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that you are now condemned not only as murderers, but as parricides.? But why do I say “you”? Rather I should say
are condemned : for that madman asserts that I was the head and front of that most glorious deed of yours. Would that I had been! He would not have been troubling us now. But it is you and your fellows who are responsible for this : and since it is past and done with, I only wish I had some advice to give you. But the fact is, I cannot feel satisfied even of what I myself ought to do. For what is possible against force without having any force oneself? Now the gist of this policy of theirs is to punish the death of Cæsar. Accordingly, on the end of October, being introduced to an assembly by Cannutius, Antony got indeed a very sorry reception : still, he did deliver himself of remarks about the saviours of the country which ought only to have been made about traitors. As to me, indeed, he declared outright both that you had acted and that Cannutius was acting in everything on my advice. You may judge of the rest from the fact that they have deprived your legatus of his travelling money. What explanation of that do you suppose that they give? They say, forsooth, that it is being conveyed to a public enemy! What a grievous thing, that we could not endure a master, and yet are slaves to a fellow slave ! Yet after all, though my will is better than my hopes, there does remain even now some hope in your valour. But where to get forces? As to the future I would rather you consulted your own feelings, than listened to words of mine.
The title of parens (or pater) patria had been formally given to Cæsar and was inscribed on coins (see Dio, 44, 3; Suet. Iul. 80). Cicero alludes to the guilt of parricide brought thereby upon his assassins in 2 Phil. $ 31 ; cp. 13 Phil. § 23.
2 Cicero often repeats this sentiment, that if he had been one of the assassins, he would have killed Antony also. See, e.g., 2 Phil. § 34 ; supra, p. 46.
Though Dolabella had gone to take possession of the province of Syria, Cassius still meant to possess himself of it in value of his appointment in Cæsar's time. Meanwhile that appointment had been cancelled by the senate, and he had been nominated to Cyrene, and could therefore have legati, and a legal allowance for them. Antony no doubt interfered because he knew that Cassius would not go to Cyrene, but would defy this senatus consultum and go to Syria (Appian, B. C. iii. 8, 12).
DCCLXXXIX (F XII, 23)
TO Q. CORNIFICIUS (IN AFRICA)
ROME (MIDDLE OF OCTOBER)
TRATORIUS has explained to me the whole state of the case regarding your governorship and the position of your province. How many intolerable things are being done in all quarters ! But considering your high rank, the treatment accorded to you is still less endurable. For because you put up with these things in the loftiness of your spirit and character without excessive irritation, they none the less call for your vengeance, even though they do not sting your heart. But of this at a future time.
I feel sure that a gazette of transactions in the city reaches you. If I had not thought so I would have written an account of them myself, and first and foremost of the attempt made by Octavianus. In regard to this the common people think it a charge trumped up by Antony, as an excuse for making an inroad upon the young man's money. Men of the world, however, and loyalists both believe that it took place and approve of it.” In short, I have great hopes
Q. Cornificius had gone as governor to Africa in B.C. 45 (vol. iii., p. 200). A law of Cæsar's had limited a prætorian province to one year. But though Antony had caused that law to be revoked (1 Phil. § 19), a successor had yet been nominated to Cornificius in the person of C. Calvisius Sabinus (prætor B.C. 43), who had already been there before Cornificius (3 Phil. § 26), and was a devoted Cæsarian. See infra, Letter DCCCXXII.
2 Whether Octavian did really countenance the attempt to assassinate Antony is a matter of much dispute. Appian (B. C. iii. 39) denies it, shewing that it was not in his interest to get rid of Antony at this time. Plutarch (Ant. 16) disbelieved it, and Nicolas (vit. Aug. 30), who probably gives Octavian's own version, says that Antony invented both plot and the report inculpating Octavian, who, as soon as he heard of it, went to Antony's house and offered to act as one of his guard. Suetonius (Aug. 10) of course believes it. See also Seneca, de Clem. i. 9, 1. Cicero evidently had no definite knowledge on the subject. I am myself inclined to the version of Nicolas that the whole thing was a deliberate canard.
of him. There is nothing he may not be expected to do in future for fame and glory's sake. Antonius, however, our whilom intimate friend, feels himself to be the object of such violent dislike, that though he caught the assassins within his own doors, he does not venture to make the fact public. On the 9th of October he set out to meet the four Macedonian legions, which his idea is to win over to his side by money-bounties, to lead them to the city, and station them as fetters for our necks.
