Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 - 46 63:
Letters to Friends
 
1 About Me 8
2 Education
3 Philosophy
4 Politics
5 News
6 Travel
7 Sports
8 Funding
   
 
 
 
7 Marius, Caesar, Testa, Gallus 57 - 54 15
   
     
Page Data
Menu 1 Pages 1.58 Time 1:20
Body Pages 148 Time 2:03
Menu to Body 1% 1/94
Chapters 65
Pages per chapter 2.3
     
 
 
   
 
14 To Terentia at Rome 58 - 50 5
 
 
   
1  To P. Lentulus Spinther 56 BC
1 - 1  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

Whatever attention or affection I may shew you, though it may seem sufficient in the eyes of others, can never seem sufficient in my own. For such has been the magnitude of your services to me that, inasmuch as you never rested till my affair was brought to a conclusion, while I cannot effect the same in your cause, I regard my life as a burden. The difficulties are these. The king's agent, Hammonius, is openly attacking us by bribery. The business is being carried out by means of the same money-lenders as it was when you were in town. Such people as wish it done for the king's sake—and they are few—are all for intrusting the business to Pompey. The senate supports the trumped-up religious scruple, not from any respect to religion, but from ill-feeling towards him, and disgust at the king's outrageous bribery. I never cease advising and instigating Pompey—even frankly finding fault with and admonishing him—to avoid what would be a most discreditable imputation. But he really leaves no room for either entreaties or admonitions from me. For, whether in everyday conversation or in the senate, no one could support your cause with greater eloquence, seriousness, zeal, and energy than he has done, testifying in the highest terms to your services to himself and his affection for you. Marcellinus, you know, is incensed with his flute-playing majesty. In everything, saving and excepting this case of the king, he professes the intention of being your champion. We take what he gives: nothing can move him from his motion as to the religious difficulty, which he made up his mind to bring, and has, in fact, brought several times before the senate. The debate up to the Ides (for I am writing early in the morning of the Ides) has been as follows: Hortensius and I and Lucullus voted for yielding to the religious scruple as far as concerned the army, for otherwise there was no possibility of get ting the matter through, but, in accordance with the decree already passed on your own motion, were for directing you to restore the king, "so far as you may do so without detriment to the state": so that while the religious difficulty prohibits the employment of an army, the senate might still retain you as the person authorized. Crassus votes for sending three legates, not excluding Pompey: for he would allow them to be selected even from such as are at present in possession of imperium. Bibulus is for three legates selected from men without imperium. The other consulars agree with the latter, except Servilius, who says that he ought not to be restored at all: and Volcatius, who on the motion of Lupus votes for giving the business to Pompey: and Afranius, who agrees with Volcatius. This last fact increases the suspicion as to Pompey's wishes: for it was noticed that Pompey's intimates agreed with Volcatius. We are in a very great difficulty: the day seems going against us. The notorious colloguing and eagerness of Libo and Hypsaeus, and the earnestness displayed by Pompey's intimates, have produced an impression that Pompey desires it; and those who don't want him to have it are at the same time annoyed with your having put power into his hands. I have the less influence in the case because I am under an obligation to you. Moreover, whatever influence I might have had is extinguished by the idea people entertain as to Pompey's wishes, for they think they are gratifying him. We are in much the same position as we were long before your departure: now, as then, the sore has been fomented secretly by the king himself and by the friends and intimates of Pompey, and then openly irritated by the consulars, till the popular prejudice has been excited to the highest pitch. All the world shall recognize my loyalty, and your friends on the spot shall see my affection for you though you are absent. If there were any good faith in those most bound to shew it, we should be in no difficulty at all.

 
1 - 2  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

Nothing was done on the 13th of January in the senate, because the day was to a great extent spent in an altercation between the consul Lentulus and the tribune Caninius. On that day I also spoke at considerable length, and thought that I made a very great impression on the senate by dwelling on your affection for the house. Accordingly, next day we resolved that we would deliver our Opinions briefly: for it appeared to us that the feelings of the senate had been softened towards us—the result not only of my speech, but of my personal appeal and application to individual senators. Accordingly, the first proposition, that of Bibulus, having been delivered, that three legates should restore the king: the second, that of Hortensius, that you should restore him without an army: the third, that of Volcatius, that Pompey should do it, a demand was made that the proposal of Bibulus should be taken in two parts. As far as he dealt with the religious difficulty—a point which was now past being opposed—his motion was carried; his proposition as to three legates was defeated by a large majority. The next was the proposition of Hortensius. Thereupon the tribune Lupus, on the ground that he had himself made a proposal about Pompey, starts the contention that he ought to divide the house before the consuls. His speech was received on all sides by loud cries of "No": for it was both unfair and unprecedented. The consuls would not give in, and yet did not oppose with any vigour. Their object was to waste the day, and in that they succeeded for they saw very well that many times the number would vote for the proposal of Hortensius, although they openly professed their agreement with Volcatius. Large numbers were called upon for their opinion, and that, too, with the assent of the consuls: for they wanted the proposal of Bibulus carried. This dispute was protracted till nightfall, and the senate was dismissed. I happened to be dining with Pompey on that day, and I seized the opportunity—the best I have ever had, for since your departure I have never occupied a more honourable position in the senate than I had on that day—of talking to him in such a way, that I think I induced him to give up every other idea and resolve to support your claims. And, indeed, when I actually hear him talk, I acquit him entirely of all suspicion of personal ambition: but when I regard his intimates of every rank, I perceive, what is no secret to anybody, that this whole business has been long ago corruptly manipulated by a certain coterie, not without the king's own consent and that of his advisers. I write this on the 15th of January, before daybreak. Today there is to be a meeting of the senate. We shall maintain, as I hope, our position in the senate as far as it is possible to do so in such an age of perfidy and unfair dealing. As to an appeal to the people on the subject, we have, I think, secured that no proposition can be brought before them without neglect of the auspices or breach of the laws, or, in fine, without downright violence. The day before my writing these words a resolution of the senate on these matters of the most serious character was passed, and though Cato and Caninius vetoed it, it was nevertheless written out. I suppose it has been sent to you. On all other matters I will write and tell you what has been done, whatever it is, and I will see that everything is carried out with the most scrupulous fairness as far as my caution, labour, attention to details, and influence can secure it.

 
1 - 3  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

M. Cicero presents his compliments to P. Lentulus, proconsul. Aulus Trebonius, who has important business in your province, both of wide extent and sound, is an intimate friend of mine of many years standing. As before this. he has always, both from his brilliant position and the recommendations of myself and his other friends, enjoyed the highest popularity in the province, so at the present time, trusting to your affection for me and our close ties, he feels sure that this letter of mine will give him a high place in your esteem. That he may not be disappointed in that hope I earnestly beg of you, and I commend to you all his business concerns, his freedmen, agents, and servants; and specially that you will confirm the decrees made by T. Ampius in his regard, and treat him in all respects so as to convince him that my recommendation is no mere ordinary one.

 
1 - 4  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

Though in the senate of the 15th of January we made a most glorious stand, seeing that on the previous day we had defeated the proposal of Bibulus about the three legates, and the only contest left was with the proposal of Volcatius, yet the business was spun out by our opponents by various obstructive tactics. For we were carrying our view in a full senate, in spite of the multifarious devices and inveterate jealousy of those who were for transferring the cause of the king from you to some one else. That day we found Curio very bitterly opposed, Bibulus much more fair, almost friendly even. Caninius and Cato declared that they would not propose any law before the elections. By the lex Pupia, as you know, no senate could be held before the 1st of February, nor in fact during the whole of February, unless the business of the legations were finished or adjourned. However, the Roman people are generally of opinion that the pretext of a trumped—up religious scruple has been introduced by your jealous detractors, not so much to hinder you, as to prevent anyone from wishing to go to Alexandria with a view of getting the command of an army. However, everyone thinks that the senate has had a regard for your position. For there is no one that is ignorant of the fact that it was all the doing of your opponents that no division took place: and if they, under the pretext of a regard for the people, but really from the most unprincipled villainy, attempt to carry anything, I have taken very good care that they shall not be able to do so without violating the auspices or the laws, or, in fact, without absolute violence. I don't think I need write a word either about my own zeal or the injurious proceedings of certain persons. For why should I make any display myself-since, if I were even to shed my blood in defence of your position, I should think that I had not covered a tithe of your services to me? Or why complain of the injurious conduct of others, which I cannot do without the deepest pain? I cannot at all pledge myself to you as to the effect of open violence, especially with such feeble magistrates but, open violence out of the question, I can assure you that you will retain your high position, if the warmest affections both of the senate and the Roman people can secure it to you.

 
1 - 5  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

A. Though the first wish of my heart is that my warmest gratitude to you should be recognized first of all by yourself and then by everybody else, yet I am deeply grieved that such a state of things has followed your departure as to give you occasion, in your absence, to test the loyalty and good disposition towards you both of myself and others. That you see and feel that men are shewing the same loyalty in maintaining your position as I experienced in the matter of my restoration, I have understood from your letter. Just when I was depending most securely on my policy, zeal, activity, and influence in the matter of the king, there was suddenly sprung on us the abominable bill of Cato's, to hamper all our zeal and withdraw our thoughts from a lesser anxiety to a most serious alarm. However, in a political upset of that kind, though there is nothing that is not a source of terror, yet the thing to be chiefly feared is treachery: and Cato, at any rate, whatever happens, we have no hesitation in opposing. As to the business of Alexandria and the cause of the king, I can only promise you thus much, that I will to the utmost of my power satisfy both you, who are absent, and your friends who are here. But I fear the king's cause may either be snatched from our hands or abandoned altogether, and I cannot easily make up my mind which of the two alternatives I would least wish. But if the worst comes to the worst, there is a third alternative, which is not wholly displeasing either to Selicius or myself-namely, that we should not let the matter drop, and yet should not allow the appointment, in spite of our protests, to be transferred to the man to whom it is now regarded as practically transferred. We will take the utmost care not to omit struggling for any point that it seems possible to maintain, and not to present the appearance of defeat if we have in any case failed to maintain it. You must shew your wisdom and greatness of mind by regarding your fame and high position as resting on your virtue, your public services, and the dignity of your character, and by believing that, if the perfidy of certain individuals has deprived you of any of those honours which fortune has lavished on you, it will be more injurious to them than to you. I never let any opportunity slip either of acting or thinking for your interests. I avail myself of the aid of Q. Selicius in everything: nor do I think that there is any one of all your friends either shrewder, or more faithful, or more attached to you.

B. What is being done and has been done here I imagine you know from letters of numerous correspondents and from messengers: but what are still matters for conjecture, and seem likely to take place, I think I ought to write and tell you. After Pompey had been roughly treated with shouts and insulting remarks, while speaking before the people on the 6th of February in defence of Milo, and had been accused in the senate by Cato in exceedingly harsh and bitter terms amidst profound silence, he appeared to me to be very much upset in his mind. Accordingly, he seems to me to have quite given up any idea of the Alexandrine business—which, as far as we are concerned, remains exactly where it was, for the senate has taken nothing from you except what, owing to the same religious difficulty, cannot be granted to anyone else. My hope and my earnest endeavour now is that the king, when he understands that he cannot obtain what he had in his mind—restoration by Pompey—and that, unless restored by you, he will be abandoned, and neglected, should pay you a visit. This he will do without any hesitation, if Pompey gives the least hint of his approval. But you know that man's deliberate ways and obstinate reserve. However, I will omit nothing that may contribute to that result. The other injurious proceedings instituted by Cato I shall, I hope, have no difficulty in resisting. I perceive that none of the consulars are friendly to you except Hortensius and Lucullus; the rest are either hostile, without openly shewing it, or undisguisedly incensed. Keep a brave and high spirit, and feel confident that the result will be to utterly repulse the attack of a most contemptible fellow, and to retain your high position and fame.

 
1 - 6  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

What is going on you will learn from Pollio, who not only was engaged in all the transactions, but was the leader in them. In my own deep distress, occasioned by the course your business has taken, I am chiefly consoled by the hope which makes me strongly suspect that the dishonest practices of men will be defeated both by the measures of your friends and by mere lapse of time, which must have a tendency to weaken the plans of your enemies and of traitors. In the second place, I derive a ready consolation from the memory of my own dangers, of which I see a refiexion in your fortunes. For though your position is attacked in a less important particular than that which brought mine to the ground, yet the analogy is so strong, that I trust you will pardon me if I am not frightened at what you did not yourself consider ought to cause alarm. But shew yourself the man I have known you to be, to use a Greek expression, "since your nails were soft." The injurious conduct of men will, believe me, only make your greatness more conspicuous. Expect from me the greatest zeal and devotion in everything: I will not falsify your expectation.

 
1 - 7  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

I have read your letter in which you say that you are obliged for the frequent information I give you about all current events, and for the clear proof you have of my kindness to yourself. The latter—the regarding you with warm affection—it is my duty to do, if I wish to maintain the character which you desired for me; the former it is a pleasure to do, namely, separated as we are by length of space and time, to converse with you as frequently as possible by means of letters. But if this shall occur less frequently than you expect, the reason will be that my letters are of such a kind that I dare not trust them to everybody promiscuously. As often as I get hold of trustworthy persons to whom I may safely deliver them, I will not omit to do so. As to your question about each particular person's loyalty and friendly feelings towards you, it is difficult to speak in regard to individuals. I can venture on this one assertion, which I often hinted to you before, and now write from close observation and knowledge&mdashthat certain persons, and those, above all others, who were most bound and most able to help you, have been exceedingly jealous of your claims: and that, though the point in question is different, your present position is exceedingly like what mine was some time ago in this, that those whom you had attacked on public grounds now openly assail you, while those whose authority, rank, and policy you had defended, are not so much mindful of your kindness as enemies to your reputation. In these circumstances, as I wrote you word before, I perceive that Hortensius is very warmly your friend, Lucullus anxious to serve you: while of the magistrates L. Racilius shews special loyalty and affection. For my taking up the cudgels for you, and advocating your claims, would seem in the eyes of most people to be the measure of my obligation to you rather than of my deliberate opinion. Besides these I am, in fact, not able to bear witness to any one of the consulars shewing zeal or kindness or friendly feeling towards you. For you are aware that Pompey, who is very frequently accustomed, not on my instigation but of his own accord, to confide in me about you, did not often attend the senate during these discussions. It is true your last letter, as I could easily conceive, was very gratifying to him. To me, indeed, your reasonableness, or rather your extreme wisdom, seemed not only charming, but simply admirable. For by that letter you retained your hold on a man of lofty character, who was bound to you by the signal generosity of your conduct towards him, but who was entertaining some suspicions that, owing to the impression prevailing among certain persons as to his own ambitious desires, you were alienated from him. I always thought that he wished to support your reputation, even in that very dubious episode of Caninius's proposal; but when he had read your letter, I could plainly see that he was thinking with his whole soul of you, your honours, and your interests. Wherefore look upon what I am going to write as written after frequent discussions with him, in accordance with his opinion, and with the weight of his authority. It is this: "That, since no senatorial decree exists taking the restoration of the Alexandrine king out of your hands, and since the resolution written out upon that restoration (which, as you are aware, was vetoed) to the effect that no one was to restore the king at all, has rather the weight of a measure adopted by men in anger than of a deliberate decision of the senate—you can yourself see, since you are in possession of Cilicia and Cyprus, what it is within your power to effect and secure; and that, if circumstances seem to make it possible for you to occupy Alexandria and Egypt, it is for your own dignity and that of the empire that, after having first placed the king at Ptolemais or some neighbouring place, you should proceed with fleet and army to Alexandria, in order that, when you have secured it by restoring peace and placing a garrison in it, Ptolemy may go back to his kingdom: thus it will be brought about that he is restored at once by your agency, as the senate originally voted, and without a 'host,' as those who are scrupulous about religion said was the order of the Sibyl."

But though both he and I agreed in this decision, we yet thought that men would judge of your policy by its result: if it turns out as we wish and desire everybody will say that you acted wisely and courageously if any hitch occurs, those same men will say that you acted ambitiously and rashly. Wherefore what you really can do it is not so easy for us to judge as for you who have Egypt almost within sight For us, our view is this if you are certain that you can get possession of that kingdom, you should not delay: if it is doubtful, you should not make the attempt. I can guarantee you this, that, if you succeed, you will be applauded by many while abroad, by all when you return. I see great danger in any failure, on account of the senatorial resolution and the religious scruple that have been introduced into the question. But for me, as I exhort you to snatch at what is certain to bring you credit, so I warn you against running any risks, and I return to what I said at the beginning of my letter—that men will judge all you do, not so much from the policy which prompted it as from its result. But if this method of procedure appears to you to be dangerous, our opinion is that, if the king fulfils his obligations to those of your friends, who throughout your province and sphere of government have lent him money, you should assist him both with troops and supplies: such is the nature and convenient situation of your province, that you either secure his restoration by giving him aid, or hinder it by neglecting to do so. In carrying out this policy you will perceive better and more easily than anyone else what the actual state of affairs, the nature of the case, and the circumstances of the hour admit: what our opinion was I thought that I was the person, above all others, to tell you.

As to your congratulations to myself on my present position, on my intimacy with Milo, on the frivolity and impotency of Clodius—I am not at all surprised that, like a first-rate artist, you take pleasure in the brilliant works of your own hands. However, people's wrong-headedness—I don't like to use a harsher word—surpasses belief; they might have secured me by their sympathy in a cause in which they were all equally interested, yet they have alienated me by their jealousy: for by their carping and most malicious criticisms I must tell you that I have been all but driven from that old political standpoint of mine, so long maintained, not, it is true, so far as to forget my position, but far enough to admit at length some consideration for my personal safety also. Both might have been amply secured if there had been any good faith, any solidity in our consulars : but such is the frivolity of most of them, that they do not so much take pleasure in my political consistency, as offence at my brilliant position. I am the more outspoken in writing this to you, because you lent your support, not only to my present position, which I obtained through you, but also long ago to my reputation and political eminence, when they were, so to speak, but just coming into existence; and at the same time because I see that it was not, as I used formerly to think, my want of curule pedigree that excited prejudice: for I have noticed in your case, one of the noblest of the land, a similar exhibition of base jealousy, and though they did not object to class you among the oblesse, they were unwilling that you should take any higher flight. I rejoice that your fortune has been unlike mine: for there is a great difference between having one's reputation lowered and one's personal safety abandoned to the enemy. In my case it was your noble conduct that prevented me from being too much disgusted with my own; for you secured that men should consider more to have been added to my future glory than had been taken from my present fortune. As for you—instigated both by your kindness to myself and my affection for you, I urge you to use all your care and industry to obtain the full glory, for which you have burned with such generous ardour from boyhood, and never, under anyone's injurious conduct, to bend that high spirit of yours, which I have always admired and always loved. Men have a high opinion of you; they loudly praise your liberality; they vividly remember your consulship. You must surely perceive how much more marked, and how much more prominent these sentiments will be, if backed up by some considerable repute from your province and your government. However, in every administrative act which you have to perform by means of your army and in virtue of your imperium, I would have you reflect on these objects long before you act, prepare yourself with a view to them, turn them over in your mind, train yourself to obtain them, and convince yourself that you can with the greatest ease maintain the highest and most exalted position in the state. This you have always looked for, and I am sure you understand that you have attained it. And that you may not think this exhortation of mine meaningless or adopted without reason, I should explain that the consideration which has moved me to make it was the conviction that you required to be warned by the incidents, which our careers have had in common, to be careful for the rest of your life as to whom to trust and against whom to be on your guard.

