Page images




So, as I told you yesterday—or perhaps I should say to-day, for Quintus said he should not reach you till the second day—I went to Nesis on the 8th. Brutus was there. How hurt he was by the "Nones of July"! He was really surprisingly upset. Accordingly, he said that he should write orders to advertise the beast-hunt, which is to follow the games of Apollo, as to take place on the "3rd day before the Ides of Quinctilis." Libo came in while I was there. He said that Philo, a freedman of Pompey's, and Hilarus, a freedman of his own, had come from Sextus Pompeius with a letter addressed to the consuls, or whatever they are called. He read us a copy of it, to see if anything occurred to us. There were a few ill-expressed sentences: in other respects it was written with considerable dignity and without violence. The only addition we decided upon was that instead of being addressed "to the consuls" only, it should be addressed "to consuls, prætors, tribunes of the plebs, and senate," for fear the consuls should decline to produce a letter addressed to themselves personally. They also report that Sextus has been at New Carthage with only one legion, and that on the very day on which he captured the town of Barea he received the news about Cæsar. That after the capture of the town there was great rejoicing and recovery of spirits, and people flocked to him from every side; but that he returned to the six legions which he had left in lower Spain. He also wrote to Libo saying that he cared for nothing unless he were allowed to return to his own house. The upshot of his demands was that all armies

1 See p. 98.

2 Cicero regarded the election of Antony, and of course therefore of Dolabella, as irregular, and that accordingly they were not properly to be called consuls. See 2 Phil. § 10.

wherever stationed should be disbanded. That is nearly all about Sextus.1

Though I have been asking questions of everybody about the Buthrotians, I cannot find out the truth. Some say the land-grabbers were badly mauled, others that Plancus for a sum of money abandoned them and fled. So I don't see how I am to know the truth of the matter unless I get some sort of letter at once.2

The route to Brundisium, about which I was hesitating, appears now to be out of the question: for the legions are said to be arriving there. But the voyage from this place is not without its suspicion of dangers. Therefore I am making up my mind to a joint voyage. I found Brutus more advanced in his preparations than I had been told was the case. For both he and Domitius have some really good two-banked galleys; there are also some fine vessels belonging to Sestius, Bucilianus, and others. For, as to the fleet of Cassius, which is a really fine one, I don't count on that beyond the Sicilian Strait. One thing does cause me some little uneasiness-that Brutus seems to be in no great hurry. In the first place he is waiting for news as to the completion of his games; in the next place, as far as I can understand, he is likely to make the voyage slowly, stopping at several points. However, I think it is better to sail slowly than not to sail at all. And if, when we have got some distance on, things seem more certain we shall take advantage of the Etesian winds.




ON the 10th I received two letters, one from my own lettercarrier and the other from that of Brutus. The story about the

1 For ad Larem see p. 99. Antony was in possession of Pompey's town house (2 Phil. §§ 67, 76).

2 See p. 98.

[merged small][ocr errors]


Buthrotians was widely different in these parts, but that is only one of the many inconveniences with which one must put up. I am sending Eros back sooner than I intended, that there might be some one to pay Hortensius, and those in fact with whom he says that he has fixed the 15th as the day of settlement. Hortensius, however, is shameless in his demand; for nothing is due to him except in virtue of the third instalment, payable on the 1st of August-and of this very instalment the greater part has been paid him considerably before the day. But Eros will see to this on the 15th. As for Publilius, however, I think there ought to be no delay in paying him the amount for which a draft is due. But when you come to look at the concessions I have made from my legal rights in having paid in ready money 200 of the balance of 400 sestertia, and in now giving a note for the remainder, you will be able, if you think right, to say to him that he ought to wait my convenience in consideration of my having surrendered such a considerable proportion of my legal right. But, my very dear Atticus-you see how insinuatingly I put it-do pray transact, direct, and steer all my business without waiting for directions from me. For though my balances are sufficient for the discharge of debts, still it often happens that debtors don't come up to time. If anything of that sort occurs, don't regard anything as of more importance than my reputation. Preserve my credit not only by raising a fresh loan, but even by selling if necessary. Brutus was gratified by your letter. For I spent several hours with him at Nesis shortly after having received your letter. He seemed delighted with your account of the Tereus, and to be more obliged to Accius than to Antony. In my eyes, however, the better the news the more annoyance and regret


