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DCCLXXXV (F X, 2)
TO L. MUNATIUS PLANCUS (IN GALLIA
ROME (AFTER 19 SEPTEMBER ?)
No zeal which our close connexion could command in support of the complimentary vote' to you would have been wanting on my part, had I been able to enter the senate with safety or dignity. But neither can anyone who freely expresses his opinion on politics appear there without danger, when there is absolutely no restraint upon the ployment of armed men,” nor do I think it consistent with my dignity to speak in a place where these armed men hear me more distinctly and from a shorter distance than senators. Accordingly, in private affairs you shall not have to complain of any lack of service or zeal on my part: nor indeed in public affairs either will I ever fail to appear in support of your dignity, if my presence is ever actually necessary, even at the risk of danger to myself. But in matters which can be equally well carried out, even though I am not there, I must ask you to allow me to consider my own safety and dignity.
? A supplicatio for some operations in Gaul of which we know nothing, perhaps against the Allobroges (Dio, 46, 50).
2 Cicero uses nearly the same expression (impunitas gladiorum) in I Phil. $ 27. He refers to the bodyguard which Antony was gradually forming of ex-centurions and other veterans, which eventually amounted to 6,000 men (Appian, B.C. iii. 5).
Antony answered Cicero's first Philippic in a carefully prepared and violent speech on the 19th September. The second Philippic (which was never delivered) is written as though delivered in reply on the same day. In it Cicero asserts that the senate is “surrounded by a ring of armed men” ($ 112). This letter may refer to the same date, but if it does it is rather surprising that no allusion is made to the speech of Antony.
DCCLXXXVI (F X, 3)
TO L. MUNATIUS PLANCUS (IN GALLIA
I was very glad to see Furnius for his own sake, but all the more glad because in listening to him I seemed to be listening to you. He vividly described your valour in war, the justice of your administration in the province, and the wisdom you displayed in every department. He mentioned besides—what our association and intimacy had not left me ignorant of—the courtesy of your manners, as well also as your very
liberal conduct to himself. All these were very pleasant hearing to me: the last roused my gratitude also.
I have had, my dear Plancus, a close bond of friendship with your family, formed a considerable time before you were born, a personal affection for you from your boyhood, and, when you grew up, an intimacy begun from inclination on my part and from deliberate judgment on yours. For these reasons I take extraordinary pains to support your political position, which I am convinced ought to be associated with my own. You have attained to the highest distinctions in every department, virtue shewing the way, and fortune marching by your side. And these you have won though you had many detractors, whom you have baffled by your talents and industry. At present, if you will listen to me—who love you dearly and yield to no one in his claim to be a closer and older friend-you will look for every advancement in the rest of your life from the best possible settlement of the constitution. You know of course—for it could not possibly have escaped you—that there has been a period during which people thought you too much inclined to yield to the circumstances of the time. I should have thought so, too, had I thought that you approved of the things to which you submitted. But as I well knew your real sentiments, I considered that it was
only that you saw the limits of your power. Now the case is different. The decision on all points is in your own hands and is unfettered. You are consul-designate: at the prime of life: a first-rate orator. And all this when the state is unusually destitute of men of this sort. In the name of Heaven, throw yourself heart and soul into the measures calculated to bring you reputation and glory. The one path to glory, especially at a time like this, when the Republic has been harassed to death for so many years, is that of honest administration. It was my personal affection that impelled me to write this to you, rather than any idea of your needing admonition and precept. For I know that you imbibed them from the same fountains as myself. Therefore I will put a period to these exhortations. For the present I thought I should only give a hint
- rather to shew you my affection than to display my wisdom. Meanwhile I will attend with zeal and mir te care to whatever I think will affect your high position.
DCCLXXXVII (F XII, 2)
TO C. CASSIUS LONGINUS (NEAR PUTEOLI)
I Am much delighted that my expression of opinion and my speech' have your approval. If one might speak like that more often, there would be no trouble about recovering freedom and the constitution. But that infatuated and unprincipled fellow-much worse than the man whom you declared to have been put to death for his flagrant iniquity -is seeking an excuse for a massacre, and accuses me of being the instigator of Cæsar's assassination, with no other motive than that of inciting the veterans against me.”
1 The first Philippic, spoken in the senate on the 2nd of September. The constant parallelism in thought and language in the following letters with the second Philippic shews that they were written while Cicero was composing it, i.e., after 19th September.
