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duty and in loyalty to the constitution, and also to do so cheerfully for my sake. Give us your assistance, therefore, my dear Capito: I earnestly and repeatedly beg you to do so.
DCCLXXIX (F XI, 3)
M. BRUTUS AND C. CASSIUS TO M. ANTONIUS
NAPLES, 4 August
IF you are well, we are glad. We have perused a letter
siderations impelled us to wish for a civil war, your letter would not have had any effect upon the question: for words of menace have no weight with free men. But you know full well that we cannot be driven in any direction, and perhaps you use menaces in that matter to give what is the result of our deliberate judgment the appearance of fear. Our feeling is that, while we desire you to have a great and honourable position in a free state, and do not challenge you to any quarrel, we yet value our liberty higher than your friendship. Consider again and again what you are taking upon yourself, what you are capable of maintaining, and be careful to consider not how long Cæsar lived, but how long he reigned. We pray the gods that your designs may be for the safety of the Republic; if not, we hope that they may damage yourself as little as is consistent with its safety and honour. 4 August.
DCCLXXX (A XVI, 7)
ON BOARD SHIP, 19 AUGUST
HAVING started on the 6th of August from Leucopetrafor that was to be my port of embarkation-when I had made about 300 furlongs,' I was driven back upon that same Leucopetra by a violent south wind. While waiting there for a change of wind-I was staying in the villa of our friend Valerius, where I am quite at home and comfortable-certain men of high rank from Rhegium came thither, having lately returned from Rome, among others a friend of our Brutus, who (as he told me) had left Brutus at Naples. They brought, first, an edict of Brutus and Cassius; secondly, intelligence that there would be a full meeting of
1 In 1 Phil. § 7 he says that he got as far as Syracuse, and then returned to Leucopetra as the winds were not favourable, preferring to wait at the latter place, and then was driven back on a second attempt
the senate on the 1st, and that a despatch had been sent by Brutus and Cassius to all ex-consuls and ex-prætors asking them to be present. They announced also that there was a great hope of Antony yielding, an arrangement being come to, and our partisans returning to Rome. They added also that I was wanted, and that my absence was being somewhat unfavourably criticised. On hearing these news I without hesitation threw aside my design of leaving the country, which, by heaven! I had never really liked. When, however, I read your letter, I was of course surprised that you had so entirely changed your opinion, but I thought that you must have some good reason for it. However, though you had never advised nor urged my leaving the country, you had at least expressed approval of my doing so, provided that I returned to Rome by the 1st of January. The result of that would have been that I should have been abroad as long as the danger seemed less imminent, but have returned to find everything in a blaze. But this advice, however short-sighted, I have no claim to resent; because in the first place what I did was in accordance with my own opinion; and in the second place, even if it were adopted on your suggestion, for what is an adviser responsible except good faith? It is the following expression of yours at which I cannot sufficiently wonder: "Can you with honour, you who talk of a noble death-can you with honour abandon your country?" Was I abandoning it, or did I seem to you at that time to be abandoning it? Why, you not only did not forbid my doing what I was doing, but even expressed approval. Still severer is what you say afterwards : I wish you would elaborate for me some précis of the reasons justifying your action." Is it really so, my dear Atticus? Does my action need a defence, and with you of all people, who expressed such strong approval of it? I of course will compose the defence which you require, but addressed to some one of those against whose wish and advice I started. Yet, what need now of a précis? If I had persevered, there would have been such need. "But," say you, 66 this very fact is an instance of vacillation." No philosopher ever yet -and there has been a great deal written upon the subjectdefined a mere change of plan as vacillation. So next you say: "For if the change had been made by our friend
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Phædrus,' your defence would have been easy. As it is,
1 An Epicurean of Athens, of whom we have heard before (vol. ii., p. 28). The Epicureans advised abstention from politics, but the Stoics did not. See p. 44 (ad Att. xiv. 20).
2 See p. 122.
the fear of war the money market is wonderfully tight." I read that letter when I was in the middle of the strait, with the result that I could think of no way of making such provision, except by being on the spot to support my own credit. But enough of this, the rest when we meet. I got hold of Antony's edict from Brutus and read it, as well as our friends' splendid answer to it. But I do not clearly see the use or object of these edicts: and I am not now, as Brutus thought I ought to do, coming to Rome with a view of entering upon politics. For what can be done? Did anyone back up Piso?1 Did he come to the house again next day himself? But after all a man of my age ought not to be far from his place of burial, as people say. But, I beseech you, what is this that I hear from Brutus? He said that you had written to say that Pilia was suffering from paralysis. I was much alarmed, although he added that you also said that you hoped she was better. I devoutly trust so! Give her my very kindest remembrances, as also to my dearest Attica.
I write this at sea on my way to my Pompeian villa. 19 August.
DCCLXXXI (F XI, 27)
TO C. MATIUS (AT ROME)
TUSCULUM (END OF AUGUST)
I HAVE not yet been able to make up my mind whether Trebatius-kind man and devoted friend of us bothbrought me more pain or pleasure. The fact is that I having reached Tusculum in the evening, early next day he
1 The speech of Piso delivered on the 1st of August was not supported by any member of the senate (see I Phil. § 10). He was Cæsar's father-in-law, and though on this occasion he seems to have pleased the opponents of Antony, he afterwards opposed his being declared a hostis (App. B.C. iii. 54).