those rights are missed by me? I will not enumerate the things of which I have been despoiled, not only because you are not ignorant of them, but also lest I should reopen my own sorrow. I only assert this, that never did anyone in an unofficial position possess such great advantages, or fall into such great miseries. Moreover, lapse of time not only does not soften this grief, it even enhances it. For other sorrows are softened by age, this one cannot but be daily increased both by my sense of present misery and the recollection of my past life. For it is not only property or friends that I miss, but myself. For what am I? But I will not allow myself either to wring your soul with my complaints, or to place my hands too often on my wounds. For as to your defence of those whom I said had been jealous of me, and among them Cato, I indeed think that lie was so far removed from that crime, that I am above all things sorry that the pretended zeal of others had more influence with me than his honesty. As for your excuses for the others, they ought to be excused in my eyes if they are so in yours. But all this is an old story now. Crassus's freedman, I think, spoke without any real sincerity. In the senate you say that the debate was satisfactory. But what about Curio? Hasn't he read that speech? I can't make out how it got into circulation! But Axius, in describing the proceedings of the same day, does not speak so highly of Curio.  But he may be omitting something; I know you have certainly not written anything except what actually occurred. Varro's talk gives me some hope of Caesar, and would that Varro himself would throw himself into the cause! Which he certainly will do both of his own accord and under pressure from you. For myself if fortune ever grants me the enjoyment of you all and of my country I will at least take care that you shall above all the rest of my friends, have cause to be glad and I will so discharge all the duties of affection and friendship, which (to confess the truth) have not heretofore been conspicuous that you shall regard me as restored to yourself as much as to my brother and my children. If I have in any way sinned in my con duct to you, or rather since I have done so pardon me For I have sinned more grievously against myself. And I do not write this to you because I know you not to feel deeply for my misfortune: but certainly if it had been a matter of obligation with you, and had always been so, to love me as much as you do and have done, you would never have allowed me to lack that judgment with which you are so well supplied,  nor would you have allowed me to be persuaded that the passing of the bill for the "colleges" was to our advantage.  But you did nothing but weep over my sorrow, as though you were my second self. This was indeed a sign of your affection: but what might have been done, if I had earned it at your hands—the spending by you of days and nights in thinking out the Course I ought to have pursued—that was omitted, owing to my own culpable imprudence, not yours. Now if, I don't say you only, but if there had been anyone to urge me, when alarmed at Pompey's ungenerous answer,  not to adopt that most degrading course—and you are the person that, above all others, could have done it—I should either have died honourably, or we should have been living today triumphant. In this you must forgive me. For I find much greater fault with myself, and only call you in question afterwards, as at once my second self and the sharer in my error; and, besides, if I am ever restored, our mistake will seem still less in my eyes, and to you at least I shall be endeared by your own kindness, since there is none on my side.  There is something in the suggestion you mentioned as having been made in your conversation with Culleo as to a privilegium,  but by far the better course is to have the law repealed. For if no one vetoes it, what course can be safer? But if anyone is found to prohibit its passing, he will be equally able to veto a decree of the senate. Nor is there need for the repeal of anything else. For the previous law did not touch me: and if, on its publication, I had chosen to speak in its favour, or to ignore it, as it ought to have been ignored, it could not have done me any harm at all. It was at this point first that my judgment failed to assist me, nay, even did me harm. Blind, blind, I say, was I in laying aside my senator's toga, and in entreating the people; it was a fatal step to take before some attack had been begun upon me by name. But I am harping on the past: it is, however, for the purpose of advising you, if any action is to be taken, not to touch that law, in which there are many provisions in the interests of the people. But it is foolish for me to be laying down rules as to what you are to do and how. I only wish that something may be done! And it is on that point that your letter displays much reserve: I presume, to prevent my being too much agitated by despair. For what action do you see possible to be taken, or in what way? Through the senate? But you yourself told me that Clodius had fixed upon the doorpost of the senate-house a certain clause in the law, "that it might neither be put to the house nor mentioned." How could Domitius,  therefore, say that he would bring it before the house? How came it about also that Clodius held his tongue, when those you mention in your letter both spoke on the subject and demanded that a motion should be brought in? But if you go to the people--can it be carried except with the unanimous approval of the tribunes? What about my property? What about my house? Will it be possible to have it restored? Or, if that cannot, how can I be? Unless you see these difficulties on the way to be solved, what is the hope to which you invite me? But if, again, there is no hope, what sort of life is there for me? So I await at Thessalonica the gazette of the proceedings of the 1st of August, in accordance with which I shall decide whether to take refuge on your estate, in order at once to avoid seeing people I don't want to see, to see you, according to your letter, and to be nearer at hand in case of any motion being made (and this I understand is in accordance with your view and that of my brother Quintus), or to depart for Cyzicus. Now, my dear Pomponius, since you imparted to me none of your wisdom in time to save me, either because you had made up your mind that I had judgment enough of my own, or that you owed me nothing beyond being by my side; and since, betrayed, beguiled, and hurried into a snare as I was, I neglected all my defences, abandoned and left Italy, which was everywhere on the qui vive to defend me, and surrendered myself and mine into the hands of enemies while you looked on and said nothing, though, even if you were not my superior in mental power, you were at least in less of a fright: now, if you can, raise the fallen, and in that way assist me But if every avenue is barred, take care that I know that also, and cease at length either to scold me or to offer your kindly-meant consolations. If I had meant to impeach your good faith, I should not have chosen your roof, of all others, to which to trust myself: it is my own folly that I blame for having thought that your love for me was exactly what I could have wished it to be:  for if that had been so, you would have displayed the same good faith, but greater circumspection; at least, you would have held me back when plunging headlong into ruin, and would not have had to encounter the labours which you are now enduring in saving the wrecks of my fortunes. Wherefore do be careful to look into, examine thoroughly, and write fully everything that occurs, and resolve (as I am sure you do) that I shall be some one, since I cannot now be the man I was and the man I might have been; and lastly, believe that in this letter it is not you, but myself that I have accused. If there are any people to whom you think that letters ought to be delivered in my name, pray compose them and see them delivered.

