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´╗┐Title: Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero
Author: Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Language: English
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Letters of Cicero

by Marcus Tullius Cicero

Translated by E. S. Shuckburgh

THE letters of Cicero are of a very varied character. They range
from the most informal communications with members of his
family to serious and elaborate compositions which are practically
treatises in epistolary form. A very large proportion of them were
obviously written out of the mood of the moment, with no thought
of the possibility of publication; and in these the style is
comparatively relaxed and colloquial. Others, addressed to public
characters, are practically of the same nature as his speeches,
discussions of political questions intended to influence public
opinion, and performing a function in the Roman life of the time
closely analogous to that fulfilled at the present day by articles is
the great reviews, or editorials in prominent journals.

In the case of both of these two main groups the interest is
twofold: personal and historical, though it is naturally in the
private letters that we find most light thrown on the character of
the writer. In spite of the spontaneity of these epistles there exists a
great difference of opinion among scholars as to the personality
revealed by them, and both in the extent of the divergence of view
and in the heat of the controversy we are reminded of modern
discussions of the characters of men such as Gladstone or
Roosevelt. It has been fairly said that there is on the whole more
chance of justice to Cicero from the man of the world who
understands how the stress and change of politics lead a statesman
into apparently inconsistent utterances than from the professional
scholar who subjects these utterances to the severest logica1
scrutiny, without the illumination of practical experience.

Many sides of Cicero's life other than the political are reflected in
the letters. From them we can gather a picture of how an ambitious
Roman gentleman of some inherited wealth took to the legal
profession as the regular means of becoming a public figure; of
how his fortune might be increased by fees, by legacies from
friends, clients, and even complete strangers who thus sought to
confer distinction on themselves; of how the governor of o
province could become rich in. a year; of how the sons of Roman
men of wealth gave trouble to their tutors, were sent to Athens, as
to a university in our day, and found an allowance of over $4,000 a
year insufficient for their extravagances. Again, we see the greatest
orator of Rome divorce his wife after thirty years, apparently
because she had been indiscreet or unscrupulous in money matters,
and marry at the age of sixty-three his own ward, a young girl
whose fortune he admitted was the main attraction. The coldness
of temper suggested by these transactions is contradicted in turn by
Cicero's romantic affection for his daughter Tullia, whom he is
never tired of praising for her cleverness and charm, and whose
death almost broke his heart.

Most of Cicero's letters were written in ink on paper or parchment
with a reed pen; a few on tablets of wood or ivory covered with
wax, the marks being cut with a stylus. The earlier letters he wrote
with his own hand, the later were, except in rare cases, dictated to
a secretary. There was, of course, no postal service, so the epistles
were carried by private messengers or by the couriers who were
constantly traveling between the provincial officials and the

Apart from the letters to Atticus, the collection, arrangement, and
publication of Cicero's correspondence seems to have been due to
Tiro, the learned freedman who served him as secretary, and to
whom some of the letters are addressed. Titus Pormponius Atticus,
who edited the large collection of the letters written to himself,
was a cultivated Roman who lived more than twenty years in
Athens for purposes of study. His zeal for cultivation was
combined with the successful pursuit of wealth; and though Cicero
relied on him for aid and advice in public as well as private
matters, their friendship did not prevent Atticus from being on
good terms with men of the opposite party.

Generous, amiable, and cultured, Atticus was not remarkable for
the intensity of his devotion either to principles or persons. "That
he was the lifelong friend of Cicero," says Professor Tyrrell, "is the
best title which Atticus has to remembrance. As a man he was
kindly, careful, and shrewd, but nothing more: there was never
anything grand or noble in his character. He was the quintessence
of prudent mediocrity."

The period covered by the letters of Cicero is one of the most
interesting and momentous in the history of the world, and these
letters afford a picture of the chief personages and most important
events of that age from the pen of a man who was not only himself
in the midst of the conflict, but who was a consummate literary






THE state of things in regard to my candidature, in which I know
that you are supremely interested, is this, as far as can be as yet
conjectured. The only person actually canvassing is P. Sulpicius
Galba. He meets with a good old-fashioned refusal without reserve
or disguise. In the general opinion this premature canvass of his is
not unfavourable to my interests; for the voters generally give as a
reason for their refusal that they are under obligations to me. So I
hope my prospects are to a certain degree improved by the report
getting about that my friends are found to be numerous. My
intention was to begin my own canvass just at the very time that
Cincius tells me that your servant starts with this letter, namely, in
the campus at the time of the tribunician elections on the 17th of
July. My fellow candidates, to mention only those who seem
certain, are Galba and Antonius and Q. Cornificius. At this I
imagine you smiling or sighing. Well, to make you positively smite
your forehead, there are people who actually think that Caesonius
will stand. I don't think Aquilius will, for he openly disclaims it
and has alleged as an excuse his health and his leading position at
the bar. Catiline will certainly be a candidate, if you can imagine a
jury finding that the sun does not shine at noon. As for Aufidius
and Palicanus, I don't think you will expect to hear from me about
them. Of the candidates for this year's election Caesar is
considered certain. Thermus is looked upon as the rival of Silanus.
These latter are so weak both in friends and reputation that it
seems pas impossible to bring in Curius over their heads. But no
one else thinks so. What seems most to my interests is that
Thermus should get in with Caesar. For there is none of those at
present canvassing who, if left over to my year, seems likely to be
a stronger candidate, from the fact that he is commissioner of the
via Flaininia, and when that has been finished, I shall be greatly
relieved to have seen him elected consul this election. Such in
outline is the position of affairs in regard to candidates up to date.
For myself I shall take the greatest pains to carry out all the duties
of a candidate, and perhaps, as Gaul seems to have a considerable
voting power, as soon as business at Rome has come to a standstill
I shall obtain a libera legatio and make an excursion in the course
of September to visit Piso, but so as not to be back later than
January. When I have ascertained the feelings of the nobility I will
write you word. Everything else I hope will go smoothly, at any
rate while my competitors are such as are now in town. You must
undertake to secure for me the entourage of our friend Pompey,
since you are nearer than I. Tell him I shall not be annoyed if he
doesn't come to my election. So much for that business. But there
is a matter for which I am very anxious that you should forgive me.
Your uncle Caecilius having been defrauded of a large sum of
money by P. Varius, began an action against his cousin A.
Caninius Satyrus for the property which (as he alleged) the latter
had received from Varius by a collusive sale. He was joined in this
action by the other creditors, among whom were Lucullus and P.
Scipio, and the man whom they thought would be official receiver
if the property was put up for sale, Lucius Pontius; though it is
ridiculous to be talking about a receiver at this stage in the
proceedings. Caecilius asked me to appear for him against Satyrus.
Now, scarcely a day passes that Satyrus does not call at my house.
The chief object of his attentions is L. Domitius, but I am next in
his regard. He has been of great service both to myself and to my
brother Quintus in our elections. I was very much embarrassed by
my intimacy with Satyrus as well as that with Domitius, on whom
the success of my election depends more than on anyone else. I
pointed out these facts to Caecilius; at the same time I assured him
that if the case had been one exclusively between himself and
Satyrus, I would have done what he wished. As the matter actually
stood, all the creditors being concerned--and that two men of the
highest rank, who, without the aid of anyone specially retained by
Caecilius, would have no difficulty in maintaining their common
cause--it was only fair that he should have consideration both for
my private friendship and my present situation. He seemed to take
this somewhat less courteously than I could have wished, or than is
usual among gentlemen; and from that time forth he has entirely
withdrawn from the intimacy with me which was only of a few
days  standing. Pray forgive me, and believe that I was prevented
by nothing but natural kindness from assailing the reputation of a
friend in so vital a point at a time of such very great distress,
considering that he had shewn me every sort of kindness and
attention, But if you incline to the harsher view of my conduct,
take it that the interests of my canvass prevented me. Yet, even
granting that to be so, I think you should pardon me, "since not for
sacred beast or oxhide shield." You see in fact the position I am in,
and how necessary I regard it, not only to retain but even to
acquire all possible sources of popularity. I hope I have justified
myself in your eyes, I am at any rate anxious to have done so. The
Hermathena you sent I am delighted with: it has been placed with
such charming effect that the whole gymnasium seems arranged
specially for it. I am exceedingly obliged to you.




I HAVE to inform you that on the day of the election of L. lulius
Caesar and C. Marcius Figulus to the consulship, I had an addition
to my family in the shape of a baby boy. Terentia doing well.

Why such a time without a letter from you? I have already written
to you fully about my circumstances. At this present time I am
considering whether to undertake the defence of my fellow
candidate, Catiline. We have a jury to our minds with full consent
of the prosecutor. I hope that if he is acquitted he will be more
closely united with me in the conduct of our canvass; but if the
result he otherwise I shall bear it with resignation. Your early
return is of great importance to me, for there is a very strong idea
prevailing that some intimate friends of yours, persons of high
rank, will be opposed to my election. To win me their favour I see
that I shall want you very much. Wherefore be sure to be in Rome
in January, as you have agreed to be.