As to your question about the state of public affairs—there is the most profound difference of opinion, but the energy is all on one side. For those who are strong in wealth, arms, and material power, appear to me to have scored so great a success from the stupidity and fickleness of their opponents, that they are now the stronger in moral weight as well. Accordingly, with very few to oppose them, they have got everything through the senate, which they never expected to get even by the popular vote without a riot: for a grant for military pay and ten legates have been given to Caesar by decree, and no difficulty has been made of deferring the nomination of his successor, as required by the Sempronian law. I say the less to you on this point because this position of public affairs is no pleasure to me: I mention it, however, in order to urge you to learn, while you can do so without suffering for it, the lesson which I myself, though devoted from boyhood to every kind of reading, yet learnt rather from bitter experience than from study, that we must neither consider our personal safety to the exclusion of our dignity, nor our dignity to the exclusion of our safety.

In your congratulations as to my daughter and Crassipes I am obliged to you for your kindness, and do indeed expect and hope that this connexion may be a source of pleasure to us. Our dear Lentulus, a young man who gives such splendid promise of the highest qualities, be sure you instruct both in those accomplishments which you have yourself ever been forward in pursuing, and also, above all, in the imitation of yourself: he can study in no better school than that. He holds a very high place in my regard and affection, as well because he is yours, as because he is worthy of such a father, and because he is devoted to me, and has always been so.

 
1 - 8  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

What debates have taken place in the senate, what determination has been come to in your business, and what Pompey has undertaken to do, all this you will best learn from Marcus Plaetorius, who has not only been engaged in these matters, but has even taken the lead in them, and left nothing undone which the greatest affection for you, the greatest good sense, and the greatest care could do. From the same man you will ascertain the general position of public affairs, which are of such a nature as is not easy to put in writing. They are, it is true, all in the power of our friends, and to such an extent that it does not seem probable that the present generation will witness a change. For my part, as in duty bound, as you advised, and as personal affection and expediency compel, I am attaching myself to the fortunes of the man whose alliance you thought you must court when my fortunes were in question. But you must feel how difficult it is to put away a political conviction, especially when it happens to be right and proved up to the hilt. However, I conform myself to the wishes of him from whom I cannot dissent with any dignity: and this I do not do, as perhaps some may think, from insincerity; for deliberate purpose and, by heaven! affection for Pompey are so powerful with me, that whatever is to his interest, and whatever he wishes, appears to me at once to be altogether right and reasonable. Nor, as I think, would even his opponents be wrong if, seeing that they cannot possibly be his equals, they were to cease to struggle against him. For myself I have another consolation—my character is such that all the world thinks me justified beyond all others, whether I support Pompey's views, or hold my tongue, or even, what is above everything else to my taste, return to my literary pursuits. And this last I certainly shall do, if my friendship for this same man permits it. For those objects which I had at one time in view, after having held the highest offices and endured the greatest fatigues--the power of intervening with dignity in the debates of the senate, and a free hand in dealing with public affairs—these have been entirely abolished, and not more for me than for all. For we all have either to assent to a small clique, to the utter loss of our dignity, or to dissent to no purpose. My chief object in writing to you thus is that you may consider carefully what line you will also take yourself. The whole position of senate, law courts, and indeed of the entire constitution has undergone a complete change. The most we can hope for is tranquillity: and this the men now in supreme power seem likely to give us, if certain persons shew somewhat more tolerance of their despotism. The old consular prestige, indeed, of a courageous and consistent senator we must no longer think of: that has been lost by the fault of those who have alienated from the senate both an order once very closely allied to it, and an individual of the most illustrious character. But to return to what more immediately affects your interests--I have ascertained that Pompey is warmly your friend, and with him as consul, to the best of my knowledge and belief, you will get whatever you wish. In this he will have me always at his elbow, and nothing which affects you shall be passed over by me. Nor, in fact, shall I be afraid of boring him, for he will be very glad for his own sake to find me grateful to him. I would have you fully persuaded that there is nothing, however small, affecting your welfare that is not dearer to me than every interest of my own. And entertaining these sentiments, I can satisfy myself indeed, as far as assiduity is concerned, but in actual achievement I cannot do so, just because I cannot reach any proportion of your services to me, I do not say by actual return in kind, but by any return even of feeling. There is is a report that you have won a great victory. Your despatch is anxiously awaited, and I have already talked to Pompey about it. When it arrives, I will shew my zeal by calling on the magistrates and members of the senate: and in everything else which may concern you, though I shall strive for more than I can achieve, I shall yet do less than I ought.

 
1 - 9  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

M. Cicero desires his warmest regards to P. Lentulus, imperator. Your letter was very gratifying to me, from which I gathered that you fully appreciated my devotion to you: for why use the word kindness, when even the word "devotion" itself, with all its solemn and holy associations, seems too weak to express my obligations to you? As for your saying that my services to you are gratefully accepted, it is you who in your overflowing affection make things, which cannot be omitted without criminal negligence, appear deserving of even gratitude. However, my feelings towards you would have been much more fully known and conspicuous, if during all this time that we have been separated, we had been together, and together at Rome. For precisely in what you declare your intention of doing—what no one is more capable of doing, and what I confidently look forward to from you—that is to say, in speaking in the senate, and in every department of public life and political activity, we should together have been in a very strong position (what my feelings and position are in regard to politics I will explain shortly, and will answer the questions you ask), and at any rate I should have found in you a supporter, at once most warmly attached and endowed with supreme wisdom, while in me you would have found an adviser, perhaps not the most unskillful in the world, and at least both faithful and devoted to your interests. However, for your own sake, of course, I rejoice, as I am bound to do, that you have been greeted with the title of Imperator, and are holding your province and victorious army after a successful campaign. But certainly, if you had been here, you would have enjoyed to a fuller extent and more directly the benefit of the services which I am bound to render you. Moreover, in taking vengeance on those whom you know in some cases to be your enemies, because you championed the cause of my recall, in others to be jealous of the splendid position and renown which that measure brought you, I should have done you yeoman's service as your associate. However, that perpetual enemy of his own friends, who, in spite of having been honoured with the highest compliments on your part, has selected you of all people for the object of his impotent and enfeebled violence, has saved me the trouble by punishing himself. For he has made attempts, the disclosure of which has left him without a shred, not only of political position, but even of freedom of action. And though I should have preferred that you should have gained your experience in my case alone, rather than in your own also, yet in the midst of my regret I am glad that you have learnt what the fidelity of mankind is worth, at no great cost to yourself, which I learnt at the price of excessive pain. And I think that I have now an opportunity presented me, while answering the questions you have addressed to me, of also explaining my entire position and view. You say in your letter that you have been informed that I have become reconciled to Caesar and Appius, and you add that you have no fault to find with that. But you express a wish to know what induced me to defend and compliment Vatinius. In order to make my explanation plainer I must go a little farther back in the statement of my policy and its grounds. Well, Lentulus! At first—after the success of your efforts for my recall—I looked upon myself as having been restored not alone to my friends, but to the Republic also; and seeing that I owed you an affection almost surpassing belief, and every kind of service, however great and rare, that could be bestowed on your person, I thought that to the Republic, which had much assisted you in restoring me, I at least was bound to entertain the feeling which I had in old times showed merely from the duty incumbent on all citizens alike, and not as an obligation incurred by some special kindness to myself. That these were my sentiments I declared to the senate when you were consul, and you had yourself a full view of them in our conversations and discussions. Yet from the very first my feelings were hurt by many circumstances, when, on your mooting the question of the full restoration of my position, I detected the covert hatred of some and the equivocal attachment of others. For you received no support from them either in regard to my monuments, or the illegal violence by which, in common with my brother, I had been driven from my house; nor, by heaven, did they show the goodwill which I had expected in regard to those matters which, though necessary to me owing to the shipwreck of my fortune, were yet regarded by me as least valuable—I mean as to indemnifying me for my losses by decree of the senate. And though I saw all this—for it was not difficult to see—yet their present conduct did not affect me with so much bitterness as what they had done for me did with gratitude. And therefore, though according to your own assertion and testimony I was under very great obligation to Pompey, and though I loved him not only for his kindness, but also from my own feelings, and, so to speak, from my unbroken admiration of him, nevertheless, without taking any account of his wishes, I abode by all my old opinions in politics. With Pompey sitting in court, upon his having entered the city to give evidence in favour of Sestius, and when the witness Vatinius had asserted that, moved by the good fortune and success of Caesar, I had begun to be his friend, I said that I preferred the fortune of Bibulus, which he thought a humiliation, to the triumphs and victories of everybody else; and I said during the examination of the same witness, in another part of my speech, that the same men had prevented Bibulus from leaving his house as had forced me from mine: my whole cross-examination, indeed, was nothing but a denunciation of his tribuneship; and in it I spoke throughout with the greatest freedom and spirit about violence, neglect of omens, grants of royal titles. Nor, indeed, in the support of this view is it only of late that I have spoken. I have done so consistently on several occasions in the senate. Nay, even in the consulship of Marcellinus and Philippus, on the 5th of April the senate voted on my motion that the question of the Campanian land should be referred to a full meeting of the senate on the 15th of May. Could I more decidedly invade the stronghold of his policy, or show more clearly that I forgot my own present interests, and remembered my former political career? On my delivery of this proposal a great impression was made on the minds not only of those who were bound to have been impressed, but also of those of whom I had never expected it. For, after this decree had passed in accordance with my motion, Pompey, without showing the least sign of being offended with me, started for Sardinia and Africa, and in the course of that journey visited Caesar at Luca. There Caesar complained a great deal about my motion, for he had already seen Crassus at Ravenna also, and had been irritated by him against me. It was well known that Pompey was much vexed at this, as I was told by others, but learnt most definitely from my brother. For when Pompey met him in Sardinia, a few days after leaving Luca, he said: "You are the very man I want to see; nothing could have happened more conveniently. Unless you speak very strongly to your brother Marcus, you will have to pay up what you guaranteed on his behalf." I need not go on. He grumbled a great deal: mentioned his own services to me: recalled what he had again and again said to my brother himself about the "acts" of Caesar, and what my brother had undertaken in regard to me; and called my brother himself to witness that what he had done in regard to my recall he had done with the consent of Caesar: and asked him to commend to me the latter's policy and claims, that I should not attack, even if I would not or could not support them. My brother having conveyed these remarks to me, and Pompey having, nevertheless, sent Vibullius to me with a message, begging me not to Commit myself on the question of the Campanian land till his return, I reconsidered my position and begged the state itself, as it were, to allow me, who had suffered and done so much for it, to fulfil the duty which gratitude to my benefactors and the pledge which my brother had given demanded, and to suffer one whom it had ever regarded as an honest citizen to show himself an honest man. Moreover, in regard to all those motions and speeches of mine which appeared to be giving offence to Pompey, the remarks of a particular set of men, whose names you must surely guess, kept on being reported to me; who, while in public affairs they were really in sympathy with my policy, and had always been so, yet said that they were glad that Pompey was dissatisfied with me, and that Caesar would be very greatly exasperated against me. This in itself was vexatious to me: but much more so was the fact that they used, before my very eyes, so to embrace, fondle, make much of, and kiss my enemy—mine do I say? rather the enemy of the laws, of the law courts, of peace, of his country, of all loyal men—that they did not indeed rouse my bile, for I have utterly lost all that, but imagined they did. In these circumstances, having, as far as is possible for human prudence, thoroughly examined my whole position, and having balanced the items of the account, I arrived at a final result of all my reflexions, which, as well as I can, I will now briefly put before you.

If I had seen the Republic in the hands of bad or profligate citizens, as we know happened during the supremacy of Cinna, and on some other occasions, I should not under the pressure, I don't say of rewards, which are the last things to influence me, but even of danger, by which, after all, the bravest men are moved, have attached myself to their party, not even if their services to me had been of the very highest kind. As it is, seeing that the leading statesman in the Republic was Pompey, a man who had gained this power and renown by the most eminent services to the state and the most glorious achievements, and one of whose position I had been a supporter from my youth up, and in my praetorship and consulship an active promoter also, and seeing that this same statesman had assisted me, in his own person by the weight of his influence and the expression of his opinion, and, in conjunction with you, by his counsels and zeal, and that he regarded my enemy as his own supreme enemy in the state—I did not think that I need fear the reproach of inconsistency, if in some of my senatorial votes I somewhat changed my standpoint, and contributed my zeal to the promotion of the dignity of a most distinguished man, and one to whom I am under the highest obligations. In this sentiment I had necessarily to include Caesar, as you see, for their policy and position were inseparably united. Here I was greatly influenced by two things—the old friendship which you know that I and my brother Quintus have had with Caesar, and his own kindness and liberality, of which we have recently had clear and unmistakable evidence both by his letters and his personal attentions. I was also strongly affected by the Republic itself, which appeared to me to demand, especially considering Caesar's brilliant successes, that there should be no quarrel maintained with these men, and indeed to forbid it in the strongest manner possible. Moreover, while entertaining these feelings, I was above all shaken by the pledge which Pompey had given for me to Caesar, and my brother to Pompey. Besides, I was forced to take into consideration the state maxim so divinely expressed by our master Plato—"Such as are the chief men in a republic, such are ever wont to be the other citizens." I called to mind that in my consulship, from the very 1st of January, such a foundation was laid of encouragement for the senate, that no one ought to have been surprised that on the 5th of December there was so much spirit and such commanding influence in that house. I also remember that when I became a private citizen up to the consulship of Caesar and Bibulus, when the opinions expressed by me had great weight in the senate, the feeling among all the loyalists was invariable. Afterwards, while you were holding the province of hither Spain with Imperium and the Republic had no genuine consuls, but mere hucksters of provinces, mere slaves and agents of sedition, an accident threw my head as an apple of discord into the midst of contending factions and civil broils. And in that hour of danger, though a unanimity was displayed on the part of the senate that was surprising, on the part of all Italy surpassing belief, and of all the loyalists unparalleled, in standing forth in my defence, I will not say what happened—for the blame attaches to many, and is of various shades of turpitude—I will only say briefly that it was not the rank and file, but the leaders, that played me false. And in this matter, though some blame does attach to those who failed to defend me, no less attaches to those who abandoned me: and if those who were frightened deserve reproach, if there are such, still more are those to be blamed who pretended to be frightened. At any rate, my policy is justly to be praised for refusing to allow my fellow citizens (preserved by me and ardently desiring to preserve me) to be exposed while bereft of leaders to armed slaves, and for preferring that it should be made manifest how much force there might be in the unanimity of the loyalists, if they had been permitted to champion my cause before I had fallen, when after that fall they had proved strong enough to raise me up again. And the real feelings of these men you not only had the penetration to see, when bringing forward my case, but the power to encourage and keep alive. In promoting which measure—I will not merely not deny, but shall always remember also and gladly proclaim it—you found certain men of the highest rank more courageous in securing my restoration than they had been in preserving me from my fall: and, if they had chosen to maintain that frame of mind, they would have recovered their own commanding position along with my salvation. For when the spirit of the loyalists had been renewed by your consulship, and they bad been roused from their dismay by the extreme firmness and rectitude of your official conduct; when, above all, Pompey's support had been secured; and when Caesar, too, with all the prestige of his brilliant achievements, after being honoured with unique and unprecedented marks of distinction and compliments by the senate, was now supporting the dignity of the house, there could have been no opportunity for a disloyal citizen of outraging the Republic.

But now notice, I beg, what actually ensued. First of all, that intruder upon the women's rites, who had shown no more respect for the Bona Dea than for his three sisters, secured immunity by the votes of those men who, when a tribune wished by a legal action to exact penalties from a seditious citizen by the agency of the loyalists, deprived the Republic of what would have been hereafter a most splendid precedent for the punishment of sedition. And these same persons, in the case of the monument, which was not mine, indeed—for it was not erected from the proceeds of spoils won by me, and I had nothing to do with it beyond giving out the contract for its construction—well, they allowed this monument of the senate's to have branded upon it the name of a public enemy, and an inscription written in blood. That those men wished my safety rouses my liveliest gratitude, but I could have wished that they had not chosen to take my bare safety into consideration, like doctors, but, like trainers, my strength and complexion also! As it is, just as Apelles perfected the head and bust of his Venus with the most elaborate art, but left the rest of her body in the rough, so certain persons only took pains with my head, and left the rest of my body unfinished and unworked. Yet in this matter I have falsified the expectation, not only of the jealous, but also of the downright hostile, who formerly conceived a wrong opinion from the case of Quintus Metellus, son of Lucius—the most energetic and gallant man in the world, and in my opinion of surpassing courage and firmness—who, people say, was much cast down and dispirited after his return from exile. Now, in the first place, we are asked to believe that a man who accepted exile with entire willingness and remarkable cheerfulness, and never took any pains at all to get recalled, was crushed in spirit about an affair in which he had shown more firmness and constancy than anyone else, even than the pre-eminent M. Scaurus himself! But, again, the account they had received, or rather the conjectures they were indulging in about him, they now transferred to me, imagining that I should be more than usually broken in spirit: whereas, in fact, the Republic was inspiring me with even greater courage than I had ever had before, by making it plain that I was the one citizen it could not do without; and by the fact that while a bill proposed by only one tribune had recalled Metellus, the whole state had joined as one man in recalling me—the senate leading the way, the whole of Italy following after, eight of the tribunes publishing the bill, a consul putting the question at the centuriate assembly, all orders and individuals pressing it on, in fact, with all the forces at its command. Nor is it the case that I afterwards made any pretension, or am making any at this day, which can justly offend anyone, even the most malevolent: my only effort is that I may not fail either my friends or those more remotely connected with me in either active service, or counsel, or personal exertion. This course of life perhaps offends those who fix their eyes on the glitter and show of my professional position, but are unable to appreciate its anxieties and laboriousness.

