CDXXI (A XI. 9)
Yes, it is quite as you say: I have acted both incautiously and in too great a hurry; nor have I any hope, seeing that I am only allowed to remain by special clauses of exemption in the edicts. If these had not been secured by your industry and kindness, I might have betaken myself to some lonely places. As it is, I can't even do that. For how does my having come before the new tribuneship help me, if' my having come at all is of no service to me?1 Or what am I to expect from a man who was never friendly to me,2 when my ruin and humiliation are now secured by an actual law? Already Balbus's letters to me become daily less cordial, and a great number from many hands reach Caesar, perhaps against me. I am perishing by my own fault. It is not chance that has caused me any misfortune, everything has been incurred by my own mistakes. The fact is that when I saw what sort of war it was going to be, and that universal unreadiness and feebleness were pitted against men in the highest state of preparation, I had made up my mind to a policy, not so much courageous, as one that I of all men was justified in adopting. I gave in to my relations, or rather, I obeyed them. What the real sentiments of one of them was - his whom you recommend to my forbearance3 - you will learn from his own letters, which he has sent to you and others. I should never have opened them, had it not been for the following circumstance. The bundle was brought to me. I untied it to see whether there was any letter for me. There was none. There was one for Vatinius, and another for Ligurius.4 I ordered them to be delivered to these persons. They immediately came to me boiling with indignation, loudly exclaiming against "the villain." They read me the letters full of every kind of abuse of me. Ligurius raved: said, that he knew that Quintus was detested by Caesar, and yet that the latter had not only favoured him, but had also given him all that money out of compliment to me. Thus outraged I determined to ascertain what he had said in his letters to the rest. For I thought it would be fatal to Quintus himself if such a villainy on his part became generally known. I found that they were of the same kind. I am sending them to you, and if you think that it is for his interest that they should be delivered, please to deliver them. It won't do me any harm. For as to their having had their seals broken, Pomponia possesses his signet, I think.5 When he displayed that exasperation at the beginning of our voyage,6 he grieved me so deeply that I was quite prostrate after it, and even now he is said to be working not so much for himself as against me. So I am hard pressed by every kind of misery, and can hardly bear up against it, or rather cannot do so at all. Of these miseries there is one which outweighs all the others - that I shall leave that poor girl deprived of patrimony and every kind of property. Wherefore pray see to that, according to your promise: for I have no one else to whom to commend her, since I have discovered that the same treatment is prepared for her mother as for me. But, in case you don't find me here when you come, still consider that she has been commended to you with due solemnity, and soften her uncle in regard to her as much as you can. I am writing this to you on my birthday: on which day would that I had never been born,7 or that nothing had afterwards been born of the same mother I Tears prevent my writing more.
1] The new tribunes, among whom was Dolabella, had, after coming into office, 10th December, B.C. 48, passed some law as to the Pompeians coming into
2] This has been variously supposed to refer to Caesar,
3] Quintus. Apparently Atticus had tried to soften
4] P. Vatinius was in command at Brundisium. Aulus Ligurius was a prominent Caesarian, who was also friendly to
5] This treatment of his brother's letters addressed to others it is, of course, impossible to justify, and is indeed condemned by his own words as to the confldential nature of letters (Phil. 2.7). He seems to have been inclined to treat Quintus's correspondence with some freedom, for he advised the young Quintus in his father's absence to open letters addressed to him.
6] Apparently when they left the Pompeian fleet at
7] Lit. "taken up," as it was the custom of the father to raise an infant from the floor in token that he wished it reared.
CDXXIII (A XI. 10)
BRUNDISIUM, 19 JANUARY 47 B.C.
My distresses, already past calculation, have received an addition by the news brought to me of the elder and younger Quintus. My connexion Publius Terentius was employed as deputy master of his company in
As to the state of things in
Good-bye. 19 January.
1] It was not unusual, it appears, to deliver a set harangue from a written copy to a great man, though in an informal meeting. Suetonius says that Augustus always did so on important matters, even with his wife Livia (Suet. Aug. 84), and Dio has preserved a conversation of the sort between them (55, 15), and two speeches of Agrippa and Maecenas of the same kind (52, I, ff.). Tacitus (Ann. 4.39) says that it was the common custom in the time of Tiberius.