1 This seems to refer to the inheritance of Cluvius (see vol. iii., p. 328). Cicero purchased the horti from his co-heirs, and the money was to be paid in three instalments, the last on 1st August (see p. 111). In the former of these passages Hordeonius is mentioned as one of the co-heirs, but there is no reason as far as we know against Hortensius being another. Of him we know nothing. He may be the Hortensius with whom Cicero has had many transactions before (see ad Att. xii. 5: vol. iii., p. 271).

2 Brother of Cicero's second divorced wife, who was to receive back her dowry.

3 See ante, p. 100.

I feel that the Roman people uses up its hands in clapping, rather than in defending the constitution. To my mind, indeed, that party appears to be even more inspired to give an immediate display of their own disloyalty. However, "so that they feel a pang, no matter what." I am not sorry to hear your remark about my designs being daily more commended, and I was looking forward to hear what you had to say about it. For I myself was hearing remarks made in different senses. Nay, more, I was letting it drag on expressly to avoid committing myself as long as possible. But since I am being turned out with a pitchfork, I am now thinking of going to Brundisium. For the avoidance of the legions1 is easier and more certain than that of the pirates, who are said to be shewing themselves. Sestius was expected on the 10th, but he has not come, as far as I know. Cassius has arrived with his little fleet. On the 11th, after having seen him, I am thinking of going to Pompeii and thence to Æculanum.2 You know the rest of the road. As to Tutia —that's what I thought. About Æbutius, I don't believe it, but I do not care any more than you do. I have written of course to Plancus and Oppius, since you asked me to do so. But don't think it necessary to deliver the letters, if you consider it better not. For as they have acted entirely from consideration for you, I fear my letters may appear superfluous-at any rate to Oppius, whom I know to be devotedly attached to you. However, just as you choose. As you say that you mean to winter in Epirus, I shall be very grateful if you arrive there before the time comes at which by your advice I am to return to Italy. Write to me as often as possible: if it is on matters of little importance, employ any messenger you get hold of; but if it is more urgent, send one of your own men. If I get safe to Brundisium, I shall attempt something in the vein of Heracleides. I am sending you my de Gloria. You will therefore please to keep it under lock and key as usual: but

1 The legions being brought from Macedonia by Antony. See ante, p. 104.

2 On the road to Brundisium. See vol. ii., p. 217.

See p. 97.

3 Whom young Quintus declared ready to marry him. That is, some political treatise like that of Heracleides Ponticus

"On Constitutions.' See ante, pp. 56, 93.

let select passages be marked for Salvius at least to read when he has got some fitting hearers at a dinner party. I like them much; I should wish you to do the same. Goodbye! Good-bye!




You acted wisely-I am now at length answering the letter you sent me after meeting Lucius Antonius at Tibur-well then, you acted wisely in surrendering and even going so far as to thank him. For certainly, as you say, we shall be stripped of the constitution sooner than of our property. Your saying that you take more and more delight in my essay on Old Age increases my energy in writing. You say that you are expecting Eros not to come to you emptyhanded. I am glad that you were not disappointed in that expectation: but nevertheless I am sending you the same essay somewhat more carefully revised--and it is indeed the original copy itself with interlineations and corrections in many places. Get this copied on large paper and read it privately to your guests, but, as you love me, when they are cheerful and have had a good dinner, lest they vent their wrath on me, though really angry with you.3


With my son I only hope things are as I am told. About Xeno* I shall learn when I see him: however, I don't think he has acted in any way with carelessness or meanness. About Herodes I will do as you charge me, and I shall get information as to what you mention from Saufeius and Xeno.

1 For Cicero's habit of writing in corrections and additions in his MSS. see vol. iii., p. 314. He is referring to the de Gloria. See p. 106. 2 See ad Att. xiii. 25: vol. iii., p. 207.

3 There is a touch of malice in Cicero's jest, for famous for good dinners. See vol. ii., p. 139.

4 About his stinginess to young Cicero. See p. 99.

Atticus was not

« PreviousContinue »