Again, they make no concealment of their dissatisfaction on the ground that in the speeches which I make in the senate in praise of Caesar I am departing from my old policy. But while giving explanations on the points which I put before you a short time ago, I will not keep till the last the following, which I have already touched upon. You will not find, my dear Lentulus, the sentiments of the loyalists the same as you left them—strengthened by my consulship, suffering relapse at intervals afterwards, crushed down before your consulship, revived by you: they have now been abandoned by those whose duty it was to have maintained them: and this fact they, who in the old state of things as it existed in our day used to be called Optimates, not only declare by look and expression of countenance, by which a false pretence is easiest supported, but have proved again and again by their actual sympathies and votes. Accordingly, the entire view and aim of wise citizens, such as I wish both to be and to be reckoned, must needs have undergone a change. For that is the maxim of that same great Plato, whom I emphatically regard as my master: "Maintain a political controversy only so far as you can convince your fellow citizens of its justice: never offer violence to parent or fatherland." He, it is true, alleges this as his motive for having abstained from politics, because, having found the Athenian people all but in its dotage, and seeing that it could not be ruled by persuasion, or by anything short of compulsion, while he doubted the possibility of persuasion, he looked upon compulsion as criminal. My position was different in this: as the people was not in its dotage, nor the question of engaging in politics still an open one for me, I was bound hand and foot. Yet I rejoiced that I was permitted in one and the same cause to support a policy at once advantageous to myself and acceptable to every loyalist. An additional motive was Caesar's memorable and almost superhuman kindness to myself and my brother, who thus would have deserved my support whatever he undertook; while as it is, considering his great success and his brilliant victories, he would seem, even if he had not behaved to me as he has, to claim a panegyric from me. For I would have you believe that, putting you aside, who were the authors of my recall, there is no one by whose good offices I would not only confess, but would even rejoice, to have been so much bound.

Having explained this matter to you, the questions you ask about Vatinius and Crassus are easy to answer. For, since you remark about Appius, as about Caesar, "that you have no fault to find," I can only say that I am glad you approve my policy. But as to Vatinius, in the first place there had been in the interval a reconciliation effected through Pompey, immediately after his election to the praetorship, though I had, it is true, impugned his canditature in some very strong speeches in the senate, and yet not so much for the sake of attacking him as of defending and complimenting Cato. Again, later on, there followed a very pressing request from Caesar that I should undertake his defence. But my reason for testifying to his character I beg you will not ask, either in the case of this defendant or of others, lest I retaliate by asking you the same question when you come home: though I can do so even before you return: for remember for whom you sent a certificate of character from the ends of the earth. However, don't be afraid, for those same persons are praised by myself, and will continue to be so. Yet, after all, there was also the motive spurring me on to undertake his defence, of which, during the trial, when I appeared for him, I remarked that I was doing just what the parasite in the Eunuchus advised the captain to do:

As oft as she names Phaedria, you retort
With Pamphila. If ever she suggest,
'Do let us have in Phaedria to our revel:'
Quoth you, 'And let us call on Pamphila
To sing a song.' If she shall praise his looks,
Do you praise hers to match them: and, in fine,
Give tit for tat, that you may sting her soul.

So I asked the jurors, since certain men of high rank, who had also done me very great favours, were much enamoured of my enemy, and often under my very eyes in the senate now took him aside in grave consultation, now embraced him familiarly and cheerfully—since these men had their Publius, to grant me another Publius, in whose person I might repay a slight attack by a moderate retort. And, indeed, I am often as good as my word, with the applause of gods and men. So much for Vatinius. Now about Crassus. I thought I had done much to secure his gratitude in having, for the sake of the general harmony, wiped out by a kind of voluntary act of oblivion all his very serious injuries, when he suddenly undertook the defence of Gabinius, whom only a few days before he had attacked with the greatest bitterness. Nevertheless, I should have borne that, if he had done so without casting any offensive reflexions on me. But on his attacking me, though I was only arguing and not inveighing against him, I fired up not only, I think, with the passion of the moment—for that perhaps would not have been so hot—but the smothered wrath at his many wrongs to me, of which I thought I had wholly got rid, having, unconsciously to myself, lingered in my soul, it suddenly showed itself in full force. And it was at this precise time that certain persons (the same whom I frequently indicate by a sign or hint), while declaring that they had much enjoyed my outspoken style, and had never before fully realized that I was restored to the Republic in all my old character, and when my conduct of that controversy had gained me much credit outside the house also, began saying that they were glad both that he was now my enemy, and that those who were involved with him would never be my friends. So when their ill-natured remarks were reported to me by men of most respectable character, and when Pompey pressed me as he had never done before to be reconciled to Crassus, and Caesar wrote to say that he was exceedingly grieved at that quarrel, I took into consideration not only my circumstances, but my natural inclination : and Crassus, that our reconciliation might, as it were, be attested to the Roman people, started for his province, it might almost be said, from my hearth. For he himself named a day and dined with me in the suburban villa of my son-in-law Crassipes. On this account, as you say that you have been told, I supported his cause in the senate, which I had undertaken on Pompey's strong recommendation, as I was bound in honour to do.

I have now told you with what motives I have supported each measure and cause, and what my position is in politics as far as I take any part in them: and I would wish you to make sure of this—that I should have entertained the same sentiments, if I had been still perfectly uncommitted and free to choose. For I should not have thought it right to fight against such overwhelming power, nor to destroy the supremacy of the most distinguished citizens, even if it had been possible; nor, again, should I have thought myself bound to abide by the same view, when circumstances were changed and the feelings of the loyalists altered, but rather to bow to circumstances. For the persistence in the same view has never been regarded as a merit in men eminent for their guidance of the helm of state ; but as in steering a ship one secret of the art is to run before the storm, even if you cannot make the harbour; yet, when you can do so by tacking about, it is folly to keep to the course you have begun rather than by changing it to arrive all the same at the destination you desire: so while we all ought in the administration of the state to keep always in view the object I have very frequently mentioned, peace combined with dignity, we are not bound always to use the same language, but to fix our eyes on the same object. Wherefore, as I laid down a little while ago, if I had had as free a hand as possible in everything, I should yet have been no other than I now am in politics. When, moreover, I am at once induced to adopt these sentiments by the kindness of certain persons, and driven to do so by the injuries of others, I am quite content to think and speak about public affairs as I conceive best conduces to the interests both of myself and of the Republic. Moreover, I make this declaration the more openly and frequently, both because my brother Quintus is Caesar's legate, and because no word of mine, however trivial, to say nothing of any act, in support of Caesar has ever transpired, which he has not received with such marked gratitude, as to make me look upon myself as closely bound to him. Accordingly, I have the advantage of his popularity, which you know to be very great, and his material resources, which you know to be immense, as though they were my own. Nor do I think that I could in any other way have frustrated the plots of unprincipled persons against me, unless I had now combined with those protections, which I have always possessed, the goodwill also of the men in power. I should, to the best of my belief, have followed this same line of policy even if I had had you here. For I well know the reasonableness and soberness of your judgment: I know your mind, while warmly attached to me, to be without a tinge of malevolence to others, but on the contrary as open and candid as it is great and lofty. I have seen certain persons conduct themselves towards you as you might have seen the same persons conduct themselves towards me. The same things that have annoyed me would certainly have annoyed you. But whenever I shall have the enjoyment of your presence, you will be the wise critic of all my plans: you who took thought for my safety will also do so for my dignity. Me, indeed, you will have as the partner and associate in all your actions, sentiments, wishes—in fact, in everything; nor shall I ever in all my life have any purpose so steadfastly before me, as that you should rejoice more and more warmly every day that you did me such eminent service.

As to your request that I would send you any books I have written since your departure, there are some speeches, which I will give Menocritus, not so very many, so don't be afraid! I have also written—for I am now rather withdrawing from oratory and returning to the gentler Muses, which now give me greater delight than any others, as they have done since my earliest youth—well, then, I have written in the Aristotelian style, at least that was my aim, three books in the form of a discussion in dialogue On the Orator, which, I think, will be of some service to your Lentulus. For they differ a good deal from the current maxims, and embrace a discussion on the whole oratorical theory of the ancients, both that of Aristotle and Isocrates. I have also written in verse three books On my own Times, which I should have sent you some time ago, if I had thought they ought to be published—for they are witnesses, and will be eternal witnesses, of your services to me and of my affection—but I refrained because I was afraid, not of those who might think themselves attacked, for I have been very sparing and gentle in that respect, but of my benefactors, of whom it were an endless task to mention the whole list. Nevertheless, the books, such as they are, if I find anyone to whom I can safely commit them, I will take care to have conveyed to you: and as far as that part of my life and conduct is concerned, I submit it entirely to your judgment. All that I shall succeed in accomplishing in literature or in learning—my old favourite relaxations—I shall with the utmost cheerfulness place before the bar of your criticism, for you have always had a fondness for such things. As to what you say in your letter about your domestic affairs, and all you charge me to do, I am so attentive to them that I don't like being reminded, can scarcely bear, indeed, to be asked without a very painful feeling. As to your saying, in regard to Quintus's business, that you could not do anything last summer, because you were prevented by illness from crossing to Cilicia, but that you will now do everything in your power to settle it, I may tell you that the fact of the matter is that, if he can annex this property, my brother thinks that he will owe to you the consolidation of this ancestral estate. I should like you to write about all your affairs, and about the studies and training of your son Lentulus (whom I regard as mine also) as confidentially and as frequently as possible, and to believe that there never has been anyone either dearer or more congenial to another than you are to me, and that I will not only make you feel that to be the case, but will make all the world and posterity itself to the latest generation aware of it.

Appius used some time back to repeat in conversation, and afterwards said openly, even in the senate, that if he were allowed to carry a law in the comitia curiata, he would draw lots with his colleague for their provinces; but if no curiatian law were passed, he would make an arrangement with his colleague and succeed you: that a curiatian law was a proper thing for a consul, but was not a necessity: that since he was in possession of a province by a decree of the senate, he should have imperium in virtue of the Cornelian law until such time as he entered the city. I don't know what your several connexions write to you on the subject: I understand that opinion varies. There are some who think that you can legally refuse to quit your province, because your successor is named without a curiatian law: some also hold that, even if you do quit it, you may leave some one behind you to conduct its government. For myself, I do not feel so certain about the point of law—although there is not much doubt even about that—as I do of this, that it is for your greatest honour, dignity, and independence, which I know you always value above everything, to hand over your province to a successor without any delay, especially as you cannot thwart his greediness without rousing suspicion of your own. I regard my duty as twofold—to let you know what I think, and to defend what you have done.

P.S.—I had written the above when I received your letter about the publicanito whom I could not but admire the justice of your conduct. I could have wished that you had been able by some lucky chance to avoid running counter to the interests and wishes of that order, whose honour you have always promoted. For my part, I shall not cease to defend your decrees: but you know the ways of that class of men; you are aware how bitterly hostile they were to the famous Q. Scaevola himself. However, I advise you to reconcile that order to yourself, or at least soften its feelings, if you can by any means do so. Though difficult, I think it is, nevertheless, not beyond the reach of your sagacity.

 
1 - 10  To P. Lentulus Spinther in Cilicia, from Rome 56 BC

M. Cicero wishes health to L. Valerius, learned in the law. For why I should not pay you this compliment I don't know, especially considering that in these times one may employ impudence to supply the place of learning. I have written to our friend Lentulus, thanking him earnestly in your name. But I could wish that you would now cease using my letter of introduction and at last come back to us, and prefer a city where you are of some account, to a place where you appear to be the only man of legal learning. However, those who come from where you are either say you are proud because you give no "opinions," or insulting because you give bad ones. But I am now longing to crack a joke with you face to face. So come as soon as ever you can, and don't go and visit your native Apulia, that we may have the joy of welcoming your safe return. For if you go there, like another Ulysses, you will not recognize any of your friends.

 
2  M. Caelius Rufus 51 - 50 BC  
2 - 8  To M. Caelius Rufus at Rome, from Athens 51 BC

What! Do you suppose that I meant you to send me an account of gladiatorial matches, of postponements of trials, of robberies by Chrestus, and such things as, when I am at Rome, nobody ventures to retail to me? See what a high opinion I have of you—and not, indeed, undeservedly, for I have never yet known anyone with keener political instincts—I don't care for your writing to me even the daily occurrences in the most important affairs of the state, unless there is something specially affecting myself. Other people will write about them; many will convey news of them: common report itself will bring many of them to my ears. Therefore it is not things past or present that I expect from you, but things to come—for you are a man who sees far in front of you—so that, having got a view of the ground plan of the Republic from your pen, I may satisfy myself as to what the future building is to be. As yet, however, I have no fault to find with you; for it is impossible for you to see farther than any one of us, and especially myself, who have spent several days with Pompey in conversation exclusively political, which neither can nor ought to be committed to writing. Only take this as certain, that Pompey is an admirable citizen, and prepared in courage and wisdom alike to meet every contingency that needs to be provided against in the political situation. Wherefore devote yourself to him: he will receive you, believe me, with open arms. For he takes the same view, as we ever do, as to who are good and bad citizens. After spending exactly ten days in Athens, and having seen a great deal of our friend Caninius Gallus, I am starting on my journey today, the 6th of July, the day on which I send you this letter. All interests of mine I desire to have the benefit of your greatest attention, but nothing more so than that the time of my provincial government should not be extended. That is all in all to me. When, how, and by whose means this is to be worked, you will settle best for yourself.

 
2 - 11 To M. Caelius Rufus, from Laodicea 50 BC

Would you have supposed that words could possibly fail me, and not only oratorical words, such as you advocates use, but even this common vernacular which I employ? Still, fail me they do, and for this reason—I am surprisingly anxious as to what decree may pass about the provinces. An astonishing yearning for the city possesses me, an incredible longing for my friends and for you among the first, and at the same time a weariness of a province, either because I seem to have gained so much reputation, that an accession to it is now not so much to be sought, as some change of fortune to be feared; or because the whole business is one unworthy of my powers, able and accustomed as I am to sustain more important burdens in the public service; or, again, because an alarm of a serious war is hanging over us, which I seem likely to avoid by quitting my province on the day appointed. The panthers are being energetically attended to by the ordinary hunters in accordance with my orders: but there is a great scarcity of them, and such as there are, I am told, complain loudly that they are the only things for which traps are set in all my province, and they are said in consequence to have resolved to quit our province for Caria. However, the business is being pushed on zealously, and especially by Patiscus. All that turn up shall be at your service, but how many that is I don't in the least know. I assure you I am much interested in your aedileship: the day itself reminds me of it; for I am writing on the very day of the Megalensia.Please write the fullest particulars as to the state of politics in general: for I shall look on information from you as the most trustworthy I get.

 
3 Ap. Claudius Pulcher 51 BC
3 - 2 To Ap. Claudius Pulcher, in Cilicia, from Rome 51 BC

Though, contrary to my own wishes, and to my surprise, it has turned Out that I am obliged to go to a province with imperium, in the midst of many various anxieties and reflexions one consolation occurs to me, that you could have no more friendly successor than I am to you, nor I take over a province from anyone more inclined to hand it over in good order and free from difficulties. And if you, too, entertain the same expectation as to my goodwill towards you, you will certainly never find yourself mistaken. In the name of our intimate union and of your own extraordinary kindness, I again and again beg and beseech you most earnestly, in whatever particulars shall lie in your power--and there are very many in which you will be able to do so--to provide and p. 2 take measures for my interests. You see that by the decree of the senate I am forced to take a province. If you will, as far as you have the power, hand it over to me as free as possible from difficulties, you will greatly facilitate what I may call the running of my official course. What it may be in your power to do in that direction I leave to you: I confine myself to earnestly begging you to do what occurs to you as being in my interest, I would have written at greater length to you, had either such kindness as yours looked for a longer address, or the friendship between us admitted of it, or had it not been that the matter spoke for itself and required no words. I would have you convinced of this--that if I shall be made aware that my interests have been consulted by you, you will yourself receive from that circumstance a great and abiding satisfaction. Farewell.

 
3 - 4 To Ap. Claudius Pulcher, in Cilicia, from Rome 51 BC

On the 4th of June, being at Brundisium, I received your letter stating that you had instructed L. Clodius with what you wished him to say to me. I am much looking forward to his arrival, that I may learn at the earliest possible moment the message he is bringing from you. My warm feeling and readiness to serve you, though I hope they are already known to you by many instances, I shall yet manifest in those circumstances above all others, in which I shall be able to give the most decisive proof that no one's reputation and position is dearer to me than yours. On your side, both Q. Fabius Vergilianus and C. Flaccus, son of Lucius, and--in stronger terms than anyone else--M. Octavius, son of Gneius, have shewed me that I am highly valued by you. This I had already judged to be the case on many grounds, but above all from that book on Augural Law, of which, with its most affectionate dedication, you have made me a most delightful present. On my part, all the services which belong to the closest relationship shall be ever at your command. For ever since you began feeling attachment to me, I have learnt daily to value you more highly, and now there has been added to that my intimacy with your relations--for there are two of them of different ages whom I value very highly, Cn. Pompeius, father-in-law of your daughter, and M. Brutus, your son-in-law1 --and, lastly, the membership of the same college, especially as that has been stamped by such a complimentary expression of your approval,2 seems to me to have supplied a bond of no ordinary strength towards securing a union of feeling between us. But I shall not only, if I come across Clodius, write you at greater length after talking with him, but shall also take pains myself to see you as soon as possible. Your saying that your motive for staying in the province was the hope of having an interview with me, to tell you the honest truth, is very agreeable to me.

 
5 Celer, Nepos, Antonius, Sestius, Magnus, Crassus, Lucceius 62 - 54 BC
5 - 1 From Q. Metellus Celer in Cisalpine Gaul, to Cicero, 62 BC

Q. Metellus Celer, son of Quintus, proconsul, greets M. Tullius Cicero. If you are well I am glad. I had thought, considering our mutual regard and the reconciliation effected between us, that I was not likely to be held up to ridicule in my absence, nor my brother attacked by you in his civil existence and property for the sake of a mere word. If his own high character was not a sufficient protection to him, yet either the position of our family, or my own loyal conduct to you and the Republic ought to have been sufficient to support him. As it is I see that he has been ruined and I abandoned by the last people in the world who ought to have done so. I am accordingly in sorrow and wearing mourning dress, while actually in command of a province and army and conducting a war. And seeing that your conduct in this affair has neither been reasonable nor in accordance with the milder methods of old times, you must not be surprised if you live to repent it. I did not expect to find you so fickle towards me and mine. For myself, meanwhile, neither family sorrow nor ill-treatment by any individual shall withdraw me from the service of the state.