 
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My whole journey is in suspense till I receive letters from you all of the 1st of August. For if there turns out to be any hope, I am for Epirus: if not, I shall make for Cyzicus or some other place. Your letter is cheerful indeed, but at the same time, the oftener I read it, the more it weakens the suggested ground for hope, so that it is easy to see that you are trying to minister at once to consolation and to truth. Accordingly, I beg you to write to me exactly what you know and exactly what you think.

 
3 - 17 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

News of my brother Quintus of an invariably gloomy nature reached me from the 3rd of June up to the 29th of August. On that day, however, Livineius, a freedman of Lucius Regulus, came to me by the direction of Regulus himself.  He announced that absolutely no notice whatever had been given of a prosecution, but that there had, nevertheless, been some talk about the son of C. Clodius. He also brought me a letter from my brother Quintus. But next day Came the slaves of Sestius, who brought me a letter from you not so positive in regard to this alarm as the Conversation of Livineius had been. I am rendered very anxious in the midst of my own endless distress, and the more so as Appius  has the trial of the Case. As to other circumstances mentioned in the same letter by you in Connexion with my hopes, I understand that things are going less well than other people represent them. I, however, since we are now not far from the time at which the matter will be decided, will either go to your house or will still remain somewhere in this neighbourhood. My brother writes me word that his interests are being supported by you more than by anyone else. Why should I urge you to do what you are already doing? or offer you thanks which you do not expect? I only pray that fortune may give us the opportunity of enjoying our mutual affection in security. I am always very anxious to get your letters, in which I beg you not to be afraid of your minuteness boring me, or your plain speaking giving me pain.

 
3 - 18 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

You raised no little flutter in my mind when you said in your letter that Varro had assured you as a friend that Pompey would certainly take up my case, and that as soon as he had received a letter from Caesar, which he was expecting, he would even name some one to formally carry out the business. Was that all mere talk, or was the letter from Caesar hostile? Is there some ground for hope? You mentioned, too, that Pompey had also used the expression "after the elections." Pray, as you can conceive the severity of the troubles by which I am prostrated, and as you must think it natural to your kindness to do so, inform me fully as to the whole state of my case. For my brother Quintus, dear good fellow, who is so much attached to me, fills his letters with hopeful expressions, fearing, I suppose, my entirely losing heart. Whereas your letters vary in tone; for you won t have me either despair or cherish rash hopes. I beseech you to let me know everything as far as you can detect the truth.

 
3 - 19 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

As long as my letters from you all continued to be of such a nature as to keep expectation alive, I was bound to Thessalonica by hope and eager longing: afterwards, when all political measures for this year appeared to me to be over, I yet determined not to go to Asia, both because a crowd of people is disagreeable to me, and because, in case any movement was set on foot by the new magistrates, I was unwilling to be far off. Accordingly, I resolved to go to your house in Epirus, not because the natural features of the country mattered to me, shunning as I do the light of day altogether, but because it will be most grateful to my feelings to set out fr?m a harbour of yours to my restoration; and, if that restoration is denied me, there is no place where I shall with greater ease either support this most wretched existence or (which is much better) rid myself of it. I shall be in a small society : I shall shake off the crowd. Your letters have never raised me to such a pitch of hope as those of others; and yet my hopes have always been less warm than your letters. Nevertheless, since a beginning has been made in the case, of whatever sort and from whatever motive, I will not disappoint the sad and touching entreaties of my best and only brother, nor the promises of Sestius and others, nor the hopes of my most afflicted wife, nor the entreaties of my most unhappy Tulliola, as well as your own loyal letter. Epirus will furnish me with a road to restoration or to that other alternative mentioned above. I beg and entreat of you, Titus Pomponius, as you see that I have been despoiled by the treachery of men of all that most adds splendour to life, of all that can most gratify and delight the soul, as you see that I have been betrayed and cast away by my own advisers, as you understand that I have been forced to ruin myself and my family-help me by your compassion, and support my brother Quintus who is still capable of being saved; protect Terentia and my children. For myself, if you think it possible that you may see me at Rome, wait for me; if not, come to see me if you can, and make over to me just so much of your land as may be covered by my corpse. Finally, send slaves to me with letters as soon and as often as possible.