M. Tullius Cicero, son of Marcus, greets Ca. Pompeius, son of
Cneius, Imperator.

IF you and the army are well I shall be glad. From your official
despatch I have, in common with everyone else, received the
liveliest satisfaction; for you have given us that strong hope of
peace, of which, in sole reliance on you, I was assuring everyone.
But I must inform you that your old enemies--now posing as your
friends--have received a stunning blow by this despatch, and, being
disappointed in the high hopes they were entertaining, are
thoroughly depressed. Though your private letter to me contained a
somewhat slight expression of your affection, yet I can assure you
it gave me pleasure: for there is nothing in which I habitually find
greater satisfaction than in the consciousness of serving my friend;
and if on any occasion I do not meet with an adequate return, I am
not at all sorry to have the balance of kindness in my favour. Of
this I feel no doubt--even if my extraordinary zeal in your behalf
has failed to unite you to me--that the interests of the state will
certainly effect a mutual attachment and coalition between us. To
let you know, however, what I missed in your letter I will write
with the candour which my own disposition and our common
friendship demand. I did expect some congratulation in your letter
on my achievements, for the sake at once of the ties between us
and of the Republic. This I presume to have been omitted by you
from a fear of hurting anyone's feelings. But let me tell you that
what I did for the salvation of the country is approved by the
judgment and testimony of the whole world. You are a much
greater man that Africanus, but I am not much inferior to Laelius
either; and when you come home you will recognize that I have
acted with such prudence and spirit, that you will not now be
ashamed of being coupled with me in politics as well as in private

IV (A I, 17)



Your letter, in which you inclose copies of his letters, has made me
realize that my brother Quintus's feelings have undergone many
alternations, and that his opinions and judgments have varied
widely from time to time. This has not only caused me all the pain
which my extreme affection for both of you was bound to bring,
but it has also made me wonder what can have happened to cause
my brother Quintus such deep offence, or such an extraordinary
change of feeling. And yet I was already aware, as I saw that you
also, when you took leave of me, were beginning to suspect, that
there was some lurking dissatisfaction, that his feelings were
wounded, and that certain unfriendly suspicions had sunk deep
into his heart. On trying on several previous occasions, but more
eagerly than ever after the allotment of his province, to assuage
these feelings, I failed to discover on the one hand that the extent
of his offence was so great as your letter indicates; but on the other
I did not make as much progress in allaying it as I wished.
However, I consoled myself with thinking that there would be no
doubt of his seeing you at Dyrrachium, or somewhere in your part
of the country: and, if that happened, I felt sure and fully
persuaded that everything would be made smooth between you,
not only by conversation and mutual explanation, but by the very
sight of each other in such an interview. For I need not say in
writing to you, who knows it quite well, how kind and
sweet-tempered my brother is, as ready to forgive as he is sensitive
in taking offence. But it most unfortunately happened that you did
not see him anywhere. For the impression he had received from the
artifices of others had more weight with him than duty or
relationship, or the old affection so long existing between you,
which ought to have been the strongest influence of all. And yet, as
to where the blame for this misunderstanding resides, I can more
easily conceive than write: since I am afraid that, while defending
my own relations, I should not spare yours. For I perceive that,
though no actual wound was inflicted by members of the family,
they yet could at least have cured it. But the root of the mischief in
this case, which perhaps extends farther than appears, I shall more
conveniently explain to you when we meet. As to the letter he sent
to you from Thessalonica, and about the language which you
suppose him to have used both at Rome among your friends and on
his journey, I don't know how far the matter went, but my whole
hope of removing this unpleasantness rests on your kindness. For if
you will only make up your mind to believe that the best men are
often those whose feelings are most easily irritated and appeased,
and that this quickness, so to speak, and sensitiveness of
disposition are generally signs of a good heart; and lastly--and this
is the main thing--that we must mutually put up with each other's
gaucheries (shall I call them?), or faults, or injurious acts, then
these misunderstandings will, I hope, be easily smoothed away. I
beg you to take this view, for it is the dearest wish of my heart
(which is yours as no one else's can be) that there should not be
one of my family or friends who does not love you and is not loved
by you.

That part of your letter was entirely superfluous, in which you
mention what opportunities of doing good business in the
provinces or the city you let pass at other times as well as in the
year of my consulship: for I am thoroughly persuaded of your
unselfishness and magnanimity, nor did I ever think that there was
any difference between you and me except in our choice of a
career. Ambition led me to seek official advancement, while
another and perfectly laudable resolution led you to seek an
honourable privacy. In the true glory, which is founded on honesty,
industry, and piety, I place neither myself nor anyone else above
you. In affection towards myself, next to my brother and
immediate family, I put you first. For indeed, indeed I have seen
and thoroughly appreciated how your anxiety and joy have
corresponded with the variations of my fortunes. Often has your
congratulation added a charm to praise, and your consolation a
welcome antidote to alarm. Nay, at this moment of your absence, it
is not only your advice--in which you excel--but the interchange of
speech--in which no one gives me so much delight as you do--that
I miss most, shall I say in politics, in which circumspection is
always incumbent on me, or in my forensic labour, which I
formerly sustained with a view to official promotion, and
nowadays to maintain my position by securing popularity, or in the
mere business of my family? In all these I missed you and our
conversations before my brother left Rome, and still more do I
miss them since. Finally, neither my work nor rest, neither my
business nor leisure, neither my affairs in the forum or at home,
public or private, can any longer do without your most consolatory
and affectionate counsel and conversation. The modest reserve
which characterizes both of us has often prevented my mentioning
these facts; but on this occasion it was rendered necessary by that
part of your letter in which you expressed a wish to have yourself
and your character "put straight" and "cleared" in my eyes. Yet, in
the midst of all this unfortunate alienation and anger on his part,
there is yet one fortunate circumstance--that your determination of
not going to a province was known to me and your other friends,
and had been at various times asserted by yourself; so that your not
being with him may be attributed to your personal tastes and
judgment, not to the quarrel and rupture between you. So those ties
which have been broken will be restored, and ours which have
been so religiously preserved will retain all their old inviolability.
At Rome I find politics in a shaky condition; everything is
unsatisfactory and foreboding change. For I have no doubt you
have been told that our friends, the equites, are all but alienated
from the senate. Their first grievance was the promulgation of a
bill on the authority of the senate for the trial of such as had taken
bribes for giving a verdict. I happened not to be in the house when
that decree was passed, but when I found that the equestrian order
was indignant at it, and yet refrained from openly saying so, I
remonstrated with the senate, as I thought, in very impressive
language, and was very weighty and eloquent considering the
unsatisfactory nature of my cause. But here is another piece of
almost intolerable coolness on the part of the equites, which I have
not only submitted to, but have even put in as good a light as
possible! The Companies which had contracted with the censors
for Asia complained that in the heat of the competition they had
taken the contract at an excessive price; they demanded that the
contract should be annulled. I led in their support, or rather, I was
second, for it was Crassus who induced them to venture on this
demand. The case is scandalous, the demand a disgraceful one,
and a confession of rash speculation. Yet there was a very great
risk that, if they got no concession, they would be completely
alienated from the senate. Here again I came to the i escue more
than anyone else, and secured them a full and very friendly house,
in which I, on the 1st and 2nd of December, delivered long
speeches on the dignity and harmony of the two orders. The
business is not yet settled, hut the favourable feeling of the senate
has been made manifest: for no one had spoken against it except
the consul-designate, Metellus; while our hero Cato had still to
speak, the shortness of the day having prevented his turn being
reached. Thus I, in the maintenance of my steady policy, preserve
to the best of my ability that harmony of the orders which was
originally my joiner's work; but since it all now seems in such a
crazy condition, I am constructing what I may call a road towards
the maintenance of our power, a safe one I hope, which I cannot
fully describe to you in a letter, but of which I will nevertheless
give you a hint. I cultivate close intimacy with Pompey. I foresee
what you will say. I will use all necessary precautions, and I will
write another time at greater length about my schemes for
managing the Republic. You must know that Lucceius has it in his
mind to stand for the consulship at once; for there are said to be
only two candidates in prospect. Caesar is thinking of coming to
terms with him by the agency of Arrius, and Bibulus also thinks he
may effect a coalition with him by means of C. Piso. You smile?
This is no laughing matter, believe me. What else shall I write to
you? What? I have plenty to say, but must put it off to another
time. If you mean to wait till you hear, let me know. For the
moment I am satisfied with a modest request, though it is what I
desire above everything-- that you should come to Rome as soon as