 
5 - 2 To Q. Metellus Celer in Cisalpine Gaul, from Rome62 BC

M. Tullius, son of Marcus, to Q. Metellus Celer, son of Quintus, proconsul wishes health. If you and the army are well I shall be glad. You say in your letter that you "thought, considering our mutual regard and the reconciliation effected between us, that you were not likely to be held up to ridicule by me." To what you refer I do not clearly understand, but I suspect that you have been informed that, while arguing in the senate that there were many who were annoyed at my having saved the state, I said that your relations, whose wishes you had been unable to withstand, had induced you to pass over in silence what you had made up your mind you ought to say in the senate in my praise. But while saying so I also added this—that the duty of supporting the Republic had been so divided between us that I was defending the city from internal treachery and the crime of its own citizens, you Italy from armed enemies and covert conspiracy yet that this association in a task so noble and so glorious had been imperilled by your relations, who, while you had been complimented by me in the fullest and most laudatory terms, had been afraid of any display of mutual regard on your part being put to my credit. As this sentence betrayed how much I had looked forward to your speech, and how mistaken I had been in that expectation, my speech caused some amusement, and was received with a moderate amount of laughter; but the laugh was not against you, it was rather at my mistake, and at the open and naive confession of my eagerness to be commended by you. Surely it cannot but be a compliment to you that in the hour of my greatest triumph and glory I yet wished for some testimony of approval from your lips. As to your expression, "considering our mutual regard "—I don't know your idea of what is "mutual" in friendship; mine is an equal interchange of good feeling. Now if I were to mention that I passed over a province for your sake, you might think me somewhat insincere; for, in point of fact, it suited my convenience, and I feel more and more every day of my life the advantage and pleasure which I have received from that decision. But this I do say—the moment I had announced in public meeting my refusal of a province, I began at once thinking how I might hand it on to you. I say nothing as to the circumstances of your allotment: I only wish you to suspect that nothing was done in that matter by my colleague without my cognizance. Recall the other circumstances: how promptly I summoned the senate on that day after the lots had been drawn, at what a length I spoke about you. You yourself said at the time that my speech was not merely complimentary to you, but absolutely a reflection on your colleagues. Further, the decree of the senate passed on that day has such a preamble that, so long as it is extant, there can never be any doubt of my services to you. Subsequently, when you had gone out of town; I would have you recall my motions in the senate, my speeches in public meetings, my letters to yourself. And having reviewed all these together, I would like you to judge yourself whether you think that your approach to Rome the last time you came quite showed an adequate return for all these services. Again, as to your expression, "the reconciliation effected between us "—I do not understand why you speak of "reconciliation" in the case of a friendship that had never been broken. As to what you say, that your brother Metellus ought not "to have been attacked by me for a mere word," in the first place I would like to assure you that your feeling and fraternal partiality—so full of human kindness and natural affection—meet with my warmest approbation; in the next place I must claim your indulgence if I have in any matter opposed your brother in the interests of the Republic, for my devotion to the Republic is paramount. If however, it is my personal safety that I have defended against a most ruthless assault of his, I think you should be content that I make no complaint even to you of your brother's injurious conduct. Now, when I had become aware that he was deliberately making every preparation to use his tribunician office to my ruin, I appealed to your wife Claudia and your sister Mucia (of whose kindness to me for the sake of my friendship with Pompey I had satisfied myself by many instances) to deter him from that injurious conduct. And yet, as I am sure you have heard, on the last day of December he inflicted upon me—a consul and the preserver of my country—an indignity such as was never inflicted upon the most disloyal citizen in the humblest office: that is to say, he deprived me when laying down my office of the privilege of addressing the people—an indignity, however, which after all redounded to my honour. For, upon his forbidding me to do anything but take the oath, I pronounced an oath at once the most absolutely true and the most glorious in a loud voice—an oath which the people swore also in a loud voice to be absolutely true. Though I had actually suffered this signal indignity, I yet on that same day sent common friends to Metellus to persuade him to alter his resolution; to whom he answered that he was no longer free to do so. And, in fact, a short time previously he had said in a public meeting that a man who had punished others without trial ought not himself to be allowed the privilege of speech. What a model of consistency! What an admirable citizen! So he deemed the man who had saved the senate from massacre, the city from the incendiary, Italy from war, deserving of the same penalty as that inflicted by the senate with the unanimous approval of all loyal citizens, upon those who had intended to set fire to the city, butcher magistrates and senate, and stir up a formidable war! Accordingly, I did withstand your brother Metellus to his face: for on the 1st of January, in the senate, I maintained a debate with him on the state of the Republic, such as taught him that he had to contend with a man of courage and firmness. On the 3rd of January, on again opening the debate, he kept harping on me and threatening me at every third word of his speech; nor could any intention be more deliberate than his was to overthrow me by any means in his power, not by calm and judicial argument, but by violence and mere browbeating. If I had not shown some boldness and spirit in opposing his intemperate attack, would not everyone have concluded that the courage I had displayed in my consulship was the result of accident rather than design? If you did not know that Metellus was contemplating these measures in regard to me you must consider that you have been kept in the dark by your brother on matters of the utmost importance: if, on the other hand, he did entrust any part of his designs to you, then surely I ought to be regarded by you as a man of placable and reasonable temper for not addressing a word of reproach to you even on such occurrences as these Understanding then that it was by no "mere word" (as you express it) of Metellus that I was roused, but by his deliberate policy and extraordinary animosity towards me next observe my forbearance—if "forbearance" is the name to be given to irresolution and laxity under a most galling indignity. I never once delivered a vote in a speech against your brother every time a motion was before the house I assented without rising to those whose proposal appeared to me to be the mildest. I will also add that, though in the circumstances there was no obligation upon me to do so, yet so far from raising objections I actually did my best to secure that my enemy, because he was your brother, should be relieved from penalties by a decree of the senate. Wherefore I have not "attacked" your brother, but only defended myself from your brother's attack; nor have I been "fickle" (to quote your word), but, on the contrary, so constant, that I remained faithful to my friendship to you, though left without any sign of kindness from you. For instance, at this moment, though your letter amounts almost to a threat, I am writing back an answer such as you see. I not only pardon your vexation, I even applaud it in the highest degree; for my own heart tells me how strong is the influence of fraternal affection. I ask you in your turn to put a liberal construction upon my vexation, and to conclude that when attacked by your relatives with bitterness, with brutality, and without cause, I not only ought not to retract anything, but, in a case of that kind, should even be able to rely upon the aid of yourself and your army. I have always wished to have you as a friend: I have taken pains to make you understand that I am a warm friend to you. I abide by that sentiment, and shall abide by it as long as you will let me; and I shall more readily cease to be angry with your brother for love of you, than I shall from anger with him abate in the smallest degree my kindness for you.

 
5 - 3 To Cicero, from Q. Metellus Nepos in Spain 56 BC

The insults of a most outrageous person, with which he loads me in frequent public speeches, are alleviated by your kind services to me; and as they are of little weight as coming from a man of that character, they are regarded by me with contempt, and I am quite pleased by an interchange of persons to regard you in the light of a cousin. Him I don't wish even to remember, though I have twice saved his life in his own despite. Not to be too troublesome to you about my affairs, I have written to Lollius as to what I want done about my provincial accounts, with a view to his informing and reminding you. If you can, I hope you will preserve your old goodwill to me.

 
5 - 4  To Q. Metellus Nepos the Consul at Rome, from Dyrrhachium, January 57 BC

A letter from my brother Quintus, and one from my friend Titus Pomponius, had given me so much hope, that I depended on your assistance no less than on that of your colleague. Accordingly, I at once sent you a letter in which, as my present position required, I offered you thanks and asked for the continuance of your assistance. Later on, not so much the letters of my friends, as the conversation of travellers by this route, indicated that your feelings had undergone a change; and that circumstance prevented my venturing to trouble you with letters. Now, however, my brother Quintus has sent me a copy which he had made of your exceedingly kind speech delivered in the senate. Induced by this I have attempted to write to you, and I do ask and beg of you, as far as I may without giving you offence, to preserve your own friends along with me, rather than attack me to satisfy the unreasonable vindictiveness of your connexions. You have, indeed, conquered yourself so far as to lay aside your own enmity for the sake of the Republic: will you be induced to support that of others against the interests of the Republic? But if you will in your clemency now give me assistance, I promise you that I will be at your service henceforth: but if neither magistrates, nor senate, nor people are permitted to aid me, owing to the violence which has proved too strong for me, and for the state as well, take care lest—though you may wish the opportunity back again for retaining all and sundry in their rights-you find yourself unable to do so, because there will be nobody to be retained.

 
5 - 5  To C. Antonius in Macedonia, from Rome, January 61 BC

M. Cicero wishes health to Gaius Antonius, son of Marcus, Imperator. Though I had resolved to write you nothing but formal letters of introduction (not because I felt that they had much weight with you, but to avoid giving those who asked me for them an idea that there had been any diminution in our friendship), yet since Titus Pomponius is starting for your province, who knows better than anyone else all that I feel and have done for you, who desires your friendship and is most devotedly attached to me, I thought I must write something, especially as I had no other way of satisfying Pomponius himself. Were I to ask from you services of the greatest moment, it ought not to seem surprising to anyone: for you have not wanted from me any that concerned your interests, honour, or position. That no return has been made by you for these you are the best witness: that something even of a contrary nature has proceeded from you I have been told by many. I say "told," for I do not venture to say "discovered," lest I should chance to use the word which people tell me is often falsely attributed to me by you. But the story which has reached my ears I would prefer your learning from Pomponius (who was equally hurt by it) rather than from my letter. How singularly loyal my feelings have been to you the senate and Roman people are both witnesses. How far you have been grateful to me you may yourself estimate: how much you owe me the rest of the world estimates. I was induced to do what I did for you at first by affection, and afterwards by consistency. Your future, believe me, stands in need of much greater zeal on my part, greater firmness and greater labour. These labours, unless it shall appear that I am throwing away and wasting my pains, I shall support with all the strength I have; but if I see that they are not appreciated, I shall not allow you—the very person benefited—to think me a fool for my pains. What the meaning of all this is you will be able to learn from Pomponius. In commending Pomponius to you, although I am sure you will do anything in your power for his own sake, yet I do beg that if you have any affection for me left, you will display it all in Pomponius's business. You can do me no greater favour than that.

 
5 - 6 To P. Sestius in Macedonia, from Rome, December 62 BC

Decius the copyist has been to see me, and begged me to try and secure that no successor should be appointed to you this turn. Though I regarded him as a man of good character and attached to you, yet, remembering the tenor of your previous letter to me, I could not feel certain that the wishes of a cautious man of the world like yourself had undergone so complete a change. But after your wife Cornelia had called on Terentia, and I had had a conversation with Q. Cornelius, I took care to be present at every meeting of the senate, and found that the greatest trouble was to make Fufius the tribune, and the others to whom you had written, believe me rather than your own letters. The whole business has, after all, been postponed till January, but there is no difficulty about it. Roused by your congratulations—for in a letter sometime ago you wished me good luck on the completion of my purchase of a house from Crassus—I have bought that very house for 3,500 sestertia, a good while subsequent to your congratulation. Accordingly, you may now look upon me as being so deeply in debt as to be eager to join a conspiracy if anyone would admit me! But, partly from personal dislike they shut their doors in my face and openly denounce me as the punisher of conspiracy, partly are incredulous and afraid that I am setting a trap for them! Nor do they suppose that a man can be short of money who has relieved the money-lenders from a state of siege. In point of fact, money is plentiful at six per cent., and the success of my measures has caused me to be regarded as a good security. Your own house, and all the details of its construction, I have examined and strongly approve. As for Antonius, though everyone notices his want of attention to my interests, I have nevertheless defended him in the senate with the utmost earnestness and persistence, and have made a strong impression on the senate by my language as well as by my personal prestige. Pray write to me more frequently.

 
5 - 7 To Cn. Pompeius Magnus, from Rome, 62 BC

M. Tullius Cicero, son of Marcus, greets Cn. Pompeius, son of Cneius, Imperator.

If you and the army are well I shall be glad. From your official despatch I have, in common with everyone else, received the liveliest satisfaction; for you have given us that strong hope of peace, of which, in sole reliance on you, I was assuring everyone. But I must inform you that your old enemies—now posing as your friends—have received a stunning blow by this despatch, and, being disappointed in the high hopes they were entertaining, are thoroughly depressed. Though your private letter to me contained a somewhat slight expression of your affection, yet I can assure you it gave me pleasure: for there is nothing in which I habitually find greater satisfaction than in the consciousness of serving my friends; and if on any occasion I do not meet with an adequate return, I am not at all sorry to have the balance of kindness in my favour. Of this I feel no doubt—even if my extraordinary zeal in your behalf has failed to unite you to me—that the interests of the state will certainly effect a mutual attachment and coalition between us. To let you know, however, what I missed in your letter I will write with the candour which my own disposition and our common friendship demand. I did expect some congratulation in your letter on my achievements, for the sake at once of the ties between us and of the Republic. This I presume to have been omitted by you from a fear of hurting anyone's feelings. But let me tell you that what I did for the salvation of the country is approved by the judgment and testimony of the whole world. You are a much greater man than Africanus, but I am not much inferior to Laelius either; and when you come home you will recognize that I have acted with such prudence and spirit, that you will not be ashamed of being coupled with me in politics as well as in private friendship.

 
5 - 8 To M. Licinius Crassus on his way to Syria, from Rome, January 54 BC

I have no doubt all your friends have written to tell you what zeal I displayed on the ---- in the defence, or you might call it the promotion, of your official position. For it was neither half-hearted nor inconspicuous, nor of a sort that could be passed over in silence. In fact, I maintained a controversy against both the consuls and many consulars with a vehemence such as I have never shown in any cause before, and I took upon myself the standing defence of all your honours, and paid the duty I owed to our friendship—long in arrears, but interrupted by the great complexity of events—to the very utmost. Not, believe me, that the will to shew you attention and honour was ever wanting to me; but certain pestilent persons—vexed at another's fame—did at times alienate you from me, and sometimes changed my feelings towards you. But I have got the opportunity, for which I had rather wished than hoped, of showing you in the very height of your prosperity that I remember our mutual kindness and am faithful to our friendship. For I have secured not only that your whole family, but that the entire city should know that you have no warmer friend than myself. Accordingly, that most noble of women, your wife, as well as your two most affectionate, virtuous, and popular sons, place full confidence in my counsel, advice, zeal, and public actions; and the senate and Roman people understand that in your absence there is nothing upon which you can so absolutely count and depend as upon my exertions, care, attention, and influence in all matters which affect your interests. What has been done and is being done in the senate I imagine that you are informed in the letters from members of your family. For myself, I am very anxious that you should think and believe that I did not stumble upon the task of supporting your dignity from some sudden whim or by chance, but that from the first moment of my entering on public life I have always looked out to see how I might be most closely united to you. And, indeed, from that hour I never remember either my respect for you, or your very great kindness and liberality to me, to have failed. If certain interruptions of friendship have occurred, based rather on suspicion than fact, let them, as groundless and imaginary, be uprooted from our entire memory and life. For such is your character, and such I desire mine to be, that, fate having brought us face to face with the same condition of public affairs, I would fain hope that our union and friendship will turn out to be for the credit of us both. Wherefore how much consideration should in your judgment be shewn to me, you will yourself decide, and that decision, I hope, will be in accordance with my position in the state. I, for my part, promise and guarantee a special and unequaled zeal in every service which may tend to your honour and reputation. And even if in this I shall have many rivals, I shall yet easily surpass them all in the judgment of the rest of the world as well as that of your sons, for both of whom I have a particular affection; but while equally well-disposed to Marcus, I am more entirely devoted to Publius for this reason, that, though he always did so from boyhood, he is at this particular time treating me with the respect and affection of a second father.

I would have you believe that this letter will have the force of a treaty, not of a mere epistle; and that I will most sacredly observe and most carefully perform what I hereby promise and undertake. The defence of your political position which I have taken up in your absence I will abide by, not only for the sake of our friendship, but also for the sake of my own character for consistency. Therefore I thought it sufficient at this time to tell you this that if there was anything which I understood to be your wish or for your advantage or for your honour, I should do it without waiting to be asked; but that if I received a hint from yourself or your family on any point, I should take care to convince you that no letter of your own or any request from any of your family has been in vain. Wherefore I would wish you to write to me on all matters, great, small, or indifferent, as to a most cordial friend; and to bid your family so to make use of my activity, advice, authority, and influence in all business matters—public or private, forensic or domestic, whether your own or those of your friends, guests, or clients—that, as far as such a thing is possible, the loss of your presence may be lessened by my labour.