 
3 - 20 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

Cicero greets Q. Caecilius Pomponianus Atticus, son of Quintus.  That this is now the case, and that your uncle has done what he ought to have done, I approve in the strongest manner possible: I will say I am "glad," when circumstances shall admit of my using such a word. Ah me! how well everything would have been going if my own spirit, my own judgment, and the good faith of those on whom I relied had not failed me! But I won't review these circumstances lest I increase my sorrow. Yet I feel sure that it occurs to your mind what a life ours was, how delightful, how dignified. To recover this, in the name of fortune, bestow all your energies, as I know you do, and take care that I keep the birthday of my return in your delightful house with you and my family. For this hope and expectation, though now put before me as being very strong, I yet wished to wait in your home in Epirus; but my letters are such as to make me think it better not to be in the same neighbourhood. What you say in your letter about my town house and about Curio's speech is exactly true. Under the general act of restoration, if only that is accorded me, everything will be included, of which I care for nothing more than for my house. But I don't give you any precise injunction, I trust myself wholly to your affection and honour. I am very glad to hear that you have extricated yourself from every embarrassment in view of so large an inheritance. As to your promise to employ your means in securing my restoration, though I am in all points assisted by you above all others, yet I quite see what a support that is, and I fully understand that you are undertaking and can carry on many departments of my cause, and do not need to be asked to do so. You tell me not to suspect that your feelings have been at all affected by acts of commission or omission on my part towards you--well, I will obey you and will get rid of that anxiety; yet I shall owe you all the more from the fact that your kind consideration for me has been on a higher level than mine for you. Please tell me in your letters whatever you see, whatever you make out, what-ever is being done in my case, and exhort all your friends to help in promoting my recall. The bill of Sestius does not shew sufficient regard for my dignity or sufficient caution. For the proposed law ought to mention me by name, and to Pray see to it. contain a Carefully expressed clause about my property. Thessalonica, 4 October.

 
3 - 21 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

It is exactly thirty days to the writing of this letter since I have heard from you. Well, my present intention is, as I have told you, to go into Epirus and there by preference to await whatever may turn up. I beg you to write to me with the utmost openness whatever you perceive to be the state of the case, and whether it is for good or evil, and also to send a letter, as you say, in my name to whomsoever you think it necessary.

28 October.

 
3 - 22 To Rome from Tessalonica 58 BC

Though my brother Quintus and Piso have given me a careful account of what has been done, yet I could have wished that your engagements had not hindered you from writing fully to me, as has been your custom, what was on foot and what you understood to be the facts. Up to the present, Plancius  keeps me here by his generous treatment, though I have several times already made an effort to go to Epirus. He has conceived a hope, which I do not share, that we may possibly quit the province together: he hopes that that may redound greatly to his credit. But as soon as news shall come that soldiers are on their way hither,  I shall have to insist on quitting him. And as soon as I do that I will at once send you word, that you may know where I am. Lentulus, in his own peculiar zeal for my cause, which he manifests by action and promises and writings, gives me some hope of Pompey's friendly feelings. For you have often told me in your letters that the latter was wholly devoted to him. As to Metellus,  my brother has written me word that by your agency as much has been accomplished as he had hoped. My dear Pomponius, fight hard that I may be allowed to live with you and my own family, and write me everything that occurs. I am heavy with sorrow and regret for all my dear ones, who have always been dearer to me than myself. Take care of your health.

Dyrrachium, 27 November. As, if I went through Thessaly into Epirus, I should have been likely to be a very long time without any intelligence, and as I have warm friends. in the people of Dyrrachium, I have come to them, after writing the former part of this letter at Thessalonica. When I turn my face from this town towards your house I will let you know, and for your part I would have you write me everything with the utmost particularity, whatever its nature. I am now expecting some definite step or the abandonment of all hope.