There's the state of the Republic for you, if a republic can be said to exist in a camp. And in this matter I often lament your fortune in not being old enough ever to have had a taste of a sound and healthy republic. And up to this time indeed it was at least possible to hope: now even that is snatched from us. For what hope can there be, when Antony ventures to say in a public meeting that Cannutius is “seeking a place for himself with men, for whom as long as he was alive there could be no place in the state”?
For my part I bear these things, and in fact all that can befall a mortal, in such a way as to make me grateful to philosophy, which not only diverts me from anxious thoughts, but also arms me against all assaults of fortune. And you too, I think, should do the same: and believe that to a man who is clear of all wrong-doing nothing is to be reckoned an evil. But you understand this better than I.
I always thought highly of our friend Tratorius, but I have been specially struck by his eminent fidelity, activity, and good sense in your business affairs. Take care of your health : nothing you can do could please me more than that.
1 There were six legions stationed in Macedonia by Cæsar with full complement of cavalry and equipment for the Getic and Parthian wars. Antony first extorted from the senate the command of them on the plea that the Getä were threatening Macedonia. Having surrendered one of the legions to Dolabella, he shortly afterwards asked the senate to give him Cisalpine Gaul instead of Macedonia—which was to be transferred to his brother Gaius. The senators-seeing how they were entrapped-refused, but Antony carried it over their heads by 'a lex : and then sent Gaius to bring over the four legions, leaving one for the protection of Macedonia. With these he proposed to drive Decimus Brutus from Cisalpine Gaul, which the senate secretly instigated Brutus to retain. See Appian, B. C. iii. 25, 27.
DCCXC (F XVI, 25)
M. CICERO (THE YOUNGER) TO TIRO (AT
THOUGH your excuse for suspending your letter-writing is reasonable and sufficient, yet I beg you not to do it oftener. For though I get information about politics from rumours and the regular news, and my father always writes fully to me about his own wishes in regard to me, yet a letter written to me by you on any and every thing, however minute, has always been most delightful to me. Therefore, though there is nothing I miss so much as a letter from you, don't fulfil your obligation to write by sending an excuse rather than by regularity in actual letters. Good-bye.
DCCXCI (A XV, 13)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 25 OCTOBER
On the 25th I received two letters from you. I will therefore answer the earlier one first. I agree with you : but I would neither lead the van or bring up the rear,
yet be on that side in sympathy. I am sending you my speech. As to whether it is to be kept locked up or published, I leave the decision to you. But when shall we see the day when you shall think that it ought to be published ?' I cannot
1 The venomous second Philippic—perhaps the most terrible invective ever composed—was never delivered. It is a pamphlet in the form of a speech supposed to be delivered in the senate on the 19th of September in answer to Antony's.
For to your
see the possibility of the truce which you mention. Better a masterly silence, which I think I shall employ. You say that two legions have arrived at Brundisium : you in Rome get all news first. So please write and tell me whatever you hear. I am anxious for Varro's “ Dialogue. I am now all for writing something in the Heracleides style, especially as you like it so much. But I should like to know the sort you want. As to what I said to you before (or “previously”-as you prefer to express it), you have, to confess the honest truth, made me keener for writing. own opinion, with which I was already acquainted, you have added the authority of Peducæus-a very high one in my eyes, and among the most weighty. I will therefore do my best to prevent your feeling the lack either of industry or accuracy on my part.
Yes, as you suggest in your letter, I am keeping up with Vettienus and Faberius. I don't think Clodius meant any harm, although- But it's all one! As to the maintenance of liberty-surely the most precious thing in the world – I agree with you. So it is Caninius Gallus's 3 turn now, is it? What a rascal he is! That's the only word for him. Oh cautious Marcellus ! I am the same yet not after all the most cautious of men !
I have answered your longer and earlier letter. Now for the shorter and later one—what answer am I to make except that it was a most delightful one? Events in Spain are going very well. If I do but see Balbilius safe and sound, I shall have a support for my old age. As to the estate of Annius your opinion is mine. Visellia shews me great attention. But that's the way of the world. Of Brutus
1 Varro had promised a Dialogue either dedicated to Cicero, or in which Cicero was to be one of the speakers. See vol. iii., p. 304.
2 That is, on constitutional theories, like the work of Heracleides of Pontus. See pp. 56, 93.
3 Most editions now read C. Annio, and refer it to C, Annius Cimber (11 Phil. § 14), a follower of Antony's. In this case, Oh hominem nequan must be referred to Annius. The MS. reading is Gallo Caninio. For L. Caninius Gallus, see infra, p. 156. He seems to have just died, and if the name is retained here, we must refer Oh hominem nequam to Antony, and suppose Atticus to have told Cicero of some sharp practice of Antony's in regard to his will and property.