Page images

them I cannot endure, and accordingly I am thinking of wandering away "from land to land." Your land,' however, is too much in the eye of the wind.

Is your sickness quite gone by this time? I rather judged so from the tone of your letter.

I return to the case of the veterans—your Tebassi, Scævæ, and Frangones. Do you suppose these men feel any confidence in retaining their grants so long as our party have any footing in the state? They have found it possessed of more resolution than they expected. They, I presume, are devoted to the cause of public tranquillity rather than supporters of robbery! But when I wrote to you about Curtilius and the estate of Sextilius, I must be understood to have included Censorinus, Messalla, Plancus, Postumus," and the whole lot. It had been better to have risked destruction:which would never have befallen us- —when Cæsar was killed, rather than to have lived to see this sort of thing.

Octavius arrived at Naples on the 18th of April. There Balbus called on him early next day, and on the same day came to see me at Cumæ, with the information that he intended to accept the inheritance, but that, as you say, there will be a fine scrimmage with Antony. Your business about Buthrotum is receiving, as it is bound to do, and will continue to receive my attention. You ask me whether Cluvius's legacy is reaching one hundred sestertia yet. It seems to be approaching that. At least I made eighty the

first year.


My brother Quintus writes to me with heavy complaints of his son, chiefly because he is now taking his mother's

Epirus. He seems to mean that it is too easy of access to his enemies. He must go farther.

? All men enriched in various ways by Cæsar's confiscations. For Sextilius see p. II.

3 That is, by taking strong measures. This seems the only meaning possible if the MS. reading, quod nunquam accidisset, is retained, but I doubt whether the meaning is to be got out of the Latin. It would be at any rate much more intelligible if we read with Gronovius, quod utinam accidisset. What Cicero really wrote is of course the questionand of this MSS. are the best though not the certain guides.

4 His stepfather Philippus had advised him not to accept the inheritance and adoption (Nicol. Dam. 18).

5 The saving the Buthrotians from confiscation of land for the colony of Cæsar's veterans sent there. See pp. 19, 20, etc.

part, whereas in old times when she was kind to him he was on bad terms with her. He sent me a very hot letter against him. If you know what the young man is doing, and have not yet left Rome, I wish you would write me word, and, by Hercules, on any other matter besides. I find great pleasure in your letters.




[ocr errors]


The day before yesterday I sent you a fairly long letter. Now I will answer your last. I only wish to heaven Brutus would stay at Astura. You mention the “intemperance the Cæsarians. Did you expect anything else? For my part, I look for worse things. For when I read his speech “Concerning so great a man," “ Concerning a most illustrious citizen,” I can scarcely contain myself; yet all that sort of thing is now really ludicrous. But remember this : the habit of delivering unprincipled speeches is being fostered to such a pitch that our—I won't say heroes-our gods, while sure of eternal glory, will yet not escape prejudice or even danger. They, however, have a great consolation in the consciousness of a most magnificent and noble deed : what consolation is there for us, who, though the tyrant is slain, are not free? But let fortune look to this, since reason is not at the helm. What you say about my son is very gratifying—God bless him ! I am exceedingly obliged to you for arranging that he should have an allowance ample for the amenities as well as the necessaries of life; and I emphatically beg you to continue to do so. About the Buthrotians your idea is quite right. I am not losing sight of that affair. I will undertake to plead the entire case, and I perceive that it daily grows simpler. As to the Cluvian inheritance, since in

åkolaolav. Cicero is no doubt quoting the exact word used by Atticus.

all business of mine you even surpass me in interest-I may tell you that the total is approaching one hundred sestertia. The fall of the houses did not depreciate the value of the property: I am not sure that it didn't increase it. I have here with me Balbus, Hirtius, and Pansa. Octavius has lately arrived at the next villa to mine, that of Philippus.? He is quite devoted to me. Spinther is staying with me today: he goes early to-morrow.




Ay, my dear Atticus, I fear the Ides of March have brought us nothing beyond exultation, and the satisfaction of our anger and resentment. What news reaches me from Rome ! What things are going on here under my eyes! Yes, it was a fine piece of work, but inconclusive after all! You know how fond I am of the Sicilians, and what an honour I consider it to be their patron. Cæsar granted them many privileges with my full approval, though their having the ius Latinum was intolerable; yet, after all

But look at Antony! For an enormous bribe he has put up a law-alleged to have been carried at the comitia by the dictator, granting the Sicilians full Roman citizenship; though while he was alive there was never a word said about it. Again : take the case of my client Deiotarus, isn't it exactly parallel? He, of course, deserved any kingdom you please, but not through Fulvia. There are hundreds of

1 See p. 15.

% The stepfather of Octavius. It was the policy of Octavius for the present to feign devotion to the boni as a protection against Antony. He presently made them see what his real feeling to them was, though he sincerely admired and liked Cicero.