2] Where Cato and the other Pompeian leaders were making great head.
3] All these disorders make
4] Quintus, father and son, whom, as Atticus's brother-in-law and nephew, he would not cast off, however much he may have disapproved of their conduct.
CDXXVIII (A XI. 15)
BRUNDISIUM, 14 MAY 47 B.C.
As you give me good and sufficient reasons why I cannot see you at this time, I beg you to tell me what I ought to do. For it seems to me that, though Caesar is holding
I wrote before to tell you that Minucius had only paid twelve sestertia: please see that the balance is provided.
Quintus wrote to me not only without any strong appeal for pardon, but in the most bitter style, while his son did so with astonishing malignity. No sorrow can be imagined with which I am not crushed. Yet everything is more bearable than the pain caused by my error: that is supreme and abiding. If I were destined to have the partners in that error that I expected, it would nevertheless be but a poor consolation. But the case of all the rest admits of some escape, mine of none. Some because they were taken prisoners, others because their way was barred, avoid having their loyalty called in question, all the more so, of course, now that they have extricated themselves and joined forces again. Why, even the very men who of their own free will went to Fufius2 can merely be counted wanting in courage. Finally, there are many who will be taken back, in whatever way they return to that party. So you ought to be the less astonished that I cannot hold up against such violent grief. For I am the only one whose error cannot be repaired, except perhaps Laelius - but what alleviation is that to me? - for they say that even Gaius Cassius has changed his mind about going to
I write this to you, not that you may be able to remove my anxiety, but to know
whether you have any suggestion to make in regard to the distresses that are
sapping my strength, to which are now added my son-in-law, and the rest that I
am prevented by my tears from writing. Nay, even Aesop's son3 wrings my heart.
There is absolutely nothing wanting to make me the most unhappy of men. But to
return to my first question - what do you think I ought to do? Should I remove
secretly to some place nearer Alexandria ,
or should I cross the sea? For remaining here much longer is out of the
Why could no settlement he come to about the property of Fufidius? For the arrangement was one about which there is not usually any dispute, when the portion which is thought of the less value can be made up by putting the property up to auction among the heirs. I have a motive for asking the question: for I suspect that my co-heirs think that my position is doubtful, and therefore prefer allowing the matter to remain unsettled.4
Good-bye. 15 May.
1] The Pompeians, who, instead of keeping with the Pompeian fleet, had taken refuge in Patrae and
2] Q. Fufius Calenus, tribune in B.C. 61, and supporter of Clodius. One of Caesar's legates in Gaul, he stuck to him in the Civil War, and during B.C. 48 had been engaged in taking possession of Greek cities in Caesar's interest, among others Patrae, and remained there in command of troops (Caes. B.C. 3.56, 106; Dio. 42, 14). He was rewarded by the consulship for the last three months of B.C. 47.
3] The son of the famous actor, who was a great friend of
4] Apparently he supposes that the other legatees thought it doubtful whether
CDXXIX (A XI. 16)
It is by no fault of mine this time - for I did commit an error formerly - that the letter you forward brings me no consolation. For it is written in a grudging spirit, and gives rise to strong suspicions of not really being from Caesar, suspicions which I think have occurred to yourself. About going to meet him I will do as you advise. The fact is that there is no belief prevalent as to his coming, nor do those who arrive from
You say that a certain feeling of exultation on the part of the loyalists was roused on hearing of the receipt of this letter: you of course omit nothing in which you think that there is any consolation; but I cannot be induced to believe that any loyalist could think that any salvation has been of such value in my eyes, as to make me ask it of Caesar - much less should I be likely to do so now that I have not a single partner even in this policy.2 Those in Asia are waiting to see how things turn out. Those in Achaia also keep dangling before Fufius the hope that they will petition for pardon. These men had at first the same reason for fear as I had, and the same policy. The check at
You advise me to write to Quintus about this letter of Caesar's: I would have done so, if it had been in any way one agreeable to me; although I have received a letter from a certain person in these words: "Considering the evil state of things, I am pretty comfortable at Patrae: I should be still more so, if your brother spoke of you in terms suited to my feelings." You say that Quintus writes you word that I never answer his letters. I have only had one from him; to that I gave an answer to Cephalio, who, however, was kept back several months by bad weather. I have already told you that the young Quintus has written to me in the most offensive terms.
