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and will wish P. Clodius,' a boy of very great promise, to feel that you have not been inveterate to his father's friends. I beg you to suffer it to be seen that you quarrelled with his father on public grounds only. Of this family you can have no reason for thinking meanly. It is of course more to our honour, and more agreeable to our feelings, to give up quarrels undertaken on public grounds than those that are the result of personal prejudice. Let me then at once lead the youth to think and be convinced, while his mind is young and impressionable, that enmities are not to be transmitted to another generation. Although your fortunes, my dear Cicero, are now, I feel assured, removed from every danger, nevertheless I think you would prefer spend. ing a peaceful and honoured old age rather than one full of anxiety. Finally, I claim a right to ask this favour of you myself; for I have omitted nothing that I could do for your sake. But if I don't obtain it I shall not make this grant to Clodius as far as I am concerned, in order that you may understand what weight your authority has with me, and may on that account shew yourself all the more placable.
DCCXIV (A XIV, 13 b)
TO M. ANTONIUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 26 APRIL
The request you make to me by letter I have only one reason for wishing that you had made personally. For in that case you would have been able to perceive my affection for you not merely by my language, but from my "expression, eyes, and brow"--as the phrase goes. For while I have always loved you—incited thereto at first by your zeal in my service and then by your actual favours-so in these times the interests of the state have so recommended me to you, that there is no one whom I regard with warmer
Son of P. Clodius by Fulvia, whom Antony had married.
affection. Moreover, the very affectionate and compli mentary tone of your letter had such an effect upon me tha I felt as though I were not doing you a favour, but receiving one from you, when you qualified your request by ar assurance that you would not restore a personal enemy o mine, who was a friend of your own, if I did not wish it though you could have done so without any trouble. Oi course, my dear Antony, I give you my free consent, besides acknowledging that by expressing yourself as you have done you have treated me with the utmost liberality and courtesy. And while I should have thought it my duty to have granted what you ask without reserve, whatever the circumstances, I now grant it as a concession to my own feelings and inclination. For I never had a spark, I won't say of bitterness, in me, but even of sternness or severity beyond what the service of the state required. I may add that even against Clodius himself my exasperation has never been extravagant, and I have always held that the friends of my enemies were not proper objects for attack, especially those in a lower position of life. Nor ought we ourselves to be deprived of such supporters.
As for the boy Clodius, I think it is your duty to imbue what you call “his young and impressionable” mind with the conviction that no vindictive feelings remain between our families. I fought P. Clodius, since I was supporting the interests of the state, he his own. Upon the merits of our controversies the state has decided. If he were now alive, I should have had no cause of contention with him remaining. Wherefore, since you put this request to me with the reservation that you will not avail yourself of what is undoubtedly within your power against my wishes, please grant this to the boy also as a present from me, if
think it right. Not because a man of my age need suspect any danger from a boy of his, nor because a man in my position has reason to shrink from any controversy, but that we may be still more closely united than we have as yet been: for owing to the intervention of these feuds your heart has been more open to me than your house. But enough
1 An answer to Antony's veiled threat at the end of his letter as to “a quiet old age” (p. 23).
of_thisI will only add, that I shall always zealously do without hesitation whatever I think to be your wish and to your advantage.
DCCXV (A XIV, 13)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 26 APRIL
Your letter of the 19th did not reach me till the seventh day. In it you ask me (and even seem to think I can't answer) which of the two I like best—hills and a fine view or a walk along a flat coast. Well, it is quite true that, as you say, the charm of both spots is so great, that I can't make up my mind which is to be preferred.
" But 'tis no time to think of dainty fare,
We look and shudder-is it life or death ?" 2 For though you have sent me important and welcome news about Decimus Brutus having joined his legions, in which I see the promise of very great things. Nevertheless, if there is to be a civil war, as there is sure to be, if Sextus Pompeius is going to remain in arms—as I know for certain he will—what I am to do I am at loss to conceive. For it will not be allowable now, as it was in Cæsar's war, to go neither to the one nor to the other. For anyone that this party shall believe to have rejoiced at Cæsar's deathand we all of us shewed our joy in the most open way-they will consider in the light of a public enemy: and that means a formidable massacre. The only resource is to go
Antony quoted this letter in his speech in the Senate in answer to the first Philippic (September 19th). See 2 Phil. &S 7-10.