3 Deiotarus of Galatia, whom Cicero had defended before Cæsar, was restored by Antony to the possession of lesser Armenia-who alleged a minute of Cæsar's; but really, Cicero says, because Deiotarus had bribed similar cases.

However, I come back to this : shall I not be able to maintain in some degree the case of Buthrotium, a case so clear, so fully supported by witnesses, and so intrinsically just ?? And indeed all the more so that Antony is being so lavish in his grants ? Octavius here treats me with great respect and friendliness. His own people addressed him as “Cæsar," but Philippus did not, so I did not do so either. I declare that it is impossible for him to be a good citizen.' He is surrounded by such a number of people, who even threaten our friends with death. He says the present state of things is unendurable. But what do you think of it, when a boy like that goes to Rome, where our liberators cannot be in safety. They indeed will always be illustrious, and even happy, from the consciousness of their great deed. But for us, unless I am mistaken, we shall be ruined. Therefore I long to leave the country and go “Where of the Pelopidæ,” etc. I don't like even these consuls-designate, who have actually forced me to give them some declamations, to prevent my having any rest even at the seaside. But that's what I get by being too good-natured. For in old times declamation was in a Fulvia. In 2 Phil. & 93 Cicero says that Deiotarus repossessed himself of his dominions by force on hearing of Cæsar's death, and will therefore demur to paying the sum agreed upon by his agents.

Cicero's objection to the citizenship of the Sicilians is the loss of revenue, for they would no longer pay tributum (2 Phil. $ 92).

Cicero means that Cæsar had promised to revoke the confiscation of lands in the territory of Buthrotum, and this promise—besides being just-can be testified to by many. If Antony carries out his measures on pretended minutes of Cæsar, surely this genuine one ought to hold good.

Being adopted in Cæsar's will the future Augustus was now properly Gaius Iulius Cæsar Octavianus (the adjectival form of his original name, as usual). But this adoption required a formal confirmation by a lex curiata—which Antony managed to postpone till August B.C. 43. Meanwhile his friends gave him by courtesy the name which he was entitled to claim, but to which he had not yet technically a full right. We shall find Cicero calling him Octavianus by-and-by, but not "Cæsar” till it became necessary to compliment him.

Reading bonum civem esse. By omitting esse Cicero is made to say that no good citizen could call him “Cæsar," as it would be acknowledging the adoption. This seems to me much too strong. Cicero had consented to the confirmation of Cæsar's public acta, surely it would be unreasonable to reject the disposition of his private property. 4 See vol. iii., p. 100.

5 Pansa and Hirtius.

[ocr errors]



manner a necessity of my existence: now, however things turn out, it is not so. For what a long time now have I had nothing to write to you about! Yet I do write, not to give you any pleasure by this letter, but to extract one from you. Pray write on every sort of thing, but anyhow about Brutus, whatever there is to say. I write this on the 22nd of April, while dining with Vestorius, a man who has no idea of philosophy, but is well versed in figures.





I was prevented by my engagements, and by your own sudden departure from town, from mentioning to you a request by word of mouth, which I fear will have less weight in your eyes owing to its not being personally presented. But if your liberality answers to the opinion which I have always entertained of you I shall rejoice. I asked Cæsar for the restoration of Sextus Clodius. I obtained my request. It was in my mind even at the time only to avail myself of the favour if you did not object. I am therefore the more anxious to be allowed to do it now with your acquiescence. But if you shew yourself sternly inclined towards his distressing and ruinous position, I will not contest the matter with you ; though I consider myself bound to carry out a minute of Cæsar's. But, by Hercules, if you are inclined to take a large-hearted philosophical and kindly view of my proceedings, you will certainly shew your good nature

1 Vestorius was a banker of Puteoli, osten mentioned in the letters. For writing letters at the dinner table, see p. II; vol. iii., p. 102.

? A scriba and hanger-on of Publius Clodius, called Athenio in vol. i., p. 99. He had been acquitted on a charge of vis by a narrow majority in B.C. 56 (vol. i., P: 221), but was condemned in B.C. 52 on account of the riots following the death of his patron and the burning of the Curia (pro Mil. $ 90 ; Asconius, $ 55).

« PreviousContinue »