 
5 - 12  To L. Lucceius, from Arpinum, April 56 BC

I have often tried to say to you personally what I am about to write, but was prevented by a kind of almost clownish bashfulness. Now that I am not in your presence I shall speak out more boldly: a letter does not blush. I am inflamed with an inconceivably ardent desire, and one, as I think, of which I have no reason to be ashamed, that in a history written by you my name should be conspicuous and frequently mentioned with praise. And though you have often shewn me that you meant to do so, yet I hope you will pardon my impatience. For the style of your composition, though I had always entertained the highest expectations of it, has yet surpassed my hopes, and has taken such a hold upon me, or rather has so fired my imagination, that I was eager to have my achievements as quickly as possible put on record in your history. For it is not only the thought of being spoken of by future ages that makes me snatch at what seems a hope of immortality, but it is also the desire of fully enjoying in my lifetime an authoritative expression of your judgment, or a token of your kindness for me, or the charm of your genius. Not, however, that while thus writing I am unaware under what heavy burdens you are labouring in the portion of history you have undertaken, and by this time have begun to write. But because I saw that your history of the Italian and Civil Wars was now all but finished, and because also you told me that you were already embarking upon the remaining portions of your work, I determined not to lose my chance for the want of suggesting to you to consider whether you preferred to weave your account of me into the main context of your history, or whether, as many Greek writers have done—Callisthenes, the Phocian War; Timaeus, the war of Pyrrhus; Polybius, that of Numantia; all of whom separated the wars I have named from their main narratives—you would, like them, separate the civil conspiracy from public and external wars. For my part, I do not see that it matters much to my reputation, but it does somewhat concern my impatience, that you should not wait till you come to the proper place, but should at once anticipate the discussion of that question as a whole and the history of that epoch. And at the same time, if your whole thoughts are engaged on one incident and one person, I can see in imagination how much fuller your material will be, and how much more elaborately worked out. I am quite aware, however, what little modesty I display, first, in imposing on you so heavy a burden (for your engagements may well prevent your compliance with my request), and in the second place, in asking you to shew me off to advantage. What if those transactions are not in your judgment so very deserving of commendation? Yet, after all, a man who has once passed the border-line of modesty had better put a bold face on it and be frankly impudent. And so I again and again ask you outright, both to praise those actions of mine in warmer terms than you perhaps feel, and in that respect to neglect the laws of history. I ask you, too, in regard to the personal predilection, on which you wrote in a certain introductory chapter in the most gratifying and explicit terms—and by which you shew that you were as incapable of being diverted as Xenophon's Hercules by Pleasure—not to go against it, but to yield to your affection for me a little more than truth shall justify./ But if I can induce you to undertake this, you will have, I am persuaded, matter worthy of your genius and your wealth of language. For from the beginning of the conspiracy to my return from exile it appears to me that a moderate-sized monograph might be composed, in which you will, on the one hand, be able to utilize your special knowledge of civil disturbances, either in unravelling the causes of the revolution or in proposing remedies for evils, blaming lishing the righteousness of what you approve by explaining meanwhile what you think deserves denunciation, and establish principles on which they rest: and on the other hand, if you think it right to be more outspoken (as you generally do), you will bring out the perfidy, intrigues, and treachery of many people towards me. For my vicissitudes will supply you in your composition with much variety, which has in itself a kind of charm, capable of taking a strong hold on the imagination of readers, when you are the writer. For nothing is better fitted to interest a reader than variety of Circumstance and vicissitudes of fortune, which, thought he reverse of welcome to us in actual experience, will make very pleasant reading: for the untroubled recollection of a past sorrow has a charm of its own. To the rest of the world, indeed, who have had no trouble themselves, and who look upon the misfortunes of others without any suffering of their own, the feeling of pity is itself a source of pleasure. For what man of us is not delighted, though feeling a certain c6mpassion too, with the death-scene of Epaminondas at Mantinea? He, you know, did not allow the dart to be drawn from his body until he had been told, in answer to his question, that his shield was safe, so that in spite of the agony of his wound he died calmly and with glory. Whose interest is not roused and sustained by the banishment and return of Themistocles? Truly the mere chronological record of the annals has very little charm for us—little more than the entries in the fasti: but the doubtful and varied fortunes of a man, frequently of eminent character, involve feelings of wonder, suspense, joy, sorrow, hope, fear: if these fortunes are crowned with a glorious death, the imagination is satisfied with the most fascinating delight which reading can give. 'Therefore it will be more in accordance with my wishes if you come to the resolution to separate from the main body of your narrative, in which you embrace a continuous history of events, what I may call the drama of my actions and fortunes: for it includes varied acts, and shifting scenes both of policy and circumstance. Nor am I afraid of appearing to lay snares for your favour by flattering suggestions, when I declare that I desire to be complimented and mentioned with praise by you above all other writers. For you are not the man to be ignorant of your own powers, or not to be sure that those who withhold their admiration of you are more to be accounted jealous, than those who praise you flatterers. Nor, again, am I so senseless as to wish to be consecrated to an eternity of fame by one who, in so consecrating me, does not also gain for himself the glory which rightfully belongs to genius. For the famous Alexander himself did not wish to be painted by Apelles, and to have his statue made by Lysippus above all others, merely from personal favour to them, but because he thought that their art would be a glory at once to them and to himself. And, indeed, those artists used to make images of the person known to strangers: but if such had never existed, illustrious men would yet be no less illustrious. The Spartan Agesilaus, who would not allow a portrait of himself to be painted or a statue made, deserves to be quoted as an example quite as much as those who have taken trouble about such representations: for a single pamphlet of Xenophon's in praise of that king has proved much more effective than all the portraits and statues of them all. And, moreover, it will more redound to my present exultation and the honour of my memory to have found my way into your history, than if I had done so into that of others, in this, that I shall profit not only by the genius of the writer—as Timoleon did by that of Timaeus, Themistocles by that of Herodotus—but also by the authority of a man of a most illustrious and well-established character, and one well known and of the first repute for his conduct in the most important and weighty matters of state; so that I shall seem to have gained not only the fame which Alexander on his visit to Sigeum said had been bestowed on Achilles by Homer, but also the weighty testimony of a great and illustrious man. For I like that saying of Hector in Naevius, who not only rejoices that he is "praised," but adds, "and by one who has himself been "praised." But if I fail to obtain my request from you, which is equivalent to saying, if you are by some means prevented—for I hold it to be out of the question that you would refuse a request of mine—I shall perhaps be forced to do what certain persons have often found fault with, write my own panegyric, a thing, after all, which has a precedent of many illustrious men. But it will not escape your notice that there are the following drawbacks in a composition of that sort: men are bound, when writing of themselves, both to speak with greater reserve of what is praiseworthy, and to omit what calls for blame. Added to which such writing carries less conviction, less weight; many people, in fine, carp at it, and say that the heralds at the public games are more modest, for after having placed garlands on the other recipients and proclaimed their names in a loud voice, when their own turn comes to be presented with a garland before the games break up, they call in the services of another herald, that they may not declare themselves victors with their own voice. I wish to avoid all this, and, if you undertake my cause, I shall avoid it: and, accordingly, I ask you this favour. But why, you may well ask, when you have already often assured me that you intended to record in your book with the utmost minuteness the policy and events of my consulship, do I now make this request to you with such earnestness and in so many words? The reason is to be found in that burning desire, of which I spoke at the beginning of my letter, for something prompt: because I am in a flutter of impatience, both that men should learn what I am from your books, while I am still alive, and that I may myself in my lifetime have the full enjoyment of my little bit of glory. What you intend doing on this subject I should like you to write me word, if not troublesome to you. For if you do undertake the subject, I will put together some notes of all occurrences: but if you put me off to some future time, I will talk the matter over with you. Meanwhile, do not relax your efforts, and thoroughly polish what you have already on the stocks, and continue to love me.

 
7 Marius, Caesar, Testa, Gallus 57 - 54 BC
7 - 1 To M. Marius at Cumae, from Rome, October 55 BC

If some bodily pain or weakness of health has prevented your coming to the games, I put it down to fortune rather than your own wisdom: but if you have made up your mind that these things which the rest of the world admires are only worthy of contempt, and, though your health would have allowed of it, you yet were unwilling to come, then I rejoice at both facts—that you were free from bodily pain, and that you had the sound sense to disdain what others causelessly admire. Only I hope that some fruit of your leisure may be forthcoming, a leisure, indeed, which you had a splendid opportunity of enjoying to the full, seeing that you were left almost alone in your lovely country. For I doubt not that in that study of yours, from which you have opened a window into the Stabian waters of the bay, and obtained a view of Misenum, you have spent the morning hours of those days in light reading, while those who left you there were watching the ordinary farceshalf asleep. The remaining parts of the day, too, you spent in the pleasures which you had yourself arranged to suit your own taste, while we had to endure whatever had met with the approval of Spurius Maecius. On the whole, if you care to know, the games were most splendid, but not to your taste. I judge from my own. For, to begin with, as a special honour to the occasion, those actors had come back to the stage who, I thought, had left it for their own. Indeed, your favourite, my friend Aesop, was in such a state that no one could say a word against his retiring from the profession. On beginning to recite the oath his voice failed him at the words "If I knowingly deceive." Why should I go on with the story? You know all about the rest of the games, which hadn't even that amount of charm which games on a moderate scale generally have: for the spectacle was so elaborate as to leave no room for cheerful enjoyment, and I think you need feel no regret at having missed it. For what is the pleasure of a train of six hundred mules in the "Clytemnestra," or three thousand bowls in the "Trojan Horse," or gay-coloured armour of infantry and cavalry in some battle? These things roused the admiration of the vulgar; to you they would have brought no delight. But if during those days you listened to your reader Protogenes, so long at least as he read anything rather than my speeches, surely you had far greater pleasure than any one of us. For I don't suppose you wanted to see Greek or Oscan plays, especially as you can see Oscan farces in your senate-house over there, while you are so far from liking Greeks, that you generally won't even go along the Greek road to your villa. Why, again, should I suppose you to care about missing the athletes, since you disdained the gladiators? in which even Pompey himself confesses that he lost his trouble and his pains. There remain the two wild-beast hunts, lasting five days, magnificent—nobody denies it—and yet, what pleasure can it be to a man of refinement, when either a weak man is torn by an extremely powerful animal, or a splendid animal is transfixed by a hunting spear? Things which, after all, if worth seeing, you have often seen before; nor did I, who was present at the games, see anything the least new. The last day was that of the elephants, on which there was a great deal of astonishment on the part of the vulgar crowd, but no pleasure whatever. Nay, there was even a certain feeling of compassion aroused by it, and a kind of belief created that that animal has something in common with mankind. However, for my part, during this day, while the theatrical exhibitions were on, lest by chance you should think me too blessed, I almost split my lungs in defending your friend Caninius Gallus. But if the people were as indulgent to me as they were to Aesop, I would, by heaven, have been glad to abandon my profession and live with you and others like us. The fact is I was tired of it before, even when both age and ambition stirred me on, and when I could also decline any defence that I didn't like; but now, with things in the state that they are, there is no life worth having. For, on the one hand, I expect no profit of my labour; and, on the other, I am sometimes forced to defend men who have been no friends to me, at the request of those to whom I am under obligations. Accordingly, I am on the look-out for every excuse for at last managing my life according to my own taste, and I loudly applaud and vehemently approve both you and your retired plan of life: and as to your infrequent appearances among us, I am the more resigned to that because, were you in Rome, I should be prevented from enjoying the charm of your society, and so would you of mine, if I have any, by the overpowering nature of my engagements; from which, if I get any relief—for entire release I don't expect—I will give even you, who have been studying nothing else for many years, some hints as to what it is to live a life of cultivated enjoyment. Only be careful to nurse your weak health and to continue your present care of it, so that you may be able to visit my country houses and make excursions with me in my litter. I have written you a longer letter than usual, from superabundance, not of leisure, but of affection, because, if you remember, you asked me in one of your letters to write you something to prevent you feeling sorry at having missed the games. And if I have succeeded in that, I am glad: if not, I yet console myself with this reflexion, that in future you will both come to the games and come to see me, and will not leave your hope of enjoyment dependent on my letters.

 
7 - 5 To Julius Caesar in Gaul, from Rome, February 54 BC

Cicero greets Caesar, Imperator. Observe how far I have convinced myself that you are my second self, not only in matters which concern me personally, but even in those which concern my friends. It had been my intention to take Gaius Trebatius with me for whatever destination I should be leaving town, in order to bring him home again honoured as much as my zeal and favour could make him. But when Pompey remained at home longer than I expected, and a certain hesitation on my part (with which you are not unacquainted) appeared to hinder, or at any rate to retard, my departure, I presumed upon what I will now explain to you. I begin to wish that Trebatius should look to you for what he had hoped from me, and, in fact, I have been no more sparing of my promises of goodwill on your part than I had been wont to be of my own. Moreover, an extraordinary coincidence has occurred which seems to support my opinion and to guarantee your kindness. For just as I was speaking to our friend Balbus about this very Trebatius at my house, with more than usual earnestness, a letter from you was handed to me, at the end of which you say: "Miscinius Rufus, whom you recommend to me, I will make king of Gaul, or, if you choose, put him under the care of Lepta. Send me some one else to promote." I and Balbus both lifted our hands in surprise: it came so exactly in the nick of time, that it appeared to be less the result of mere chance than something providential. I therefore send you Trebatius, and on two grounds, first that it was my spontaneous idea to send him, and secondly because you have invited me to do so. I would beg you, dear Caesar, to receive him with such a display of kindness as to concentrate on his single person all that you can be possibly induced to bestow for my sake upon my friends. As for him I guarantee—not in the sense of that hackneyed expression of mine, at which, when I used it in writing to you about Milo, you very properly jested, but in good Roman language such as sober men use—that no honester, better, or more modest man exists. Added to this, he is at the top of his profession as a jurisconsult, possesses an unequaled memory, and the most profound learning. For such a man I ask neither a tribuneship, prefecture, nor any definite office, I ask only your goodwill and liberality: and yet I do not wish to prevent your complimenting him, if it so please you, with even these marks of distinction. In fact, I transfer him entirely from my hand, so to speak, to yours, which is as sure a pledge of good faith as of victory. Excuse my being somewhat importunate, though with a man like you there can hardly be any pretext for it—however, I feel that it will be allowed to pass. Be careful of your health and continue to love me as ever.

 
7 - 6 To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Cumae, April 54 BC

In all my letters to Caesar or Balbus there is a sort of statutory appendix containing a recommendation of you, and not one of the ordinary kind, but accompanied by some signal mark of my warm feeling towards you. See only that you get rid of that feeble regret of yours for the city and city ways, and carry out with persistence and courage what you had in your mind when you set out. We, your friends, shall pardon your going away for that purpose as much as

The wealthy noble dames who held the Corinthian peak

pardoned Medea, whom, with hands whitened to the utmost with chalk, she persuaded not to think ill of her for being absent from her fatherland: for

Many have served themselves abroad and served the state as well;
Many have spent their lives at home to be but counted fools.

In which latter category you would have certainly been, had I not forced you abroad. But I will write more another time. You who learnt to look out for others, look out, while in Britain, that you are not yourself taken in by the charioteers; and, since I have begun quoting the Medea, remember this line:

The sage who cannot serve himself is vainly wise I ween.

Take care of your health.

 
7 - 7 To C. Trebatius Testa on his way to Gaul, from Cumae, April or May 54 BC

For my part, I never cease recommending you, but I am eager to know from you how far my recommendation is of service. My chief hope is in Balbus, to whom I write about you with the greatest earnestness and frequency. It often excites my wonder that I don't hear from you as often as from my brother Quintus. In Britain I am told there is no gold or silver. If that turns out to be the case, I advise you to capture a war-chariot and hasten back to us at the earliest opportunity. But if—letting Britain alone—we can still obtain what we want, take care to get on intimate terms with Caesar. In that respect my brother will be of much use to you, so will Balbus, but most of all, believe me, your own modesty and industry. You have an imperator of the most liberal character, your age is exactly the best one for employment, and your recommendation at any rate is quite unique, so that all you have to fear is not doing yourself full justice.

 
7 - 8 To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Rome, June 54 BC

Caesar has written me a very courteous letter saying that he has not yet seen as much of you as he could wish, owing to his press of business, but that he certainly will do so. I have answered his letter and told him how much obliged I shall be if he bestows on you as much attention, kindness, and liberality as he can. But I gathered from your letters that you are in somewhat too great a hurry: and at the same time I wondered why you despised the profits of a military tribuneship, especially as you are exempted from the labour of military duty. I shall express my discontent to Vacerra and Manilius: for I dare not say a word to Cornelius, who is responsible for your unwise conduct, since you profess to have learnt legal wisdom from him. Rather press on your opportunity and the means put into your hands, than which none better will ever be found. As to what you say of the jurist Precianus, I never cease recommending you to him; for he writes me word that you owe him thanks. Be sure to let me know to what that refers. I am waiting for a letter from you dated "Britain".

 
7 - 9  To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Rome, September 54 BC

It is a long time since I heard how you were getting on: for you don't write, nor have I written to you for the last two months. As you were not with my brother Quintus I did not know where to send a letter, or to whom to give it. I am anxious to know how you are and where you mean to winter. For my part, my opinion is that you should do so with Caesar; but I have not ventured to write to him owing to his mourning. I would rather you put off your return to us, so long as you come with fuller pockets. There is nothing to make you hurry home, especially since "Battara" is dead. But you are quite capable of thinking for yourself. I desire to know what you have settled. There is a certain Cn. Octavius or Cn. Cornelius, a friend of yours,

Of highest race begot, a son of Earth.

He has frequently asked me to dinner, because he knows that you are an intimate friend of mine. At present he has not succeeded in getting me: however, I am much obliged to him.

 
10  To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Rome, November 54 BC

I have read your letter which informs me that our Caesar considers you a great lawyer. You must be glad to have found a country where you have the credit of knowing something. But if you had gone to Britain also, I feel sure that there would not have been in all that great island anyone more learned in the law than you. However—you won't mind my laughing, for you invited me to do so—I am becoming positively a little jealous of you! That you should have been actually sent for by a man whom other people—not because of his pride, but of his many engagements—cannot venture to approach!

But in that letter you told me nothing about your success, which, by heaven, is of no less concern to me than my own. I am very much afraid you may be frozen in your winter quarters: and therefore I think you ought to use a good stove. Mucius and Manilius "concur" in this opinion, especially on the ground of your being short of military cloaks. However, I am told that you are having a sufficiently warm time of it where you are—news which made me much alarmed for you. However, in military matters you are much more cautious than at the bar, seeing that you wouldn't take a swim in the ocean, fond of swimming as you are, and wouldn't take a look at the British charioteers, though in old time I could never cheat you even out of a blind-folded gladiator. But enough of joking. You know how earnestly I have written to Caesar about you; I know bow often. Yet, in truth, I have lately ceased doing so, lest I should appear to distrust the kindness of a man who has been most liberal and affectionate to me. However, in the very last letter I wrote I thought he ought to be reminded. I did so. Please tell me what effect it had, and at the same time tell me about your position in general and all your plans. For I am anxious to know what you are doing, what you are expecting, how long your separation from us you think is to last. I would wish you to believe that the one consolation, enabling me to bear your absence, is the knowledge that it is for your advantage. But if that is not so, nothing can be more foolish than both the one and the other of us: me for not inducing you to come back to Rome—you for not flying thither. By heavens, our conversation, whether serious or jesting, will be worth more not only than the enemy, but even than our "brothers" the Haedui. Wherefore let me know about everything as soon as possible:

I'll be some use by comfort, rede, or peif.
 
7 - 11  To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Rome, January or February 53 BC

If you had not left Rome before, you certainly would have left it now. For who wants a lawyer when there are so many interregna? I shall advise all defendants in civil suits to ask each interrex for two adjournments for obtaining legal assistance. Do you think that I have taken a pretty good hint from you as to civil procedure? But come! How are you? What is happening? For I notice in your letter a tendency to be even jocose. These are better signs than the signa in my Tusculan villa. But I want to know what it means. You say, indeed, that you are consulted by Caesar, but I should have preferred his consulting by you. If that is taking place, or you think it likely to take place, by all means persevere in your military service and stay on: I shall console myself for my loss of you by the hope that it will be your gain: but if, on the other hand, things are not paying with you, come back to us. For either something will turn up sooner or later here, or, if not, one conversation between you and me, by heaven, will be worth more than all the Samobrivae in the world. Finally, if you return speedily, there will be no talk about it; but if you stay away much longer without getting anything, I am in terror not only of Laberius, but of our comrade Valerius also. For it would make a capital character for a farce—a British lawyer! I am not laughing though you may laugh, but, as usual, when writing to you, I jest on the most serious subject. Joking apart, I advise you in the most friendly spirit, that if you hold a position for yourself worthy of my introduction, you should put up with the loss of my society and farther your own career and wealth: but if things are stagnant with you there, come back to us. In spite of everything you will get all you want, by your own good qualities certainly, but also by my extreme affection for you.

 
7 - 16 To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Rome, November 54 BC

In the "Trojan Horse," just at the end, you remember the words,

Too late they learn wisdom.

You, however, old man, were wise in time. Those first snappy letters of yours were foolish enough, and then----! I don't at all blame you for not being over-curious in regard to Britain. For the present, however, you seem to be in winter quarters somewhat short of warm clothing, and therefore not caring to stir out :

Not here and there, but everywhere,
Be wise and ware:
No sharper steel can warrior bear.