 
3 - 23 To Rome from Tessalonica & Dyrrhachium 58 BC

On the 26th of November I received three letters from you, one dated 25th of October, in which you exhort me to await the month of January with a good heart, and write at length on such topics as you think tend to encourage my hopes--as to the zeal of Lentulus, the goodwill of Metellus, and the general policy of Pompey. In the second letter, contrary to your usual custom, you append no date, but give sufficient indication of the time of its writing. For the law having been published by the eight tribunes, you mention that you wrote this letter on the very same day, that is, the 29th of October,  and you say what good you think that publication has done. In regard to which, if my restoration is to be despaired of along with this law, I would have you think in your affection for me that my fruitless exertions are pitiable rather than foolish: but if there is any ground for hope, try and secure that my cause may be hereafter supported with greater attention to details by the new magistrates. For this bill of the old tribunes had three clauses, of which the one relating to my return was carelessly drafted. For nothing is restored to me except my citizenship and senatorial rank: which, in the circumstances of my position, suffices me, but it does not escape your observation what special provisions will have to be made, and in what manner. The second clause is the usual one--"If anything be done in virtue of this law against other laws."  But observe, my dear Pomponius, what the object of the third clause is, and by whom it has been put in. For you know that Clodius provided that it should be scarcely possible, or rather altogether impossible, for his law to be deprived of validity either by senate or people. But you must see that the penal provisions of such laws as are repealed have never been observed. For in that case hardly any law could be repealed at all--for there is no law which does not hedge itself in by trying to make repeal difficult--but when a law is repealed, so is the clause meant to prevent its repeal. Now, though this is in truth the case, since it has been the universal doctrine and practice, our eight tribunes introduced the following clause: If any provision is contained in this bill which, in view of existing laws or plebiscites (i.e., Clodius's law), it is not lawful without incurring penalty, now or heretofore, whether to publish, repeal, amend, or supersede, or whereby he who has so published or amended would be liable to penalty or fine--such provision is not enacted by this law. And observe that this contingency did not touch the case of those eight tribunes, for they were not bound by a law emanating from their own body.  Which makes one the more suspicious of some evil intention, since they have added a clause which did not affect themselves, but was against my interests: so that the new tribunes, if they happened to be somewhat timid, would think it still more necessary to employ the clause.   And Clodius did not fail to notice this. For he said in the public meeting of November the third, that by this clause a limit to their legal powers was laid down for the tribunes-designate; and yet it cannot escape your notice that in no law is there a clause of the sort: whereas, if it had been necessary, everybody would have employed it in repealing a law. How this point came to escape Ninnius  and the rest, pray find out, and who introduced the clause, and how it was that the eight tribunes did not hesitate to bring my case before the senate--which implies that they did not think that clause of the law binding--and were yet so cautious in their proposal for its repeal, as to be afraid (though not personally liable) of what need not be taken into Consideration, even by those who are bound by the law. This clause I would not have the new tribunes propose; however, let them only carry something, no matter what: I shall be content with the single clause recalling me, so long only as the business is done. I have for some time been feeling ashamed of writing at such length; for I fear by the time you read this it will be all up with any hopes, so that this minute criticism of mine may seem pitiable to you and ridiculous to others. But if there is any ground for hope, pray look at the law which Visellius  drafted for T. Fadius. I like it very much: for that of our friend Sestius, which you say has your approbation, I don't like.

The third letter is dated 12th of November, in which you explain with wisdom and care what the circumstances are which seem to cause a postponement of my affair, and about Crassus, Pompey, and the rest. Accordingly, I beg you, if there is any hope that the matter can be settled by the zeal of the loyalists, by the exertion of influence, and by getting numbers on our side, to endeavour to break through all difficulties at a rush, to throw your whole weight into the attempt, and incite others to do the same. But if, as I perceive from your conjectures as well as my own, there is no hope left, I beg and implore you to cherish my brother Quintus, whom I to our mutual misery have ruined, and not allow him to do anything to himself which would be to the detriment of your sister's son. My little Cicero, to whom, poor boy! I leave nothing but prejudice and the blot upon my name, pray protect to the best of your power. Terentia, that most afflicted of women, sustain by your kindness. I shall start for Epirus as soon as I have received news of the first days of the new tribunate.  Pray describe fully to me in your next letter what sort of a beginning is made.

 
3 - 24 To Rome from Dyrrhachium 58 BC

When, some time ago, I received letters from you all stating that with your consent the vote for the expenses of the consular provinces had been taken, though I was nervous as to the result of the measure, I yet hoped that you saw some good reason for it beyond what I could see: but when I was informed by word of mouth and by letters that this policy of yours was strongly censured, I was much disturbed, because the hope which I had cherished, faint as it was, seemed completely destroyed. For if the tribunes are angry with us, what hope can there be? And, indeed, they seem to have reason to be angry, since they, who had undertaken my cause, have not been consulted on the measure; while by your assenting to it they have been deprived of all the legitimate influence of their office: and that though they profess that it was for my sake that they wished to have the vote for the outfit of the consuls under their control, not in order to curtail their freedom of action, but in order to attach them to my cause:  that as things stand now, supposing the consuls to choose to take part against me, they can do so without let or hindrance, but if they wish to do anything in my favour they are powerless if the tribunes object. For as to what you say in your letter, that, if your party had not consented, they would have obtained their object by a popular vote--that would have been impossible against the will of the tribunes.  So I fear, on the one hand, that I have lost the favour of the tribunes; and on the other, even supposing that favour to remain, that the tie has been lost by which the consuls were to be attached. Added to this is another disadvantage, the abandonment of the weighty resolution--as, indeed, it was reported to me--that the senate should pass no decree until my case had been decided, and that, too, in the case of a measure which was not only not urgent, but even contrary to custom and unprecedented. For I think there is no precedent for voting the provincial outfit of magistrates when still only designate: so that, since in a matter like this the firm line on which my cause had been taken up has been infringed, there is now no reason why any decree should not be passed. It is not surprising that those friends to whom the question was referred assented, for it was difficult to find anyone to express an opinion openly against proposals so advantageous to two consuls. It would in any case have been difficult not to be complaisant to such a warm friend as Lentulus, or to Metellus after the exceedingly kind way in which he put aside his quarrel with me. But I fear that, while failing to keep a hold on them, we have lost the tribunes. How this matter has occurred, and in what position the whole business stands, I would have you write to me, and in the same spirit as before: for your outspoken candour, even if not altogether pleasant, is yet what I prefer.

