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to Attica you have done me a great kindness in seeing that I knew of her recovery before I knew that she had been unwell.
DCCXIX (A XIV, 17 a AND F IX, 14)
TO P. CORNELIUS DOLABELLA
POMPEII, 3 MAY
THOUGH I am quite content, my dear Dolabella, with the glory you have earned, and feel it to be a source of great exultation and pleasure, yet I cannot help confessing that it adds a finishing stroke to my joy that popular opinion associates my name with your praises. I meet a great many people every day, for large numbers of men of rank are collected in this district for their health, besides a goodly crowd of friends of mine from the country towns. Well, I have met none who did not with one consent praise you to the skies, adding in the same breath a very warm expression of thanks to me. For they say that they have no doubt that it is in obedience to my precepts and advice that you are shewing yourself to be a most eminent citizen and brilliant consul. Though I can answer such men with the most absolute truth that what you are doing you do on your own judgment and your own initiative, and do not need any man's advice, yet I neither admit outright the truth of their remark, lest I should detract from your glory by making it seem to have sprung entirely from my advice, nor do I deny it entirely either. For I am even too covetous of honour. And, after all, it is no disparagement to your dignity—as it was not to that of Agamemnon himself the “king of kings"_to have some Nestor to assist you in forming your plans. Whereas it redounds to my glory that as still a young man you should have a brilliant reputation as a consul while being, so to speak, a pupil of my school.
? That is, below the statutable age for the consulship. Dolabella was only about twenty-five. * See vol. iii., p. 93, for Dolabella's study of rhetoric under Cicero.
Lucius Cæsar, for instance, when I visited him on his sick bed at Naples, though racked with pains all over his body, scarcely got the formal words of greeting out of his mouth before he exclaimed : “Oh my dear Cicero, I congratulate you on having an influence with Dolabella, such as if I had had with my sister's son,' we might now have been safe. Your Dolabella indeed I both congratulate and thank-for he is the only man since your consulship that I
truth call a consul.” Then he proceeded to say a great deal about the occurrence, and how you had managed the affair, declaring that no more splendid and brilliant act had ever been done, nor one more beneficial to the state. And this was the observation of everyone.
Now, I beg of you to allow me to accept this quasiinheritance, so to speak, of another man's glory, and to permit me to some extent to be a sharer in your reputation. However, my dear Dolabella-for this is only my jokeit would give me greater pleasure to divert the full stream of my glories, if I may be said to have any, upon you, than to draw off any part of yours.
For while I have always had the warm attachment to you which you have had every opportunity of appreciating, by your recent acts I have been so inflamed that nothing can exceed the ardour of my attachment. For there is nothing, believe me, fairer, more beautiful, or more attractive than virtue. I have always, as you know, loved Marcus Brutus for his eminent ability, his very agreeable manners,' and unequalled honesty and consistency. Nevertheless, on the Ides of March my affection was so much enhanced, that I was surprised to find an addition possible in what I had looked upon as having long ago reached its height. Who could have thought that any addition was possible to my affection for you? Yet so great an addition has been made that I seem to myself never to have loved before, only to have liked. Wherefore what need to exhort you to support your position and reputation ? Shall I quote to you the examples of illustrious men, as people usually do when exhorting another.
'L. Cæsar's sister Iulia married first' Antonius Creticus, by whom she was the mother of Marcus Antonius, and secondly Lentulus, the Catilinarian conspirator (2 Phil. § 14).
See, however, vol. ii., p. 137.
I have none to quote more illustrious than yourself. You must imitate yourself, vie with yourself. It is not even admissible after such great achievements for you to fail to be like yourself.