If I had been by way of dining out, I would not have failed your friend Cn. Octavius; to whom, however, I did remark upon his repeated invitations, "Pray, who are you?" But, by Hercules, joking apart, he is a pretty fellow: I could have wished you had taken him with you! Let me know for certain what you are doing and whether you intend coming to Italy at all this winter. Balbus has assured me that you will be rich. Whether he speaks after the simple Roman fashion, meaning that you will be well supplied with money, or according to the Stoic dictum, that "all are rich who can enjoy the sky and the earth," I shall know hereafter. Those who come from your part accuse you of pride, because they say you won't answer men who put questions to you. However, there is one thing that will please you: they all agree in saying that there is no better lawyer than you at Samarobriva!2

 
7 - 17 To C. Trebatius Testa in Gaul, from Rome, September 54 BC 

From what I gather from your letter I have thanked my brother Quintus, and can besides at last heartily commend you, because you at length seem to have come to some fixed resolution. For I was much put out by your letters in the first months of your absence, because at times you seemed to me—pardon the expression—to be light-minded in your longing for the city and city life, at others timid in undertaking military work, and often even a little inclined to presumption—a thing as unlike your usual self as can be. For, as though you had brought a bill of exchange, and not a letter of recommendation to your commander-in-chief, you were all in a hurry to get your money and return home; and it never occurred to you that those who went to Alexandria with real bills of exchange have as yet not been able to get a farthing. If I looked only to my own interests, I should wish, above all things, to have you with me: for I used to find not only pleasure of no ordinary kind in your society, but also much advantage from your advice and active assistance. But since from your earliest manhood you had devoted yourself to my friendship and protection, I thought it my duty not only to see that you came to no harm, but to advance your fortunes and secure your promotion. Accordingly, as long as I thought I should be going abroad to a province, I am sure you remember the voluntary offers I made you. After that plan had been changed, perceiving that I was being treated by Caesar with the highest consideration, and was regarded by him with unusual affection, and knowing as I did his incredible liberality and unsurpassed loyalty to his word, I recommended you to him in the weightiest and most earnest words at my command. And he accepted this recommendation in a gratifying manner, and repeatedly indicated to me in writing and shewed you by word and deed, that he had been powerfully affected by my recommendation. Having got such a man as your patron, if you believe me to have any insight, or to be your well-wisher, do not let him go; and if by chance something at times has annoyed you, when from being busy or in difficulties he has seemed to you somewhat slow to serve you, hold on and wait for the end, which I guarantee will be gratifying and honourable to you. I need not exhort you at any greater length: I only give you this warning, that you will never find a better opportunity, if you let this slip, either of securing the friendship of a most illustrious and liberal man, or of enjoying a wealthier province or a more suitable time of life. "Quintus Cornelius concurred," as you say in your law books. I am glad you didn't go to Britain, because you have been saved some hard work, and I the necessity of listening to your stories about that expedition. Pray write to me at full length as to where you are going to winter, and what your hopes and present position are.

 
7 - 23 To M. Fadius Gallus, from Rome, May 55 BC

I had only just arrived from Arpinum when your letter was delivered to me; and from the same bearer I received a letter from Arrianus, in which there was this most liberal offer, that when he came to Rome he would enter my debt to him on whatever day I chose. Pray put yourself in my place: is it consistent with your modesty or mine, first to prefer a request as to the day, and then to ask more than a year's credit? But, my dear Gallus, everything would have been easy, if you had bought the things I wanted, and only up to the price that I wished. However, the purchases which, according to your letter, you have made shall not only be ratified by me, but with gratitude besides: for I fully understand that you have displayed zeal and affection in purchasing (because you thought them worthy of me) things which pleased yourself—a man, as I have ever thought, of the most fastidious judgment in all matters of taste. Still, I should like Damasippus to abide by his decision: for there is absolutely none of those purchases that I care to have. But you, being unacquainted with my habits, have bought four or five of your selection at a price at which I do not value any statues in the world. You compare your Bacchae with Metellus's Muses. Where is the likeness? To begin with, I should never have considered the Muses worth all that money, and I think all the Muses would have approved my judgment: still, it would have been appropriate to a library, and in harmony with my pursuits. But Bacchae! What place is there in my house for them? But, you will say, they are pretty. I know them very well and have often seen them. I would have commissioned you definitely in the case of statues known to me, if I had decided on them. The sort of statues that I am accustomed to buy are such as may adorn a place in a palaestra after the fashion of gymnasia. What, again, have I, the promoter of peace, to do with a statue of Mars? I am glad there was not a statue of Saturn also: for I should have thought these two statues had brought me debt! I should have preferred some representation of Mercury: I might then, I suppose, have made a more favourable bargain with Arrianus. You say you meant the table-stand for yourself; well, if you like it, keep it. But if you have changed your mind I will, of course, have it. For the money you have laid out, indeed, I would rather have purchased a place of call at Tarracina, to prevent my being always a burden on my host. Altogether I perceive that the fault is with my freedman, whom I had distinctly commissioned to purchase certain definite things, and also with Iunius, whom I think you know, an intimate friend of Arrianus. I have constructed some new sitting-rooms in a miniature colonnade on my Tusculan property. I want to ornament them with pictures: for if I take pleasure in anything of that sort it is in painting. However, if I am to have what you have bought, I should like you to inform me where they are, when they are to be fetched, and by what kind of conveyance. For if Damasippus doesn't abide by hs decision, I shall look for some would-be Damasippus, even at a loss.

As to what you say about the house, as I was going out of town I intrusted the matter to my daughter Tullia: for it was at the very hour of my departure that I got your letter. I also discussed the matter with your friend Nicias, because he is, as you know, intimate with Cassius. On my return, however, before I got your last letter, I asked Tullia what she had done. She said that she had approached Licinia (though I think Cassius is not very intimate with his sister), and that she at once said that she could not venture, in the absence of her husband (Dexius is gone to Spain), to change houses without his being there and knowing about it. I am much gratified that you should value association with me and my domestic life so highly, as, in the first place, to take a house which would enable you to live not only near me, but absolutely with me, and, in the second place, to be in such a hurry to make this change of residence. But, upon my life, I do not yield to you in eagerness for that arrangement. So I will try every means in my power. For I see the advantage to myself, and, indeed, the advantages to us both. If I succeed in doing anything, I will let you know. Mind you also write me word back on everything, and let me know, if you please, when I am to expect you.

 
7 - 26 To M. Fadius Gallus at Rome, from Tusculum57 BC

Having been suffering for nine days past from a severe disorder of the bowels, and being unable to convince those who desired my services that I was ill because I had no fever, I fled to my Tusculan villa, after having, in fact, observed for two days so strict a fast as not even to drink a drop of water. Accordingly, being thoroughly reduced by weakness and hunger, I was more in want of your services than I thought mine could be required by you. For myself, while skrinking from all illnesses, I especially shrink from that in regard to which the Stoics attack your friend Epicurus for saying that "he suffered from strangury and pains in the bowels"—the latter of which complaints they attribute to gluttony, the former to a still graver indulgence. I had been really much afraid of dysentery. But either the change of residence, or the mere relaxation of anxiety, or perhaps the natural abatement of the complaint from lapse of time, seems to me to have done me good. However, to prevent your wondering how this came about, or in what manner I let myself in for it, I must tell you that the sumptuary law, supposed to have introduced plain living, was the origin of my misfortune. For whilst your epicures wish to bring into fashion the products of the earth, which are not forbidden by the law, they flavour mushrooms, petits choux, and every kind of pot-herb so as to make them the most tempting dishes possible. Having fallen a victim to these in the augural banquet at the house of Lentulus, I was seized with a violent diarrhoea, which, I think, has been checked today for the first time. And so I, who abstain from oysters and lampreys without any difficulty, have been beguiled by beet and mallows. Henceforth, therefore, I shall be more cautious. Yet, having heard of it from Anicius—for he saw me turning sick—you had every reason not only for sending to inquire, but even for coming to see me. I am thinking of remaining here till I am thoroughly restored, for I have lost both strength and flesh. However, if I can once get completely rid of my complaint, I shall, I hope, easily recover these.

 
8 Rufus in Rome, to Cicero in Cilicia, August 51 BC
8 - 5  From M. Caelius Rufus in Rome, to Cicero in Cilicia, August 51 BC

How far you are anxious about the peaceful state of your province and the neighbouring regions I don't know: for myself, I am in great suspense. For if we could only arrange matters in such a fashion, that the war should just be of a magnitude to correspond with your forces, and that we should gain just enough success for a triumph, without encountering the serious contest awaiting you, then nothing could be so much to be wished. As it is, if the Parthian stirs at all, I know that the struggle will not be a slight one. Moreover, your army is scarcely large enough to hold a single pass. No one, however, takes that into account; but everything is expected from a man at the head of a public department, as though he had been refused nothing which was required to put him in the most absolute state of preparation. Added to this, I don't see any chance of a successor being named for you, owing to the controversy about the Gauls. Although on this point I think you have settled in your own mind what to do, nevertheless, to enable you to settle it the earlier, I thought, as I now foresee that contingency, that I ought to keep you informed. For you know the way things commonly go: a settlement of the Gauls will be passed; some one will be found to veto it; then up will get some one else to veto the other provinces, unless the senate is allowed to pass a vote about them all without interference. This is the sort of game that will be kept up briskly and long, and so long that more than two years will be wasted in these intrigues. If I had any news in politics to tell you, I would have followed my usual habit of carefully retailing in my letter not only what had happened, but also what I expected to be the result of it. In point of fact, everything seems to have stuck, so to speak, in the ditch. Marcellus is trying to push that same motion about the provinces, but has not as yet succeeded in getting a quorum. If, after this year is over, Curio as tribune, and the same motion about the provinces come upon the stage, you cannot fail to see how easy it will be to stop all business, and how much Caesar, and those who care nothing for the Republic when their own interests are involved, hope that it may be so.

 
12 To C. Cassius Longinus 43 BC
12 - 7  To C. Cassius Longinus in Syria, from Rome, early March, 43 BC

With what zeal I have defended your political position, both in the senate and before the people, I would rather you learnt from your family than from me: and my proposal would have been carried in the senate, had it not been for the strong opposition of Pansa. After having made that proposal in the senate I was introduced to a public meeting by the tribune M. Servilius. I said what I could about you in a voice loud enough to fill the whole forum, and with such cheering and acclamation from the people, that I have never seen anything like it. Pray pardon me for acting in this against the wish of your mother-in-law. The lady is timid and was afraid of Pansa's feelings being hurt. In the public meeting in fact Pansa stated that your own mother also and your brother were against my making that motion. But I was not moved by these things. My mind was set on other objects. It was the Republic of which I was thinking, of which I have always thought, and of your position and glory. Now I hope that you will redeem the pledges which I gave both in senate and before the people at considerable length. For I promised and almost pledged myself that you had not waited and would not wait for any decrees of ours, but would yourself defend the constitution in your own way. And although we have not yet had any intelligence either of where you are or what forces you have, yet I have made up my mind that all the resources and troops in that part of the world are in your hands, and feel confident that by your means the province of Asia has been already recovered for the Republic. Take care to surpass yourself in promoting your own glory. Good-bye.

 
13 Orca, Ancharius, Culleolus, Curius, Munatius, Philippus 59 - 55 BC
13 - 6  To Q. Valerius Orca, proconsul of Africa, from Rome, May 56 BC

A If you are well I shall be glad. I am quite well. I presume that you will remember that, when escorting you on the commencement of your official journey, I mentioned to you in the presence of Publius Cuspius, and also afterwards urged you privately at some length, that whomsoever I might recommend to you as connexions of his, you should regard as among connexions of my own. You, as was to be expected from your extreme regard and uninterrupted attentions to me, undertook to do this for me with the utmost liberality and kindness. Cuspius, who is most careful in his duties towards all connected with him, takes a surprising interest in the well-being of certain persons of your province, because he has been twice in Africa when presiding over the very large concerns of his revenue-company. Accordingly, this patronage of his, which he exercises on their behalf, I am accustomed as far as I can to back up by such means and influence as I possess. Wherefore I thought it necessary to explain to you in this letter why I give letters of introduction to all the friends of Cuspius. In future letters I will merely append the mark agreed upon between you and me, and at the same time indicate that he is one of Cuspius's friends. But the recommendation which I have resolved to subscribe to in this present letter, let me tell you, is more serious than any of them. For P. Cuspius has pressed me with particular earnestness to recommend Lucius Iulius to you as warmly as possible. I appear to be barely able to satisfy his eagerness by using the words which I generally use when most in earnest. He asks for something out of the common way from me, and thinks I have a special knack in that style of writing. I have promised him to produce a masterpiece of commendation—a specimen of my choicest work. Since I cannot reach that standard, however, I would beg you to make him think that some astonishing effect has been produced by the style of my letter. You will secure that, if you treat him with all the liberality which your kindness can suggest and your official power make feasible—I don't mean merely in the way of material assistance, but also in words and even in looks: and what influence such things have in a province I could have wished that you had already learnt by experience, though I have an idea that you soon will do so. This man himself, whom I am recommending to you, I believe to be thoroughly worthy of your friendship, not only because Cuspius says so (though that should be enough), but because I know the keenness of his judgment of men and in the selection of his friends. I shall soon be able to judge what has been the effect of this letter, and shall, I feel certain, have reason to thank you. For myself, I shall with zeal and care see to all that I think to be your wish or to concern your interests. Take care of your health.

B P. Cornelius, who delivers you this letter, has been recommended to me by P. Cuspius, for whose sake you are thoroughly informed from me how much I desire and am bound to do. I earnestly beg you that Cuspius may have as great, early, and frequent occasion as possible to thank me for this introduction.

 
13 - 40  To Q. Ancharius, proconsul of Macedonia, from Rome, 55 BC

Lucius and Gaius, sons of Lucius Aurelius, with whom, as with their excellent father, I am most intimately acquainted, I recommend to you with more than usual earnestness, as young men endowed with the best qualities, as being very closely allied to myself, and as being in the highest degree worthy of your friendship. If any recommendations of mine have ever had influence with you, as I know that many have had much, I beg you to let this one have it. If you treat them with honour and kindness, you will not only have attached to yourself two very grateful and excellent young men, but you will also have done me the very greatest favour.

 
13 - 41 To L. Culleolus in Illyricum, from Rome, 59 BC

In what you have done for the sake of L. Lucceius, I wish you to be fully aware that you have obliged a man who will be exceedingly grateful; and that, while this is very much the case with Lucceius himself, so also Pompey as often as he sees me—and he sees me very often—thanks you in no common terms. I add also, what I know will be exceedingly gratifying to you, that I am myself immensely delighted with your kindness to Lucceius. For the rest, though I have no doubt that as you acted before for my sake, so now, for the sake of your own consistency, you will abide by your liberal intentions, yet I reiterate my request to you with all earnestness, that what you first gave us reason to hope, and then actually carried out, you would be so good as to see extended and brought to a final completion by your means. I assure you, and I pledge my credit to it, that such a course will be exceedingly gratifying to both Lucceius and Pompey, and that you will be making a most excellent investment with them. About politics, and about the business going on here, and what we are all thinking about, I wrote to you in full detail a few days ago, and delivered the letter to your servants. Farewell.

 
13 - 42 To L. Culleolus in Illyricum, from Rome59 BC

My friend L. Lucceius, the most delightful fellow in the world, has expressed in my presence amazingly warm thanks to you, saying that you have given most complete and liberal promises to his agents. Since your words have roused such gratitude in him, you may imagine how grateful he will be for the thing itself, when, as I hope, you will have performed your promise. In any case the people of Bullis have shown that they intend to do Lucceius right according to the award of Pompey. But we have very great need of the additional support of your wishes, influence, and praetorian authority. That you should give us these I beg you again and again. And this will be particularly gratifying to me, because Lucceius's agents know, and Lucceius himself gathered from your letter to him, that no one's influence has greater weight with you than mine. I ask you once more, and reiterate my request, that he may find that to be the case by practical experience.

 
13 - 49 To M. Curius, a proconsul, from Rome, 54 BC

Q. Pompeius, son of Sextus, has become my intimate friend from many causes of long standing. As he has often in the past been accustomed to defend his material interests, as well as his reputation and influence, by my recommendations, so on the present occasion assuredly, with you as governor of the province, he ought to be able to feel that he has never had a warmer recommendation to anyone. Wherefore I beg you with more than ordinary earnestness that, as you ought in view of our close friendship to regard all my friends as your own, you would give the bearer so high a place in your regard, that he may feel that nothing could have been more to his interest and honour than my recommendation. Farewell.

 
13 - 60  To C. Munatius in a province, from Rome, 54 BC

L. Livineius Trypho is to begin with a freedman of my most intimate friend L. Regulus (whose disaster makes me more than ever anxious to do him some service—for as far as feeling goes I could not be warmer): but I also am attached to his freedman on his own account, for he showed me very great kindness at that time in my career, when I was best able to see men's real goodwill and fidelity. I recommend him to you with all the warmth that one who is grateful and not oblivious should use in recommending those who have done him good service. You will have greatly gratified me if he is made to feel that in confronting many dangers for my security, and often undertaking voyages in the depths of winter, he has also put you under an obligation in view of your kind feeling towards me.

 
13 - 73 To Q. Philippus, proconsul of Asia, from Rome, 54 BC

I congratulate you on your safe return to your family from your province, without loss to your reputation or to the state. But if I had seen you at Rome I should also have thanked you for having looked after L. Egnatius, my most intimate friend, who is still absent, and L. Oppius, who is here. With Antipater of Derbe I have become not merely on visiting terms, but really very intimate. I have been told that you are exceedingly angry with him, and I was very sorry to hear it. I have no means of judging the merits of the case, only I am persuaded that a man of your character has done nothing without good reason. However, I do beg of you again and again that, in consideration of our old friendship, you will, for my sake if for anyone's, grant his sons, who are in your power, their liberty, unless you consider that in doing so your reputation may be injured. If I had thought that, I would never have made the request, for your fame is of more importance in my eyes than any friendship with him. But I persuade myself—though I may possibly be mistaken—that this measure will bring you honour rather than abuse. What can be done in the matter, and what you can do for my sake (for as to your willingness I feel no doubt), I should be obliged by your informing me, if it is not too much trouble to you.

 
13 - 74 To Q. Philippus, proconsul of Asia, from Rome, 55 BC

Though, considering your attention to me and our close ties, I have no doubt of your remembering my recommendation, yet I again and again recommend to you the same L. Oppius, my intimate friend who is now in Rome, and the business of L. Egnatius, my very intimate friend who is now abroad. With the latter my connexion and intimacy are so strong, that I could not be more anxious if the business were my own. Wherefore I shall be highly gratified if you take the trouble to make him feel that I have as high a place in your affections as I think I have. You cannot oblige me more than by doing so: and I beg you warmly to do it.