5 December.




YES, I do write to you less often than I might, because, though I
am always wretched, yet when I write to you or read a letter from
you, I am in such floods of tears that I cannot endure it. Oh, that I
had clung less to life! I should at least never have known real
sorrow, or not much of it, in my life. Yet if fortune has reserved
for me any hope of recovering at any time any position again, I
was not utterly wrong to do so: if these miseries are to be
permanent, I only wish, my dear, to see you as soon as possible
and to die in your arms, since neither gods, whom you have
worshipped with such pure devotion, nor men, whom I have ever
served, have made us any return. I have been thirteen days at
Brundisium in the house of M. Laenius Flaccus, a very excellent
man, who has despised the risk to his fortunes and civil existence
in comparison to keeping me safe, nor has been induced by the
penalty of a most iniquitous law to refuse me the rights and good
offices of hospitality and friendship. May I sometime have the
opportunity of repaying him! Feel gratitude I always shall. I set out
from Brundisium on the 29th of April, and intend going through
Macedonia to Cyzicus. What a fall! What a disaster! What can I
say? Should I ask you to come--a woman of weak health and
broken spirit? Should I refrain from asking you? Am I to be
without you, then? I think the best course is this: if there is any
hope of my restoration, stay to promote it and push the thing on:
but if, as I fear, it proves hopeless, pray come to me by any means
in your power. Be sure of this, that if I have you I shall not think
myself wholly lost. But what is to become of my darling Tullia?
You must see to that now: I can think of nothing. But certainly,
however things turn out, we must do everything to promote that
poor little girl's married happiness and reputation. Again, what is
my boy Cicero to do? Let him, at any rate, be ever in my bosom
and in my arms. I can't write more. A fit of weeping hinders me. I
don't know how you have got on; whether you are left in
possession of anything, or have been, as I fear, entirely plundered.
Piso, as you say, I hope will always be our friend. As to the
manumission of the slaves you need not be uneasy. To begin with,
the promise made to yours was that you would treat them
according as each severally deserved. So far Orpheus has behaved
well, besides him no one very markedly so. With the rest of the
slaves the arrangement is that, if my property is forfeited, they
should become my freedmen, supposing them to be able to
maintain at law that status. But if my property remained in my
ownership, they were to continue slaves, with the exception of a
very few. But these are trifles. To return to your advice, that I
should keep up my courage and not give up hope of recovering my
position, I only wish that there were any good grounds for
entertaining such a hope. As it is, when, alas! shall I get a letter
from you? Who will bring it me? I would have waited for it at
Brundisium, but the sailors would not allow it, being unwilling to
lose a favourable wind. For the rest, put as dignified a face on the
matter as you can, my dear Terentia. Our life is over: we have had
our day: it is not any fault of ours that has ruined us, but our virtue.
I have made no false step, except in not losing my life when I lost
my honours. But since our children preferred my living, let us bear
everything else, however intolerable. And yet I, who encourage
you, cannot encourage myself. I have sent that faithful fellow
Clodius Philhetaerus home, because he was hampered with
weakness of the eyes. Sallustius seems likely to outdo everybody
in his attentions. Pescennius is exceedingly kind to me; and I have
hopes that he will always be attentive to you. Sicca had said that
he would accompany me; but he has left Brundisium. Take the
greatest care of your health, and believe me that I am more
affected by your distress than my own. My dear Terentia, most
faithful and best of wives, and my darling little daughter, and that
last hope of my race, Cicero, good-bye!

29 April, from Brundisium.




BROTHER! Brother! Brother! did you really fear that I had been
induced by some angry feeling to send slaves to you without a
letter? Or even that I did not wish to see you? I to be angry with
you! Is it possible for me to be angry with you? Why, one would
think that it was you that brought me low! Your enemies, your
unpopularity, that miserably ruined me, and not I that unhappily
ruined you! The fact is, the much-praised consulate of mine has
deprived me of you, of children, country, fortune; from you I
should hope it will have taken nothing but myself. Certainly on
your side I have experienced nothing but what was honourable and
gratifying: on mine you have grief for my fall and fear for your
own, regret, mourning, desertion. I not wish to see you? The truth
is rather that I was unwilling to be seen by you. For you would not
have seen your brother--not the brother you had left, not the
brother you knew, not him to whom you had with mutual tears
bidden farewell as be followed you on your departure for your
province: not a trace even or faint image of him, but rather what I
may call the likeness of a living corpse. And oh that you had
sooner seen me or heard of me as a corpse! Oh that I could have
left you to survive, not my life merely, but my undiminished rank!
But I call all the gods to witness that the one argument which
recalled me from death was, that all declared that to some extent
your life depended upon mine. In which matter I made an error and
acted culpably. For if I had died, that death itself would have given
clear evidence of my fidelity and love to you. As it is, I have
allowed you to be deprived of my aid, though I am alive, and with
me still living to need the help of others; and my voice, of all
others, to fail when dangers threatened my family, which had so
often been successfully used in the defence of the merest strangers.
For as to the slaves coming to you without a letter, the real reason
(for you see that it was not anger) was a deadness of my faculties,
and a seemingly endless deluge of tears and sorrows. How many
tears do you suppose these very words have cost me? As many as I
know they will cost you to read them! Can I ever refrain from
thinking of you or ever think of you without tears? For when I miss
you, is it only a brother that I miss? Rather it is a brother of almost
my own age in the charm of his companionship, a son in his
consideration for my wishes, a father in the wisdom of his advice!
What pleasure did I ever have without you, or you without me?
And what must my case be when at the same time I miss a
daughter: How affectionate! how modest! how clever! The express
image of my face, of my speech, of my very soul! Or again a son,
the prettiest boy, the very joy of my heart? Cruel inhuman monster
that I am, I dismissed him from my arms better schooled in the
world than I could have wished: for the poor child began to
understand what was going on. So, too, your own son, your own
image, whom my little Cicero loved as a brother, and was now
beginning to respect as an elder brother! Need I mention also how
I refused to allow my unhappy wife--the truest of helpmates--to
accompany me, that there might be some one to protect the wrecks
of the calamity which had fallen on us both, and guard our
common children? Nevertheless, to the best of my ability, I did
write a letter to you, and gave it to your freedman Philogonus,
which, I believe, was delivered to you later on; and in this I repeat
the advice and entreaty, which had been already transmitted to you
as a message from me by my slaves, that you should go on with
your journey and hasten to Rome. For, in the first place, I desired
your protection, in case there were any of my enemies whose
cruelty was not yet satisfied by my fall. In the next place, I dreaded
the renewed lamentation which our meeting would cause: while I
could not have borne your departure, and was afraid of the very
thing you mention in your letter--that you would be unable to tear
yourself away. For these reasons the supreme pain of not seeing
you--and nothing more painful or more wretched could, I think,
have happened to the most affectionate and united of
brothers--was a less misery than would have been such a meeting
followed by such a parting. Now, if you can, though I, whom you
always regarded as a brave man, cannot do so, rouse yourself and
collect your energies in view of any contest you may have to
confront. I hope, if my hope has anything to go upon, that your
own spotless character and the love of your fellow citizens, and
even remorse for my treatment, may prove a certain protection to
you. But if it turns out that you are free from personal danger, you
will doubtless do whatever you think can be done for me. In that
matter, indeed, many write to me at great length and declare they
have hopes; but I personally cannot see what hope there is, since
my enemies have the greatest influence, while my friends have in
some cases deserted, in others even betrayed me, fearing perhaps
in my restoration a censure on their own treacherous conduct. But
how matters stand with you I would have you ascertain and report
to me. In any case I shall continue to live as long as you shall need
me, in view of any danger you may have to undergo: longer than
that I cannot go in this kind of life. For there is neither wisdom nor
philosophy with sufficient strength to sustain such a weight of
grief. I know that there has been a time for dying, more honourable
and more advantageous; and this is not the only one of my many
omissions; which, if I should choose to bewail, I should merely be
increasing your sorrow and emphasizing my own stupidity. But
one thing I am not bound to do, and it is in fact impossible--remain
in a life so wretched and so dishonoured any longer than your
necessities, or some well-grounded hope, shall demand. For I, who
was lately supremely blessed in brother, children, wife, wealth,
and in the very nature of that wealth, while in position, influence,
reputation, and popularity, I was inferior to none, however,
distinguished--I cannot, I repeat. go on longer lamenting over
myself and those dear to me in a life of such humiliation as this,
and in a state of such utter ruin. Wherefore, what do you mean by
writing to me about negotiating a bill of exchange? As though I
were not now wholly dependent on your means! And that is just
the very thing in which 1 see and feel, to my misery, of what a
culpable act I have been guilty in squandering to no purpose the
money which I received from the treasury in your name, while you
have to satisfy your creditors out of the very vitals of yourself and
your son. However, the sum mentioned in your letter has been paid
to M. Antonius, and the same amount to Caepio. For me the sum at
present in my hands is sufficient for what I contemplate doing. For
in either case--whether I am restored or given up in despair--I shall
not want any more money. For yourself, if you are molested, I
think you should apply to Crassus and Calidius. I don't know how
far Hortensius is to be trusted. Myself, with the most elaborate
presence of affection and the closest daily intimacy, he treated
with the most utter want of principle and thc most consummate
treachery, and Q. Arrius helped him in it: acting under whose
advice, promises, and injunctions, I was left helpless to fall into
this disaster. But this you will keep dark for fear they might injure
you. Take care also--and it is on this account that I think you
should cultivate Hortensius himself by means of Pomponius--that
the epigram on the irs Aurelia attributed to you when candidate for
the aedileship is not proved by false testimony to be yours. For
there is nothing that I am so afraid of as that, when people
understand how much pity for me your prayers and your acquittal
will rouse, they may attack you with all the greater violence.
Messahla I reckon as really attached to you: Pompey I regard as
still pretending only. But may you never have to put these things to
the test! And that prayer I would have offered to the gods had they
not ceased to listen to prayers of mine. However, I do pray that
they may be content with these endless miseries of ours; among
which, after all, there is no discredit for any wrong thing
done--sorrow is the beginning and end, sorrow that punishment is
most severe when our conduct has been most unexceptionable. As
to my daughter and yours and my young Cicero, why should I
recommend them to you, my dear brother? Rather I grieve that
their orphan state will cause you no less sorrow than it does me.
Yet as long as you are uncondemned they will not be fatherless.
The rest, by my hopes of restoration and the privilege of dying in
my fatherland, my tears will not allow me to write! Terentia also I
would ask you to protect, and to write me word on every subject.
Be as brave as the nature of the case admits.

Thessalonica, 13 June.




DIRECTLY I arrived at Rome, and there was anyone to whom I
could safely intrust a letter for you, I thought the very first thing I
ought to do was to congratulate you in your absence on my return.
For I knew, to speak candidly, that though in giving me advice you
had not been more courageous or far-seeing than myself, nor--
considering my devotion to you in the past--too careful in
protecting me from disaster, yet that you--though sharing in the
first instance in my mistake, or rather madness, and in my
groundless terror--had nevertheless been deeply grieved at our
separation, and had bestowed immense pains, zeal, care, and
labour in securing my return. Accordingly, I can truly assure you of
this, that in the midst of supreme joy and the most gratifying
congratulations, the one thing wanting to fill my cup of happiness
to the brim is the sight of you, or rather your embrace; and if I ever
forfeit that again, when I have once got possession of it, and if,
too, I do not exact the full delights of your charming society that
have fallen into arrear in the past, I shall certainly consider myself
unworthy of this renewal of my good fortune.