10 December.

 
3 - 25 To Rome from Dyrrhachium 58 BC

After  you left me I received a letter from Rome, from which I see clearly that I must rot away in this state of disfranchisement: for I can't believe (don't be offended at my saying so) that you would have left town at this juncture, if there had been the least hope left of my restoration. But I pass over this, that I may not seem to be ungrateful and to wish everything to share my own ruin. All I ask of you is what you have faithfully promised, that you will appear before the 1st of January wherever I may be.

 
3 - 26 To Rome from Dyrrhachium 57 BC

I have received a letter from my brother Quintus inclosing the decree of the senate passed Concerning me. My intention is to await the time for legislation, and, if the law is defeated, I shall avail myself of the resolution of the senate, and prefer to be deprived of my life rather than of my country. Make haste, I beg, to come to me.

 
3 - 27 To Rome from Dyrrhachium 57 BC

From your letter and from the bare facts I see that I am utterly ruined.  I implore you, in view of my deplorable position, to stand by my family in whatever respect they shall need your help. I shall, as you say, see you soon.

 
4
4 - 1 To Epirus from Rome 57 BC

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 groundless 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 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  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, 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,  I delivered a speech. All the magistrates present, except one praetor and two tribunes, called on me to speak.  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,  granting him power over all money, and adding a fleet and army, and an imperium 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.  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 For happy though but ill, for ill not worst.  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.

 
4 - 2 To Epirus from Rome 57 BC

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 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.  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.  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,  and announces at once to the people that the pontifices had decided in his favour, but that I was endeavouring to take forcible possession; he exhorts them to follow himself and Appius to defend their own shrine of Liberty.  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 consuls by decree of the senate had given out the contract for restoring the colonnade of Catulus.  On the 1st of October there was a full meeting of the senate. All the pontifices who were senators were invited to attend, and Marcellinus, 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.  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.  The former demanded a night for consideration. 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.  The buildings of my house the consuls, by the advice of their assessors, valued at 2,000,000 sesterces. 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.  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 a "votive commission" in connexion with nearly any fanes or sacred groves.  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.  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.  In this respect I am now in serious difficulty. Other causes of anxiety are somewhat more of the tacendakind. My brother and daughter treat me with affection. I am looking forward to seeing you.

 
4 - 3 To Epirus from Rome 57 BC

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 hand 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, 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  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,  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, 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 4th 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.  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.  For on the 12th of November he tried to storm and set fire to Milo's house, I mean the one on Germalus: 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 house of P. Sulla 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  was splendid: all were keen. Metellus  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  was fuming. Afterwards 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.  Public speeches of Metellus disorderly, 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,  to everybody's great delight and his own infinite credit: the movement of the three brethren  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 comitiumat the first hour of the day."  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"  and serves his notice. The latter returned greeted with loud and insulting remarks by Q. Flaccus. The 21st was a market day.  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  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.  His party complains 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.

 
4 - 4 To Atticus returning from Epirus from Rome 56 BC

A 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 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.

B 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  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.

 
4 - 5 To Rome from Antium 56 BC

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"  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. 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  swallows up my money for travelling. Tullia will go straight to your suburban villa. 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.

 
4 - 6 To Rome from the Country 56 BC

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.  But!; who, if I say what I ought about the Republic, am looked on as mad, if what expediency 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,  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.  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 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:  for he is acting very liberally in regard to me.

 
4 - 7 To Rome from Arpinum 56 BC

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

 
4 - 8 To Rome from Antinum & Tusculum 56 BC

A from Antinum

There were many things in your letter which pleased me, but nothing more than your "dish of cheese and salt fish"!  For as to what you say about the sale,

Boast not yourself before you see the end,

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."  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 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.

B from Tusculum

Apenas had scarcely left me, when your letter came. Really? Do you suppose he won't propose his law? 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,

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  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  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,  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.

 
4 - 9 To Rome from Cumae 55 BC

I should much like to know whether the tribunes are hindering the census by stopping business with their bad omens  (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—kai tode phôkulidou.  He expressed gratitude to you for undertaking to arrange the statues: 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.

 
4 - 10 To Rome from Cumae 55 BC

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.  Perhaps you thought I was feasting on the beauties of Puteoli and the Lucrine lake. Well, I have them too. But I declare to heaven that the more I am debarred from the enjoyment of ordinary pleasures, owing to the political situation, the more do I find support and refreshment in literature; and I would rather be sitting in that charming seat of yours, under your bust of Aristotle, than in their   curule official chair, and be taking a stroll with you rather than with the great man  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.   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.

 
4 - 11 To Rome from Cumae 55 BC

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, for, by Hercules, that is what he seems to me to be. He sends compliments to you and all your party.

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,  what about Appius,  what about that she-Appuleius of the people? 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.  I send you the book of Demetrius of Magnesia,  that there may be a messenger on the spot to bring me back a letter from you.