The last thing I have to say is to beg you, if you think it a right thing to do and what you can undertake, to communicate with Camillus and make a joint representation to Terentia about making a will. The state of the times is a warning to her to take measures for satisfying all just claims upon her. Philotimus tells me that she is acting in an unprincipled way.5 I can scarcely believe it, but at any rate, if there is anything that can be done, measures should be taken in time. Pray write to me on every sort of subject, and especially what you think about her, in regard to whom I need your advice, even though you fail to hit upon any plan: I shall take that to mean that the case is desperate.
1] The various points are here enumerated in which things had gone against Caesar's interests, and therefore in favour of the ultimate triumph of the Pompeian party in
2] Decimus Laelius appears to have returned in some way to his old Pompeian friends.
3] Because neither those in Asia nor those in Achaia had as yet taken the final step of reconciling themselves to Caesar, and yet would be able to do so, if necessary, as not having crossed to the Pompeians in Africa; whereas Cicero, by coming to Italy, had definitely separated himself from the Pompeians, and, if Caesar failed, would suffer their vengeance. The others were safe in either event; he in neither, as he could not trust Caesar, and yet was lost if Caesar failed.
4] All the commentators explain this to mean the Caesarians, but I think it more likely that
5] Philotimus was the freedman of Terentia, whose transactions in regard to Milo's property
CDXXX (A XI. 17)
BRUNDISIUM, 14 JUNE 47 B.C.
I am giving this letter to another man's letter-carriers, who are in a hurry to start; that, and the fact that I am about to send my own, accounts for its brevity. My daughter Tullia reached me on the 12th of June, and expatiated at great length on your attention and kindness to her, and gave me three letters. I, however, have not got the pleasure from her own virtue, gentleness, and affection which I ought to get from a matchless daughter, but have even been overwhelmed with extraordinary sorrow, to think that a character like hers should be involved in circumstances of such distress,1 and that that should occur from no fault of hers, but from my own consummate folly. Accordingly, I am not expecting from you now either consolation, which I see you desire to offer, or advice, which is impossible of adoption; and I understand on many occasions from your previous, as well as from your last letters, that you have tried everything practicable.
I am thinking of sending my son with Sallustius2 to Caesar. As for Tullia, I see no motive for keeping her with me any longer in such a sad state of mutual sorrow. Accordingly, I am going to send her back to her mother as soon as she will herself consent to go. In return for the letter which you wrote in the consolatory style, pray consider that I have made the only answer which you will yourself understand to have been possible.3 You say that Oppius has had some talk with you: what he said does not at all disagree with my suspicion about it. But I have no doubt that it would be impossible to persuade that party4 that their proceedings could have my approval, whatever language I were to hold. However, I will be as moderate as I can. Although what it should matter to me that I incur their odium I don't understand. I perceive that you are prevented by a good reason from coming to see us, and that is a matter of great regret to me. There is no news of Caesar having left
1] According to Plutarch (Cic. 41) Terentia had allowed Tullia to undertake this journey without proper provision or escort.
2] Whose arrival at Brundisium we heard of, p. 28 Mueller begins a fresh letter with this sentence. It seems likely that he is right. Yet it is practically a continuation of the former hasty note.
3] Mueller quite alters the complexion of this sentence, reading Paeto for proea, and quem ad modum consulenti for quamad modum consolanti. But there seems no point in a reference to Paetus.
4] The Caesarians in
5] Illud delitteris, lit. "the assertion about the letter": it is almost a periphrasis for litteras.
CDXXXII (A XI. 18)
About Caesar's departure from
Good-bye. 19 June.
CDXXXIV (A XI. 25)
BRUNDISIUM, 5 JULY 47 B.C.
