Page images
PDF
EPUB

lic money.' I am sorry about Alexio : but since he had fallen into so painful a disease, I think he must be esteemed fortunate. Yet I should like to know whom he appointed heirs in the second reversion and the day for acceptance named in the will.

DCCXXX (A XV, 3)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

ARPINUM, 22 May

On the 22nd I received two letters from you at Arpinum, in which you answered two of mine. One was dated the 18th, the other the 21st. First, then, to the earlier of the two. Yes, do make an excursion to Tusculum, as you say, where I think I shall arrive on the 27th. You say we must yield to the victors. Not I indeed. There are many things I prefer to that. For as to the proceedings in the temple of Apollo in the consulship of Lentulus and Marcellus ? which you recall-neither the merits of the case nor the circumstances are the same, especially as you say that Marcellus and others are leaving town. So when we meet we must scent out the truth and make up our minds whether it is possible for us to stay at Rome with safety. The inhabitants of the new community cause me anxiety. For I am in a very embarrassing position. But all that is of small importance: I am treating more serious things than that with disdain.

I know all about Calva's will, a mean shabby fellow ! Thank you for attending to the auction of Demonicus. The

money in the temple of Ops, which Antony was appropriating, as well as Dolabella. See pp. 41, etc.

2 B.C. 49. The senate summoned all good citizens to come to town. Antony wished Cicero and others to come to the senate, and Atticus had quoted the precedent of B.C. 49.

3 Antony had made a colonia at Casilinum (see p. 38), which Cicero won't recognize as a colonia, and calls a conventus (2 Phil. § 102). Cicero does not wish to recognize them, and yet fears to irritate these veterans.

About (Manlius) - I wrote some time ago to Dolabella with the most minute care, if only my letter reached him. I am very anxious for his success and I am in duty bound to be so.

Now for the later of your two letters. I know all I want to know about Alexio. Hirtius is altogether devoted to you. I wish things were going worse with Antony than they are. About the younger Quintus, as you say, assez ! About his father I will discuss when we meet. Brutus I wish to assist in every way within my power. About his little speech-I see you think the same as I do. But I don't understand why you would have me compose one as though delivered by Brutus, when he has already published his own. How would that do, pray? Should my theme be-a tyrant most righteously put to death ? I shall have to say much, and write much, but in a different manner, and at another time. About Cæsar's chair, well done the tribunes !? Well done, too, the fourteen rows of knights! I am very glad Brutus has been staying at my house : : I only hope he was comfortable and stayed a good long time.

DCCXXXI (A xv, 4, $$ 1-4)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

ARPINUM, 24 May

On the 24th of May about four o'clock in the afternoon a letter-carrier arrived from Q. Fufius." He brought me some

i Calva and Demonicus are unknown. For Manlius the MSS. have malo. Some name must be supplied, and I have introduced the nearest. It may possibly refer to Aulus Manlius Torquatus, who, though allowed to return from exile, still had some claims for restitution unsatisfied, for which Cicero looked to Dolabella's aid. See vol. iii., p. 280.

? In his games Octavian wished the gilded chair and jewelled crown which had been voted to Iulius to be brought into the circus or theatre, but was prevented by the tribunes, L. Antonius among others (Dio, 45, 4). We must suppose that the equites applauded the tribunes.

3 That is, at Astura. See p. 40.
4 Q. Fufius Calenus, an old opponent (vol. i., p. 35).

sort of a note from him expressing a wish that I would restore my favour to him. It was very awkwardly expressed, as is his way: unless perchance the truth is that everything one doesn't like has the appearance of being awkwardly done. My answer was one which I think

you
will

approve. I will reply to your later and fuller letter first. Good! Why, if even Carfulenus does so—le déluge !' Antony's policy-as you describe it—is revolutionary, and I hope he will carry it out by popular vote rather than by decree of the senate! I think he will do so. But to my mind his whole policy seems to point to war, since the province ? is being wrested from Decimus Brutus. Whatever my estimate of the latter's resources, I do not think that this can be done without war. But I don't desire it, for the Buthrotians are being sufficiently secured as it is ! * Do you laugh? In good truth I am vexed that they do not rather owe it to my persistence, activity, and influence.