 
14 To Terentia at Rome 58 - 50 BC
14 - 1  To Terentia at Rome, from Thessalonica and Dyrrhachium, 28 November, 58 BC

Greetings to his Terentia, Tulliola, and Cicero. I learn, both from the letters of many and the conversation of all whom I meet, that you are shewing a virtue and courage surpassing belief; and that you give no sign of fatigue in mind or body from your labours. Ah me! To think that a woman of your virtue, fidelity, uprightness, and kindness should have fallen into such troubles on my account! And that my little Tullia should reap such a harvest of sorrow from the father, from whom she used to receive such abundant joys! For why mention my boy Cicero, who from the first moment of conscious feeling has been made aware of the bitterest sorrows and miseries? And if, as you say, I had thought these things the work of destiny, I could have borne them somewhat more easily, but they were really all brought about by my own fault, in thinking myself beloved by those who were really jealous of me, and in not joining those who really wanted me. But if I had followed my own judgment, and had not allowed the observations of friends, who were either foolish or treacherous, to have such great influence with me, we should have been living at the height of bliss. As it is, since friends bid us hope, I will do my best to prevent my weakness of health from failing to second your efforts. I fully understand the magnitude of the difficulty, and how much easier it will turn out to have been to stay at home than to get back. However, if we have all the tribunes on our side, if we find Lentulus as zealous as he appears to be, if, finally, we have Pompey and Caesar, there is no reason to despair. About our slaves, we will do what you say is the opinion of our friends. As to this place, by this time the epidemic has taken its departure; but while it lasted, it did not touch me. Plancius, the kindest of men, desires me to stay with him and still keeps me from departing. I wanted to be in a less frequented district in Epirus, to which neither Hispo nor soldiers would come, but as yet Plancius keeps me from going; he hopes that he may possibly quit his province for Italy in my company. And if ever I see that day, and come once more into your arms, and if I ever recover you all and myself, I shall consider that I have reaped a sufficient harvest both of your piety and my own. Piso's kindness, virtue, and affection toward us all are so great that nothing can surpass them. I hope his conduct may be a source of pleasure to him, a source of glory I see clearly that it will be. I did not mean to find fault with you about my brother Quintus, but I wished that you all, especially considering how few there are of you, should be as closely united as possible. Those whom you wished me to thank I have thanked, and told them that my information came from you. As to what you say in your letter, my dear Terentia, about your intention of selling the village, alas! in heaven's name, what will become of you? And if the same ill-fortune continues to pursue us, what will become of our poor boy? I cannot write the rest--so violent is my outburst of weeping, and I will not reduce you to the same tearful condition. I only add this: if my friends remain loyal to me, there will be no lack of money; if not, you will not be able to effect our object out of your own purse. In the name of our unhappy fortunes, beware how we put the finishing stroke to the boy's ruin. If he has something to keep him from absolute want, he will need only moderate character and moderate luck to attain the rest. See to your health, and mind you send me letter-carriers, that I may know what is going on and what you are all doing. I have in any case only a short time to wait. Give my love to Tulliola and Cicero. Good-bye.

Dyrrachium, 27 November. P.S.-I have come to Dyrrachium both because it is a free state, very kindly disposed to me, and the nearest point to Italy. But if the crowded condition of the place offends me, I shall take myself elsewhere and I will write you word.

 
14 - 2  To Terentia at Rome, from Thessalonica, 5 October, 58 BC

Greetings to Terentia, and Tulliola, and Cicero. Don't suppose that I write longer letters to anyone else, unless some one has written at unusual length to me, whom I think myself bound to answer. For I have nothing to write about, and there is nothing at such a time as this that I find it more difficult to do. Moreover, to you and my dear Tulliola I cannot write without many tears. For I see you reduced to the greatest misery--the very people whom I desired to be ever enjoying the most complete happiness, a happiness which it was my bounden duty to secure, and which I should have secured if I had not been such a coward. Our dear Piso I love exceedingly for his noble conduct. I have to the best of my ability encouraged him by letter to proceed, and thanked him, as I was bound to do. I gather that you entertain hopes in the new tribunes. We shall have reason to depend on that, if we may depend on Pompey's goodwill, but yet I am nervous about Crassus. I gather that you have behaved in every respect with the greatest courage and most loyal affection, nor am I surprised at it; but I grieve that the position should be such that my miseries are relieved by such heavy ones on your part. For a kind friend of ours, Publius Valerius, has told me in a letter which I could not read without violent weeping, how you had been dragged from the temple of Vesta to the Valerian bank. To think of it, my dear, my love! You from whom everybody used to look for help! That you, my Terentia, should now be thus harassed, thus prostrate in tears and humiliating distress ! And that this should be brought about by my fault, who have preserved the rest of the citizens only to perish myself! As to what you say about our town house, or rather its site, I shall not consider myself fully restored, until it has also been restored for me.

However, these things are not yet within our grasp. I am only sorry that you, impoverished and plundered as you are, should be called upon to bear any part of the present expenses. Of course, if the business is successfully accomplished we shall get everything back: but if the same evil fortune keeps us down, will you be so foolish as to throw away even the poor remains of your fortune? I beseech you, my life, as far as expense goes, allow others to bear it, who are well able if they are only willing to do so; and do not, as you love me, try your delicate constitution. For I have you day and night before my eyes : I see you eagerly undertaking labours of every kind: I fear you cannot endure them. Yet I see that everything depends on you! Wherefore, to enable us to attain what you hope and are striving for, attend carefully to your health. I don't know to whom to write except to those who write to me, or to those about whom you say something in your letters. I will not go farther off, since that is your wish, but pray send me a letter as often as possible, especially if there is anything on which we may safely build our hope. Good-bye, my loves, good-bye!

Thessalonica, 5 October

 
14 - 3 To Terentia at Rome, from Thessalonica, 29 November, 58 BC

Greetings to his Terentia, Tulliola, and Cicero. I have received three letters from the hands of Aristocritus, which I almost obliterated with tears. For I am thoroughly weakened with sorrow, my dear Terentia, and it is not my own miseries that torture me more than yours--and yours, my children! Moreover, I am more miserable than you in this, that whereas the disaster is shared by us both, yet the fault is all my own. It was my duty to have avoided the danger by accepting a legation, or to resist it by careful management and the resources at my command, or to fall like a brave man. Nothing was more pitiful, more base, or more unworthy of myself than the line I actually took. Accordingly, it is with shame as well as grief that I am overpowered. For I am ashamed of not having exhibited courage and care to a most excellent wife and most darling children. I have, day and night, before my eyes the mourning dresses, the tears of you all, and the weakness of your own health, while the hope of recall presented to me is slender indeed. Many are hostile, nearly all jealous. To expel me had been difficult, to keep me out is easy. However, as long as you entertain any hope, I will not give way, lest all should seem lost by my fault. As to your anxiety for my personal safety, that is now the easiest thing in the world for me, for even my enemies desire me to go on living in this utter wretchedness. I will, however, do as you bid me. I have thanked the friends you desired me to thank, and I have delivered the letters to Dexippus, and have mentioned that you had informed me of their kindness. That our Piso has shewn surprising zeal and kindness to us I can see for myself, but everybody also tells me of it. God grant that I may be allowed, along with you and our children, to enjoy the actual society of such a son-in-law! For the present our one remaining hope is in the new tribunes, and that, too, in the first days of their office; if the matter is allowed to get stale, it is all over with us. It is for that reason that I have sent Aristocritus back to you at once, in order that you may be able to write to me on the spot as to the first official steps taken, and the progress of the whole business; although I have also given Dexippus orders to hurry back here at once, and I have sent a message to my brother to despatch letter-carriers frequently. For the professed object of my being at Dyrrachium at the present juncture is that I may hear as speedily as possible what is being done; and I am in no personal danger, for this town has always been defended by me. When I am told that enemies are on their way here I shall retire into Epirus. As to your coming to me, as you say you will if I wish it--for my part, knowing that a large part of this burden is supported by you, I should like you to remain where you are. If you succeed in your attempt I must come to you: but if, on the other hand--but I needn't write the rest. From your first, or at most, your second letter, I shall be able to decide what I must do. Only be sure you tell me everything with the greatest minuteness, although I ought now to be looking out for some practical step rather than a letter. Take care of your health, and assure yourself that nothing is or has ever been dearer to me than you are. Good-bye, my dear Terentia, whom I seem to see before my eyes, and so am dissolved in tears. Good-bye!

 
14 - To Terentia at Rome, from Brundisium, 29 April, 58 BC

Yes, I do write to you less often than I might, because, though I am always wretched, yet when I write to you or read a letter from you, I am in such floods of tears that I cannot endure it. Oh, that I had clung less to life! I should at least never have known real sorrow, or not much of it, in my life. Yet if fortune has reserved for me any hope of recovering at any time any position again, I was not utterly wrong to do so: if these miseries are to be permanent, I only wish, my dear, to see you as soon as possible and to die in your arms, since neither gods, whom you have worshipped with such pure devotion, nor men, whom I have ever served, have made us any return. I have been thirteen days at Brundisium in the house of M. Laenius Flaccus, a very excellent man, who has despised the risk to his fortunes and civil existence in comparison to keeping me safe, nor has been induced by the penalty of a most iniquitous law to refuse me the rights and good offices of hospitality and friendship. May I some time have the opportunity of repaying him! Feel gratitude I always shall. I set out from Brundisium on the 29th of April, and intend going through Macedonia to Cyzicus. What a fall! What a disaster! What can I say? Should I ask you to come—a woman of weak health and broken spirit? Should I refrain from asking you? Am I to be without you, then? I think the best course is this : if there is any hope of my restoration, stay to promote it and push the thing on: but if, as I fear, it proves hopeless, pray come to me by any means in your power. Be sure of this, that if I have you I shall not think myself wholly lost. But what is to become of my darling Tullia? You must see to that now: I can think of nothing. But certainly, however things turn out, we must do everything to promote that poor little girl's married happiness and reputation. Again, what is my boy Cicero to do? Let him, at any rate, be ever in my bosom and in my arms. I can't write more. A fit of weeping hinders me. I don't know how you have got on; whether you are left in possession of anything, or have been, as I fear, entirely plundered. Piso, as you say, I hope will always be our friend. As to the manumission of the slaves you need not be uneasy. To begin with, the promise made to yours was that you would treat them according as each severally deserved. So far Orpheus has behaved well, besides him no one very markedly so. With the rest of the slaves the arrangement is that, if my property is forfeited, they should become my freedmen, supposing them to be able to maintain at law that status. But if my property remained in my ownership, they were to continue slaves, with the exception of a very few. But these are trifles. To return to your advice, that I should keep up my courage and not give up hope of recovering my position, I only wish that there were any good grounds for entertaining such a hope. As it is, when, alas ! shall I get a letter from you? Who will bring it me? I would have waited for it at Brundisium, but the sailors would not allow it, being unwilling to lose a favourable wind. For the rest, put as dignified a face on the matter as you can, my dear Terentia. Our life is over: we have had our day: it is not any fault of ours that has ruined us, but our virtue. I have made no false step, except in not losing my life when I lost my honours. But since our children preferred my living, let us bear every-thing else, however intolerable. And yet I, who encourage you, cannot encourage myself. I have sent that faithful fellow Clodius Philhetaerus home, because he was hampered with weakness of the eyes. Sallustius seems likely to outdo everybody in his attentions. Pescennius is exceedingly kind to me; and I have hopes that he will always be attentive to you. Sica had said that he would accompany me; but he has left Brundisium. Take the greatest possible care of your health, and believe me that I am more affected by your distress than my own. My dear Terentia, most faithful and best of wives, and my darling little daughter, and that last hope of my race, Cicero, good-bye!

29 April, from Brundisium.

 
14 - 5  To Terentia at Rome, from Athens, 16 October, 50 BC

If you and my darling Tullia are well, I and my dearest boy Cicero are so too. On the 14th of October I arrived at Athens, after experiencing unfavourable winds and a slow and unpleasant voyage. As I was disembarking, Acastus met me with letters, the 21st day since his start, which is very active travelling. I received one from you, in which you tell me that you fear your previous letters did not reach me. I got them all: you have shewn the greatest energy in writing me full accounts of everything, and I am exceedingly obliged to you. I was not surprised that the letter brought by Acastus was short: for you are expecting me, or rather us, immediately in person: and we are anxious to reach you at the earliest possible time, though I am fully aware to what a state of public affairs I am coming: for the letters brought me by Acastus from many of my friends have shewn me that things look warlike, so that when I do arrive I shall not be able to cloak my sentiments. But since there is no shirking fate, I shall make the more haste, that I may consider the whole crisis with greater ease. Pray, as well as your health will permit, come as far as you can to meet me. As to the inheritance from Precius—I am deeply grieved at it, for I loved the man—I wish you to see to this: if the auction takes place before my arrival, let Pomponius, or, if he can't, Camillus act for us. As soon as I am safe at home I will look after the rest of the business myself. But if you have already started from Rome, still see that this arrangement is made. Dearest, sweetest Terentia, as you love me, take care, all of you, of your health. Good-bye.

 
15 To M. Porcius Cato at Rome 51 BC
15 - 3 To M. Porcius Cato at Rome, from Iconium, 28 August 51 BC

Ambassadors sent to me by Antiochus of Commagene having arrived at the camp at Iconium on the 28th of August, p. 52 and having announced to me that the son of the king of the Parthians, whose wife was the sister of the king of the Armenians, had arrived on the Euphrates with a very large force of Parthians, and a great host of other nations besides, and had actually begun the passage of the Euphrates, and that it was reported that the Armenian king was about to make a raid upon Cappadocia--I thought that, considering our close friendship, I ought to write and tell you this news. I have sent no public despatch for two reasons: first, because the ambassadors said that the Commagenian himself had at once sent messengers and a despatch to the senate; and, secondly, because I believed that M. Bibulus, proconsul of Syria, who started thither by sea from Ephesus about the 13th of August, seeing that he had had the wind in his favour, had by this time arrived in his own province, and I thought that the senate was sure to get more definite information on all points in a despatch from him. For myself, considering the circumstances and the gravity of the war, my chief anxiety is to retain by my own leniency and purity, and the loyalty of our allies, what I can scarcely hope to retain by the amount of my forces and material resources. I would beg you, on your part, to continue your habitual affection for me and the defence of me in my absence

 
15 - 4 To M. Porcius Cato at Rome, from Cilicia, January 50 BC

Your own immense prestige and my unvarying belief in your consummate virtue have convinced me of the great importance it is to me that you should be acquainted with what I have accomplished, and that you should not be ignorant of the equity and disinterestedness with which I protected our allies and governed my province. For if you knew these facts, I thought I should with greater ease secure your approval of my wishes.

Having entered my province on the last day of July, and seeing that the time of year made it necessary for me to make all haste to the army, I spent but two days at Laodicea, four at Apamea, three at Synnada, and the same at Philomelium. Having held largely attended assizes in these towns, I freed a great number of cities from very vexatious tributes, excessive interest, and fraudulent debt. Again, the army having before my arrival been broken up by something like a mutiny, and five cohorts—without a legate or a military tribune, and, in fact, actually without a single centurion—having taken up its quarters at Philomelium, while the rest of the army was in Lycaonia, I ordered my legate M. Anneius to bring those five cohorts to join the main army; and, having thus got the whole army together into one place, to pitch a camp at Iconium in Lycaonia. This order having been energetically executed by him, I arrived at the camp myself on the 24th of August, having meanwhile, in accordance with the decree of the senate, collected in the intervening days a strong body of reserve men, a very adequate force of cavalry, and a contingent of volunteers from the free peoples and allied sovereigns. While this was going on, and when, after reviewing the army, I had on the 28th of August begun my march to Cilicia, some legates sent to me by the sovereign of Commagene announced, with every sign of panic, yet not without some foundation, that the Parthians had entered Syria. On hearing this I was rendered very anxious both for Syria and my own province, and, in fact, for all the rest of Asia. Accordingly, I made up my mind that I must lead the army through the district of Cappadocia, which adjoins Cilicia. For if I had gone straight down into Cilicia, I could easily indeed have held Cilicia itself, owing to the natural strength of Mount Amanus—for there are only two defiles opening into Cilicia from Syria, both of which are capable of being closed by insignificant garrisons owing to their narrowness, nor can anything be imagined better fortified than is Cilicia on the Syrian side—but I was disturbed for Cappadocia, which is quite open on the Syrian side, and is surrounded by kings, who, even if they are our friends in secret, nevertheless do not venture to be openly hostile to the Parthians. Accordingly, I pitched my camp in the extreme south of Cappadocia at the town of Cybistra, not far from Mount Taurus, with the object at once of covering Cilicia, and of thwarting the designs of the neighbouring tribes by holding Cappadocia. Meanwhile, in the midst of this serious commotion and anxious expectation of a very formidable war, king Deiotarus, who has with good reason been always highly honoured in your judgment and my own, as well as that of the senate—a man distinguished for his goodwill and loyalty to the Roman people, as well as for his eminent courage and wisdom—sent legates to tell me that he was on his way to my camp in full force. Much affected by his zeal and kindness, I sent him a letter of thanks, and urged him to hasten. However, being detained at Cybistra five days while maturing my plan of campaign, I rescued king Ariobarzanes, whose safety had been entrusted to me by the senate on your motion, from a plot that, to his surprise, had been formed against him: and I not only saved his life, but I took pains also to secure that his royal authority should be respected. Metras and Athenaeus (the latter strongly commended to me by yourself), who had been exiled owing to the persistent enmity of queen Athenais, I restored to a position of the highest influence and favour with the king. Then, as there was danger of serious hostilities arising in Cappadocia in case the priest, as it was thought likely that he would do, defended himself with arms—for he was a young man, well furnished with horse and foot and money, and relying on those all who desired political change of any sort—I contrived that he should leave the kingdom: and that the king, without civil war or an appeal to arms, with the full authority of the court thoroughly secured, should hold the kingdom with proper dignity. Meanwhile, I was informed by despatches and messengers from many sides, that the Parthians and Arabs had approached the town of Antioch in great force, and that a large body of their horsemen, which had crossed into Cilicia, had been cut to pieces by some squadrons of my cavalry and the praetorian cohort then on garrison duty at Epiphanea. Wherefore, seeing that the forces of the Parthians had turned their backs upon Cappadocia, and were not far from the frontiers of Cilicia, I led my army to Amanus with the longest forced marches I could. Arrived there, I learnt that the enemy had retired from Antioch, and that Bibulus was at Antioch. I thereupon informed Deiotarus, who was hurrying to join me with a large and strong body of horse and foot, and with all the forces he could muster, that I saw no reason for his leaving his own dominions, and that in case of any new event, I would immediately write and send to him. And as my intention in coming had been to relieve both provinces, should occasion arise, so now I proceeded to do what I had all along made up my mind was greatly to the interest of both provinces, namely, to reduce Amanus, and to remove from that mountain an eternal enemy. So I made a feint of retiring from the mountain and making for other parts of Cilicia: and having gone a day's march from Amanus and pitched a camp, on the 12th of October, towards evening, at Epiphanea, with my army in light marching order I effected such a night march, that by dawn on the 13th I was already ascending Amanus. Having formed the cohorts and auxiliaries into several columns of attack—I and my legate Quintus (my brother) commanding one, my legate C. Pomptinus another, and my legates M. Anneius and L. Tullius the rest—we surprised most of the inhabitants, who, being cut off from all retreat, were killed or taken prisoners. But Erana, which was more like a town than a village, and was the capital of Amanus, as also Sepyra and Commoris, which offered a determined and protracted resistance from before daybreak till four in the afternoon—Pomptinus being in command in that part of Amanus—we took, after killing a great number of the enemy, and stormed and set fire to several fortresses. After these operations we lay encamped for four days on the spurs of Amanus, near the Arae Alexandri, and all that time we devoted to the destruction of the remaining inhabitants of Amanus, and devastating their lands on that side of the mountain which belongs to my province. Having accomplished this, I led the army away to Pindenissus, a town of the Eleutherocilices. And since this town was situated on a very lofty and strongly fortified spot, and was inhabited by men who have never submitted even to the kings, and since they were offering harbourage to deserters, and were eagerly expecting the arrival of the Parthians, I thought it of importance to the prestige of the empire to suppress their audacity, in order that there might be less difficulty in breaking the spirits of all such as were anywhere disaffected to our rule. I encircled them with a stockade and trench: I beleaguered them with six forts and huge camps: I assaulted them by the aid of earthworks, pent-houses, and towers: and having employed numerous catapults and bowmen, with great personal labour, and without troubling the allies or costing them anything, I reduced them to such extremities that, after every region of their town had been battered down or fired, they surrendered to me on the fifty-seventh day. Their next neighbours were the people of Tebara, no less predatory and audacious: from them after the capture of Pindenissus I received hostages. I then dismissed the army to winter quarters; and I put my brother in command, with orders to station the men in villages that had either been captured or were disaffected.

