Page images

solved to go straight along the Appian road to Rome. He would have easily caught me up; for they say he travels with Cæsarian rapidity. I therefore turned off at Minturnæ by the road to Arpinum. I made up my mind to stay on the 9th at Aquinum or in Arcanum. Now then, my dear Atticus, give your whole mind to this anxious consideration : for it is a very grave business. There are three alternatives : am I to remain at Arpinum, or to remove nearer town, or to come to Rome? Whichever you think right, I will do. But answer at once: I am waiting eagerly for a letter from you.

Morning, 8 November, at Sinuessa.




What a wonderful coincidence! On the 8th, having got up before daybreak to quit my lodge at Sinuessa, and having just before dawn reached the Tiretian bridge at Minturnæ, where the road to Arpinum branches off, there met me a letter-carrier, who found me

“On long, long voyage bent." I at once exclaimed, “Here! anything from Atticus ?” I wasn't able at first to read it: for I had sent away the torches and there wasn't sufficient daylight. As soon, however, as it grew light-having already written a letter to you -I began reading the earlier of your two. It certainly is the most charming letter in the world. May I perish if I do not write and exactly what I think: I never read any. thing kinder. So I will come when you call me, only

[ocr errors]

A villa of Quintus Cicero, near Minturnæ (vol. i., p. 291). · Though the civil day ended as ours does at midnight, in ordinary usage it was counted from sunrise to sunset. Therefore what Cicero calls the 8th before daybreak we should call the gth.

provided that you support me. At first, however, I thought nothing could be more at cross purposes than that you should send me such an answer to the letter in which I asked for your advice. Then there's your second letter, in which you advise me to go

' By windy Mimas towards the Psyrian isle,” that is, leaving the Appian Way à gauche. Accordingly, I stay this day at Aquinum. It was a somewhat weary journey and a bad road. I despatch this letter next day, as I am leaving Aquinum.


DCCC (A XVI, 13 b)


ARPINUM (10 NOVEMBER) The letter of Eros compelled me very much against my will to let go.? Tiro will tell you about the affair. Pray consider what ought to be done. And also please say whether it is possible for me to come nearer town—for I should prefer being at Tusculum or in some suburban residence-or whether I must remove to a still greater distance. Write frequently, for there will be somebody to take a letter every day. You ask my advice besides as to what I think you ought to do. It is difficult to say at this distance. However, if the two are equally matched-stay where you are. Otherwise, the mischief will spread, and that will even reach

Then we must put our heads together.


[ocr errors]

Homer, Odyss. iii. 171. He means," skirt the Apennines, and go towards Arpinum. We have heard of insula Arpinas already, vol. iii., p. 212. For Yupin, see vol. i., p. 252.

2 Probably there is some proper name as well as other words missing in the text.

Antony and Octavian.


DCCCI (A XVI, 13 c)



I AM eagerly waiting for your advice. I am afraid of being absent when it may be more honourable to be present : yet I dare not come without proper precautions. About Antony's march I am now told something different from what I wrote to you. Please therefore unravel the whole mystery and let me have trustworthy intelligence. As to the rest, what am I to say to you? I am very keen in the study of history—for your suggestion inspires me beyond beliet But it can neither be begun nor finished without your aid. When we meet, therefore, we will hold conference on that subject at any rate. For the present, I should be glad if you would write me word in what consulship Gaius Fannius, son of Marcus, was tribune. I think I have heard that it was in the censorship of P. Africanus and L. Mummius.? So I want to know if it was so. Pray send me news of every political development entirely trustworthy and definite.

From Arpinum, 11 November.




I HAVE absolutely nothing to write about. For when I was at Puteoli there was always something new about Octavian,

B.C. 142. Coss., L. Cæcilius Metellus, Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus. Cicero seems to be now engaged on the de Amicitia, in which C. Fannius is a speaker.


much also that was false about Antony. However, in regard to what you have said in your letters—for I received three from you on the 11th-I quite agree with you that, if Octavian gets much power, the acta of the tyrant will be confirmed much more decisively than they were in the temple of Tellus,' and that this will be against the interests of Brutus. Yes, but if he is beaten, you perceive that Antony becomes intolerable: so that you can't tell which to prefer.

What a rascal that letter-carrier of Sestius is! He said he would be at Rome on the day after leaving Puteoli. You advise me to move cautiously. Yes, I agree


you; though I had once other ideas. I am not influenced by Philippus or Marcellus. For their position is different; and if it isn't, it is nevertheless thought so. But though that young man has plenty of spirit, he lacks prestige. Nevertheless, consider whether I can be safely in my house at Tusculum, and whether it would be better for me to be there. I should prefer it: for then I shall be up to date in my information. Or had I better stay here when Antony arrives ?

But to turn to another subject-I am quite satisfied that what the Greeks call waðñkov (duty) we call officium. Now, why should you doubt of this being also applicable to the language of public life? Don't we speak of the officium of consuls, of senate, or of an imperator? It is eminently applicable: if not, suggest some other word.

I am very sorry to hear your news about the son of Nepos. I am much disturbed and sincerely sorry. I did not know that he had a son at all. I have lost Caninius 4a man who, as far as I am concerned, was the reverse of ungrateful. There is no occasion for you to whip up Athenodorus : he has sent me a very good précis. Pray use every possible means to get rid of your cold. The

1 At the meeting of the senate on the Liberalia. See p. 17.

2 C. Claudius Marcellus (consul B.C. 50), married to Octavia, the sister of Octavian. L. Marcius Philippus, stepfather of Octavian.

3 Cornelius Nepos, who it seems has just lost a son.

4 L. Caninius Gallus, tribune in B.č. 56. He was impeached in B.C. 55, and defended by Cicero (vol. i., p. 259 ; vol. ii., p. 33).

5 of the views of Posidonius, which Cicero wanted for the third book of the de Officiis. See p. 150.

great-grandson of your grandfather' writes to the grandson of my father, that after the Nones, in which I made my famous coup,' he intends to unfold the story of the temple of Ops, and that too in the face of the whole people. You will look out, therefore, and write me word. I am anxious to hear the criticism of Sextus.“




THOUGH I sent Harpalus this morning, yet since I had a man to whom I could safely intrust a letter, in spite of there being nothing new to say, I determined to write rep dly to you on the same subjects : not because I did not feel confidence in your assiduity, but because the gravity of the business leaves me no rest. The top and tail (or, as the Greek proverb has it, the prow and stern) of my motive in sending you from my side was that you might put my financial affairs straight. Let Ofilius and Aurelius in any case be paid. If you can't get the whole sum out of Flamma,' get a part of it: above all, see that the instalmento (from Dolabella) is duly paid on the ist of January. Settle about the assignment of debts : see to the readymoney payments. So much for my private concerns. On public affairs send me all trustworthy intelligence : what Octavian, what Antony is doing; what the general opinion is; what you think is going to happen. I can scarcely pre

1 His nephew Quintus Cicero. 2 Cicero's son Marcus.

3 The arrest of the Catilinarian conspirators on the 5th of December, B.C. 63. The 5th of December is held by some to be the day on which the new quæstors entered office (1 Verres x. § 30). But this fact is not certain, nor does it appear what Quintus Cicero could do if it were

He had no office, and therefore could not address a meeting, unless introduced by a magistrate. The "temple of Ops” refers to the seizure by Antony of the public money there. See p. 29; 2 Phil. $ 93.

4 What Sextus Peducæus thinks of the second Philippic. See p. 149.


5 See p. 32.

6 See p. 41.

« PreviousContinue »