Page images
PDF
EPUB

all business of mine you even surpass me in interest-I may tell you that the total is approaching one hundred sestertia. The fall of the houses did not depreciate the value of the property: I am not sure that it didn't increase it.' I have here with me Balbus, Hirtius, and Pansa. Octavius has lately arrived at the next villa to mine, that of Philippus. He is quite devoted to me. Spinther is staying with me today: he goes early to-morrow.

DCCXII (A XIV, 12)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

PUTEOLI, 22 APRIL

Ah, my dear Atticus, I fear the Ides of March have brought us nothing beyond exultation, and the satisfaction of our anger and resentment. What news reaches me from Rome! What things are going on here under my eyes! Yes, it was a fine piece of work, but inconclusive after all! You know how fond I am of the Sicilians, and what an honour I consider it to be their patron. Cæsar granted them many privileges with my full approval, though their having the ius Latinum was intolerable; yet, after all

But look at Antony! For an enormous bribe he has put up a law-alleged to have been carried at the comitia by the dictator, granting the Sicilians full Roman citizenship; though while he was alive there was never a word said about it. Again : take the case of my client Deiotarus, isn't it exactly parallel ? He, of course, deserved any kingdom you please, but not through Fulvia. There are hundreds of

See p. 15. 2 The stepfather of Octavius. It was the policy of Octavius for the present to feign devotion to the boni as a protection against Antony. He presently made them see what his real feeling to them was, though he sincerely admired and liked Cicero.

3 Deiotarus of Galatia, whom Cicero had defended before Cæsar, was restored by Antony to the possession of lesser Armenia-who alleged a minute of Cæsar's ; but really, Cicero says, because Deiotarus had bribed

similar cases. However, I come back to this : shall I not be able to maintain in some degree the case of Buthrotiuma case so clear, so fully supported by witnesses, and so intrinsically just ?? And indeed all the more so that Antony is being so lavish in his grants ? Octavius here treats me with great respect and friendliness. His own people addressed him as “Cæsar," but Philippus did not, so I did not do so either. I declare that it is impossible for him to be a good citizen.' He is surrounded by such a number of people, who even threaten our friends with death. He says the present state of things is unendurable. But what do you think of it, when a boy like that goes to Rome, where our liberators cannot be in safety. They indeed will always be illustrious, and even happy, from the consciousness of their great deed. But for us, unless I am mistaken, we shall be ruined. Therefore I long to leave the country and go “Where of the Pelopidæ,” etc. I don't like even these consuls-designate, who have actually forced me to give them some declamations, to prevent my having any rest even at the seaside. But that's what I get by being too good-natured. For in old times declamation was in a Fulvia. In 2 Phil. $ 93 Cicero says that Deiotarus repossessed himself of his dominions by force on hearing of Cæsar's death, and will therefore demur to paying the sum agreed upon by his agents. Cicero's objection to the citizenship of the Sicilians is the loss of revenue, for they would no longer pay tributum (2 Phil. $ 92).

Cicero means that Cæsar had promised to revoke the confiscation of lands in the territory of Buthrotum, and this promise-besides being just-can be testified to by many. If Antony carries out his measures on pretended minutes of Cæsar, surely this genuine one ought to hold good.

2 Being adopted in Cæsar's will the future, Augustus was now properly Gaius Iulius Cæsar Octavianus (the adjectival form of his original name, as usual). But this adoption required a formal confirmation by a lex curiata—which Antony managed to postpone till August B.C. 43. Meanwhile his friends gave him by courtesy the name which he was entitled to claim, but to which he had not yet technically a full right. We shall find Cicero calling him Octavianus by-and-by, but not “Cæsar" till it became necessary to compliment him."

3 Reading bonum civem esse. By omitting esse Cicero is made to say that no good citizen could call him “ Cæsar," as it would be acknowledging the adoption. This seems to me much too strong. Cicero had consented to the confirmation of Cæsar's public acta, surely it would be unreasonable to reject the disposition of his private property.

4 See vol. iii., p. 100. 5 Pansa and Hirtius.

manner a necessity of my existence: now, however things turn out, it is not so. For what a long time now have I had nothing to write to you about! Yet I do write, not to give you any pleasure by this letter, but to extract one from you. Pray write on every sort of thing, but anyhow about Brutus, whatever there is to say. I write this on the 22nd of April, while dining with Vestorius, a man who has no idea of philosophy, but is well versed in figures.'

DCCXIII (A XIV, 13 a)
M. ANTONIUS TO CICERO (AT PUTEOLI)

SOUTH ITALY, ABOUT 24 APRIL

I was prevented by my engagements, and by your own sudden departure from town, from mentioning to you a request by word of mouth, which I fear will have less weight in your eyes owing to its not being personally presented. But if your liberality answers to the opinion which I have always entertained of you I shall rejoice. I asked Cæsar for the restoration of Sextus Clodius. I obtained my request. It was in my mind even at the time only to avail myself of the favour if you did not object. I am therefore the more anxious to be allowed to do it now with your acquiescence. But if you shew yourself sternly inclined towards his distressing and ruinous position, I will not contest the matter with you ; though I consider myself bound to carry out a minute of Cæsar's. But, by Hercules, if you are inclined to take a large-hearted philosophical and kindly view of my proceedings, you will certainly shew your good nature and will wish P. Clodius,' a boy of very great promise, to feel that you have not been inveterate to his father's friends. I beg you to suffer it to be seen that you quarrelled with his father on public grounds only. Of this family you can have no reason for thinking meanly. It is of course more to our honour, and more agreeable to our feelings, to give up quarrels undertaken on public grounds than those that are the result of personal prejudice. Let me then at once lead the youth to think and be convinced, while his mind is young and impressionable, that enmities are not to be transmitted to another generation. Although your fortunes, my dear Cicero, are now, I feel assured, removed from every danger, nevertheless I think you would prefer spend. ing a peaceful and honoured old age rather than one full of anxiety. Finally, I claim a right to ask this favour of you myself; for I have omitted nothing that I could do for your sake. But if I don't obtain it I shall not make this grant to Clodius as far as I am concerned, in order that you may understand what weight your authority has with me, and may on that account shew yourself all the more placable.

i Vestorius was a banker of Puteoli, osten mentioned in the letters. For writing letters at the dinner table, see p. II; vol. iii., p. 102.

? A scriba and hanger-on of Publius Clodius, called Athenio in vol. i., p. 99. He had been acquitted on a charge of vis by a narrow majority in B.C. 56 (vol. i., p. 221), but was condemned in B.C. 52 on account of the riots following the death of his patron and the burning of the Curia (pro Mil. § 90; Asconius, $ 55).

DCCXIV (A XIV, 13 b)

TO M. ANTONIUS (AT ROME)

PUTEOLI, 26 APRIL

The request you make to me by letter I have only one reason for wishing that you had made personally. For in that case you would have been able to perceive my affection for you not merely by my language, but from my “expression, eyes, and brow”—as the phrase goes. For while I have always loved you—incited thereto at first by your zeal in my service and then by your actual favours—so in these times the interests of the state have so recommended me to you, that there is no one whom I regard with warmer

Son of P. Clodius by Fulvia, whom Antony had married.

affection. Moreover, the very affectionate and complimentary tone of your letter had such an effect upon me that I felt as though I were not doing you a favour, but receiving one from you, when you qualified your request by an assurance that you would not restore a personal enemy of mine, who was a friend of your own, if I did not wish it, though you could have done so without any trouble. Of course, my dear Antony, I give you my free consent, besides acknowledging that by expressing yourself as you have done you have treated me with the utmost liberality and courtesy. And while I should have thought it my duty to have granted what you ask without reserve, whatever the circumstances, I now grant it as a concession to my own feelings and inclination. For I never had a spark, I won't say of bitterness, in me, but even of sternness or severity beyond what the service of the state required. I may add that even against Clodius himself my exasperation has never been extravagant, and I have always held that the friends of my enemies were not proper objects for attack, especially those in a lower position of life. Nor ought we ourselves to be deprived of such supporters.

As for the boy Clodius, I think it is your duty to imbue what you call "his young and impressionable" mind with the conviction that no vindictive feelings remain between our families. I fought P. Clodius, since I was supporting the interests of the state, he his own. Upon the merits of our controversies the state has decided. If he were now alive, I should have had no cause of contention with him remaining. Wherefore, since you put this request to me with the reservation that you will not avail yourself of what is undoubtedly within your power against my wishes, please grant this to the boy also as a present from me, if you think it right. Not because a man of my age need suspect any danger from a boy of his, nor because a man in my position has reason to shrink from any controversy, but that we may be still more closely united than we have as yet been : for owing to the intervention of these feuds your heart has been more open to me than your house. But enough

1 An answer to Antony's veiled threat at the end of his letter as to “a quiet old age” (p. 23).

« PreviousContinue »