Well now, I would have you feel convinced that, should a motion be brought before the senate on these matters, I shall consider that the highest possible compliment has been paid me, if you give your vote in favour of a mark of honour being bestowed upon me. And as to this, though I am aware that in such matters men of the most respectable character are accustomed to ask and to be asked, yet I think in your case that it is rather a reminder than a request which is called for from me. For it is you who have on very many occasions complimented me in votes which you delivered, who have praised me to the skies in conversation, in panegyric, in the most laudatory speeches in senate and public meeting: you are the man to whose words I ever attached such weight as to hold myself in possession of my utmost ambition, if your lips joined the chorus of my praise. It was you finally, as I recollect, who said, when voting against a supplicatio in honour of a certain illustrious and noble person, that you would have voted for it, if the motion had related to what he had done in the city as consul. It was you, too, who voted for granting me a supplicatio, though only a civilian, not as had been done in many instances, "for good services to the state," but, as I remember, "for having saved the state." I pass over your having shared the hatred I excited, the dangers I ran, all the storms that I have encountered, and your having been entirely ready to have shared them much more fully if I had allowed it; and finally your having regarded my enemy as your own; of whose death even—thus shewing me clearly how much you valued me—you manifested your approval by supporting the cause of Milo in the senate. On the other hand, I have borne a testimony to you, which I do not regard as constituting any claim on your gratitude, but as a frank expression of genuine opinion: for I did not confine myself to a silent admiration of your eminent virtues—who does not admire them? But in all forms of speech, whether in the senate or at the bar; in all kinds of writing, Greek or Latin; in fine, in all the various branches of my literary activity, I proclaimed your superiority not only to contemporaries, but also to those of whom we have heard in history.

You will ask, perhaps, why I place such value on this or that modicum of congratulation or compliment from the senate. I will be frank with you, as our common tastes and mutual good services, our close friendship, nay, the intimacy of our fathers demand. If there ever was anyone by natural inclination, and still more, I think, by reason and reflexion, averse from the empty praise and comments of the vulgar, I am certainly the man. Witness my consulship, in which, as in the rest of my life, I confess that I eagerly pursued the objects capable of producing true glory: mere glory for its own sake I never thought a subject for ambition. Accordingly, I not only passed over a province after the votes for its outfit had been taken, but also with it an almost certain hope of a triumph and finally the priesthood, though, as I think you will agree with me, I could have obtained it without much difficulty, I did not try to get. Yet after my unjust disgrace—always stigmatized by you as a disaster to the Republic, and rather an honour than a disaster to myself—I was anxious that some very signal marks of the approbation of the senate and Roman people should be put on record. Accordingly, in the first place, I did subsequently wish for the augurship, about which I had not troubled myself before; and the compliment usually paid by the senate in the case of success in war, though passed over by me in old times, I now think an object to be desired. That you should approve and support this wish of mine, in which you may trace a strong desire to heal the wounds inflicted upon me by my disgrace, though I a little while ago declared that I would not ask it, I now do earnestly ask of you: but only on condition that you shall not think my humble services paltry and insignificant, but of such a nature and importance, that many for far less signal successes have obtained the highest honours from the senate. I have, too, I think, noticed this—for you know how attentively I ever listen to you—that in granting or withholding honours you are accustomed to look not so much to the particular achievements as to the character, the principles and conduct of commanders. Well, if you apply this test to my case, you will find that, with a weak army, my strongest support against the threat of a very formidable war has been my equity and purity of conduct. With these as my aids I accomplished what I never could have accomplished by any amount of legions: among the allies I have created the warmest devotion in place of the most extreme alienation; the most complete loyalty in place of the most dangerous disaffection; and their spirits fluttered by the prospect of change I have brought back to feelings of affection for the old rule.

But I have said too much of myself, especially to you, in whom singly the grievances of all our allies alike find a listener. You will learn the truth from those who think themselves restored to life by my administration. And while all with nearly one consent will praise me in your hearing as I most desire to be praised, so will your two chief client states--the island of Cyprus and the kingdom of Cappadocia—have something to say to you about me also. So, too, I think, will Deiotarus, who is attached to you with special warmth. Now, if these things are above the common run, and if in all ages it has been rarer to find men capable of conquering their own desires than capable of conquering an enemy's army, it is quite in harmony with your principles, when you find these rarer and more difficult virtues combined with success in war, to regard that success itself as more complete and glorious.

I have only one last resource—philosophy: and to make her plead for me, as though I doubted the efficacy of a mere request: philosophy, the best friend I have ever had in all my life, the greatest gift which has been bestowed by the gods upon mankind. Yes! this common sympathy in tastes and studies—our inseparable devotion and attachment to which from boyhood have caused us to become almost unique examples of men bringing that true and ancient philosophy (which some regard as only the employment of leisure and idleness) down to the forum, the council chamber, and the very camp itself—pleads the cause of my glory with you: and I do not think a Cato can, with a good conscience, say her nay. Wherefore I would have you convince yourself that, if my despatch is made the ground of paying me this compliment with your concurrence, I shall consider that the dearest wish of my heart has been fulfilled owing at once to your influence and to your friendship.

 
15 - 5 From M. Porcius Cato at Rome, to Cicero in Cilicia, June 50 BC

I gladly obey the call of the state and of our friendship, in rejoicing that your virtue, integrity, and energy, already known at home in a most important crisis, when you were a civilian, should be maintained abroad with the same painstaking care now that you have military command. Therefore what I could conscientiously do in setting forth in laudatory terms that the province had been defended by your wisdom; that the kingdom of Ariobarzanes, as well as the king himself, had been preserved; and that the feelings of the allies had been won back to loyalty to our empire—that I have done by speech and vote. That a thanksgiving was decreed I am glad, if you prefer our thanking the gods rather than giving you the credit for a success which has been in no respect left to chance, but has been secured for the Republic by your own eminent prudence and self-control. But if you think a thanksgiving to be a presumption in favour of a triumph, and therefore prefer fortune having the credit rather than yourself, let me remind you that a triumph does not always follow a thanksgiving; and that it is an honour much more brilliant than a triumph for the senate to declare its opinion, that a province has been retained rather by the uprightness and mildness of its governor, than by the strength of an army or the favour of heaven: and that is what I meant to express by my vote. And I write this to you at greater length than I usually do write, because I wish above all things that you should think of me as taking pains to convince you, both that I have wished for you what I believed to be for your highest honour, and am glad that you have got what you preferred to it. Farewell: continue to love me; and by the way you conduct your home-journey, secure to the allies and the Republic the advantages of your integrity and energy.

 
15 - To M. Porcius Cato at Rome, from Asia, September 50 BC

“Right glad am I to be praised”—says Hector, I think, in Naevius—“by thee, reverend senior, who hast thyself been praised.” For certainly praise is sweet that comes from those who themselves have lived in high repute. For myself, there is nothing I should not consider myself to have attained either by the congratulation contained in your letter, or the testimony borne to me in your senatorial speech: and it was at once the highest compliment and the greatest gratification to me, that you willingly conceded to friendship, what you transparently conceded to truth. And if, I don’t say all, but if many were Catos in our state—in which it is a matter of wonder that there is even one—what triumphal chariot or laurel should I have compared with praise from you? For in regard to my feelings, and in view of the ideal honesty and subtlety of your judgment, nothing can be more complimentary than the speech of yours, which has been copied for me by my friends. But the reason of my wish, for I will not call it desire, I have explained to you in a former letter. And even if it does not appear to you to be entirely sufficient, it at any rate leads to this conclusion—not that the honour is one to excite excessive desire, but yet is one which, if offered by the senate, ought certainly not to be rejected. Now I hope that that House, considering the labours I have undergone on behalf of the state, will not think me undeserving of an honour, especially one that has become a matter of usage. And if this turns out to be so, all I ask of you is that—to use your own most friendly words—since you have paid me what in your judgment is the highest compliment, you will still “be glad” if I have the good fortune to get what I myself have preferred. For I perceive that you have acted, felt, and written in this sense: and the facts themselves shew that the compliment paid me of a supplicatio was agreeable to you, since your name appears on the decree: for decrees of the senate of this nature are, I am aware, usually drawn out by the warmest friends of the man concerned in the honour. I shall, I hope, soon see you, and may it be in a better state of political affairs than my fears forebode!

 
16 To Tiro at Patrae 54 - 50 BC
16 - 1 To Tiro, ill at Patrae, on the voyage from Patrae to Alyzia, 3 November 50 BC

Greetings to their dear Tiro from Tullius and my son, brother, and nephew. I did not think I should miss you so much, but I really cannot do without you: and though it is of great consequence to securing my triumph that I should arrive at the city wall as early as possible, yet I feel guilty for having left you: but as you seemed to have made up your mind that you quite determined not to sail till you had recovered your strength, I expressed approval of your plan, nor do I now retract it, if you are still of the same way of thinking. If, however, after having taken food, you think you can overtake me, you must decide for yourself. I have sent Mario to you with directions to rejoin me as soon as possible with you, or, if you are still delayed, to return at once. But pray be fully assured of this: if it is compatible with your state of health, my first desire is to have you with me: if, however, you are certain that a short stay at Patrae is necessary for your convalescence, my first desire is that you should be well. If you set sail at once, you will catch us up at Leucas: but if you determine to stay to confirm your health, pray take particular care to secure suitable fellow travelers, weather, and ship. Be especially careful, dear Tiro, as you love me, not to allow Mario's arrival or this letter to influence you. If you do what will best conduce to your recovery, you will be most strictly obeying my wishes. In considering these matters let your own heart be your guide. I miss you: yes! but I also love you, Love prompts the wish to see you in good heath; the other motive would make me wish to see you as soon as possible. The former is therefore to be preferred. Accordingly, let your first care be to get well: of the innumerable services you have done me this will be the most acceptable.

 
16 - 4  To Tiro at Patrae, from Leucas, 7 November 50 BC

Warmest greeting from Tullius, his son, brother, and nephew to Tiro. Your letter gave me varied emotions. I was much agitated by the first page, a little cheered by the second. So I am now quite clear that, until you are entirely recovered, you should not risk a journey either by sea or land. I shall see you quite soon enough, if I see you thoroughly restored to health. Yes, what you say in your letter about the doctor being well thought of; I am also told about him. Yet I am far from satisfied with his treatment. For you ought not to have had soup given you when suffering from weak digestion. However, I have written to him with great earnestness, as also to Lyso. To Curius, indeed, that most agreeable, attentive, and kindly of men, I have written at great length. Among other things I have asked him to transfer you from where you are to his own house, if you wished it. For I fear our friend Lyso is somewhat careless: first, because all Greeks are so, and secondly because, though he got a letter from me, he has sent me no answer. However, you speak well of him: you must therefore yourself decide what is best to be done. I do beg you, dear Tiro, not to spare expense in anything whatever necessary for your health. I have written to Curius to honour your draft to any amount: something, I think, ought to be paid to the doctor himself to make him more zealous. Your services to me are past counting—at home, in the forum, at Rome, in my province: in private and public business, in my literary studies and compositions. But there is one service you can render me that will surpass them all—gratify my hopes by appearing before me well and strong! I think, if you are recovered, you will have a most charming voyage home with the quaestor Mescinius. He is not without culture, and is, I thought, attached to you. And while health should be your first and most careful consideration, consider also bow to secure a safe voyage, dear Tiro. I wouldn't have you hurry yourself now in any way whatever. I care for nothing but your safety. Be assured, dear Tiro, that no one loves me without loving you; and though it is you and I who are most directly concerned in your recovery, yet it is an object of anxiety to many. Up to this time, in your desire never to leave me in the lurch, you have never had the opportunity of getting strong. Now there is nothing to hinder you: throw everything aside, be a slave to your body. I shall consider the amount of attention you pay to your health the measure of your regard for me. Good-bye, dear Tiro, good-bye good-bye, and good health to you! Lepta and all the rest send their kind regards. Good-bye!

 
16 - 6 To Tiro at Patrae, from Actium, 7 November 50 BC

Tullius and his son, Quintus and his son, send warm greetings to Tiro. I write this letter, the third I have written to you the same day, rather in maintenance of my rule, having found some one to whom to give it, than because I have anything to say. The upshot is this: let your attention to yourself be as great as your affection for me. To your innumerable services to me add this, which will be more acceptable to me than them all. When you have taken, as I hope, full account of your health, then see about your voyage also. Send a letter to me by everyone who is going to Italy, and I will not pass over anyone going to Patrae. Take care, good care of yourself, dear Tiro. Since you missed the chance of sailing with me, there is no reason for your being in a hurry or taking thought for anything except getting well. Good-bye! good-bye!

 
16 - 10 To Tiro, from Cumae, 19 May 54 BC

I of course wish you to Come to me, but I dread the journey for you. You have been most seriously ill: you have been much reduced by a low diet and purgatives, and the ravages of the disease itself. After dangerous illnesses, if some mistake is made, drawbacks are usually dangerous. Moreover, to the two days on the road which it will have taken you to reach Cumae, there will have to be added at once five more for your return journey to Rome. I mean to be at Formiae on the 30th: be sure, my dear Tiro, that I find you there strong and well. My poor studies, or rather ours, have been in a very bad way owing to your absence. However, they have looked up a little owing to this letter from you brought by Acastus. Pompey is staying with me at the moment of writing this, and seems to be cheerful and enjoying himself. He asks me to read him something of ours, but I told him that without you the oracle was dumb. Pray prepare to renew your services to our Muses. My promise shall be performed on the day named: for I have taught you the etymology of fides. Take care to make a complete recovery. I shall be with you directly. Good-bye.

 
16 - 13 To Tiro, from Cumae, 10 April 54 BC

I shall consider that I have everything possible from you, if I see you in good health. I am awaiting the arrival of Andricus, whom I sent to you, with the utmost anxiety. Do take pains to recover, if you love me: and as soon as you have thoroughly reestablished your health, come to me. Good-bye.

 
16 - 14 To Tiro, from Cumae, 11 April 54 BC

Andricus arrived a day later than I expected him, and accordingly I had a night of terror and unhappiness. Your letter does not make me at all more certain of your state, and yet it did revive me. I can take pleasure in nothing; can employ myself in no literary work, which I cannot touch till I have seen you. Give orders to promise the doctor any fee he chooses to ask. I wrote to that effect to Ummidius. I am told that your mind is ill at ease, and that the doctor says this is what makes you ill. If you care for me, rouse from their sleep your studies and your culture, which make you the dearest object of my affection. It is your mind that requires strengthening now, in order that your body may also recover. Pray do it both for your own and my sake. Keep Acastus with you to help to nurse you. Preserve yourself for me. The day for the fulfillment of my promise is at hand, and I will be true to it, if you only come. Good-bye, good-bye!

 
16 - 15 To Tiro, from Cumae, 12 April 54 BC

Aegypta arrived on the 12th of April. Though he brought the news that you were entirely without fever and were pretty well, yet he caused me anxiety by saying that you had not been able to write to me: and all the more so because Hermia, who ought to have arrived on the same day, has not done so. I am incredibly anxious about your health. If you will relieve me from that, I will liberate you from every burden. I would have written at greater length, if I had thought that you were now capable of taking any pleasure in reading a letter. Concentrate your whole intelligence, which I value above everything, upon preserving yourself for your own and my benefit. Use your utmost diligence, I repeat, in nursing your health. Good-bye.

P.S.—When I had finished the above Hermia arrived. I have your letter written in a shaky hand, and no wonder after so serious an illness. I am sending Aegypta back to stay with you, because he is by no means without feeling, and seems to me to be attached to you, and with him a cook for your especial use. Good-bye!

 
17 To Brutus 43 BC
1
17 - 1 To Brutus in Macedonia, from Rome, late May 43 BC

L. Clodius, tribune-designate, is much attached to me, or, to speak with more empressement, loves me dearly. And when I am assured of that I feel certain--for you know me--that you will conclude that I love him: for nothing seems to me less human than not to give an answering affection to those by whom one's love is challenged. He seemed to me to suspect, much to his chagrin, that some unfavourable report had reached you from his friends, or rather through his enemies, by which your feelings were alienated from him. It is not my habit, my dear Brutus, as I think you know, to make rash statements about another man. It is a risky thing to do, owing to the secret feelings and complicated natures of mankind But I have seen to the bottom of Clodius's heart: I know it, and have formed my judgment of it. There are many proofs of it, but such as I need not write down, for I want you to regard this as a solemn deposition rather than a letter. He has been promoted by Antony--though a large share even of that very favour has its origin in you--and accordingly he would wish his safety so long as it is compatible with ours. But he fully understands--for he is no fool, as you are aware--that matters have come to such a point that both cannot be preserved; accordingly he prefers us. As to yourself, indeed, he both speaks and feels in the most affectionate manner. Wherefore, if anyone has written to you or spoken to you by word of mouth disparagingly of him, I beg you again and again to believe me rather than them. I have greater opportunity of judging than any such casual observer, and I am more devoted to you. Make up your mind that Clodius is most warmly attached to you, and is such a citizen as a man of the greatest sense and most ample fortune is bound to be.