In regard to my political position, I have resumed what I thought
there would be the utmost difficulty in recovering--my brilliant
standing at the bar, my influence in the senate, and a popularity
with the loyalists even greater than I desired. In regard, however,
to my private property--as to which you are well aware to what an
extent it has been crippled, scattered, and plundered--I am in great
difficulties, and stand in need, not so much of your means (which I
look upon as my own), as of your advice for collecting and
restoring to a sound state the fragments that remain. For the
present, though I believe everything finds its way to you in the
letters of your friends, or even by messengers and rumour, yet I
will write briefly what I think you would like to learn from niy
letters above all others. On the 4th of August I started froui
Dyrrarhium, the very day on which the law about me was carried. I
arrived at Brundisium on the 5th of August. There my dear
Tulhiola met me on what was her own birthday, which happened
also to be the name-day of the colony of Brundisium and of the
temple of Safety, near your house. This coincidence was noticed
and celebrated with warm congratulations by the citizens of
Brundisium. On the 8th of August, while still at Brundisium, I
learnt by a letter from Quintus that the law had been passed at the
comitia centuriata with a surprising enthusiasm on the part of all
ages and ranks, and with an incredible influx of voters from Italy. I
then commenced my journey, amidst the compliments of the men
of highest consideration at Brundisium, and was met at every point
by legates bearing congratulations. My arrival in the
neighbourhood of the city was the signal for every soul of every
order known to my nomenclator coming out to meet me, except
those enemies who could not either dissemble or deny the fact of
their being such. On my arrival at the Porta Capena, the steps of
the temples were already thronged from top to bottom by the
populace; and while their congratulations were displayed by the
loudest possible applause, a similar throng and similar applause
accompanied me right up to the Capitol, and in the forum and on
the Capitol itself there was again a wonderful crowd. Next day, in
the senate, that is, the 5th of September, I spoke my thanks to the
senators. Two days after that--there having been a very heavy rise
in the price of corn, and great crowds having flocked first to the
theatre and then to the senate-house, shouting out, at the
instigation of Clodius, that the scarcity of corn was my
doing--meetings of the senate being held on those days to discuss
the corn question, and Pompey being called upon to undertake the
management of its supply in the common talk not only of the
plebs, but of the aristocrats also, and being himself desirous of the
commission, when the people at large called upon me by name to
support a decree to that effect, I did so, and gave my vote in a
carefully-worded speech. The other consulars, except Messalla and
Afranius, having absented themselves on the ground that they
could not vote with safety to themselves, a decree of the senate
was passed in the sense of my motion, namely, that Pompey should
be appealed to to undertake the business, and that a law should be
proposed to that effect. This decree of the senate having been
publicly read, and the people having, after the senseless and
new-fangled custom that now prevails, applauded the mention of
my name, I delivered a speech. All the magistrates present, except
one praetor and two tribunes, called on me to speak. Next day a
full senate, including all the consulars, granted everything that
Pompey asked for. Having demanded fifteen legates, he named me
first in the list, and said that he should regard me in all things as a
second self. The consuls drew up a law by which complete control
over the corn-supply for five years throughout the whole world
was given to Pompey. A second law is drawn up by Messius,
granting him power over all money, and adding a fleet and army,
and an imperium in the provinces superior to that of their
governors. After that our consular law seems moderate indeed: that
of Messius is quite intolerable. Pompey professes to prefer the
former; his friends the latter. The consulars led by Favonius
murmur: I hold my tongue, the more so that the pontifices have as
yet given no answer in regard to my house. If they annul the
consecration I shall have a splendid site. The consuls, in
accordance with a decree of the senate, will value the cost of the
building that stood upon it; but if the pontifices decide otherwise,
they will pull down the Clodian building, give out a contract in
their own name (for a temple), and value to me the cost of a site
and house. So our affairs are

"For happy though but ill, for ill not worst."

In regard to money matters I am, as you know, much embarrassed.
Besides, there are certain domestic troubles, which I do not intrust
to writing. My brother Quintus I love as he deserves for his
eminent qualities of loyalty, virtue, and good faith. I am longing to
see you, and beg you to hasten your return, resolved not to allow
me to be without the benefit of your advice. I am on the threshold,
as it were, of a second life. Already certain persons who defended
me in my absence begin to nurse a secret grudge at me now that I
am here, and to make no secret of their jealousy. I want you very




I HAVE already told you the earlier proceedings; now let me
describe what was done afterwards. The legations were postponed
from the 1st of February to the 13th. On the former day our
business was not brought to a settlement. On the 2nd of February
Milo appeared for trial. Pompey came to support him. Marcellus
spoke on being called upon by me. We came off with flying
colours. The case was adjourned to the 7th. Meanwhile (in the
senate), the legations having been postponed to the 13th, the
business of allotting the quaestors and furnishing the outfit of the
praetors was brought before the house. But nothing was done,
because many speeches were interposed denouncing the state of
the Republic. Gaius Cato published his bill for the recall of
Lentulus, whose son thereon put on mourning. On the 7th Milo
appeared. Pompey spoke, or rather wished to speak. For as soon as
he got up Clodius's ruffians raised a shout, and throughout his
whole speech he was interrupted, not only by hostile cries, but by
personal abuse and insulting remarks. However, when lie had
finished his speech--for he shewed great courage in these
circumstances, he was not cowed, he said all he had to say, and at
times had by his commanding presence even secured silence for
his words--well, when he had finished, up got Clodius. Our party
received him with such a shout--for they had determined to pay
him out--that he lost all presence of mind, power of speech, or
control over his countenance. This went on up to two o
clock--Pompey having finished his speech at noon--and every kind
of abuse, and finally epigrams of the most outspoken indecency
were uttered against Clodius and Clodia. Mad and livid with rage
Clodius, in the very midst of the shouting, kept putting questions
to his claque: "Who was it who was starving the commons to
death?" His ruffians answered, "Pompey." "Who wanted to be sent
to Alexandria ?" They answered, "Pompey." "Who did they wish to
go ?" They answered, "Crassus." The latter was present at the time
with no friendly feelings to Milo. About three o clock, as though at
a given signal, the Clodians began spitting at our men. There was
an outburst of rage. They began a movement for forcing us from
our ground. Our men charged: his ruffians turned tail. Clodius was
pushed off the rostra: and then we too made our escape for fear of
mischief in the riot. The senate was summoned into the Curia:
Pompey went home. However, I did not myself enter the
senate-house, lest I should be obliged either to refrain from
speaking on matters of such gravity, or in defending Pompey (for
he was being attacked by Bibulus, Curio, Favonius, and Servilius
the younger) should give offence to the loyalists. The business was
adjourned to the next day. Clodius fixed the Quirinalia (17th of
February) for his prosecution. On the 8th the senate met in the
temple of Apollo, that Pompey might attend. Pompey made an
impressive speech. That day nothing was concluded. On the 9th in
the temple of Apollo a degree passed the senate "that what had
taken place on the 7th of February was treasonable." On this day
Cato warmly inveighed against Pompey, and throughout his speech
arraigned him as though he were at the bar. He said a great deal
about me, to my disgust, though it was in very laudatory terms.
When he attacked Pompey's perfidy to me, he was listened to in
profound silence on the part of my enemies. Pompey answered
him boldly with a palpable allusion to Crassus, and said outright
that "he would take better precautions to protect his life than
Africanus had done, whom C. Carbo had assassinated."
Accordingly, important events appear to me to be in the wind. For
Pompey understands what is going on, and imparts to me that plots
are being formed against his life, that Gaius Cato is being
supported by Crassus, that money is being supplied to Clodius, that
both are backed by Crassus and Curio, as well as by Bibulus and
his other detractors: that he must take extraordinary precautions to
prevent being overpowered by that demagogue--with a people all
but wholly alienated, a nobility hostile, a senate ill-affected, and
the younger men corrupt. So he is making his preparations and
summoning men from the country. On his part, Clodius is rallying
his gangs: a body of men is being got together for the Quirinalia.
For that occasion we are considerably in a majority, owing to the
forces brought up by Pompey himself: and a large contingent is
expected from Picenum and Gallia, to enable us to throw out
Cato's bills also about Milo and Lentulus.

On the 10th of February an indictment was lodged against Sestius
for bribery by the informer Cn. Nerius, of the Pupinian tribe, arid
on the same day by a certain M. Tullius for riot. He was ill. I went
at once, as I was bound to do. to his house, and put myself wholly
at his service: and that was more than people expected, who
thought that I had good cause for being angry with him. The result
is that my extreme kindness and grateful disposition are made
manifest both to Sestius himself and to all the world, and I shall be
as good as my word. But this same informer Nerius also named
Cn. Lentulus Vatia and C. Cornelius to the commissioners. On the
same day a decree passed the senate "that political clubs and
associations should be broken up, and that a law in regard to them
should be brought in, enacting that those who did not break off
from them should be liable to the same penalty as those convicted
of riot."

