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DCCXX (F XII, 1)
TO GAIUS CASSIUS LONGINUS (AT ANTIUM)
POMPEII, 3 MAY.
BELIEVE me, Cassius, I never cease thinking about you and our dear Brutus, that is, about the entire Republic, all hope for which depends on you two and Decimus Brutus. That hope indeed I now myself feel to be improved owing to the very splendid administration of my dear Dolabella. For that mischief in the city was gradually extending and becoming day by day so confirmed, that I felt uneasy both for the city and the peace in it. But that mutiny has now been put down in such a way that I think we shall be secured for all time, at any rate from that most degrading of dangers. Things still remaining to be done are both important and numerous; but they all rest with you three. However, let me expound each in its turn. Well then, as far as we have gone as yet, we seem not to have been freed from a tyranny -only from a tyrant: for though the tyrant has been killed, we obey his every nod. And not only so, but measures which he himself, had he been alive, would not have taken, we allow to pass on the plea that they were meditated by him. And to this indeed I see no limit: decrees are fastened up; immunities are granted; immense sums of money are squandered ;' exiles are being recalled; forged decrees of the senate are being entered in the ærarium. Surely then nothing has been accomplished except to dispel the indignation at our slavery and the resentment against an unprincipled man: the Republic still lies involved in the confusions into which he brought it. These are all questions demanding your solution; and you must not think that the Republic has had all it can claim from you three. It has had indeed more than it ever occurred to me to desire, but it is not content yet. Its demands are great in
1 For these accusations against Antony, see 2 Phil. SS 93-98.
proportion to the greatness of your spirits and of your services. Up to the present it has avenged its injuries by the death of the tyrant through your hands : nothing more. Which of its dignities has it recovered ? Is it that it now obeys the man in his grave whom it could not endure in his life-time? Do we support the rough drafts of a man, whose laws we ought to have torn down from the walls ? “But”. you will say—“we so decreed in the senate. Yes, we did so as a concession to the exigencies of the time, which have always been of decisive importance in politics. But they are abusing our concession without moderation or gratitude. However, of this and much else before long when we meet. Meanwhile, I would have you feel fully persuaded that, both for the sake of the Republic-always the object of my greatest devotion-and for the sake of our mutual affection, your position in the state is the object of the greatest importance in my eyes. Take great care of your health.
DCCXXI (A XIV, 17)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
POMPEII, 3 MAY
I ARRIVED at my Pompeian villa on the 3rd of May, having on the day before-as I wrote to tell you-established Pilia in my villa at Cumæ. There, as I was at dinner, the letter was put into my hands which you had delivered to your freedman Demetrius on the 30th of April.
It contained much that was wise; still, as you remarked yourself, you had to allow that every plan depended entirely on fortune. Therefore on these matters we will consult on the spot and when we meet. As to the Buthrotian business, I wish to heaven I could have an interview with Antony ! I am sure I should effect a great deal. But people think he won't budge from Capua, whither I fear he has gone for a
1 At the meeting of the senate on the 17th of March, when Cæsar's acta were confirmed. See p. 17.
purpose very mischievous to the state. Lucius Cæsar was of this opinion also, whom I saw yesterday in a very bad state of health at Naples. So I shall have to raise a debate on this subject and settle it on the ist of June. But enough of this. The younger Quintus has written a very unpleasant letter to his father, which was delivered to him on our arrival at Pompeii. The chief point, however, was that he would not put up with Aquilia as a stepmother. Perhaps that was excusable. But what do you think of his saying “that he had hitherto owed everything to Cæsar, nothing to his father, and for the future looked to Antony? What an abandoned rascal! But we'll see to it.
I have written letters to our friend Brutus, to Cassius, and Dolabella. I send you copies; not that I hesitate as to whether they should be delivered—for I am clearly of opinion that they should be, and I have no doubt that you will be of the same opinion.
