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of you now?' Spurinna, indeed, when I told him about it and described your former way of living, pointed out the serious danger to the state if you did not recur to your old habits with the first breath of Spring. It might, he said, be endured at this time of year, if you could not stand the cold ! But, by Hercules, my dear Pætus, without joking I advise you to cultivate the society of good, agreeable, and affectionate friends, for that is the secret of happiness. Nothing, I say, is more satisfying or contributes more to a happy life. And I do not found this
on mere pleasure, but on the social intercourse and companionship, and that unbending of the mind which is best secured by familiar conversation, nowhere found in a more captivating form than at dinner-parties. This is more wisely indicated by us Latins than by the Greeks. The latter talk of συμπόσια and σύνδειπνα, that is, “drinkings together” and “suppings together," we of “living together” (convivium), because in no other circumstance is life more truly lived than in company. Do you see I am using philosophy to try and lure you back to dinners? Take care of your health : that you will secure with least difficulty by dining out. But pray, as you love me, don't suppose that because I write jestingly I have cast off all care for the state. Be assured, my dear Pætus, that I work for nothing, care for nothing all day and night except the safety and freedom of
my fellow citizens. I omit no occasion of warning, pleading, adopting precautions. In fact, my feeling is that, if I have to give my very life to this task and to pushing these measures, I shall think myself supremely fortunate. Goodbye! Good-bye !
Playful irony, for Pætus gave good though not extravagant dinners (vol. iii., p. 98).
? Cicero is quoting from his own essay on Old Age. See de Sen. § 45. For his liking for dinner-parties, see vol. iii., p. 103.
DCCCXVIII (F XII, 5)
TO GAIUS CASSIUS LONGINUS (IN SYRIA)
I SUPPOSE that the winter has as yet prevented us from getting any certain news from you, as to what you are doing, and above all where you are.
Nevertheless, it is the general talk—the wish, no doubt, is father to the thought—that you are in Syria and in possession of forces. That statement finds the readier belief that it seems likely in itself. Our friend Brutus for his part has gained a brilliant reputation : for his achievements have been so great and unexpected that, while welcome in themselves, their distinction was enhanced by their rapidity. But if you command the extent of territory which we suppose, the Republic has gained very strong supports. For from the nearest shore of Greece as far as Egypt we shall have been put under the protection of the authority and forces of the most loyal citizens. However, unless I am mistaken, as the situation now stands, the ultimate decision of the whole war seems to rest with Decimus Brutus. If he, as we hope, breaks out from Mutina, I think there will be a complete collapse of the war. The forces at present besieging him are very small, because Antony is occupying Bononia with a large army. Our friend Hirtius, moreover, is at Claterna, Cæsar at Forum Cornelium, both with a strong army; while Pansa has collected large forces at Rome from the levy in Italy. Winter has at present prevented any movement. Hirtius seems likely to do nothing, as he tells me in frequent letters, without careful preparation. Except Bononia, Regium Lepidi, and Parma, we have the whole of Gaul devoted heart and soul to the constitution. clients the Transpadani we find attached to the cause with
Referring to M. Brutus having collected an army, occupied Greece, Macedonia, and Illyricum (App. B. C. iii. 79; Dio, 47, 21 sq.).
2 Modern Quaderna, on the Æmilian road between Forum Cornelium and Bononia (Bologna).
surprising unanimity. The senate, with the exception of the consulars, is most resolute, but of the consulars Lucius Cæsar alone is loyal and honest. By the death of Servius Sulpicius we have lost a great support. For the rest, some are inactive and some disloyal. A certain number are envious of the reputation of those whom they see to be held in honour in the Republic. But the unanimity of the Roman people and the whole of Italy is wonderful. This is pretty
well all which I wanted you to know. My present hope and prayer is that the sun of your valour may shine forth from those regions of the East.