On the 10th of February I spoke in defence of Bestia on a charge of
bribery before the praetor Cn. Domitius, in the middle of the
forum and in a very crowded court; and in the course of my speech
I came to the incident of Sestius, after receiving many wounds in
the temple of Castor, having been preserved by the aid of Bestia.
Here I took occasion to pave the way beforehand for a refutation of
the charges which are being got up against Sestius, and I passed a
well-deserved encomium upon him with the cordial approval of
everybody. He was himself very much delighted with it. I tell you
this because you have often advised me in your letters to retain the
friendship of Sestius. I am writing this on the 12th of February
before daybreak; the day on which I am to dine with Pomponius on
the occasion of his wedding.

Our position in other respects is such as you used to cheer my
despondency by telling me it would be--one of great dignity and
popularity: this is a return to old times for you and me effected, my
brother, by your patience, high character, loyalty, and, I may also
add, your conciliatory manners. The house of Licinius, near the
grove of Piso, has been taken for you. But, as I hope, in a few
months  time, after the 1st of July, you will move into your own.
Some excellent tenants, the Lamiae, have taken your house in
Carinie. I have received no letter from you since the one dated
Olbia. I am anxious to hear how you are and what you find to
amuse you, but above all to see you yourself as soon as possible.
Take care of your health, my dear brother, and though it is winter
time, yet reflect that after all it is Sardinia that you are in.

13 February.




IT will be delightful if you come to see us here. You will find that
Tyrannio has made a wonderfully good arrangement of my books,
the remains of which are better than I had expected. Still, I wish
you would send me a couple of your library slaves for Tyrannio to
employ as gluers, and in other subordinate work, and tell them to
get some fine parchment to make title-pieces, which you Greeks, I
think, call "sillybi." But all this is only if not inconvenient to you.
In any case, be sure you come yourself, if you can halt for a while
in such a place, and can persuade Pilia to accompany you. For that
is only fair, and Tulia is anxious that she should come. My word!
You have purchased a fine troop! Your gladiators, I am told, fight
superbly. If you had chosen to let them out you would have cleared
your expenses by the last two spectacles. But we will talk about
this later on. Be sure to come, and, as you love me, see about the
library slaves.




I HAVE often tried to say to you personally what I am about to
write, but was prevented by a kind of almost clownish bashfulness.
Now that I am not in your presence I shall speak out more boldly: a
letter does not blush. I am inflamed with an inconceivably ardent
desire, and one, as I think, of which I have no reason to be
ashamed, that in a history written by you my name should be
conspicuous and frequently mentioned with praise. And though
you have often shewn me that you meant to do so, yet I hope you
will pardon my impatience. For the style of your composition,
though I had always entertained the highest expectations of it, has
yet surpassed my hopes, and has taken such a hold upon me, or
rather has so fired my imagination, that I was eager to have my
achievements as quickly as possible put on record in your history.
For it is not only the thought of being spoken of by future ages that
makes me snatch at what seems a hope of immortality, but it is
also the desre of fully enjoying in my lifetime an authoritative
expression of your judgment, or a token of your kindness for me,
or the charm of your genius. Not, however, that while thus writing
I am unaware under what heavy burdens you are labouring in the
portion of history you have undertaken, and by this time have
begun to write. But because I saw that your history of the Italian
and Civil Wars was now all but finished, and because also you told
me that you were already embarking upon the remaining portions
of your work, I determined not to lose my chance for the want of
suggesting to you to consider whether you preferred to weave your
account of me into the main context of your history, or whether, as
many Greek writers have done--Callisthenes, the Phocian War;
Timeus, the war of Pyrrhus; Polybius, that of Numantia; all of
whom separated the wars I have named from their main
narratives--you would, like them, separate the civil conspiracy
from public and external wars. For my part, I do not see that it
matters much to my reputation, but it does somewhat concern my
impatience, that you should not wait till you come to the proper
place, but should at once anticipate the discussion of that question
as a whole and the history of that epoch. And at the same time, if
your whole thoughts are engaged on one incident and one person, I
can see in imagination how much fuller your material will be, and
how much more elaborately worked out. I am quite aware,
however, what little modesty I display, first, in imposing on you so
heavy a burden (for your engagements may well prevent your
compliance with my request), and in the second place, in asking
you to shew me off to advantage. What if those transactions are
not in your judgment so very deserving of commendation? Yet,
after all, a man who has once passed the border-line of modesty
had better put a bold face on it and be frankly impudent. And so I
again and again ask you outright, both to praise those actions of
mine in warmer terms than you perhaps feel, and in that respect to
neglect the laws of history. I ask you, too, in regard to the personal
predilection, on which you wrote in a certain introductory chapter
in the most gratifying and explicit terms--and by which you shew
that you were as incapable of being diverted as Xenophon's
Hercules by Pleasure--not to go against it, but to yield to your
affection for me a little more than truth shall justify. But if I can
induce you to undertake this, you will have, I am persuaded, matter
worthy of your genius and your wealth of language. For from the
beginning of the conspiracy to my return from exile it appears to
me that a moderate-sized monograph might be composed, in which
you will, on the one hand, be able to utilize your special
knowledge of civil disturbances, either in unravelling the causes of
the revolution or in proposing remedies for evils, blaming
meanwhile what you think deserves denunciation, and establishing
the righteousness of what you approve by explaining the principles
on which they rest: and on the other hand, if you think it right to be
more outspoken (as you generally do), you will bring out the
perfidy, intrigues, and treachery of many people towards me. For
my vicissitudes will supply you in your composition with much
variety, which has in itself a kind of charm, capable of taking a
strong hold on the imagination of readers, when you are the writer.
For nothing is better fitted to interest a reader than variety of
circumstance and vicissitudes of fortune, which, though the
reverse of welcome to us in actual experience, will make very
pleasant reading: for the untroubled recollection of a past sorrow
has a charm of its own. To the rest of the world, indeed, who have
had no trouble themselves, and who look upon the misfortunes of
others without any suffering of their own, the feeling of pity is
itself a source of pleasure. For what man of us is not delighted,
though feeling a certain compassion too, with the death-scene of
Epaminondas at Mantinea? He, you know, did not allow the dart to
be drawn from his body until he had been told, in answer to his
question, that his shield was safe, so that in spite of the agony of
his wound he died calmly and with glory. Whose interest is not
roused and sustained by the banishment and return of
Themistocles? Truly the mere chronological record of the annals
has very little charm for us--little more than the entries in the fasti:
but the doubtful and varied fortunes of a man, frequently of
eminent character, involve feelings of wonder, suspense, joy,
sorrow, hope, fear: if these fortunes are crowned with a glorious
death, the imagination is satisfied with the most fascinating delight
which reading can give. Therefore it will be more in accordance
with my wishes if you come to the resolution to separate from the
main body of your narrative, in which you embrace a continuance
history of events, what I may call the drama of my actions and
fortunes: for it includes varied acts, and shifting scenes both of
policy and circumstance. Nor am I afraid of appearing to lay snares
for your favour by flattering suggestions, when I declare that I
desire to be complimented and mentioned with praise by you
above all other writers. For you are not the man to be ignorant of
your own powers, or not to be sure that those who withhold their
admiration of you are more to be accounted jealous, than those
who praise you flatterers. Nor, again, am I so senseless as to wish
to be consecrated to an eternity of fame by one who, in so
consecrating me, does not also gain for himself the glory which
rightfully belongs to genius. For the famous Alexander himself did
not wish to be painted by Apelles, and to have his statue made by
Lysippus above all others, merely from personal favour to them,
but because he thought that their art would be a glory at once to
them and to himself. And, indeed, those artists used to make
images of the person known to strangers: but if such had never
existed, illustrious men would yet be no less illustrious. The
Spartan Agesilaus, who would not allow a portrait of himself to be
painted or a statue made, deserves to be quoted as an example
quite as much as those who have taken trouble about such
representations: for a single pamphlet of Xenophon's in praise of
that king has proved much more effective than all the portraits and
statues of them all, And, moreover, it will more redound to my
present exultation and the honour of my memory to have found my
way into your history, than if I had done so into that of others, in
this, that I shall profit not only by the genius of the writer--as
Timoleon did by that of Timaeus, Themistocles by that of
Herodotus--but also by the authority of a man of a most illustrious
and well-established character, and one well known and of the first
repute for his conduct in the most important and weighty matters
of state; so that I shall seem to have gained not only the fame
which Alexander on his visit to Sigeum said had been bestowed on
Achilles by Homer, but also the weighty testimony of a great and
illustrious man. For I like that saying of Hector in Naevius, who
not only rejoices that he is "praised," but adds, "and by one who
has himself been praised." But if I fail to obtain my request from
you, which is equivalent to saying, if you are by some means
prevented--for I hold it to be out of the question that you would
refuse a request of mine--I shall perhaps be forced to do what
certain persons have often found fault with, write my own
panegyric, a thing, after all, which has a precedent of many
illustrious men. But it will not escape your notice that there are the
following drawbacks in a composition of that sort: men are bound,
when writing of themselves, both to speak with greater reserve of
what is praiseworthy, and to omit what calls for blame. Added to
which such writing carries less conviction, less weight; many
people, in fine, carp at it, and say that the heralds at the public
games are more modest, far after having placed garlands on the
other recipients and proclaimed their names in a loud voice, when
their own turn comes to be presented with a garland before the
games break up, they call in the services of another herald, that
they may not declare themselves victors with their own voice. I
wish to avoid all this, and, if you undertake my cause, I shall avoid
it: and, accordingly, I ask you this favour. But why, you may well
ask, when you have already often assured me that yOu intended to
record in your book with the utmost minuteness the policy and
events of my consulship, do I now make this request to you with
such earnestness and in so many words? The reason is to be found
in that burning desire, of which I spoke at the beginning of my
letter, for something prompt: because I am in a flutter of
impatience, both that men should learn what I am from your book,
while I am still alive, and that I may myself in my lifetime have
the full enjoyment of my little bit of glory. What you intend doing
on this subject I should like you to write me word, if not
troublesome to you. For if you do undertake the subject, I will put
together sonic notes of all occurrences: but if you put me off to
some future time, I will talk the matter over with you. Meanwhile,
do not relax your efforts, and thoroughly polish what you have
already on the stocks, and--continue to love me.