Pray, my dear Atticus, supply my son with as much as you think right, and allow me to impose this burden upon you. All you have done up to the present time has been exceedingly acceptable to me. My unpublished book I have not yet polished up to my satisfaction. The additional matter which you wish introduced must wait for a second volume of some kind. I think, however—and I would have you believe me when I say so—that it was safer to attack that abominable party while the tyrant was alive than now that he is dead. For in a manner he was surprisingly tolerant of me. Now, whichever way we turn, we are confronted not merely by Cæsar's enactments, but also by those
This is explained by 2 Phil. $$ 101-102. Capua, which since the second Punic war had been deprived of all status, had been raised to the rank of a colonia by Cæsar in B.C. 59. Antony wanted to refound it, or at any rate to introduce a supplementum or new body of coloni, which was resisted by the existing coloni, who were mostly veteran soldiers. He appears eventually to have made his colony at Casilinum on the other side of the river. This involved more loss of revenue from the ager Campanus.
? That is, at the meeting of the senate always held on the first day of the month
3 We cannot be sure what book is meant. is supposed by some to be the poem de Suis Temporibus, which was not published till after his death.
which he merely contemplated. Since Flamma has arrived, please see about Montanus. I think the business should be on a better footing.
DCCXXII (A XIV, 19)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
POMPEII, 8 MAY
Being in my Pompeian villa on the 7th of May I received two letters from you, the first dated five days ago, the second three. I will therefore answer the earlier one first. How glad I am that Barnæus delivered my letter at the nick of time! Yes, with Cassius as before. It is, however, a lucky coincidence that I had just done what you advise me to do. Five days ago I wrote to him and sent you a copy of my letter. But after I had been thrown into a great state of despair by Dolabella's avarice_to use your expression -lo and behold, arrives a letter from Brutus and one from you. He is meditating exile: I, however, see before me a different port, and one better suited to my time of life. Though, of course, I should prefer entering it with Brutus in prosperity and the constitution on a sound footing. As it is indeed, you are right in saying that we have now no choice in the matter. For you agree with me that my age is unsuitable to a camp, especially in a civil war. Marcus Antonius merely said about Clodius, in answer to my letter, that my leniency and placability had been very gratifying to him, and would be a source of great pleasure to myself.
i See p. 32.
? No doubt-if the reading is sound-he refers to Dolabella still re. taining Tullia's dowry in part.
3 That is, “ death” (cp. de Sen. § 91). He had just written the essay on Old Age. There he makes Cato say that at his age death is so pleasant that as I approach it more, I seem to be catching sight of land and to be at length coming into port after a long voyage.' We often find the sentiment occurring in his letters which he was at the time expressing in books.
But Pansa seems to be fuming about Clodius as well as about Deiotarus. His words are stern enough, if you choose to believe them. Nevertheless, he is not sound -as I think—on the subject of Dolabella's achievement,' of which he loudly expresses his disapproval. As to the men with the garlands, when your sister's son was reproved by his father, he wrote back to say that he had worn a garland in honour of Cæsar, that he had laid it aside as a sign of mourning; lastly, that he was quite content to be vilified for loving Cæsar even when dead. To Dolabella I have written cordially, as you said that you thought I ought to do. I have also done so to Sicca. I don't lay the responsibility of this upon you : I don't want you to incur his wrath. I recognize Servius's style of talk, in which I see more of timidity than wisdom. But since we have all been frightened out of our wits, I have nothing to say against Servius. Publilius has taken you in. For Cærellia was sent here by them as their envoy; but I convinced her without difficulty that what she asked was not even legal, to say nothing of my disliking it. If I see Antony I will seriously press the case of Buthrotum.
I come now to your later letter, though I have already answered you in regard to Servius. You say that I am “making a good deal of Dolabella's achievement.” Well, by heaven, it is my genuine opinion that it could not be surpassed in the circumstances and actual state of affairs. But after all, whatever credit I give him is founded on what you wrote. However, I agree with you that it would be a still greater “achievement” on his part, if he paid me what he owes me. I should like Brutus to stay at Astura. You praise me for coming to no decision about leaving Italy till I see how affairs at Rome are likely to turn out. But I have changed my mind about that. I shall not, however, do anything till I have seen you. I am pleased that our dear Attica thanks me for what I have done for her mother. I have in fact put the whole villa and store
1 In executing the rioters collecting round the pillar marking the spot in the forum where his body was burnt. See pp. 33-35.
2 At the Palilia. See Letter DCCXVI.