I have no difficulty in agreeing with your letter, in which you point out at considerable length that there is no advice by which I can be aided by you. At least there is no consolation capable of relieving my sorrow. For nothing has been brought upon me by chance - for that would have been endurable - but I have created it all by those mistakes and miserable conditions of mind and body, to which I only wish those nearest and dearest to me had preferred to apply remedies! Therefore, since I have no ray of hope either of advice from you or of any consolation, I will not ask you for them in future. I would only ask one thing of you - that you should not omit writing to me whatever comes into your mind, whenever you have anyone to whom you can give a letter, and as long as there shall be anyone to whom to write, which won't be very long. There is a rumour of a doubtful sort that Caesar has quitted
I am worn out and harassed to death by the folly of this most unhappy girl.3 I don't think there was ever such a creature born. If any measure of mine can do her any good, I should like you to tell me of it. I can see that you will have the same difficulty as you had before in giving me advice - but this is a matter that causes me more anxiety than everything else. I was blind to pay the second instalment. I wish I had done otherwise: but that's past and done with. I beg of you that, considering the ruinous state of affairs, if any money can be collected or got together and put in safe hands, from sale of plate and the fairly abundant furniture, you would take steps to do so.4 For I think that the worst is hard upon us, that there will be no making of peace, and that the present regime will collapse even without an opponent. Speak to Terentia also on this subject, if you think it right, at some convenient opportunity. I can't write all I have to say.
Good-bye. 5 July.
1] The son of Servius Sulpicius Rufus was with Caesar.
2] The MS. reading is apud epistolas velimut possim adversas. I venture to write - as no satisfactory suggestion has been made - apud Vestales velim depositum adservari. The Vestals were frequently the holders of wills (see Suet. Iul. 83; Aug.101 Tac. Ann. i. 8; Plutarch,
3] If the reading fatuitate is right - which is very doubtful -
4] Comparing pp.44 48, I think this must be taken to refer to movables belonging to Tullia, not Cicero. He wishes them to be sold and the money deposited in safe hands, in case of her husband repudiating her, or being himself ruined.
CDXXXV (A XI. 23)
On the subject on which I wrote to ask you to consult with Camillus, he has himself written to say that you have spoken to him. I am waiting for a letter from you - but I do not see how it can be changed if it is other than it should be. But having received a letter from him, I wanted one from you, though I think that you have not been informed on the subject I only hope that you are well! For you mentioned that you were suffering from a sort of illness. A certain Agusius arrived from
Rhodes on the 8th of July. He brings word that young
Quintus started to join Caesar on the 29th of May, that Philotimus arrived at Rhodes on the day previous, and had a letter for me. You
will hear what Agusius himself has to say: but he is travelling rather slowly.
Therefore I have contrived to give this to some one who goes quickly. I don't
know what that letter Contains, but my brother Quintus offers me cordial
congratulations. For my part, considering my egregious blunder, I cannot even
imagine anything happening that can be endurable to me.
I beg you to think about my poor girl, and about what I wrote to you in my last - that some money should be got together to avert destitution, and about the will itself. The other thing also I could have wished that I had done before, but I was afraid of taking any step. The best alternative in a very bad business was a divorce. I should then have behaved something like a man - on the ground either of his proposals for abolition of debts, or his night assaults on houses, or his relations with Metella, or his ill conduct generally: and then I should not have lost the money, and should have shewn myself to possess some manly indignation. I quite remember your letter, but I also remember the circumstance of the time: yet anything would have been better. As it is, indeed, he seems to intend to divorce her: for I am told about the statue of Clodius.1 To think that a son-in-law of mine, of all people in the world, should do that, or propose the abolition of debts! I am of opinion, therefore, and so are you, that a notice of divorce should be sent by her. He will perhaps claim the third instalment. Consider, therefore, whether the divorce should be allowed to originate with him, or whether we should anticipate him.2 If I can do so by any means, even by travelling at night, I will try to see you. Meanwhile, pray write to me about these matters, and anything else which it may be my interest to know. Good-bye.
1] De statua Clodi, the reading proposed by Tyrrell and Purser for the corrupt words of the MS. No better has been proposed. We have to assume that Dolabella had in some way countenanced a statue of Clodius being put up. The fact is not otherwise known. Schütz reads de statu reipublicae.
