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collected into Antony's quarters.' It must certainly be a mere panic rumour; for you would have written to tell me about it. Balbus's man Corumbus has not as yet put in an appearance. I know him by name very well; for he is said to be a skilful architect. The motive of inviting you to witness the sealing of wills is, I think, evident: they want me to think that the disposition of their property is of this kind. I don't know why they should not be sincere as well. But what does it matter to me? However, try and get scent of what Antony's disposition is. Yet I am inclined to think that he is more occupied with his banquets than with any mischievous designs. If you have any news of practical importance, write and tell me: if not, at any rate tell me whom the people cheered in the theatre and the latest bons mots of the mimes. Love to Pilia and Attica.
DCCIII (A XIV, 4)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
LANUVIUM (10 APRIL)
WHAT news do you suppose I get now at Lanuvium? But I suspect that at Rome you hear something fresh every day. Matters are coming to a crisis : for when Matius talks like that, what do you think the rest will do? My vexation is that—as never happened before in any free state—the constitution has not been recovered along with liberty. It makes one shudder to hear their talk and their threats. Moreover, I am afraid of a rising in Gaul also, as well as of the line Sextus Pompeius may take. But come one, come all, the Ides of March console me. Moreover, our "heroes,' as far as anything decisive could be accomplished by their
Antony, who had been voted a body-guard after the assassination of Cæsar, had continually added to its number till he had an army of about 6,000 men in or just outside Rome (App. B. C. jii. 5 ; 2 Phil. $ 108).
I think this must refer to some definite persons mentioned by Atticus, who had some reason to wish to stand well with Cicero (see p. 29).
unaided efforts, accomplished it in the most glorious and most magnificent manner. The rest requires material resources and troops, neither of which we possess. So far I am giving you information : it is your turn now to send me promptly
anything fresh that occurs—for I expect something every day—and if there is nothing fresh, nevertheless let us keep up our habit of allowing no break in our interchange of notes. I certainly will allow none.
DCCIV (A XIV, 5)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA (11 APRIL)
I HOPE you are now as well as I could wish-for you were fasting owing to a slight indisposition : still, I should like to know how you are. Among good signs is Calvena's annoyance at being an object of suspicion to Brutus. It will be a bad symptom if the legions come from Gaul with their ensigns. What think you as to those that were already in Spain—won't they make the same demands ? As also those that Annius has taken across thither? I didn't mean Annius, I meant to say C. Asinius. It was a slip of memory A fine embroglio the Gamblerhas brought about! For that conspiracy of Cæsar's freedmen would have been easily put down, if Antony had had his wits about him. How foolishly scrupulous I was not to accept a free legation before the vacation! I didn't wish to appear to shirk this ferment: for if it had been possible for me to remedy it, I should certainly have been bound to stick to my post. But you see what sort of magistrates we have—if magistrates they are to be called. You see, after all, the tyrant's hangers-on in enjoyment of imperium, you see his armies, his veterans on our flank! All these are materials easily fanned into a flame. While the men who ought not merely to be hedged round, but to be protected by the watchful care of all the world, you see merely made the objects of commendation and affection, but confined within the walls of their houses. Yet they—whatever their position—are happy. It is the state that is wretched.
1 We have heard once or twice before of some illnesses of Atticus, but Nepos says that he had no occasion for medicine for thirty years of his life. He seems, however, to have had a tendency to stomach disorders which he treated by fasting (Nep. Att. 21, 22).
2 That is, C. Asinius Pollio, now governor of Hispania Ulterior.
3 Aleatore. Cicero makes a good deal of Antony's gambling propensities in 2 Phil. $$ 35, 67. But the reading is doubtful. Mueller reads balneatore, in which case it may refer to the pseudo-Marius, the leader in these disorders (see vol. iii., p. 256). They took the form of mass meetings round the column and altar set up by this man to mark the spot where Cæsar's body was buried. Eventually Dolabella pulled it down and executed some of the most violent of the rioters (i Phil. 85; 2 Phil. § 107 ; infra, pp. 12, 13).