Homer, Il. ix. 228. It is no time-Cicero means—to be thinking about picturesque scenery in the midst of these troubles.
3 Decimus Brutus had been named to the government of Gallia Cisal. pina by Cæsar, and had gone there in spite of Antony's opposition, see p. 2. He had three legions there (App. B. C. iii. 6).
to the camp of Sextus Pompeius or perhaps to that of Brutus. It is a tiresome step and quite unsuitable to our time of life, considering the uncertainty of war, and somehow or another I can say to you and you to me:
“My son, the deeds of war are not for you :
Seek rather thou the witching works of”-speech.? But I will leave all this to chance, which in such matters is more powerful than design. For ourselves let us only take care-a thing which is within our power—that we bear whatever happens with courage and philosophy, remember that we are but mortal, and allow literature to console us much, but the Ides of March most of all.
Now join me in the deliberation which is distracting my mind, owing to the many conflicting arguments which occur to me on either side. Shall I start for Greece, as I had determined, with a libera legatio ? Thereby I seem to avoid a considerable risk of impending massacre, but to be likely to expose myself to some reproach for having deserted the state at such a grave crisis. If on the other hand I remain, I perceive that I shall be in danger indeed, but I suspect that an opportunity may occur of my being able to benefit the republic. There is also a consideration of a private nature, namely, that I think it of great importance for confirming my son in his good resolutions that I should go to Athens, and I had no other motive for my journey at the time when I contemplated accepting a libera legatio from Cæsar. Therefore pray take under your consideration the whole question, as you always do in anything which you
interests. Now I return to your letter. You say that there are rumours that I am about to sell my property on the Lake; ? while I am going to convey my bijou villa—and that at a fancy price—to my brother Quintus, for him to bring home, as young Quintus has told you, the rich heiress Aquilia. The real truth is that I have no thoughts of selling unless I find something that pleases me better; while Quintus has no idea of purchasing at this time. He is quite bothered enough by his obligation to repay the dowry. To marriage, moreover, he has such a distaste that he assures me that nothing can be pleasanter than a bed to oneself. But enough of that. I return to the downcast or rather to the non-existent republic. Marcus Antonius has written to me about the recall of Sextus Clodius—in what a complimentary manner, as far as I am concerned, you may see from his letter, for I am sending you a copy. But you will at the same time have no difficulty in recognizing the unprincipled and improper nature of his proposal, --so mischievous in fact that it sometimes makes one wish Cæsar back again. For measures which Cæsar would never have taken or sanctioned are now produced from his forged minutes. However, I made no difficulty about it to Antony: for of course, having once made up his mind that he may do what he chooses, he would have done it all the same if I had refused. So I inclose a copy of my letter also.
1 Homer, Il. v. 428. Cicero has substituted Xóyolo, “of speech,” for yápolo, “ of wedlock,” at the end of the second line.
2 The Lucrine lake.
DCCXVI (A XIV, 14)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 27 APRIL
“Oh tell me o'er your tale again. Our nephew Quintus at the Parilia wearing a garland ? Was he alone? You certainly mention Lamia also, which does utterly astonish me, but I am eager to know who the others were: although I am quite sure that there was no one that wasn't a traitor. Please therefore make this clearer. For myself, it chanced that I had just despatched a fairly long letter to you on the 26th, when about three hours later I received yours, which was also very bulky. So I needn't write to tell you that I
? Quintus Cicero had recently divorced Pomponia. 2 This quotation, expressing horrified incredulity, is from the Iliona of Pacuvius (Ribbeck, 202). Cicero twice elsewhere employs it, Acad. drior. ii. 8 88; Tusc, ii. § 44.
3 See DCCXXII. The Parilia were on the 21st of April.