« PreviousContinue »
DCCCVI (F XI, 5)
TO DECIMUS BRUTUS (IN CISALPINE GAUL)
MARCUS CICERO to Decimus Brutus, imperator, consuldesignate. At the time that our common friend Lupus reached Rome, and during his few days' residence there, I was in the part of the country in which I thought I should be safest. That was the reason of Lupus returning to you without a letter from me, though he had nevertheless seen to yours being conveyed to me. I arrived at Rome, however, on the 9th of December, and my first object was an immediate visit to Pansa. His report of you was everything I could desire. Wherefore you require no encouragement, since in the execution of that great deed-surely the greatest known to history—you required none.
Yet I think I ought briefly to point out that the Roman people looks entirely to you, and places on you its whole hope of eventually recovering its liberty. If you—as I am sure is the case-remember day and night how great a deed you have done, you certainly will not forget what great ones remain for you to do. For if the man now gets hold of your province—a man with whom I was always on friendly terms till I found that he was not only openly at war with the Republic, but glad to be so—I can see no hope of safety left. Wherefore I join my prayers to those of the people and senate of Rome, beseeching you to free the Republic from a tyrannical despotism, in order that you may end as you began. This is your task, this the part you have to play. It is from you that the state -or rather all nations of the world—not only expect this, but even demand it. Since, however, as I said above, you
do not need encouragement, I will not waste many words upon it. I will do no more than promise you-as in duty bound-all my services, zeal, care, and thought, which will henceforth be devoted to enhancing your fame and glory. Therefore pray convince yourself of this : not only for the sake of the
Republic, which is dearer to me than life itself, but also because I am devoted to you personally and desire the farther improvement of your political position, I will nowhere fail to support your loyal policy, your greatness, or your glory.
DCCCVII (F X, 5)
TO L. MUNATIUS PLANCUS (IN TRANSALPINE
I HAVE received a letter from you in duplicate, which in itself shews me how careful you are: for I understood that you were anxious that a letter which I most ardently desired should reach my hands. From this letter I received a double satisfaction, such that it is difficult for me to decide by any comparison, whether to regard your affection for me or your loyalty to the Republic as the more valuable. As a general truth affection for one's country is, in my judgment at least, the greatest thing of all; but personal love and sympathy find certainly a softer place in our heart. Therefore your recalling the friendship of our fathers and the affection which you have bestowed on me from your childhood, and all the other circumstances accompanying that feeling, gave me the keenest pleasure. Again, the revelation of the sentiments which you entertain towards the Republic and intend to maintain was most delightful to me, and my joy was all the greater because it came in addition to what you had said before. Accordingly, my dear Plancus, I do not merely exhort you—I go so far as actually to entreat you—as I did in the letter to which you have made such an exceedingly kind answer—to throw yourself with all your soul and with every impulse of your heart into the cause of the Republic. There is nothing that can bring you higher reward or greater glory, nor is there anything that a human being can do more splendid or brilliant than to deserve well of the Republic. I say this because as yet—for your consummate kindness and wisdom permit me to speak my sentiments with candour -you seem to have accomplished the most splendid achievements with the support of fortune; and though you could not have done so without personal merit, yet to a great extent those achievements are commonly put down to fortune and the circumstances of the time. But in a crisis of such supreme difficulty as the present, whatever help you give to the Republic will be wholly and peculiarly your own. You could scarcely believe how all citizens, except the rebel party, detest Antony. High hopes are placed on you and your army-great expectations. In heaven's name, do not let slip the opportunity for gaining such popularity and glory! I counsel you as a father might a son: I am as eager for your honour as for my own: I exhort you with the fervour inspired by my country's cause and the knowledge of your devoted friendship.
DCCCVIII (F XI, 7)
TO DECIMUS BRUTUS (IN CISALPINE GAUL)
ROME, 19 DECEMBER
LUPUS having brought both Libo and your cousin Servius to see me at my town house, I think that you will have learnt from Marcus Seius, who was present at our conversation, what opinion I expressed. The rest you will be able to learn from Græceius, though he did stay long behind Seius. But the head and front of it all is that I wish you most carefully to notice and to remember that you must not wait to be authorized by the senate in preserving the safety of the Roman people, for the senate is not yet free. If you do so, in the first place you condemn your own action, for you
freed the Republic without any public authority-which makes it still more glorious—and, in the second place, you decide that this young man, or rather this boy, Cæsar has acted without justification in having assumed such a grave public responsibility on his own initiative. Lastly, you convict of madness those who are indeed rustics, but yet are most gallant soldiers and loyal citizens '—in the first place veterans who have served with you of old, and in the next place the Martian and the fourth legions, which have adjudged their own consul to be a public enemy and have transferred their services to the support of the safety of the Republic. The wishes of the senate must be regarded as its authorization, since that authorization is prevented by fear. Lastly, you have now twice espoused this cause : first on the Ides of March, and again recently by collecting a new army and new forces. Wherefore you ought to be prepared for everything, and inspired with the resolution not to decline doing anything without instructions, but to do what will secure universal praise and the greatest admiration.
DCCCIX (F XI, 6)
TO DECIMUS BRUTUS (AT MUTINA)
ROME, 20 DECEMBER
Our friend Lupus, having reached Rome on the sixth day from Mutina, came to call on me next morning and delivered your message to me in the most explicit terms and gave me your letter. When you commend the defence of your political position to me, I regard you as at the same time commending to me my own, which, by heaven, I do not regard as dearer to me than yours. Wherefore you will be doing me the greatest favour, if you will regard it as a settled thing that no counsel or zeal on my part will ever be wanting in the promotion of your reputation. The tribunes of the plebs having given notice of a meeting of the senate for the 20th of December, and designing to make a proposal for
1 Cæsar's veterans, who had been settled in Campania. See p. 145.
? The legio Martia and the quarta were brought over by Antony from Macedonia to Brundisium, and ordered to march up the coast to Ariminum. But they left that road and marched along the via Minucia to Alba Fucensis. There they repelled Antony's agents and declared in favour of Octavian (Livy, Ep. 117; Cicero, 3 Phil. $8 6-7).
the protection of the consuls-designate, though I had resolved not to attend the senate before the ist of January, yet as your edict also was put up on that same day, I thought that it would be shocking either that a meeting of the senate should be held without any mention being made of your brilliant services to the Republic—which would have been the case had I been absent-or that, if anything complimentary to you were said, I should not be there to support it. Accordingly, I went to the senate early, and when that was observed there was a very full house. The motion I made in regard to you in the senate, and the speech I made in a very crowded public meeting, I should prefer your learning from the letters of others. Pray make up your mind that I will ever undertake and support with the greatest zeal every measure tending to enhance your political position, splendid as it already is in itself. I know that I shall have many companions in that policy, yet I shall aim at taking the lead in it.
1 The speech delivered by Cicero in the senate is that known as the third Philippic, the speech in the public meeting as the fourth Philippic. The speech in the senate ended with a series of resolutions, or rather a resolution in several heads (SS 37-39) :
(1) C. Pansa and A. Hirtius, the consuls-designate, are authorized
to provide for the protection of the senate on the ist of January. (2) In regard to the edict of Brutus his services are to be com
mended, and he—like the other governors—is to hold his province for the full term of his appointment by the lex Iulia, and until
successors are named by the senate. (3) The action of Octavian (whom he now calls Gaius Cæsar) in
raising the veterans is to be commended, and also that of the Martian and fourth legions, as done in the defence of senate and
people. See also Dio 45, 19, sq.