Page images
PDF
EPUB

me that Quintus Cicero' has spoken to him in very strong terms, saying that he cannot put up with the present state of affairs : that he is resolved to go over to Brutus and Cassius. Of course I am now anxious to learn all about this: I am quite unable to explain its meaning. It may be that he is angry with Antony about something; it may be that he pow wants some new chance of distinguishing himself; it may be a mere passing fancy. And, indeed, it is doubtless that. All the same I am nervous about it and his father is quite upset. For he knows what he used to say about Antony: in fact he said to me what won't bear repetition. I cannot conceive what he has got in his head. I shall only have such commissions from Dolabella as I choose—that is, none at all. Tell me about Gaius Antonius—did he wish to be on the land-commission ? He was at any rate worthy of such a company.” As to Menedemus it is as you say. Pray keep me acquainted with everything.

DCCXLIX (A XV, 20)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

TUSCULUM, ABOUT 20 JUNE

I HAVE thanked Vettienus, for nothing could have been kinder. Let Dolabella give me any commissions he chooses, even to take a message to Nicias. For who, as you say, will care to ask questions? Or does anyone with

any sense in his head doubt that my departure is an act of despair,

1 The younger Quintus, Cicero's nephew.

2 The seven land-commissioners (for distributing land in Italy among the veterans) were Marcus and Gaius Antonius, Dolabella, Domitius of Apulia, P. Decius, Nucula, and Lento. Nucula was a mime-writer, Lento an actor (6 Phil. § 14; 8, § 26; 11, § 13). What Cicero thought of these land-commissions (septemviri for Italy, decemviri for extra-Italian land) may be seen in 2 Phil. $ 101.

3 Nicias of Cos was a grammarian (vol. ii., p. 221). Cicero means that as his legateship to Dolabella was a colourable one, Dolabella may as well give him some triding commissions to keep up appearances. 4 The text is corrupt.

اور

and not really a legation? You say that men are using certain extremist expressions about public affairs, and that too men of sound loyalty. Well, ever since I heard of his speaking of the tyrant in a public meeting as "that most illustrious man, I began to have qualms of doubt: but when along with you I saw our heroes at Lanuvium with no hope of life but what they received from Antony, I gave

it up for lost. And so, my dear Atticus, I would have you receive what I am going to say with the same courage as that with which I write it. Regarding the kind of death experienced by Catulus as shocking, and yet as in a manner already pronounced against us by Antony, I have resolved to escape from this net, not with a view to flight, but with a hope of a better sort of death. For this Brutus is entirely to blame. You say that Pompeius has been received at Carteia,' so we shall presently see an army sent against him. Which camp am I to join then ? For Antony makes neutrality impossible. The one is weak, the other criminal. Let us make haste therefore. But help me to make up my mind-Brundisium or Puteoli? Brutus for his part is starting somewhat suddenly, but wisely. I feel it a good deal, for when shall I see him again. But such is life. Even you cannot see him. Heaven confound that dead man for ever meddling with Buthrotum! But let us leave the past. Let us look to what there is to do.

The accounts of Eros, though I have not yet seen him personally, I yet know pretty thoroughly from his own letter and Tiro's report. You say that I must raise a fresh loan for five months, that is, till the ist of November, of 200 sestertia :: that on that day a certain sum of money falls in owed by Quintus. As Tiro tells me that you would not have me come to Rome on that business, please see, if it does not bore you too much, where to raise the money

and put it down to my account. That is what I see for the

2 See p. 19 (Att. xiv. 11), from whence it appears that Cicero did not hear the speech, but read it. Taking Madvig's quo Catulus usus est. Lutatiu

Catulus was put to death by Marius or forced to kill himself in B.C. 87. 3 Sextus Pompeius. Carteia is the modern St. Roch, near Gibraltar.

He saw him again in July at Antium and at Velia in August, but never after Brutus left Italy.

About £1,600.

2

[ocr errors]

present to be necessary. As to other details I will demand a stricter account from Eros himself-among other things as to the rents of the dower properties. If these are faithfully collected for the benefit of my son, though I wish him more liberally provided, yet he will have pretty well as much as he needs. And indeed I see that I shall want some journeymoney also. But my son will be paid from these properties as the money comes in. I, on the contrary, need a lump

The fact is that though that trembler at shadows appears to me to have his eye on massacre, I am nevertheless not going to budge unless the payment of the money is arranged But whether it has been arranged or not I shall learn when I see you. I thought this ought to be written by my own hand, and I have accordingly so written it. Yes, you are right about Fadius—not in any case to anyone else. Please answer this to-day.

2

sum.