 
4 - 12 To Rome from Cumae 55 BC

Egnatius  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.  You will see the man therefore, if you please. I think I can scarcely be ready for Macro:  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 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.  There, then, I shall see you, and shall march you on with me. My whole household sends you greeting.

 
4 - 13 To Rome from Tusculum 55 BC

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,  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,  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.  I again beg of you an outline sketch of the present situation, that I may not arrive in Rome quite a stranger.

 
4 - 14 On a journey from Cumae 54 BC

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

 
4 - 15 To Epirus from Rome 54 BC

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 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, lèse majesté, 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!  Publius, no doubt by an eloquent peroration in his speech for the prosecution, had quickened the feelings of the jurors! Herbalus  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.  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 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".  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". 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 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.

 
4 - 16 To Epirus or Asia from Rome 54 BC

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 showed 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 shown 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.  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 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:  I have to tell you that he will be acquitted under the lex Fufia,  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  there are sinister rumours—but you know what the courts are. Hirrus is on good terms with Domitius.  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 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.  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. 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,  or about the trials which are being held under the (Cincian) law.

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 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.

 
4 - 17 To Abroad from Rome 54 BC

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.  As this compact was alleged not to have been a mere verbal one, but to have 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.  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,  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;  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,  for Cato is ill. Don't be afraid about me: nevertheless, I make no promises.

Is there anything else you want to know? Anything? Yes, the trials, I think. Drusus and Scaurus  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 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 three books  certainly, of which you speak so highly, I find no suggestion.

 
4 - 18 To Asia from Rome 54 BC

As it is, 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,  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 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!"  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:  and this one too was carried, by heaven, in a stupid way. But Pomptinus will have the consul Appius on his side.  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.

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.

 
4 - 19 To Atticus on his way to Rome from Rome 54 BC

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! ..

Observe my strength of mind and my supreme indifference to the Felician 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, 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.

 
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5 - 1 To Rome from Miturnae 51 BC

Yes, I saw well enough what your feelings were as I parted from you; what mine were I am my own witness. This makes it all the more incumbent on you to prevent an additional decree being passed, so that this mutual regret of ours may not last more than a year. As to Annius Saturninus, your measures are excellent. As to the guarantee, pray, during your stay at Rome, give it yourself. You will find several guarantees on purchase, such as those of the estates of Memmius, or rather of Attilius. As to Oppius, that is exactly what I wished, and especially your having engaged to pay him the 800 sestertia, which I am determined shall be paid in any case, even if I have to borrow to do so, rather than wait for the last day of getting in my own debts.

I now come to that last line of your letter written crossways, in which you give me a word of caution about your sister. The facts of the matter are these. On arriving at my place at Arpinum, my brother came to see me, and our first subject of conversation was yourself, and we discussed it at great length. After this I brought the conversation round to what you and I had discussed at Tusculum, on the subject of your sister. I never saw anything so gentle and placable as my brother was on that occasion in regard to your sister: so much so, indeed, that if there had been any cause of quarrel on the score of expense, it was not apparent. So much for that day. Next day we started from Arpinum. A country festival caused Quintus to stop at Arcanum; I stopped at Aquinum; but we lunched at Arcanum. You know his property there. When we got there Quintus said, in the kindest manner, "Pomponia, you ask the ladies in; I will invite the men." Nothing, as I thought, could be more courteous, and that, too, not only in the actual words, but also in his intention and the expression of face. But she, in the hearing of us all, exclaimed, "I am a guest here myself!" The origin of that was, as I think, the fact that Statius had preceded us to look after the luncheon. Thereupon Quintus said to me, "There, that's what I have to put up with every day !" You will say, "Well, what does that amount to?" A great deal ; and, indeed, she had irritated even me : her answer had been given with such unnecessary acrimony, both of word and look. I concealed my annoyance. We all took our places at table except her. However, Quintus sent her dishes from the table, which she declined. In short, I thought I never saw anything better-tempered than my brother, or crosser than your sister : and there were many particulars which I omit that raised my bile more than they did that of Quintus himself. I then went on to Aquinum ; Quintus stopped at Arcanum, and joined me early the next day at Aquinum. He told me that she had refused to sleep with him, and when on the point of leaving, she behaved just as I had seen her. Note Need I say more? You may tell her herself that in my judgment she shewed a marked want of kindness on that day. I have told you this story at greater length, perhaps, than was necessary, to convince you that you, too, have something to do in the way of giving her instruction and advice.

There only remains for me to beg you to complete all my commissions before leaving town ; to give Pomptinus a push, and make him start ; to let me know as soon as you have left town, and to believe that, by heaven, there is nothing I love and find more pleasure in than yourself. I said a most affectionate good-bye to that best of men, A. Torquatus, at Minturnae, to whom I wish you would remark, in the course of conversation, that I have mentioned him in my letter.