2] If the divorce originated with Dolabella, he would have no claim to the third instalment of the dowry, and would have to refund the other instalments - though in his circumstances Cicero despairs of getting them, as it would seem; but if the divorce originated with Tullia, unless she could shew misconduct on his part, the dowry would remain, in part at any rate, with Dolabella. I have followed Schütz in interpreting this passage; Tyrrell and Purser refer cum abipso nascetur to the demand for the payment of the third instalment, not to the divorce itself.
CDXXXVIII (A XI. 19)
BRUNDISIUM, 22 JULY 47 B.C.
As I had the opportunity of giving a letter to your servants I would not pass it by, though I have nothing to say. You yourself write to me more rarely than you used, and more briefly: I suppose because you have nothing to say which you suppose that I can read or hear with pleasure. But indeed I would have you write, whatever and of what kind soever it may be. The fact is that there is only one thing capable of exciting a wish in me - the chance of negociation for peace: and of that I have absolutely no hope. But because from time to time you hint faintly at it, you compel me to hope for what hardly admits of a wish.
Philotimus is announced for the 13th of August.1 I have no farther information about him. Please let me have an answer to my previous letter to you. All the time I need is just enough to allow of my taking some precautions - I who never took any.
Good-bye. 22 July.
1] Philotimus was supposed to be bringing a letter from Caesar to
CDXXXIX (A XI. 24)
What you said some time ago in a letter to me, and about me to Tullia - with a view of its reaching me also - feel to be true. It adds to my misery, though I thought no addition possible, that, when most flagrantly wronged, I cannot with impunity shew, not only any anger, but even vexation. Let me, therefore, put up with that. But when I have swallowed it, I shall yet have to endure the very things which you warn me to be on my guard against. For the blunder I have committed is such, that, whatever the final settlement and the sentiments of the people may be, its result seems likely to be the same.
Here I take the pen into my own hands; for what follows must be treated more confidentially. See, I beg you, even now to the will, which was made at the time when she began to be in difficulties. She did not trouble you, for she never asked you even a question, nor me either. But assuming this to be the case, you will be able - as you have now got to the point of speaking about it - to suggest to her to deposit it with some one, whose position is not affected by the result of this war. For my part, I should prefer you to everybody, if she agreed in wishing it. But the fact is, I keep the poor woman in the dark as to this particular fear of mine.1
About my other suggestion,2 I know, of course, that nothing can be sold at present: but they might be stowed away and concealed, so as to be out of reach of the impending crash. For as to what you say about my fortune and yours being at Tullia's service - I have no doubt as to yours, but what can there be of mine?
Again, about Terentia - I omit innumerable other points - what can go beyond this? You wrote to her to send me a bill of twelve sestertia (about £94), saying that that was the balance of the money. She sent me ten, with a note declaring that to be the balance. When she has deducted such a petty sum from so trifling a total, you can feel pretty sure what she has done in the case of a very large transaction. Philotimus not only does not come himself, but does not inform me even by letter or messenger what he has done. People coming from Ephesus bring word that they saw him there going into court on some private suits of his own, which are themselves perhaps - for so it seems likely - being postponed till the arrival of Caesar. Accordingly, I presume either that he has nothing which he considers that there need be any hurry about conveying to me, or that I am such an object of contempt in my misfortunes, that, even if he has anything, he does not trouble himself about conveying it until he has settled all his own concerns. This annoys me very much, but not so much as I think it ought. For I consider that nothing matters less to me than the nature of any communication from that quarter. I feel sure you understand why I say that. You advise me to accommodate my looks and words to the circumstances of the time. It is difficult to do so, yet I would have put that restraint upon myself, had I thought that it was of any importance to me.
You say that you think that the African affair may be patched up. I wish you had told me why you think so: for my part, nothing occurs to my mind to make me think it possible. However, pray write and tell me if there is anything to suggest any consolation: but if, as I am clear, there is nothing of that nature, write and tell me even that fact. I, on my side, will write you word of anything which reaches me first. Good-bye. 6 August.