This being so, exhortation is superfluous. What is called for is rather congratulation. For it has been your good fortune
as I think it has never been anyone else's—to inflict the most severe punishment, not only without exciting ill feeling, but with full popular approval, and to the greatest and most universal satisfaction of aristocrat and plebeian alike. If this were merely a stroke of luck in your case I should have congratulated your good fortune; but it is in fact the result of a certain largeness of spirit, ability, and prudence. For I read your speech. It was wisdom itself. So well did you feel your way in first approaching and then avoiding the points of the case, that by universal consent the time for striking the blow seemed naturally to arise from the facts. So you have freed the city from danger and the state from terrorism, and not only done a useful service in view of the present emergency, but have set a precedent. Wherefore you ought to understand that the constitution depends on you, and that you are bound not only to protect, but to honour the men who laid the foundation of liberty. But of such matters at greater length when we meet, which I hope will be soon. For you, my dear Dolabella, since you are preserving the Republic and us, take care to guard your own life with every possible precaution.
Surely party spirit never so perverted a great man as when it induced Cicero to write these words to a dissolute young scoundrel like Dolabella; and in praise of an act of wholly unconstitutional cruelty. Even the unhappy boys hanged after the Gordon riots were allowed some form of trial.
DCCXX (F XII, 1)
TO GAIUS CASSIUS LONGINUS (AT ANTIUM)
POMPEII, 3 May.
BELIEVE me, Cassius, I never cease thinking about you
and our dear Brutus, that is, about the entire Republic, all hope for which depends on you two and Decimus Brutus. That hope indeed I now myself feel to be improved owing to the very splendid administration of my dear Dolabella. For that mischief in the city was gradually extending and becoming day by day so confirmed, that I felt uneasy both for the city and the peace in it. But that mutiny has now been put down in such a way that I think we shall be secured for all time, at any rate from that most degrading of dangers. Things still remaining to be done are both important and numerous; but they all rest with you three. However, let me expound each in its turn. Well then, as far as we have gone as yet, we seem not to have been freed from a tyranny -only from a tyrant : for though the tyrant has been killed, we obey his every nod. And not only so, but measures which he himself, had he been alive, would not have taken, we allow to pass on the plea that they were meditated by him. And to this indeed I see no limit: decrees are fastened up; immunities are granted; immense sums of money are squandered ;' exiles are being recalled ; forged decrees of the senate are being entered in the ærarium. Surely then nothing has been accomplished except to dispel the indignation at our slavery and the resentment against an unprincipled man: the Republic still lies involved in the confusions into which he brought it. These are all questions demanding your solution; and you must not think that the Republic has had all it can claim from you three. It has had indeed more than it ever occurred to me to desire, but it is not content yet. Its demands are great in
1 For these accusations against Antony, see 2 Phil. $$ 93-98.
proportion to the greatness of your spirits and of your services. Up to the present it has avenged its injuries by the death of the tyrant through your hands : nothing more. Which of its dignities has it recovered ? Is it that it now obeys the man in his grave whom it could not endure in his life-time? Do we support the rough drafts of a man, whose laws we ought to have torn down from the walls ? “But”you will say—“we so decreed in the senate.” 1 Yes, we did so as a concession to the exigencies of the time, which have always been of decisive importance in politics. But they are abusing our concession without moderation or gratitude. However, of this and much else before long when we meet. Meanwhile, I would have you feel fully persuaded that, both for the sake of the Republic—always the object of my greatest devotion-and for the sake of our mutual affection, your position in the state is the object of the greatest importance in my eyes. Take great care of your health.
DCCXXI (A XIV, 17)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
POMPEII, 3 MAY
I ARRIVED at my Pompeian villa on the 3rd of May, having on the day before—as I wrote to tell you—established Pilia in my villa at Cumæ. There, as I was at dinner, the letter was put into my hands which you had delivered to your freedman Demetrius on the 30th of April. It contained much that was wise ; still, as you remarked yourself, you had to allow that every plan depended entirely on fortune. Therefore on these matters we will consult on the spot and when we meet. As to the Buthrotian business, I wish to heaven I could have an interview with Antony ! I am sure I should effect a great deal. But people think he won't budge from Capua, whither I fear he has gone for a
? At the meeting of the senate on the 17th of March, when Cæsar's acta were confirmed, See p. 17.