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DCCXLIV (A XV, 16 b)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA (12 JUNE)
I TELL you what ! this is a lovely place—retired at any rate and, if you want to write anything, free from anyone to spy
But somehow or other “home is sweet”: and my feet draw me back to Tusculum. And after all one seems very soon likely to have enough of the somewhat artificial charms of this pretty coast. I am also for my part afraid of rain, if our prognostics are true; for the frogs are loudly “discoursing.” Please let me know where and on what day I can see Brutus.
DCCXLV (A XV, 15)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA, 13 JUNE
CONFOUND Lucius Antonius, if he makes himself troublesome to the Buthrotians! I have drawn out a deposition which shall be signed and sealed whenever you please. As for the money of the Arpinates, if the ædile' L. Fadius asks for it, pay him back every farthing. In a previous letter I mentioned to you a sum of 110 sestertia to be paid to Statius. If, then, Fadius applies for the money, I wish it paid to him, and to no one except Fadius. I think that amount was put into my hands, and I have written to Eros to produce it.
I can't stand the Queen: and the voucher for her promises, Hammonius, knows that I have good cause for saying
1 Chief magistrate of Arpinum. See vol. iii., p. 63 (Fam. xiii. 11).
so. What she promised, indeed, were all things of the learned sort and suitable to my character—such as I could avow even in a public meeting. As for Sara, besides find ing him to be an unprincipled rascal, I also found him inclined to give himself airs to me. I only saw him once at my house. And when I asked him politely what I could do for him, he said that he had come in hopes of finding Atticus.” The Queen's insolence, too, when she was living in Cæsar's trans-Tiberine villa, I cannot recall without a pang. I won't have anything to do therefore with that lot. They think not so much that I have no spirit, as that I have scarcely any proper pride at all. My leaving Italy is hindered by Eros's way of doing business. For whereas from the balances struck by him on the 5th of April I ought to be well off, I am obliged to borrow, while the receipts from those paying properties of mine I think have been put aside for building the hrine. But I have charged Ti to see to all this, whom I am sending to Rome for the express purpose.
I did not wish to add to your existing embarrassments. The steadier the conduct of my son, the more I am vexed at his being hampered. For he never mentioned the subject to me—the first person to whom he should have done so. But he said in a letter to Tiro that he had received nothing since the ist of April—for that was the end of his financial year. Now I know that your own kind feeling always caused you to be of opinion that he ought to be treated not only with liberality, but with splendour and generosity, and that you also considered that to be due to my position. Wherefore pray see—I would not have troubled you if I could have done it through anyone else—that he has a bill of exchange at Athens for his year's allowance. you the money. I am sending Tiro on that business. Pray therefore see to it, and write and tell me any idea you may have on the subject.
Eros will pay
Probably books. Cicero once before jestingly said that he could take a present of books without breaking the law. See vol. i., p. 60.
* The implied discourtesy seems to consist in Sara's professing to be at Cicero's levée for the sake of seeing some one else, not Cicero himself.
3 In memory of Tullia (see vol. iii., p. 206, sq.). The design has not been mentioned for a long time now, but apparently had not yet definitely been abandoned.
DCCXLVI (A XV, 17)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA, 14 JUNE
I RECEIVED two letters on the 14th, one dated the same day, the other the day before. First, then, to the earlier Yes, tell me about Brutus when you know.
I am informed about the pretended terror of the consuls. For Sicca had—with loyal warmth indeed, but somewhat confusedly—already informed me of that suspicion also. Well, what is your opinion? Is it, “Never refuse a good offer”?3 For I haven't a word from Siregius. I don't like it. I am very much annoyed that anyone was informed about your neighbour Plætorius before myself. As to Syrus, you acted with wisdom. You will, I think, have no difficulty in keeping Lucius Antonius off by means of his brother. I told you not to pay Antro, but you had not received my letter telling you not to pay anyone but L. Fadius." I am not at all
angry with Arabio about Sittius. I don't think of starting on my journey unless my accounts are all square, and I think you agree with me in that. So much for your earlier letter.