1] Terentia's will.
2] As to the sale of plate and furniture
CDXLII (A XI. 20)
BRUNDISIUM, 15 AUGUST 47 B.C.
On the 14th of August Gaius Trebonius arrived from Seleucia Pieria1 after twenty-seven days' journey, to tell me that at Antioch he saw the younger Quintus in Caesar's company along with Hirtius: that they had got all they wanted in regard to the elder Quintus, and that without any trouble. I should have been more rejoiced at this if the concessions to myself2 conveyed any certainty of hope. But, in the first place, there are others, and among them Quintus, father and son, from whom I have reason to entertain other fears; and, in the next place, grants made by Caesar himself as absolute master are again within his power to revoke. He has pardoned even Sallustius: he is said to refuse absolutely no one. This in itself suggests the suspicion that judicial investigation is held over for another time. M. Gallius, son of Quintus, has restored Sallustius his slaves. He came to transport the legions to
Good-bye. 15 August.
2] Those contained in the courteous letter of Caesar, which yet did not convey a formal pardon.
3] I. e., instead of coming to
CDXLIII (A XI. 21)
On the 25th of August I received a letter from you dated the 19th, and I experienced on reading his epistle a very painful renewal of the sorrow which had been long ago caused me by Quintus's misconduct, but which I had by this time shaken off. Though it was impossible for you not to send me that letter, yet I should have preferred that it had not been sent.
In regard to what you say about the will, please consider what should be done and how. In regard to the money, she has herself written in the sense of my previous letter to you, and, if it is necessary, I will draw on the sum you mention.
Caesar does not seem likely to be at
by the 1st of September. Many things
are said to detain him in Athens Asia, 'above all Pharnaces.1 The 12th legion,
visited first, is said to have driven him off with a shower of stones. It is
thought that none of the legions will stir. Caesar, people think, will go
from Patrae3 But
if that is so, he must necessarily come here.4 Yet I should have preferred his going from
there; for in that case I should have got away somehow or other. As it is, I
fear I must wait for him, and, among other misfortunes, my poor Tullia must
also endure the unhealthy climate of the place. You advise me to make my
actions square with the time: I would have done so, had circumstances allowed
of it, and had it been in any way possible. But in view of the prodigious
blunders made by myself, and the wrongs inflicted upon me by my relations,
there is no possibility of doing anything or keeping up any pretext worthy of
my character. You compare the Sullan period: but, if we regard the principle of
that movement, it was everything that was most eminent; where it failed was in
a want of moderation in its execution. The present movement, on the other hand,
is of such a character, that I forget my own position, and much prefer the
general advantage to that of the party, with whose interests I have identified
Nevertheless pray write to me as often as possible, and the more so that no one
else writes; and yet, if everybody did, I should still look forward to your
letters most. You say that Caesar will be more kindly disposed to Quintus
thanks to me: I have already told you that he at once granted everything to the
younger Quintus and said never a word about me. Goodbye. Sicily
1] Pharnaces, son of Mithradates, left by Pompey king of part of his father's dominions, was trying to recover
2] P. Cornelius Sulla, a nephew of the dictator, whom
3] Caesar, however, came to
4] He would touch at Brundisium as he was coasting down the south-eastern shores of
5] Though it would now be bad for me, I sometimes forget that, and still wish my old friends, the Pompeians, to triumph. I have adopted Mueller's text, quamquod iis ad quorum utilitatem, etc.
CDXLIV (A XI. 22)
Balbus’s letter-carrier delivered me the packet with all promptness. I say this because I have a letter from you in which you seem to fear that I have not received those letters,1 which in fact I could wish had never been delivered to me. For they increased my misery, and, if they had fallen into anyone else's hands, they would not have inflicted any fresh harm upon me. For what can be more universally notorious than his rage against me and the sort of letter he writes? - a kind of letter which even Caesar appears to have sent to his friends at Rome, not because he was shocked at his unprincipled conduct, but, I believe, to make my miserable position better known. You say that you are afraid that they will do Quintus harm, and that you are trying to remedy the mischief. Why! Caesar did not even wait to be asked about him. I don't mind that; but what I mind more is that the favours granted to myself have no stability.
