Page images
PDF
EPUB

DCCLVIII (F VII, 22)

TO C. TREBATIUS TESTA (AT ROME)

(? TUSCULUM, JUNE)

You jeered at me yesterday amidst our cups, for having said that it was a disputed point whether an heir could lawfully prosecute on an embezzlement which had been committed before he became the owner. Accordingly, though I returned home full of wine and late in the evening, I marked the section in which that question is treated and caused it to be copied out and sent to you. I wanted to convince you

that the doctrine which you said was held by no one was maintained by Sextus Ælius, Manius Manilius, Marcus Brutus." Nevertheless, I concur with Scævola and Testa.”

DCCLIX (F XI, 29)

TO GAIUS OPPIUS (AT ROME)

(ANAGNIA, JULY)

WHEN I was hesitating-as my friend Atticus knows-about the entire idea of my journey, because many considerations on both sides kept occurring to my mind, your judgment and advice had great weight in clearing away all feeling of hesitation : for not only did your letter express your opinion frankly, but Atticus also conveyed to me what you had said by word of mouth. It has ever been my opinion that nothing could exceed your wisdom in conceiving or your honesty in imparting advice. I had a supreme instance of this when I

1 All famous jurisconsults. · That is, yourself and Q. Mucius Scævola, the great jurisconsult.

wrote to consult you at the beginning of the civil war as to what you thought I ought to do-go to Pompey, or stay in Italy. You advised me to consider what was due to my position. That told me plainly what your opinion was; and I admired your honesty and conscientiousness in giving advice. For though you thought that your dearest friend would wish it to be otherwise, your duty to me was of superior importance in your eyes to his wishes. For my part, even before that time I was attached to you, and always felt that you were attached to me. And when I was abroad and in the midst of great dangers, I remember that both I myself in my absence and my family who were at home enjoyed your attentions and protection. Again, after my return I can call all who usually observe such things to witness on what intimate terms you have been with me, and what feelings I have both entertained and avowed in regard to you. But the weightiest expression of your judgment as to my honour and consistency was given by you when, after Cæsar's death, you devoted yourself heart and soul to my friendship. If I fail to justify that judgment by displaying the warmest affection for you and serving you in every possible way, I shall regard myself as a monster of ingratitude. Pray, my dear Oppius, maintain your love for me—though, after all, I say this more because it is usual to say it, than from an idea that you need to be reminded-and continue to protect all my interests. As to what they are I have charged Atticus to enlighten you. As soon as I have secured a little leisure you may expect a longer letter from

Take good care to keep well; you cannot oblige me more than by doing that.

me.

1 He seems to be referring, though not with very great precision, to the joint letter from Oppius and Balbus in March, B.C. 49. See vol. ii., p. 308 (Fam. ix. 7 a).

DCCLX (A XV, 26)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

ARPINUM, 2 JULY

I SEE that you have done all you can about Quintus's business. For his part, he is hesitating whether to oblige Lepta or to damage his son's credit. I have heard it whispered that Lucius Piso wants to go abroad as a legate in virtue of a forged decree of the senate. I should like to know the truth. That letter-carrier, whom I told you that I sent to Brutus, returned to me at Anagnia on the night of the 30th of June, and brought me a letter, which contained that same request—as unlike as could possibly be conceived to his usually conspicuous good sense that I should be present at his games. I wrote back of course to say, first, that I have already started on my journey, so that it is no longer in my power to do so: and secondly, that it would be the strangest paradox that, while I have not set foot in Rome since this arming began-and that, not so much from consideration of my personal danger as of my self-respect— I should suddenly come to the games. For to be giving games at such a crisis is honourable enough for him, because he can't help it; but for me to attend them, as it is not necessary, so neither is it honourable. Of course I eagerly desire them to be largely attended and as popular as possible, and I feel sure they will be so; and I bargain with

1 The younger Quintus seems to have raised money from Lepta, referring him to his father for payment, and the elder Quintus is deliberating whether to honour the draft.

2 Cicero charges Antony with various forgeries of decrees and other documents (2 Phil. $97, sq.). Cicero has before this period complained of such bogus senatus consulta.