But I should like to know something about the arrival of Octavius. Is there a great flocking to visit him, any suspicion of a coup on his part? I don't expect it myself: still I should like to know the truth whatever it is.
I write this to you on the point of starting from Astura, IIth of April.
DCCV (A XIV, 6)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
FUNDI, 12 APRIL
On the 12th I received your letter at Fundi while at dinner. First-you are better : second-you give better news. For that was a disquieting report about the legions coming. As for Octavius, it is of no consequence. I want to hear about Marius :1 I thought he had been got rid of by Cæsar. Antony's conversation with our "heroes” is not unsatisfactory in the circumstances. But after all the only thing so far that gives me any pleasure is the Ides of March. For as I am at Fundi with my friend Ligur, I am vexed to the heart that the estate of a Sextilius is in the hands of a rascally Curtilius.? And in mentioning that instance I include a whole class of similar cases. For what can be more contemptible than that we should maintain the measures which caused us to detest him ? Are we also to have the consuls and tribunes which he chooses for the next two years ? I see no possibility of my taking part in the administration of affairs. For could there be a more flagrant solecism than that the tyrannicides should be exalted to the skies, the tyrant's administrative acts defended ? But you see what sort of consuls and other magistrates we have—if they are to be called magistrates! You see the indifference of the loyalists. In the municipal towns they are jumping for joy. In fact I can't describe to you how rejoiced they are, how they flock to see me, how eager they are to hear me speak on the state of the Republic. Meanwhile, however, we can get no decrees out of the senate. The result of our policy is that we stand in awe of the conquered party. I write this to you after the dessert has been put on the table. More another time, and more exclusively political. Mind you let me know how you are and what is going on.
1 C. Octavius (the future Augustus) was at Apollonia in Epirus when the letter from his mother informed him of his great-uncle's death. The legions in the neighbourhood, that had wintered there to be ready for Caesar's expedition against the Getæ, offered him their support. But he refused it and started for Italy with his friends. Cicero seems to think that he was already in Rome, but he did not go there for some weeks. He went to his mother and stepfather's villa near Cumæ, where he now is and where Cicero a little later met him. Cicero still calls him Octavius-not Octavianus-an indication that he was not (as some have
maintained) adopted in his uncle's lifetime. After adoption his name is Gaius Iulius Cæsar Octavianus.
1 The impostor or pseudo-Marius, of whom see ante, p. 9 ; vol. iii., P. 256.
· Land granted by Cæsar to his freedman Curtilius. Cæsar placed his veterans in Campania with allotments of land.
DCCVI (A XIV, 7)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
FORMIÆ, 15 APRIL
On the 14th I saw Paullus at Caieta. He told me some really odious stories about Marius,' and the state of the Republic. From you of course I have nothing, for none of my letter-carriers have arrived. But I hear that our friend Brutus has been seen near Lanuvium. Where in the world is he going to be? For I want to know all about this, as well as everything else. I write this at the moment of leaving my Formian villa on the 15th, intending to be at Puteoli the next day.
I have had a very well written and pretty long letter from my son. Other things may be put on, but the classic style of his letter shews that he is improving in scholarship. Now I beg you earnestly—a point on which I recently spoke to you—to see that he is not in want of anything. That is a duty on my part, and also concerns my reputation and position: which I perceive is your opinion also. Of course if I go to Greece in July, as is my present intention, everything will be easier ; but as the present state of affairs makes it impossible to be sure of what is consistent with my honour, or within my power, or to my interest to do, pray make it your business to see that we give him an allowance on the most honourable and liberal scale. Pray, as usual, think over these or other matters of importance to me, and write and tell me anything that concerns me, or, if there is nothing, then anything that comes into your head.
1 The riots round the column raised in honour of Cæsar by the false Marius. See pp. 9, 11, 13, etc.