Sulla, I believe, will be here tomorrow with Messalla. They are hurrying to Caesar after being driven away by the soldiers, who say that they will go nowhere until they' have got what was promised them.2 Therefore he will come here, though slowly: for, though he is keeping on the move, he devotes many days to the several towns.3 Moreover, Pharnaces, whatever course he takes, must cause him delay. 4 What, then, do you think I should do? For by this time I am scarcely strong enough physically to endure the unhealthiness of this climate, because it adds bodily suffering to mental pain. Should I commission these two who are going to him, to make my excuses, and myself go nearer
I beg you to consider it, and as hitherto, in spite of frequent requests, you
have declined to do, aid me by your advice. I know that it is a difficult
question; but it is a choice of evils, and it is of great importance to me that
I should see you. If that could be brought about, I should certainly make some
advance4. As to the will,5 as you say, pray
attend to it. Rome
1] From Quintus and others inclosed by Atticus.
2] See p. 51 Messalla is M. Valerius Messalla, consul B.C. 53, afterwards condemned for sodalitium (vol. ii., pp.22, 40). He had been recalled, it seems, with others by
3] In oppidum, "town by town," may possibly be justified by analogy With such a phrase as in diemvivere: but it is certainly very difficult. Schmidt writes in oppido uno.
4] As a matter of fact, while
5] Terentia's will.
CDXLVI (F XV. 15)
Although both of us, from a hope of peace and a loathing for Civil bloodshed, desired to hold aloof from an obstinate prosecution of war, nevertheless, since I think I was the first to adopt that policy, I am perhaps more bound to give you satisfaction on that point, than to expect it from you. Although, as I am often wont to recall in my own mind, my intimate talk with you and yours with me led us both to the conclusion that it was reasonable that, if not the cause as a whole, yet at least our judgment should be decided by the result of one battle. Nor does anyone ever sincerely criticise this opinion of ours, except those who think it better that the constitution should be utterly destroyed, rather than remain in a maimed and weakened state. I, on the contrary, saw of course no personal hope from its destruction, much from its surviving fragments. But a state of things has followed which makes it more surprising that those events were possible, than that we did not foresee what was going to happen, and were unable with our merely human faculties to prophesy it. For my part, I confess that my view was that, when that battle had been fought, which seemed as it were to be the last word of fate, the conquerors would desire measures to be taken for the safety of the community at large, the conquered for their own. But both of these policies I regarded as depending on the promptness of the victor. If that promptness had been displayed, Africa would have experienced the same indulgence which Asia and Achaia too have witnessed,1 you yourself, as I think, acting as agent and intercessor.2 But the hours having been allowed to slip away - always most precious, and never more so than in civil wars – the year that intervened induced some to hope for victory, others to think lightly of the defeat itself. And the blame for all this mischief is on the shoulders of fortune. For who would have thought such a serious delay as that of the Alexandrian war was going to be added to the war already fought, or that a princeling like that Pharnaces of yours was going to cause a panic in Asia.
For ourselves, however, though our policy was the same, our fortune has been different. For you have adopted the rôle of taking an active part in his councils, and of thus keeping yourself in a position to foresee what was going to happen, which more than anything else relieves one's anxiety.3 I, who was in a hurry to see Caesar in Italy - for that is what I thought would happen - and, when he returned after sparing many of the most honourable men, to "spur the willing horse" (as the phrase goes) in the direction of peace, am now most widely separated from him, and have been so all along. Moreover, I am living in the hearing of the groans of
Italy and the most heartrending complaints in : to which we might
perhaps have contributed some alleviation, I in my way, you in yours, and
everyone in his own, if only the chief man had been there. Wherefore I would
have you, in view of your unbroken affection for me, write and tell me what you
know, what you feel, and what you think I am to expect or ought to do. A letter
from you will be of great value in my eyes, and would that I had obeyed that
first one, which you sent me from Luceria! For I should then have retained my
position without any of this distress.4
[Between the date of the last letter to Terentia (1 September) and that of the next (1 October) Caesar had landed at Tarentum, and, meeting Cicero, who was coming to greet him, alighted from his carriage, embraced him, had a long conversation with him on the road, and gave him free leave to live where he chose.