See vol. iii., p. 107. 3 The games of Apollo (11th-12th July) which Brutus as prætor urbanus was going to give, though Gaius Antonius as prætor was to preside at them in his absence.

· The enrolling of the six thousand veterans as a guard, and Antony's summons to the legions in Macedonia.

See p. 48.

you to send me an account of how they are received from the very first hour they begin, and thenceforth all that happens day by day to their close. But enough of the games.

The remainder of his letter may indeed be regarded in two different lights, yet, nevertheless, he does at times emit some sparks of manly courage. I want you to be able to express what you think of it, and therefore inclose a copy of the letter : though our letter-carrier told me that he had brought a letter from you also from Brutus, and that it had been forwarded to you from Tusculum. Í have arranged my journeys so as to be at Puteoli on the 7th of July. For though I am in a great hurry, I mean to take every precaution humanly possible as to my voyage.

Please free Marcus Ælius from his anxiety: tell him that my idea was that a few feet along the edge of the land—and that under the surface-would have some sort of easement upon them :1 and that I absolutely objected to it, and did not think that anything could make up for it. But, as you suggest, put it as gently as possible, rather by way of relieving him of anxiety than giving him any suspicion of my being annoyed. So also about Tullius's debt, speak to Cascellius in a liberal spirit. It's a small matter, but I am obliged to you for attending to it. It was a bit of rather sharp practice. And if he had taken me in at all, as he nearly did-only that you were too many for him-I should have been seriously annoyed. So, whatever is to be the result, I would prefer the transaction being stayed. Remember that an eighth share of the ædes Tulliana near the temple of Strenia, is due to Cærellia : see that it is conveyed to her at the highest price bid at the auction. I think that was 380 sestertia.?

? The reading is uncertain. I have translated Mueller's text, from which a fair sense can be extracted : M. Ælium cura liberabis ; me paucos pedes in extremo fundo et eos quidem subterraneos servitutis putasse aliquid habituros. Apparently Ælius has acted as Cicero's agent in the purchase of some property, but had not observed that there would be an easement (servitus) upon it, probably the right of making some underground drain or watercourse.

2 The text in MSS. and editions is hopeless. Emendations of all sorts have been attempted. I think the first thing is to get rid of luminarum, “windows,” of which it is impossible to make any probable

If there is any news, even if you foresee anything that you think likely to happen, pray write and tell me as often as possible. As I have already charged you to do, pray remember to apologize to Varro for the late arrival of my letter. What terms your friend Mundus has made with Marcus Ennius about the will I should like you to tell mefor I always like to know things.

Arpinum, 2nd July.

DCCLXI (A XV, 27)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

ARPINUM, 3 JULY

I am glad that you advise me to do precisely what I did of my own accord yesterday. For when I despatched my letter to you on the 2nd, I gave the same letter-carrier one for Sestius written in very warm terms. As for him, his intention of escorting me to Puteoli is polite; in complaining about me he is unfair. For I was not so much bound to wait for him until he got back from Cosa, as he was not to have gone there until he had seen me, or to have hastened his return. For he knew that I was in a hurry to start, and he had written to say that he would join me at Tusculum.

sense.

I have therefore conjectured for tuli luminarum ædium, TULLIANARUM ÆDIUM, and suppose it to refer to some block of houses so called, and for cui Carellia, DEBERI CÆRELLIÆ. Of Cicero's debt to the learned Cærellia we have heard before (see ad Att. xii. 51 : vol. iii., p. 257). We know that a certain Tullius Montanus owed Cicero money (see pp. 32, 96). This arrangement of the text is very uncertain, but it is necessary to risk something. The temple or chapel of Strenia was at one end of the via sacra, near the site of what was afterwards the Colosseum.

1 Prosequitur, the MS. reading. It is the usual word in this connection. Editors change it to persequitur because Sestius didn't accompany Cicero : wrongly, as I think. Cicero uses the word as expressing his intention, as though he had really done it "he is by way of escorting

97

me."

« PreviousContinue »