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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.
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) .
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 : 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.
i 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 Cæsar'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.
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)
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.
DCCVII (A XIV, 8)
SINUESSA, 15 APRIL
YES, you thought when you wrote that I was already in my seaside houses, and I received your letter on the 15th, whilst in my little lodge at Sinuessa. As to Marius, excellent!' Yet I sympathize with the grandson of Lucius Crassus. I am glad that Antony's conduct is so much approved even by our friend Brutus. For as to your saying that Iunia has brought a letter written in a moderate and friendly spirit-Paullus* shewed me one which he had received from his brother, at the end of which he said that he knew there was a plot forming against himself, and that he had ascertained it on undoubted authority. I wasn't pleased with that, and Paullus much less so. I am not sorry for the Queen's flight. I should like you to tell me what Clodia has done. See to the business of the Byzantines, as everything else, and send for Pelops to come and see you. I will, as you ask, see to the fellows at Baiæ and all that lot, about whom you wish to know; and when I have seen how things stand, I will write and tell you everything. What the Gauls, the Spaniards, and Sextus Pompeius are doing I am
i For the impostor, see vol. iii., p. 256. Antony had just put him to death without trial (App. B. C. iii. 3). For the lodge at Sinuessa, see vol. iii., p. 367.
2 Ironical, for this Amatius, calling himself Marius, claimed to be the son of the younger Marius, who appears to have married a daughter of the celebrated orator L. Crassus (ob. B.C. 91).
3 From her husband M. Lepidus (the future triumvir) to her brother Brutus.
4 L. Æmilius (Lepidus), who had taken the name of Paullus from adoption, brother of the triumvir. Consul B.C. 50.
• Cleopatra, who had been staying at Rome-in Cæsar's transtiberine horti-at the time of the assassination.
6 We know nothing of this business, but Plutarch (Cic. 25) says that Cicero wrote to a Byzantine named Pelops in Greek in regard to some honours the Byzantines proposed to bestow on him.
anxious to hear. You will of course make all that clear to me, as you have done everything else. I am not sorry that your slight attack of sickness has given you an excuse for taking a holiday; for as I read your letter I thought you had had a short rest. Always write and tell me everything about Brutus, where he is, what he is thinking of doing. I do hope that by this time he is able even without a guard to wander in safety in any part of the city. But after all
DCCVIII (F VI, 17)
TO AULUS POMPEIUS BITHYNICUS (IN
For every reason I am anxious for the constitution to be at length put on a sound footing; but, believe me, an additional motive for desiring it still more is supplied me by the promise conveyed in your letter. You say in it that, if that is ever the case, you will pass your time in my society. Such a wish on your part is highly gratifying to me, and is entirely in accord with our close friendship and with the opinion your illustrious father entertained of me. For believe me when I say that others, who have had at times or still have the opportunity, may be more closely united to you by the amount of their services than I am, but that in friendship no one can be so. Accordingly, I am gratified both by your recollection of our intimacy and by your wish to increase it.
1 Reading aut valent.