 
5 - 2 Epirus, in camp in Pindenissus 51 BC

On the morning of the Saturnalia (17th December) the Pindenissetae surrendered to me, on the fifty-seventh day from the beginning of our investment of them. "Who the mischief are your Pindenissetae? who are they?" you will say: "I never heard their name." Well, what am I to do? Could I turn Cilicia into an Aetolia or a Macedonia? Let me tell you this, that with an army such as mine, and in a place like this, such a big business was impossible. You shall have it all en abrégé; as you agreed in your last letter to take it. You know about my arrival at Ephesus, for you have congratulated me on my enthusiastic reception on that day, which gave me as much pleasure as anything ever did in my life. Thence, after a surprising reception in such towns as lay on my road, I arrived at Laodicea on the 31st of July. I remained there two days in the midst of great enthusiasm, and by my conciliatory language removed the rankling injuries of the last four years. I did the same afterwards during my five days stay at Apamea and three days at Synnada, five at Philomelium, ten at Iconium. Nothing could be more impartial, mild, or dignified, than my administration of justice there. Thence I came to the camp on the 24th of August; on the 28th I inspected the army at Iconium. From this camp, on receipt of serious news as to the Parthians, I started for Cilicia by way of that part of Cappadocia which borders on Cilicia, with the design of impressing upon the Armenian Artavasdes and the Parthians themselves that they were precluded from entering Cappadocia. After having been encamped for five days at Cybistra in Cappadocia, I got intelligence that the Parthians were at a long distance from that entrance into Cappadocia, and were rather threatening Cilicia. I therefore marched rapidly into Cilicia by the "Gates" of Taurus. I arrived at Tarsus on the 5th of October. Thence I pressed on to Mount Amanus, which divides Syria from Cilicia by the line of its watershed—a mountain full of immemorial enemies. Here, on the 13th of October, we cut a large number of the enemy to pieces. We took some very strongly fortified posts by a night attack of Pomptinus's, and by one led by myself in the morning, and burnt them. I was greeted as imperator by the soldiers. For a few days we were encamped on the very spot which Alexander had occupied against Darius at Issus, a commander not a little superior to either you or me! Having stayed there five days, and having ravaged and devastated Amanus, we evacuated that place. For you know that there are things called "panics," called also "war's idle rumours."  From the report of our arrival encouragement was at once given to Cassius, then confined to Antioch, and alarm inspired in the Parthians. Accordingly, as they were retiring from that town, Cassius pursued them and gained a hand-some victory. In the course of this retreat the Parthian leader, Osaces, a man in high authority, received a wound of which a few days afterwards he died. My name became very popular in Syria. Meanwhile Bibulus arrived. I suppose he wanted to be on an equality with me in the matter of this vain acclamation of imperator. In this same Mount Amanus he begins "looking for a bay-leaf in a wedding cake.  "But he lost the whole of his first cohort and the centurion of the first line, a man of high rank in his own class, Asinius Dento, and the other centurions of the same cohort, as well as a military tribune, Sext. Lucilius, son of T. Gavius Caepio, a man of wealth, and high position. It was really a very galling blow both in itself and in the time of its reception. I was at Pindenissus, the most strongly fortified town of Eleutherocilicia,  never peaceful within living memory. The people were fierce and brave, and furnished with everything necessary for standing a siege. We surrounded it with stockade and ditch, with a huge earthwork, pent-houses, an exceedingly lofty tower, a great supply of artillery, a large body of archers. After great labour and preparation I finished the business without loss to my army, though with a large number of wounded. I am spending a merry Saturnalia, and so are my soldiers, to whom I have given up all spoil except captives: the captives were sold on the third day of the Saturnalia (19th December), the day on which I write this. The sum realized at the tribunal is 12,000 sestertia (about £ 96,000). I intend to hand over the army to my brother Quintus to lead hence into winter quarters in the disturbed districts. I am myself going back to Laodicea.

So much for this. But to return to points omitted. As to what you urge upon me most warmly, and which in fact is more important than anything else, namely, your anxiety that I should satisfy my carping Ligurian critic,  may I die if anything could be more fastidious than my conduct. And I do not now speak of it as "self-restraint," which is a virtue considered capable of resisting pleasure: while the fact is that I never in all my life felt such pleasure as I do at my own integrity. And it is not so much the reputation I get by it—though that is of the highest—as the thing itself that delights me. In short, it was worth the trouble: I never appreciated myself or knew fully of what I was capable in this direction. I have good reason for being puffed up. Nothing could be more splendid. Meanwhile, here is a score for me! Ariobarzanes is alive and a king all owing to me. By my prudence and prestige, and by refusing to receive even the visits, to say nothing of the bribes, of the conspirators against his life, I have, merely en Passant, saved a king and a kingdom. In the meantime from Cappadocia not the value of a hair! I have recovered Brutus from his dejection, whom I love no less than you do, I had almost said, than I do you. And I almost hope that throughout my year of office not a farthing's expense will be caused to my province. There is the whole story for you.