2 This is the motive alleged in 2 Phil. $ 33.
I don't dread that danger, so long as he associates the glory of the deed which you and your fellows wrought with my reputation. Accordingly, we can none of us come to the senate in safety: neither Piso,' who was the first to inveigh against him, without anyone to support him ; nor I, who did the same a month afterwards ; nor Publius Servilius, who followed me closely. For that gladiator is seeking for a chance of using the sword, and thought that he was going to begin with me on the 19th of September,' on which day he came primed after studying his speech for many days in the villa of Metellus. But what sort of “study” was possible in brothels and drunken riots ? The result was that in everybody's eyes, as I wrote you word before, he seemed to be but vomiting in his usual way, not speaking. Wherefore in reference to your remark that you felt confident that some good might be done by my influence and eloquence, I may say that some little good-considering the enormity of the evil-has been done. For the Roman people fully understand that there are three ex-consuls, who, because they have thought honestly on politics and ventured to speak freely, cannot come in safety to the senate. expect anything more than that: for your relative is greatly delighted with his new marriage connexion ;' and so he no longer cares about the games, and is bursting with envy at the applause given to your brother.* Your other brother-in
1 L. Calpurnius Piso Cæsoninus, the father of Cæsar's last wife, had spoken against Antony in the senate on the ist of August (1 Phil. § 14).
2 Cicero is fond of applying this term to Antony, partly in reference to his bodily size and strength. See 2 Phil. $$ 7, 63; infra, p. 169.
3 The day on which Antony delivered his reply to the first Philippic, composed Cicero says by the aid of the rhetorician Sextus Clodius (2 Phil. $ 42).
4 L. Cæcilius Metellus Pius Scipio, Pompey's father-in-law, who threw himself overboard while escaping from Africa after Thapsus (B.C. 46). Antony had in some way possessed himself of his villa at Tibur.
6 Repeated in 2 Phil. $$ 6, 42. For the vomiting—which is not meant to be merely metaphorical-see 2 Phil. $$ 63, 76, 84, 104.
6 Piso, Cicero, and P. Servilius Isauricus.
7 M. Æmilius Lepidus married Iunia, sister to Tertia, the wife of Cassius : they were both half-sisters to Brutus. The “new marriage connexion” refers to the marriage or betrothal of the son of Lepidus to a daughter of Antony's (Dio, 44, 53).
8 Quintus Cassius, tribune in this year, whom Antony threatened with death if he came to the senate (3 Phil. § 23).
Nor can you
law has been smoothed down by the new batch of Cæsar's minutes. Still these things are endurable. But the next is intolerable—that there is a man who thinks that his son is to be consul in the year of yourself and Brutus, and for that reason avows his subservience to this bandit. For my friend Lucius Cotta, yielding to some fatal despair, now comes less frequently to the senate: Lucius Cæsar, a most loyal and gallant citizen, is hindered by ill-health: Servius Sulpicius, a man of the greatest influence and the most excellent sentiments, is not in town. As for the rest, the consuls-designate excepted, pardon me if I do not reckon them consulars. These are the leaders of our public policy. Few enough even if things were all going well—what think you in the present disastrous position ? Wherefore our sole hope is in you. And if your motive for not coming to Rome is that you cannot do so safely—there is none in you
either. But if you are meditating some stroke worthy of your glory, I pray that I
live to see it. But if that cannot be, yet at least the Republic will shortly recover its legal rights by your means. I am not failing to support your friends, nor shall I do so. If they refer to me for anything, my goodwill to you and my good faith shall be made manifest.
DCCLXXXVIII (F XII, 3)
TO C. CASSIUS LONGINUS (NEAR PUTEOLI)
ROME (BETWEEN 2 AND 9 OCTOBER)
Your friend * daily becomes madder. To begin with, he has caused “ To the father for his eminent services” to be inscribed on the statue which he has placed on the rostra, so
1 We don't know who this is. It may be M. Iunius Silanus, brother to Iunia and Tertia, now legatus to Lepidus, who survived to be consul in B.C. 25. He was serving under Antony at Mutina.
Brutus and Cassius being prætors B.c. 44, their proper year " for the consulship would be B.c. 41. We don't know who was expecting to supplant them. Pansa and Hirtius.