I HAD only just arrived from Arpinum when your letter was
delivered to me; and from the same bearer I received a letter from
Avianius, in which there was this most liberal offer, that when he
came to Rome he would enter my debt to him on whatever day I
chose. Pray put yourself in my place: is it consistent with your
modesty or mine, first to prefer a request as to the day, and then to
ask more than a year's credit? But, my dear Gallus, everything
would have been easy, if you had bought the things I wanted, and
only up to the price that I wished. However, the purchases which,
according to your letter, you have made shall not only be ratified
by me, but with gratitude besides: for I fully understand that you
have displayed zeal and affection in purchasing (because you
thought them worthy of me) things which pleased yourself--a man,
as I have ever thought, of the most fastidious judgment in all
matters of taste. Still, I should like Damasippus to abide by his
decision: for there is absolutely none of those purchases that I care
to have. But you, being unacquainted with my habits, have bought
four or five of your selection at a price at which I do not value any
statues in the world. You compare your Bacchae with Metellus's
Muses. Where is the likeness? To begin with, I should never have
considered the Muses worth all that money, and I think all the
Muses would have approved my judgment: still, it would have
been appropriate to a library, and in harmony with my pursuits But
Bacchae! What place is there in my house for them? But, you will
say, they are pretty. I know them very well and have often seem
them. I would have commissioned you definitely in the case of
statues known to me, if I had decided on them. The sort of statues
that I am accustomed to buy are such as may adorn a place in a
pala stra after the fashion of gymnasia. What, again, have I, the
promoter of peace, to do with a statue of Mars? I am glad there
was not a statue of Saturn also: for I should have thought these two
statues had brought mc debt! I should have preferred some
representation of Mercury: I might then, I suppose, have made a
more favourable bargain with Arrianus. You say you meant the
table-stand for yourself; well, if you like it, keep it. But if you have
changed your mind I will, of course, have it. For the money you
have laid out, indeed, I would rather have purchased a place of call
at Tarracina, to prevent my being always a burden on my host.
Altogether I perceive that the fault is with my freedman, whom I
had distinctly commissioned to purchase certain definite things,
and also with lunius, whom I think you know, an intimate friend of
Avianius. I have constructed some new sitting-rooms in a
miniature colonnade on my Tusculan property. I want to ornament
them with pictures: for if I take pleasure in anything of that sort it
is in painting. However, if I am to have what you have bought, I
should like you to inform me where they are, when they are to be
fetched, and by what kind of conveyance. For if Damasippus
doesn't abide by his decision, I shall look for some would-be
Damasippus, even at a loss.

As to what you say about the house, as I was going out of town I
intrusted the matter to my daughter Tullia: for it 'vas at the very
hour of my departure that I got your letter. I also discussed the
matter with your friend Nicias, because he is, as you know,
intimate with Cassius. On my return, however, before I got your
last letter, I asked Tullia what she had done. She said that she had
approached Licinia (though I think Cassius is not very intimate
with his sister), and that she at once said that she could venture, in
the absence of her husband (Dexius is gone to Spain), to change
houses without his being there and knowing about it.. I am much
gratified that you should value association with me and my
domestic life so highly, as, in the first place, to take a house which
would enable you to live not only near me, but absolutely with me,
and, in the second place, to be in such a hurry to make this change
of residence. But, upon my life, I do not yield to you in eagerness
for that arrangement. So I will try every means in my power. For I
see the advantage to myself, and, indeed, the advantages to us
both. If I succeed in doing anything, I will let you know. Mind you
also write me word back on everything, and let me know, if you
please, when I am to expect you..




IF some bodily pain or weakness of health has prevented your
coming to the games, I put it down to fortune rather than your own
wisdom: but if you have made up your mind that these things
which the rest of the world admires are only worthy of contempt,
and, though your health would have allowed of it, you yet were
unwilling to come, then I rejoice at both facts--that you were free
from bodily pain, and that you had the sound sense to disdain what
others causelessly admire. Only I hope that some fruit of your
leisure may be forthcoming, a leisure, indeed, which you had a
splendid opportunity of enjoying to the full, seeing that you were
left almost alone in your lovely country. For I doubt not that in that
study of yours, from which you have opened a window into the
Stabian waters of the bay, and obtained a view of Misenum, you
have spent the morning hours of those days in light reading, while
those who left you there were watching the ordinary farces half
asleep. The remaining parts of the day, too, you spent in the
pleasures which you had yourself arranged to suit your own taste,
while we had to endure whatever had met with the approval of
Spurius Maecius. On the whole, if you care to know, the games
were most splendid, but not to your taste. I judge from my own.
For, to begin with, as a special honour to the occasion, those actors
had come back to the stage who, I thought, had left it for their
own. Indeed, your favourite, my friend Aesop, was in such a state
that no one could say a word against his retiring from the
profession. On beginning to recite the oath his voice failed him at
the words "If  I knowingly deceive." Why should I go on with the
story? You know all about the rest of the games, which hadn't
even that amount of charm which games on a moderate scale
generally have: for the spectacle was so elaborate as to leave no
room for cheerful enjoyment, and I think you need feel no regret at
having missed it. For what is the pleasure of a train of six hundred
mules in the "Clytemnestra," or three thousand bowls in the
"Trojan Horse," or gay-colored armour of infantry and cavalry in
some battle? These things roused the admiration of the vulgar; to
you they would have brought no delight. But if during those days
you listened to your reader Protogenes, so long at least as he read
anything rather than my speeches, surely you had far greater
pleasure than any one of us. For I don't suppose you wanted to see
Greek or Oscan plays, especially as you can see Oscan farces in
your senate-house over there, while you are so far from liking
Greeks, that you generally won't even go along the Greek road to
your villa Why, again, should I suppose you to care about missing
the athletes, since you disdained the gladiators? in which even
Pompey himself confesses that he lost his trouble and his pains.
There remain the two wild-beast hunts, lasting five days,
magnificent--nobody denies it--and yet, what pleasure can it be to
a man of refinement, when either a weak man is torn by an
extremely powerful animal, or a splendid animal is transfixed by a
hunting spear? Things which, after all, if worth seeing, you have
often seen before; nor did I, who was present at the games, see
anything the least new. The last day was that of the elephants, on
which there was a great deal of astonishment on the part of the
vulgar crowd, but no pleasure whatever. Nay, there was even a
certain feeling of compassion aroused by it, and a kitid of belief
created that that animal has soniethirig in common with mankind.
However, for my part, during this day, while the theatrical
exhibitions were on, lest by chance you should think me too
blessed, I almost split my lungs in defending your friend Caninius
Gallus. But if the people were as indulgent to me as they were to
Aesop, I would, by heaven, have been glad to abandon my
profession and live with you and others like us. The fact is I was
tired of it before, even when both age and ambition stirred me on,
and when I could also decline any defence that I didn't like; but
now, with things in the state that they are, there is no life worth
having. For, on the one hand, I expect no profit of my labor; and,
on the other, I am sometimes forced to defend men who have been
no friends to me, at the request of those to whom I am under
obligations. Accordingly, I am on the look-out for every excuse for
at last managing my life according to my own taste, and I loudly
applaud and vehemently approve both you and your retired plan of
life: and as to your infrequent appearances among us, I am the
more resigned to that because, were you in Rome, I should be
prevented from enjoying the charm of your society, and so would
you of mine, if I have any, by the overpowering nature of my
engagements; from which, if I get any relief--for entire release I
don't expect--I will give even you, who have been studying
nothing else for many years, some hints as to what it is to live a
life of cultivated enjoyment. Only be careful to nurse your weak
health and to continue your present care of it, so that you may be
able to visit my country houses and make excursions with me in
my litter. I have written you a longer letter than usual, from
superabundance, not of leisure, but of affection, because, if you
remember, you asked me in one of your letters to write you
something to prevent you feeling sorry at having missed the
games. And if I have succeeded in that, I am glad: if not, I yet
console myself with this reflexion, that in future you will both
come to the games and come to see me, and will not leave your
hope of enjoyment dependent on my letters.