DCCCXIX (F XII, II)
GAIUS CASSIUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)
TARICHEA (PALESTINE), 7 MARCH If you are well, I am glad. I and the army are well. I have to inform you that I went to Syria to join the imperators Lucius Murcus and Quintus Crispus. Those gallant gentlemen and excellent citizens, having heard what was going on at Rome, handed over their armies to me and are themselves now assisting me with the greatest gallantry in the public service. Also I have to report that the legion which was under the command of Quintus Cæcilius Bassus- has joined me, and that the four legions which Aulus Allienus led from Egypt have also been handed over to me. In these circumstances I do not think that you require urging to defend me in
my absence and the public interests, as far as in you lies. I wish you to know that neither you nor the senate are with
? The surviving consulars were in several cases those who had owed their
promotion to Cæsar. * See vol. iii., p. 335. Crispus and Murcus had been sent with proconsular_authority by Cæsar to put down Bassus. Allienus was a legatus of Trebonius (ir Phil. § 30). Cassius says nothing of the murder of Trebonius by Dolabella, but he must have known it by this time.
out trustworthy support to enable you to defend the constitution with the highest hopes and the firmest courage. Of the rest you will be informed by Lucius Carteius, my intimate friend. Good-bye.
7 March, in camp at Tarichea.
DCCCXX (F XII, 7)
TO GAIUS CASSIUS LONGINUS (IN SYRIA)
ROME (EARLY IN MARCH)
With what zeal I have defended your political position, both in the senate and before the people, I would rather you learnt from your family than from me: and my proposal would have been carried in the senate, had it not been for the strong opposition of Pansa.' After having made that proposal in the senate I was introduced to a public meeting by the tribune M. Servilius. I said what I could about you in a voice loud enough to fill the whole forum, and with such cheering and acclamation from the people, that I have never seen anything like it. Pray pardon me for acting in this against the wish of your mother-in-law. The lady is timid and was afraid of Pansa's feelings being hurt. In the public meeting in fact Pansa stated that your own mother also and your brother were against my making that motion. But I was not moved by these things. My mind was set on other objects. It was the Republic of which I was thinking, of which I have always thought, and of your position and glory. Now I hope that you will redeem the pledges which I gave both in senate and before the people at considerable length. For I promised and almost pledged myself that you had not waited and would not wait for any decrees of ours, but would
? The proposal of Calenus supported in the eleventh Philippic, delivered in the senate after the news of the murder of Trebonius, intrusting the war against Dolabella, already declared a public enemy, to Cassius. The contio on the same subject to which Cicero alludes, has not been preserved. They were delivered early in March.
Servilia, whose daughter Tertia was the wife of Cassius.
yourself defend the constitution in your own way. And although we have not yet had any intelligence either of where you are or what forces you have, yet I have made up my mind that all the resources and troops in that part of the world are in your hands, and feel confident that by your means the province of Asia has been already recovered for the Republic. Take care to surpass yourself in promoting your own glory. Good-bye.
DCCCXXI (F X, 31)
FROM C. ASINIUS POLLIO TO CICERO
CORDUBA, 16 MARCH
You ought not to think it at all surprising that I have written nothing to you on public affairs since war broke out. For the pass of the Castulonian Mountains, which has always delayed my letter-carriers, though it has now become still more dangerous from the increase of banditti, is yet by no means so grave a hindrance as the parties which, stationed at every available position at both ends, spy out my lettercarriers and detain them.' Accordingly, if I didn't get letters by sea, I should be entirely ignorant of what was going on at Rome. Now, however, having got an opportunity, since navigation has begun,' I shall write to you with the greatest eagerness and as frequently as I can. There is no danger of my being affected by the conversation of the man,' whom
1 It is not clear whom Pollio means. Lepidus was in possession of the northern province of Spain and of Narbonensis, and might intercept letters coming from the south for Italy that way, and letter-carriers starting from Rome might be stopped nearer the city by Antony or some of his followers.
Vegetius (Res Mil. v. 9) reckons the close season, during which ordinary navigation was suspended, as from 3rd November to 5th March. But see p. 287.
3 We cannot be sure who is meant. It is evidently some one with Pollio, and not Antony, as has been generally thought, and some one