DCCL (A XV, 21)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

TUSCULUM, 21 JUNE

Let me tell you this-Quintus the elder is jumping for joy. For his son has written to say that he desired to desert to Brutus, because, when Antony charged him to secure his being made dictator, and to seize some fort, he refused. He says also that he refused for fear of hurting his father's feelings: and that ever since Antony had been his enemy. “Thereupon," says he, "I pulled myself together for fear he should do you some injury. So I smoothed him down : and indeed got 400 sestertia from him in cash, and a promise of more." Statius, moreover, writes word that the young man

1 Certain houses at Rome which had belonged to Terentia and were retained to furnish her son's allowance. See p. 90.

Antony, who—as Cicero said before (p. 95)-was pretending to be afraid of Brutus and Cassius.

2

p. 73.

3 See

desires to share his father's house. This is a wonderful story, and my brother is in raptures with it. Did you ever know a greater fraud ??

You were both quite right to hesitate as to the affair of Canus.” I had had no suspicion about the deeds—I thought her dowry had been repayed in full. I shall look forward to hearing what you postpone mentioning in order to discuss it when we meet. Keep my letter-carriers as long as you like: for I know you are busy. As to Xeno—quite right! I will send you what I am writing when I have finished it." You told Quintus that you had sent him a letter : no one had brought one.

that
you

don't now approve of my going by Brundisium, and indeed that you say something about soldiers there. Well, I had already settled in my mind upon Hydruntum ;' for your saying that it was only a five hours' voyage had great weight with me. But to start from this side-what a weary voyage ! But I shall see. I have had no letter from you on the 21st. Naturally; for what is there new to say any longer? Therefore come as soon as you can.

I am in haste, lest Sextus Pompeius should get here first. They say he is on his way.

Tiro says

4

· The younger Quintus was, it seems, much given to romancing. See Letter DCVII (Att. xiii. 30); cp. pp. 78, 97. His present object seems to have been to get over his father, probably in view of money help. Antony revenged himself on him for his change of allegiance by putting him on the proscription list in B.Ç. 43.

? Apparently as to young Quintus marrying Cana, daughter of Q. Gellius Canus. See Letter DCLVIII. 3 Cana had divorced her previous husband.

Perhaps the de Amicitia. 5 Modern Otranto.

6 Sext. Pompeius was in command of a great fleet, and was dominating Southern Spain and Sicily. The senate was later on glad to acknowledge him as commander of the Roman fleet against Antony. Antony had proposed to restore him to his civil rights, and get about 5,000,000 sterling voted him as compensation for his father's property, but the negotiations had broken down, owing to his demands of a more complete restoration of property (see Letter DCCLXVIII ; Appian, B. C. iii

. 4). At present, therefore, his coming would be the beginning of a civil war which Cicero was dreading and hoped to get out of Italy in time to avoid it.

DCCLI (F Xvi, 23)

TO TIRO (AT ROME)

TUSCULUM (21 JUNE)

WELL, settle about the tax-return if you can : though this particular money is not properly liable to such a return. However—no matter! Balbus writes to say that he has such a violent catarrh that he has lost his voice. As to Antonius and his law-it's all one. Let them only leave me my country life. I have written to Bithynicus. I must leave you to make your own reflexions on Servilius 3_for you rather want to live to be an old man. As for me, our dear Atticus, having once noticed that I was in a panic, thinks that it is always so with me, and does not see with what a panoply of philosophy I am now armed. In fact he creates alarm by being frightened himself. After all I really do wish to keep up my friendship with Antony, which has now lasted a long time without a quarrel, and I will write to him, but not till I have seen you. Yet I don't want to call you off from looking after your bond-every man for himself !"

1

2

Probably a law of L. Antonius as to the assignment of land.

But we do not know.

Q. Pompeius Bithynicus had written to ask Cicero to look after his interests while he was in Sicily. See Letter DCXCVIII, p. 3.

3 P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus had just died at a very advanced age. “ You must make up your own mind,” says Cicero, "whether it is a blessing to have lived so long. I am not myself afraid of death, as Atticus thinks I am.” Servilius was consul B.C. 79—when he conquered the Isauræ, and was over eighty when he died. For a curious anecdote illustrating the respect in which he was held, see Dio, 45, 16.

4 Tiro had apparently written urging Cicero to make some advances to Antony. In truth there had been very early bitterness between them. (see vol. i., p. 378), with intervals of friendship (2 Phil. $ 49).

yov avuns, sc. čyylov, “the knee is nearer than the shin, 'charity begins at home” (Theocr. xv. 18). The proverb appears in various forms in Latin as: tunica proprior pallio (Plaut. Trin. v. 2, 30); proximus sum egomet mihi (Terence, Andr. 636); omnes sibi malle melius esse quam alteri (id. Andr. 427).

5

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »