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also seems now or soon after to have begun a correspondence with him, unfortunately lost, which later on became almost more continuous than he quite relished. For the present he was only one of the agents whom he hoped to use against Antony. Like so many of his hopes, this too was doomed to disappointment. Octavian was determined to maintain his rights against Antony, but in his heart was no thought of permanent friendship with the clique which had murdered his uncle and adoptive father, and was anxious above all things to retain the direction of the state and the wealth of the provinces in its hands. Another cause of anxiety which Cicero had in this first
half of the year was the uncertainty of the line Pansa and likely to be taken by Pansa and Hirtius, who Hirtius. were consuls-designate and would come into
office on the ist of January, B.C. 43. Of Hirtius especially, who had been Cæsar's intimate friend and trusted officer, he was more than doubtful. It was true that he had been on good social terms with Cicero, had taken lessons in rhetoric from him, and in return had initiated him in the art of dining. But at the end of a visit of Hirtius at his villa at Puteoli, Cicero writes to Atticus (17th May):
When Hirtius was leaving my house at Puteoli on the 16th of May, I had a clear view of his whole mind. For I took him aside and exhorted him earnestly to preserve the peace. He could not of course say that he did not wish for peace : but he indicated that he was no less afraid of our side appealing to arms than of Antony doing so: and that, after all, both sides had reason to be on their guard, but that he feared the arms of both. I needn't go on : there is nothing sound about him.'
This mistrust of Hirtius was not much relieved by a letter which he wrote to Cicero a few days later, begging him to warn Brutus and Cassius to keep quiet.” Pansa, though using more satisfactory language, did not appear to Cicero to be much more trustworthy. A severe illness
Hirtius aside for some time from active intervention in politics, but Pp. 47-48.
2 P. 62.
3 P. 83.
the future tenure of the consulship by these two men did not in the first half of the year inspire Cicero with much hope. Still, it was not likely to be as bad as the policy of Antony; and when the meeting of the senate of the ist of June, so far from producing a compromise which would satisfy Brutus and Cassius, actually irritated them farther by offering them for the rest of the year the inferior office of curatores annona, and changing their prætorian provinces for the next year, Cicero could only look forward to the Ist of January as the time when it might be proper for him once more to attend the senate and take part in politics. Meanwhile he was meditating a tour to Athens, both for the sake of withdrawing himself from possible collisions with Antony, and in order to visit his son, whose first year as a student there had given Cicero much anxiety, but who was now shewing signs of improvement, and might be confirmed in better ways by the personal influence of an indulgent father. But, as usual with Cicero, this step caused him much search
ing of heart and many weeks of hesitation Cicero's voyage and irresolution. As usual also, all his doubts to Greece begun and difficulties are imparted to Atticus, whose and abandoned (July-August). advice is constantly asked, and somewhat
querulously criticised when given. Cicero was torn different ways by the reflexion that a departure from Italy at this time might be regarded as a desertion of his party and his country: that in his absence some blow might be struck for liberty, the credit of which he should be sorry not to share. On the other hand, as long as Antony was consul things would most likely remain as they were, and he would be personally safer out of the country, and would be doing his duty in visiting his son. But he was a wretched sailor, the long voyage was odious to him, and especially one that would have to be taken late in the
if he was to be back in Rome before the beginning of the new consulate. Again, he would have liked to sail with Brutus; but Brutus was delaying indefinitely, and besides, did not receive the suggestion very warmly. After one abortive start (1st August), on which he got as far as Syracuse, he again set sail from Leucopetra on the 6th of August. But the south wind was too strong and the ship put back to Rhegium. There Cicero stayed in a friend's villa for the night and heard next day what he thought was good news.” There was to be a full meeting of the senate on the ist of September, for Brutus and Cassius-still in Italy-had issued an edict urging the attendance of their partisans, and it was believed that they had come to some understanding with Antony, whereby they would be able to resume their position at Rome and take up their provinces at the end of their year's prætorship. The men who gave Cicero this intelligence also told him that he was wanted, and that his absence was being unfavourably criticised.:
This was precisely what Cicero wished to hear, and we may be sure that he did not make very curious inquiries as to the authenticity of the report, or the means of knowing the truth possessed by his informants. He regarded himself as “recalled by the voice of the Republic,” and blessed the south winds for having saved him from deserting his country in its need. He visited Brutus at Velia on his way to Rome, and no doubt heard from him what somewhat cooled his ardour. He determined, however, to continue his return to Tusculum, though with no definite intention of taking as yet any leading part in politics, or indeed of attending the senate at all. But the state of affairs which he found existing at Rome on his arrival on the 31st of August soon dispelled any ideas of repose, and drew him into the final storm and stress of political contest, from which he was not free when the correspondence ceases, and which brought him finally to the grave. The meeting of the senate on the ist of September, for
the sake of which Cicero professed to have The final breach with Antony,
come to Rome, was not attended by him. Sept., B.C. 44.