YOUR note by its strong language has drawn out this letter. For as
to what actually occurred on the day of your start, it supplied me
with absoutely no subject for writing. But as when we are together
we are never at a loss for something to say, so ought our letters at
times to digress into loose chat. Well then, to begin, the liberty of
the Tenedians has received short shrift, no one speaking for them
except myself, Bibulus, Calidius, and Favonius. A complimentary
reference to you was made by the legates from Magnesia and
Sipylum, they saying that you were the man who alone had resisted
the demand of L. Sestius Pansa. On the remaining days of this
business in the senate, if anything occurs which you ought to
know, or even if there is nothing, I will write you something every
day. On the 12th I will not fail you or Pomponius. The poems of
Lucretius are as you say-- with many flashes of genius, yet very
technical. But when you return, . . . if you succeed in reading the
Empedoclea of Sallustius, I shall regard you as a hero, yet scarcely




AFTER extraordinary hot weather--I never remember greater
heat--I have refreshed myself at Arpinum, and enjoyed the extreme
loveliness of the river during the days of the games, having left my
tribesmen under the charge of Philotimus. I was at Arcanum on the
ioth of September. There I found Mescidius and Philoxenus, and
saw the water, for which they were making a course not far from
your villa, running quite nicely, especially considering the extreme
drought, and they said they were going to collect it in much greater
abundance. Everything is right with Herus. In your Manilian
property I came across Diphilus outdoing himself in dilatoriness.
Still, he had nothing left to construct, except baths, and a
promenade, and an aviary. I liked that villa very much, because its
paved colonnade gives it an air of very great dignity. I never
appreciated this till now that the colonnade itself has been all laid
open, and the columns have been polished. It all depends--and this
I will look to--upon the stuccoing being prettily done. The
pavements seemed to be being well laid. Certain of the ceilings I
did not like, and ordered them to be changed. As to the place in
which they say that you write word that a small entrance hall is to
be built--namely, in the colonnade--I liked it better as it is. For 1
did not think there was space sufficient for an entrance hall; nor is
it usual to have one, except in those buildings which have a larger
court; nor could it have bedrooms and apartments of that kind
attached to it. As it is, from the very beauty of its arched roof, it
will serve as an admirable summer room. However, if you think
differently, write back word as soon as possible. In the bath I have
moved the hot chamber to the other corner of the dressing-room,
because it was so placed that its steampipe was immediately under
the bedrooms. A fair-sized bed-room and a lofty winter one I
admired very much, for they were both spacious and
well-situated--on the side of the promenade nearest to the bath.
Diphilus had placed the columns out of the perpendicular, and not
opposite each other. These, of course, he shall take down; he will
learn some day to use the plumb-line and measure. On the whole, I
hope Diphilus's work will be completed in a few months: for
Qesius, who was with me at the time, keeps a very sharp look-out
upon him.

Thence I started straight along the via Vitularia to your
Fufidianum, the estate which we bought for you a few weeks ago
at Arpinum for 100,000 sesterces (about 8oo pounds). I never saw
a shadier spot in summer--water springs in many parts of it, and
abundant into the bargain. In short, Caesius thought that you would
easily irrigate fifty iugera of the meadow land. For my part, I can
assure you of this, which is more in my line, that you will have a
villa marvellously pleasant, with the addition of a fish-pond,
spouting fountains, a pakestra, and a shrubbery. I am told that you
wish to keep this Bovillae estate. You will determine as you think
good. Calvus said that, even if the control of the water were taken
from you, and the right of drawing it off were established by the
vendor, and thus an easement were imposed on that property, we
could yet maintain the price in case we wish to sell. He said that he
had agreed with you to do the work at three sesterces a foot, and
that he had stepped it, and made it three miles. It seemed to me
more. But I will guarantee that the money could nowhere be better
laid out. I had sent for Cillo from Venafrum, but on that very day
four of his fellow servants and apprentices bad been crushed by the
falling in of a tunnel at Venafrum. On the 23th of September I was
at Laterium. I examined the road, which appeared to me to be so
good as to Seem almost like a high road, except a hundred and
fifty paces--for I measured it myself from the little bridge at the
temple of Furina, in the direction of Satricum. There they had put
down dust, not gravel (this shall he changed), and that part of the
road is a very steep incline. But I understood that it could not be
taken in any other direction, particularly as you did not wish it to
go through the property of Locusta or Varro. The latter alone had
made the road very well where it skirted his own property. Locusta
hadn't touched it; but I will call on him at Rome, and think I shall
be able to stir him up, and at the same tune I think I shall ask M.
Tarus, who is now at Rome, and whom I am told promised to
allow you to do so, about making a watercourse through his
property. I much approved of your steward Nicephorius and I
asked him what orders you had given about that small building at
Laterium, about which you spoke to me. He told me in answer that
he had himself contracted to do the work for sixteen sestertia
(about 128 pounds), but that you had afterwards made many
additions to the work, but nothing to the price, and that he had
therefore given it up. I quite approve by Hercules, of your making
the additions you had determined upon; although the villa as it
stands seems to have the air of a philosopher, meant to rebuke the
extravagance of other villas. Yet, after all, that addition will be
pleasing. I praised your landscape gardener: he has so covered
everything with ivy, both the foundation-wall of the villa and the
spaces between the columns of the walk, that, upon my word,
those Greek statues seemed to be engaged in fancy gardening, and
to be shewing off the ivy. Finally, nothing can be cooler or more
mossy than the dressing-room of the bath. That is about all I have
to say about country matters. The gardener, indeed, as well as
Philotimus and Cincius are pressing on the ornamentation of your
town house; but I also often look in upon it myself, as I can do
without difficulty. Wherefore don't be at all anxious about that.

As to your always asking me about your son, of course I "excuse
you"; but I must ask you to "excuse" me also, for I don't allow that
you love him more than I do. And oh that he had been with me
these last few days at Arpinum, as he had himself set his heart on
being, and as I had no less done! As to Pomponia, please write and
say that, when I go out of town anywhere, she is to come with me
and bring the boy. I'll do wonders with him, if I get him to myself
when I am at leisure: for at Rome there is no time to breathe. You
know I formerly promised to do so for nothing. What do you
expect with such a reward as you promise me? I now come to your
letters which I received in several packets when I was at Arpinum.
For I received three from you in one day, and, indeed, as it seemed,
despatched by you at the same time--one of considerable length, in
which your first point was that my letter to you was dated earlier
than that to Caesar. Oppius at times cannot help this: the reason is
that, having settled to send letter-carriers, and having received a
letter from me, he is hindered by something turning up, and
obliged to despatch them later than he had intended; and I don't
take the trouble to have the day altered on a letter which I have
once handed to him. You write about Caesar's extreme affection
for us. This affection you must on your part keep warm, and I for
mine will endeavour to increase it by every means in my power.
About Pompey, I am carefully acting, and shall continue to act, as
you advise. That my permission to you to stay longer is a welcome
one, though I grieve at your absence and miss you exceedingly, 1
am yet partly glad. What you can be thinking of in sending for
such people as Hippodamus and some others, I do not understand.
There is not one of those fellows that won't expect a present from
you equal to a suburban estate. However, there is no reason for
your classing my friend Trebatius with them. I sent him to Caesar,
and Caesar has done all I expected. If he has not done quite what
he expected himself, I am not bound to make it up to him, and I in
like manner free and absolve you from all claims on his part. Your
remark, that you are a greater favourite with Caesar every day, is a
source of undying satisfaction to me. As to Balbus, who, as you
say, promotes that state of things, he is the apple of my eye. I am
indeed glad that you and my friend Trebonius like each other. As
to what you say about the military tribuneship, I, indeed, asked for
it definitely for Curtius, and Caeesar wrote back definitely to say
that there was one at Curtius's service, and chided me for my
modesty in making the request. If I have asked one for anyone
else--as I told Oppius to write and tell Caesar--I shall not be at all
annoyed by a refusal, since those who pester me for letters are
annoyed at a refusal from me. I like Curtius, as I have told him, not
only because you asked me to do so, but from the character you
gave of him; for from your letter I have gathered the zeal he
shewed for my restoration. As for the British expedition, I
conclude from your letter that we have no occasion either for fear
or exultation. As to public affairs, about which you wish Tiro to
write to you, I have written to you hitherto somewhat more
carelessly than usual, because I knew that all events, small or
great, were reported to Caesar. I have now answered your longest

Now hear what I have to say to your small one. The first point is
about Clodius's letter to Caesar. In that matter I approve of
Caesar's policy, in not having given way to your request so far as
to write a single word to that Fury. The next thing is about the
speech of Calventius "Marius." I am surprised at your saying that
you think I ought to answer it, particularly as, while no one is
likely to read that speech, unless I write an answer to it, every
schoolboy learns mine against him as an exercise. My books, all of
which you are expecting, I have begun, but I cannot finish them for
some days yet. The speeches for Scaurus and Plancius which you
clamour for I have finished. The poem to Caesar, which I had
begun, I have cut short. I will write what you ask me for, since
your poetic springs are running dry, as soon as I have time.

Now for the third letter. It is very pleasant and welcome news to
hear from you that Balbus is soon coming to Rome, and so well
accompanied! and will stay with me continuously till the 15th of
May. As to your exhorting me in the same letter, as in many
previous ones, to ambition and labour, I shall, of course, do as you
say: but when am I to enjoy any real life?

Your fourth letter reached me on the 13th of September, dated on
the ioth of August from Britain. In it there was nothing new except
about your Erigona, and if I get that from Oppius I will write and
tell you what I think of it. I have no doubt I shall like it. Oh yes! I
had almost forgotten to remark as to the man who, you say in your
letter, had written to Qesar about the applause given to Milo-- I am
not unwilling that Caesar should think that it was as warm as
possible. And in point of fact it was so, and yet that applause,
which is given to him, seems in a certain sense to be given to me.

I have also received a very old letter, but which was late in coming
into my hands, in which you remind me about the temple of Tellus
and the colonnade of Catulus. Both of these matters are being
actively carried out. At the temple of Tellus I have even got your
statue placed. So, again, as to your reminder about a suburban villa
and gardens, I was never very keen for one, and now my town
house has all the charm of such a pleasure-ground. On my arrival
in Rome on the 18th of September I found the roof on your house
finished: the part over the sitting-rooms, which you did not wish to
have many gables, now slopes gracefully towards the roof of the
lower colonnade. Our boy, in my absence, did not cease working
with his rhetoric master. You have no reason for being anxious
about his education, for you know his ability, and I see his
application. Everything else I take it upon myself to guarantee,
with full consciousness that I am bound to make it good.