Now for the other. It is like your usual kindness to serve 1 Their pretence of being afraid of some violence on the part of Brutus and Cassius.
2 Unless this refers to the previous clause we have no means of knowing what suspicion he means. For Sicca, see vol. i., p. 142 ; vol. ii., p. 275.
3 See vol. ii., p. 18ο: τα μεν διδόμενα, sc. δέχoυ.
refer to the recall of M. Plætorius Cestianus. He had been condemned in B.C. 51 (vol. ii., p. 89).
• L. Antonius, as tribune, seems to have threatened to stop the measure of relief for the Buthrotians. See p. 73.
? See last letter. Antro was a freedman.
8 P. Sittius of Nuceria was an old friend of Cicero's; but we don't know what is referred to here.
It is uncertain what A means (perhaps Noiry, " balance "). See
Servilia, that is, Brutus. As to the Queen I am glad you don't feel anxious, and that you accept the evidence. For the accounts furnished by Eros, I have both gone into them myself and have summoned him to come to me. I am exceedingly obliged by your promise to furnish my son with what is needful. Messalla,' on his way from Lanuvium, called on me; he had just come from Athens and gave me a wonderfully good report of him. And upon my word his own letter was so affectionate and well-written, that I shouldn't shrink from reading it before company: which makes me all the more desirous of indulging him. I don't think Sestius is annoyed about Bucilianus. When Tiro once gets back I think of going to Tusculum. Pray write at once and tell me anything I ought to know.
DCCXLVII (A XV, 18)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
THOUGH I think I told you sufficiently fully what I needed and what I wanted you to do, if it was convenient to you, nevertheless, having started on the 15th, and while on board the boat in the lake, I came to the conclusion that I must send Tiro to you, that he might take part in the business affairs now in progress. I am also writing to Dolabella telling him that if he has no objection I wished to start, and asking him for an order for sumpter mules for the journey. Considering the circumstances—for I quite understand that, what with
1 M. Valerius Messalla, who had been with young Cicero at Athens. See vol. iii., p. 225.
2 Bucilianus and his brother Cæcilius were induced by Brutus to join the assassins (App. B. C. ii. 113, 117). He accompanied Brutus to Macedonia (see p. 104). What had occurred about him now we cannot tell.
3 As legatus of a proconsul Cicero would have the right to the services of some public mules or horses.
the Buthrotians and what with Brutus, you are distracted with business, while I suspect that the trouble and even the superintendence of the latter's costly games falls to a great extent on you—well, as far as circumstances will admit, give me some little of your services : for I don't want much. In my opinion the state of affairs points to bloodshed, and that at a near date. You see what the men are, you see how they are arming. I really don't think I am safe. But if you think otherwise, I should like you to write to me. For I should much prefer staying at home if I can do so safely.
DCCXLVIII (A XV, 19)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
TUSCULUM, AFTER 16 JUNE
What need is there for any farther venture on behalf of the Buthrotians ? I ask, because you remark that all your trouble has been thrown away. Why again is Brutus returning? I am grieved, on my honour, that you have been so distracted. You have to thank those ten land-commissioner fellows for that.” Yes, that was a tough piece of business, but it had to be borne, and I am exceedingly obliged to you. As to taking up arms—I never saw anything more patent. So let me be off, as you say. I don't know what Theophanes: wants with an interview : he has already written to me, and I answered him as best I could. However, he writes to say that he wants to call on me, to discuss some business of his own and certain matters affecting myself. I am anxious for a letter from you. Pray take care that nothing rash is done. Statius has written to tell
1 Referring again to the increasing bodyguard enlisted by Antony from the flower of the veterani. See p. 8, etc.
The decemviri or land-commissioners for distributing extra-Italian land.
3 Theophanes of Mitylene, who had been Pompey's secretary and friend (vol. i., p. 90).