1] That is, the members of the defeated party who had taken up their abode in Asia and Achaia, and the numerous adherents who had gathered in
2] Cassius had joined Caesar early with his fleet.
3] Cassius does not appear to have been in
4] We know nothing of this letter from Cassius. He seems to have advised
CDXLVIII (F XV. 21)
I found pleasure in reading your letter, and a very great one in reading your book: yet in the midst of that pleasure I experienced this sorrow, that, after having inflamed my desire of increasing the closeness of our intercourse - for as far as affection goes no addition was possible - you at once quit us, and inspire me with such deep regret, as to leave me but one consolation, namely, that our mutual regret for each other's absence may be softened by long and frequent letters.1 This I can guarantee not only from myself to you, but also from you to me. For you left no doubt in my mind as to how much you were attached to me. I will pass over what you did in the sight of the whole state, when you took upon you a share of my quarrels, when you defended me in your public speeches, when as quaestor you stood by the consuls in what was at once my cause and that of the constitution, when as quaestor again you refused to submit to the tribune,2 and that though your colleague was for obeying him. Yet, to forget your recent services (which I shall always remember), what anxiety for me did you shew during the war, what joy at my return, what anxiety, what pain, when my anxieties and sorrows were reported to you! Lastly, the fact that you had meant to come to Brundisium to see me had you not been suddenly sent to Spain - to omit, I say, all this, which in my eyes must be as precious as my own life and safety, what a strong profession of affection does the book which you have sent me convey. First, because you think any utterance of mine to be witty, though others perhaps do not: and, secondly, because those mots, whether witty or the reverse, become extraordinarily attractive as you tell them. In fact, even before they come to me, your readers have all but exhausted their power of laughter. But if in making this compilation there was no more compliment than the inevitable fact of your having thought for so long a time exclusively about me, I should be hard-hearted indeed if I did not love you. Seeing, however, that what you have taken the trouble to write you could never have planned without a very strong affection, I cannot deem that anyone is dearer to himself than I am to you: to which affection would that I could respond in other ways! I will at least do so in affection on my part: with which, after all, I feel certain you will be fully satisfied.
Now I come to your letter, which, though written in full and gratifying terms, there is no reason why I should answer at great length. For, in the first place, I did not send that letter to Calvus,3 any more than the one you are now reading, with an idea of its getting abroad. For I write in one style what I expect that the persons addressed only, in another what I expect that many, will read. In the next place, I praised his genius in higher terms than you think could have been done with sincerity. To begin with, it was because that was my real opinion. He had a subtle and active mind: he adhered to a certain definite style, in which, though his judgment was at fault-generally his strong point - he yet attained his aim. He had great and uncommon learning: force he had not. It was in that direction, therefore, that I tried to rouse his energies. Now, in stimulating and whetting a man's intellect nothing is more efficacious than to mingle praise with exhortation. That is my judgment on Calvus, and the motive of my letter: motive, in that I praised in order to stimulate him; judgment, in that I thought very highly of his ability.
It only remains to follow your journey with affectionate interest, to look forward to your return with hope, to cherish you while absent in memory, and to alleviate our regret by an interchange of letters. I should wish you often to recall your kindnesses and good services to me; for while you may, and I may not, forget them without positive crime, you will have reason, not only to think me an honest man, but also to believe that you are deeply loved by me.
1] Gaius Trebonius had been all along a strong Caesarian. In his tribuneship (Dec. B.C. 56-Dec. B.C. 55) he proposed the law for the extension of Caesar's governorship. From B.C. 54 he was his legatus in
2] As quaestor, B.C. 60, Trebonius had opposed the passing of the law allowing Clodius's adoption into a plebeian gens.
3] Trebonius seems to have remonstrated on some laudatory expressions in a letter to Calvus, which he had seen. C. Licinius Calvus, son of the annalist Licinius Macer, was born B.C. 82. He was a poet and orator. In the latter capacity