You say you don't know what our men are to do. Well, that difficulty has been troubling me all along. Accordingly, I was a fool, I now see, to be consoled by the Ides of March. The fact is, we shewed the courage of men, the prudence of children. The tree was felled, but not cut up by the roots. Accordingly, you see how it is sprouting up. Let us go back, then, to the Tusculan Arguments —since

[ocr errors]

ävw totažūv. Cicero, as usual, only gives a word or two of a wellknown passage to indicate it to Atticus. It is from the famous choric song in the Medea of Euripides (409) representing the reversal of all moral laws and notions :

άνω ποταμών ιερών χωρούσι παγαί, ,
και δίκα και πάντα πάλιν στρέφεται. .
“ Back to their founts the rivers roll
Their sacred streams : and in the soul
Confusions worse confounded reign,

Nor justice can her laws maintain."
Carfulenus, an officer in the Martia, had with it deserted from Antony.

2 That is, Gallia Cisalpina—which Antony was trying to get the senate to transfer to him. He eventually got it by a lex.

3 He suggests ironically that his only motive for wishing active measures to be taken against Antony was to secure the Buthrotians from the threatened colony.

The Tusculan Disputations (Ist Book) on death, and the reasons for not fearing it.

you often quote them. Let us keep Saufeius in the dark about you. I will never blab. You send me a message from Brutus asking on what day I am to arrive at Tusculum. On the 27th of May, as I wrote you word before. And then, in fact, I should like very much to see you as soon as possible. For I think I shall have to go to Lanuvium, and shan't get off without a great deal of talk. But I will see to it.

I now come back to your earlier letter. I will pass over the first clause about the Buthrotians, for

“That in my heart of hearts is fixed.” I only hope, as you say, we may have some opportunity of acting in the matter. You must be very keen about Brutus's speech, considering the length at which you discuss it again. Would you have me treat the subject after he has actually produced a written oration on it ? Am I to write without being asked by him? That would be putting one's oar in with a vengeance! Nothing could be ruder. But something, say you, in the style of Heracleides. Well, I don't decline that much: but it is necessary first to settle on a line of argument, and secondly to wait for a more suitable time for writing. For think what you will of me (though of course I should like you to think as well as possible), if things go on as they seem to be doing—you will not be vexed at my saying it-I feel no pleasure in the Ides of March. For Cæsar would never have come back : fear would not have forced us to confirm his acts. Or supposing me to join Saufeius's school and abandon the doctrines of the Tusculans, I was so high in his favour (whom may the gods confound though dead !) that to a man of my age he

1 That is, I won't tell Saufeius the Epicurean of your lapse from Epicureanism involved in adopting the doctrines of the Tusculan Disputations.

2 Where Brutus was. See p. 45.

3 Heracleides of Pontus, a pupil of Plato, who wrote on constitutions. See vol. i., p. 328.

4 Boot thinks that this means, “ Cæsar would not have come to life again in the person of Antony." But I agree with Tyrrell and Purser in understanding it to mean, "would never have come back from the Parthian war." Cæsar's health and spirits were perhaps failing. See pro Marc. $S 25, 32.

was not a master to be shunned, since the slaying of the master has not made us free men. I blush-believe me. But I have written the words, and will not erase them. I only wish it had been true about Menedemus. About the Queen I hope it may turn out to be true. The rest when we meet, and especially as to what our heroes are to do, and even what I am to do myself if Antony means to blockade the senate with soldiers. If I had given this letter to his letter-carrier I feared he would open it. So I send it with special care : for I was obliged to answer yours.

DCCXXXII (A XV, 4 b)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

ARPINUM, 24 MAY

How I wish that you could have accomplished your purpose for Brutus! I am accordingly writing to him. I am sending Tiro to Dolabella with a letter and a message.

Send for him to see you and write if you have anything you wish to say. But lo and behold a request from L. Cæsar is suddenly sprung on me to go to Nemus' to see him, or to write and tell him when I should wish him to come; because Brutus thinks he ought to have an interview with me. What a disagreeable and puzzling business! I think therefore that I shall go, and thence to Rome, unless I change my plans. At present I only write briefly to you, for I have not yet heard anything from Balbus. I am anxious therefore for a letter from you, and not telling me only of what has been done, but also what is going to happen.

i See p. 51.

2 Some rumour to the disadvantage of Cleopatra. See p. 43.

3 The Nemus Diana, mod. Aricia, near the lago de Nemi (see vol. ii.,, p. 245). L. Cæsar was Antony's uncle (2 Phil. § 14). He was consul B.C. 64.

« PreviousContinue »