Among the agenda at that meeting he found
that there was included a motion of Antony's for a supplicatio in honour of Cæsar's memory. To this, of course, Cicero objected on political grounds; but he also advanced the technical objection that it was mixing up funeral rites with divine worship (parentalia with supplica
2 P. 119.
i Phil. $ 7. See
pp. 119-120, 131. He says that he also had a copy of a contio of Antony's, as well as the edict of Brutus and Cassius, which he mentions in the letter.
tiones), and he was at any rate determined not to vote for it, and did not wish to exasperate Antony by voting against it." There was to be also some farther confirmation of Cæsar's acta, which would be equally objectionable in Cicero's eyes, because it meant the production of more of Cæsar's memoranda and notes, which he believed to be falsified or altogether invented by Antony himself. He therefore abstained from attending the senate, but did not thereby avoid exasperating Antony. His arrival in Rome was of course known to Antony, who regarded his excuse of fatigue after his journey as a mere pretext (which it was), and threatened openly in the senate not only to use his consular power of compelling his attendance, but to send a gang of workmen to demolish his house. On the 2nd of September therefore Cicero attended and
made a statement of his position and views, The first Phil
which has come down to us as the first ippic, 2nd Sept., Philippic. It is a dignified and compara
tively gentle statement of his case against Antony. But it puts clearly his belief as to the abuse by him of the confirmation of Cæsar's acta, passed by the senate on the 17th of March. It recalls Antony's own measures of which Cicero approved-especially the abolition of the dictatorship and the suppression of the riots round the memorial column—and appeals to him to keep within the lines of the constitution, and to trust to the affection rather than the fears of his fellow citizens. There is an absence of personal invective and insult, which shews that Cicero was not yet prepared to throw away the scabbard in his contest with Antony, though he had long seen that his existence made the murder of Cæsar vain and useless. The tyrant was dead, not the tyranny; the assassins had acted with the courage of heroes, but the folly of children, and left the heir to the tyranny alive. Yet he remained on tolerably courteous terms with Antony, and even requested a legatio from him. But that was to be over for ever.
Antony's reply to the first Philippic, delivered after much preparation on the 19th of September, and containing every kind of invective against Cicero's life, policy, and
public conduct, drew from Cicero the terrible second Phil.
ippic, which, though never delivered, was The second Phil- handed about among all kinds of people ippic, 19th Sept. who cared to read it. It made all reconcilia
tion, however formal or official, for ever impossible. From that time forward the letters shew us Cicero in determined and unhesitating opposition to Antony. For some weeks still he is doubtful as to what practical steps he is to take, but he has no more hesitation as to what his political object is to be: it is to crush Antony by any and every means within his power. The letters henceforth are more and more exclusively political. Though references to private affairs and to literary questions, connected with the de Officiis, still occur in the letters to Atticus, even they are almost monopolized by the one absorbing subject. He still expresses gratitude to philosophy, “which not only diverts me from anxious thoughts, but also arms me against all assaults of fortune ”l_but literature and philosophy in the old sense are over for him: and when for a moment he touches on lighter subjects to Pætus," he hastens to excuse himself: “Don't suppose because I write jestingly I have cast off all care for the state. Be assured my dear Pætus, that I work for nothing, care for nothing all day and night except the safety and freedom of my fellow citizens.” The final step on Antony's part which made war inevit
able in Cicero's view was connected with The legions from the six Macedonian legions. He had-as Macedonia. I have said-earlier in the year obtained
from the senate the command of these legions on the plea that the Getæ were threatening Macedonia. One of them he gave over to his colleague Dolabella, one was to be left to guard Macedonia, which he intended should be governed by his brother Gaius at the end of his prætorship. The other four he regarded as being at his own disposal for his provincial governorship, to begin in January, B.C. 43. This he now resolved should be Čisalpine Gaul. The senate refused to assign him this province, but he got it by a lex carried in spite of the senate; and
1 P. 140.
2 P. 178.