I am now composing an official despatch to send to Rome. It will be somewhat fuller of matter than if I had sent it from Amanus. But to think that you won't be at Rome! And yet everything depends on the 1st of March. For I am afraid, if; on the question of the province coming up, Caesar shall refuse compliance, I may be kept here. If you were there when this was going on, I should not have been at all afraid. I return to the city news, which, after a long interval of ignorance, I have at length learnt from your most delightful letter received on the 16th of December. This was conveyed by your freedman Philogenes after a very long and far from safe journey. For the letter you say that you delivered to the slaves of Laenius I have not received. I am delighted about Caesar, and the decrees of the senate, and at what you expect to happen. If he gives way to these we are safe. That Seius got scorched in Plaetorius's fire does not grieve me much.  I long to know why Lucceius has been so hot about Q. Cassius, and what has been done about it. For myself, as soon as I arrive at Laodicea I am bidden to invest Quintus, your sister's son, with the toga virilis, and I will keep a more than usually careful eye upon him. Deiotarus, who has been of great assistance to me, is, according to a letter received from him, about to come to Laodicea with our two boys.  I am expecting another letter from you from Epirus, that I may get a notion not only of your business life, but of your holiday also. Nicanor serves me well and receives liberal treatment at my hands. I think I shall send him to Rome with my official despatch, to secure its being conveyed with more than common promptitude, and that he may also bring me trustworthy intelligence about you and from you. That your Alexis so often puts in a greeting to me is gratifying. But why does he not treat me to a letter of his own, as my Alexis does you.  I am looking out for a horn for Phaemius. But enough of this. Take care of your health, and let me know when you think of going to Rome. Good-bye! good-bye!

I have recommended your interests and your agents in very warm terms to Thermus, both in a personal interview at Ephesus and now by letter, and I gathered that he was himself very anxious to serve you. Pray, as I have often mentioned before, see about the house of Pammenes, and take care that the boy is not deprived, by any means, of what he now possesses through our joint support. I not only think that this concerns the honour of us both, but it will also gratify me personally very much.

 
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12 - 32 To Rome from Astura 51 BC

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. You'll go about it, to use your own word, gently.

I would have you propose to my son, that is if you think it not unreasonable, that he should 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,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.

 
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13 - 9 To Rome from Tusculum 51 BC

You had only just left me yesterday when Trebonius arrived and a little later Curtius--the latter merely intending to call, but he stayed on being pressed. We have Trebatius with us. Early this morning Dolabella arrived. We had much talk to a late hour in the day. I cannot exaggerate its cordial and affectionate tone. However, we came at last to the subject of Quintus.  He told me many things beyond words-beyond expression: but there was one of such a kind that, had it not been notorious to the whole army, I should not have ventured, I don't say to dictate to Tiro, but even to write it with my own hand. But enough of that. Very opportunely, while I had Dolabella with me Torquatus arrived; and in the kindest manner Dolabella repeated to him what I had been saying. For I had been just speaking with very great earnestness in his cause,  an earnestness which seemed to gratify Torquatus. I am waiting to hear what news you have about Brutus. However, Nicias thinks that the matter is settled, but that the divorce  does not find favour.

All the more am I anxious for the same thing as you are.  For if any scandal has been caused, this step may put it right. I must go to Arpinum: for in the first place my small property there needs putting straight, and in the second place I fear I may not be able to leave town when once Caesar has come, as to whose arrival Dolabella has the same opinion as you had-founded on your letter from Messalla.  When I have got there and ascertained what amount of business there is to do, I will write and tell you the days of my return journey.

 
13 - 10 To Rome from Tusculum 51 BC

I am not at all surprised either at your sorrow in regard to Marcellus or at your misgiving as to increased sources of danger. For who would have feared such a thing as this --a thing that had never happened before and which nature seemed to forbid the possibility of happening? Therefore there is nothing that may not be feared.

But this is an historical slip of yours--the last person I should have expected to make it--that "I am the sole remaining consular." Why, what do you think of Servius?  However, this survival has of course no value of any sort-especially to me, who think that their fate is no less happy than my own. For what am I, and what influence do I possess? Is it at home or abroad? Well, if it had not occurred to me to write my poor books, I shouldn't have known what to do with myself. Yes, as you say, I think I must dedicate to Dolabella some treatise of a more general kind and more political in tone. Something certainly I must compose for him; for he is very desirous that I should do so. If Brutus takes any step,  pray be careful to let me know. I think he ought to do it as soon as possible, especially if he has made up his mind. He will thereby either entirely stop, or at any rate mitigate, any little talk there may be about it. For there are people who talk even to me. But he will settle these things best himself, especially if he also consults you. I intend starting on the 21st: for I have nothing to do here, nor, by Hercules! there either, or anywhere: yet there, after all, there is something. Today I am expecting Spinther; for Brutus has sent him to me. He writes to clear Caesar in regard to the death of Marcellus--on whom no suspicion would have fallen, even if his assassination had been the consequence of a plot. As it is, as there is no doubt whatever about Magius. Does not his madness account for the whole thing? I don't clearly understand what he means. Please explain therefore. However, for myself my only doubt is as to the cause of Magius's mad fury. Marcellus had even gone security for him. No doubt that is the true explanation--he was insolvent. I suppose he had asked some indulgence from Marcellus, who--as was his way--had answered him somewhat decidedly.