As yet there are three parties prosecuting Gabinius: first, L.
Lentulus, son of the flainen, who has entered a prosecution for lese
majeste; secondly, Tib. Nero with good names at the back of his
indictment; thirdly, C. Memmius the tribune in conjunction with L.
Capito. He came to the walls of the city on the 19th of September,
undignified and neglected to the last degree. But in the present
state of the law courts I do not venture to be confident of anything.
As Cato is unwell, he has not yet been formally indicted for
extortion. Pompey is trying hard to persuade me to be reconciled
to him, but as yet he has not yet succeeded at all, nor, if I retain a
shred of liberty, will he succeed. I am very anxious for a letter
from you. You say that you have been told that I was a party to the
coalition of the consular candidates--it is a lie. The compacts male
in that coalition afterwards made public by Memmius, were of
such a nature that no loyal man ought to have been a party to them;
nor at the same time was it possible for me to be a party to a
coalition from which Messalla was excluded, who is thoroughly
satisfied with my conduct in every particular, as also, I think, is
Memmius. To Domitius himself I have rendered many services
which he desired and asked of me. I have put Scaurus under a
heavy obligation by my defence of him. It is as yet very uncertain
both when the elections will be and who will be consuls.

Just as I was folding up this epistle letter-carriers arrived from you
and Caesar (20th September) after a journey of twenty days. How
anxious I was! How painfully I was affected by Caesar's most kind
letter! But the kinder it was, the more sorrow did his loss occasion
me. But to turn to your letter. To begin with, I reiterate my
approval of your staying on, especially as, according to your
account, you have consulted Caesar on the subject. I wonder that
Oppius has anything to do with Publius for I advised against it.
Farther on in your letter you say that I am going to be made legatus
to Pompey on the 13th of September: I have heard nothing about it,
and I wrote to Caesar to tell him that neither Vibullius nor Oppius
had delivered his message to Pompey about my remaining at
home. Why, I know not. However, it was I who restrained Oppius
from doing so, because it was Vibullius who should take the
leading part in that matter: for with him Caesar had communicated
personally, with Oppius only by letter. I indeed can have no
"second thoughts" in matters connected with Caesar. He comes
next after you and our children in my regard, and not much after. I
think I act in this with deliberate judgment, for I have by this time
good cause for it, yet warm personal feeling no doubt does
influence me also.

Just as I had written these last words--which are by my own
hand--your boy came in to dine with me, as Pomponia was dining
out. He gave me your letter to read, which he had received shortly
before--a truly Aristophanic mixture of jest and earnest, with
which I was greatly charmed. He gave me also your second letter,
in which you bid him cling to my side as a mentor. How delighted
he was with those letters! And so was I. Nothing could be more
attractive than that boy, nothing more affectionate to me !--This, to
explain its being in another handwriting, I dictated to Tiro while at

Your letter gratified Annalis very much, as shewing that you took
an active interest in his concerns, and yet assisted him with
exceedingly candid advice. Publius Servilius the elder, from a
letter which he said he had received from Caesar, declares himself
highly obliged to you for having spoken with the greatest kindness
and earnestness of his devotion to Caesar. After my return to Rome
from Arpinum I was told that Hippodamus had started to join you.
I cannot say that I was surprised at his having acted so
discourteously as to start to join you without a letter from me: I
only say that, that I was annoyed. For I had long resolved, from an
expression in your letter, that if I had anything I wished conveyed
to you with more than usual care, I should give it to him: for, in
truth, into a letter like this, which I send you in an ordinary way, I
usually put nothing that, if it fell into certain hands, might be a
source of annoyance. I reserve myself for Minucius and Salvius
and Labeo. Labeo will either be starting late or will stay here
altogether. Hippodamus did not even ask me whether he could do
anything for me. T. Penarius sends me a kind letter about you: says
that he is exceedingly charmed with your literary pursuits,
conversation, and above all by your dinners. He was always a
favourite of mine, and I see a good deal of his brother. Wherefore
continue, as you have begun, to admit the young man to your

From the fact of this letter having been in hand during many days,
owing to the delay of the letter-carriers, I have jotted down in it
many various things at odd times, as, for instance, the following:
Titus Anicius has mentioned to me more than once that he would
not hesitate to buy a suburban property for you, if he found one. In
these remarks of his I find two things surprising: first, that when
you write to him about buying a suburban property, you not only
don't write to me to that effect, but write even in a contrary sense;
and, secondly, that in writing to him you totally forget his letters
which you shewed me at Tusculum, and as totally the rule of
Epicharmus, "Notice how he has treated another": in fact, that you
have quite forgotten, as I think, the lesson conveyed by the
expression of his face, his conversation, and his spirit. But this is
your concern. As to a suburban property, be sure to let me know
your wishes, and at the same time take care that that fellow doesn't
get you into trouble. What else have I to say? Anything? Yes, there
is this: Gabinius entered the city by night on the 27th of
September, and today, at two o clock, when he ought to have
appeared on his trial for lese majeste, in accordance with the edict
of C. Alflus, he was all but crushed to the earth by a great and
unanimous demonstration of the popular hatred. Nothing could
exceed his humiliating position. However, Piso comes next to him.
So I think of introducing a marvellous episode into my second
book--Apollo declaring in the council of the gods what sort of
return that of the two commanders was to be, one of whom had
lost, and the other sold his army. From Britain I have a letter of
Qesar's dated the 1st of September, which reached me on the 27th,
satisfactory enough as far as the British expedition is concerned, in
which, to prevent my wondering at not getting one from you, he
tells me that you were not with him when he reached the coast. To
that letter I made no reply, not even a formal congratulation, on
account of his mourning. Many, many wishes, dear brother, for
your health.




M. CICERO desires his warmest regards to P. Lentulus, imperator.
Your letter was very gratifying to me, from which I gathered that
you fully appreciated my devotion to you: for why use the word
kindness, when even the word "devotion" itself, with all its solemn
and holy associations, seems too weak to express my obligations to
you? As for your saying that my services to you are gratefully
accepted, it is you who in your overflowing affection make things,
which cannot be omitted without criminal negligence, appear
deserving of even gratitude. However, my feelings towards you
would have been much more fully known and conspicuous, if,
during all this time that we have been separated, we had been
together, and together at Rome. For precisely in what you declare
your intention of doing--what no one is more capable of doing, and
what I confidently look forward to from you--that is to say, in
speaking in the senate, and in every department of public life and
political activity, we should together have been in a very strong
position (what my feelings and position are in regard to politics
I will explain shortly, and will answer the questions you ask), and
at any rate I should have found in you a supporter, at once most
warmly attached and endowed with supreme wisdom, while in me
you would have found an adviser, perhaps not the most unskilful in
the world, and at least both faithful and devoted to your interests.
However, for your own sake, of course, I rejoice, as I am bound to
do, that you have been greeted with the title of imperator, and are
holding your province and victorious army after a successful
campaign. But certainly, if you had been here, you would have
enjoyed to a fuller extent and more directly the benefit of the
services 1which I am bound to render you. Moreover, in taking
vengeance on those whom you know in some cases to be your
enemies, because you championed the cause of my recall, in others
to be jealous of the splendid position and renown which that
measure brought you, I should have done you yeoman's service as
your associate. However, that perpetual enemy of his own friends,
who, in spite of having been honoured with the highest
compliments on your part, has selected you of all people for the
object of his impotent and enfeebled violence, has saved me the
trouble by punishing himself. For he has made attempts, the
disclosure of which has left him without a shred, not only of
political position, but every of freedom of action. And though I
should have preferred that you should have gained your experience
in my case alone, rather than in your own also, yet in the midst of
my regret I am glad that you have learnt what the fidelity of
mankind is worth, at no great cost to yourself, which I learnt at the
price of excessive pain. And I think that I have now an opportunity
presented me, while answering the questions you have addressed
to me, of also explaining my entire position and view. You say in
your letter that you have been informed that I have become
reconciled to Cmesar and Appius, and you add that you have no
fault to find with that. But you express a wish to know what
induced me to defend and compliment Vatinius. In order to make
my explanation plainer I must go a little farther back in the
statement of my policy and its grounds.

Well, Lentulus! At first--after the success of your efforts for my
recall--I looked upon myself as having been restored not alone to
my friends, but to the Republic also; and seeing that I owed you an
affection almost surpassing belief, and every kind of service,
however great and rare, that could be bestowed on your person, I
thought that to the Republic, which had much assisted you in
restoring me, I at least was bound to entertain the feeling which I
had in old times shewed merely from the duty incumbent on all
citizens alike, and not as an obligation incurred by some special
kindness to myself. That these were my sentiments I declared to
the senate when you were consul, and you had yourself a full view
of them in our conversations and discussions. Yet from the very
first my feelings were hurt by many circumstances, when, on your
mooting the question of the full restoration of my position, I
detected the covert hatred of some and the equivocal attachment of
others. For you received no support from either in regard to my
vexatious to me: but much more so was the fact that they used,
before my very eyes, so to embrace, fondle, make much of, and
kiss my enemy mine do I say? rather the enemy of the laws, of the
law courts, of peace, of his country, of all loyal men ! that they did
not indeed rouse my bile, for I have utterly lost all that, but
imagined they did. In these circumstances, having, as far as is
possible for human prudeuce, thoroughly examined my whole
position, and having balanced the items of the account, I arrived at
a final result of all my reflexions, which, as well as I can, I will
now briefly put before you.

If I had seen the Republic in the hands of bad or profligate
citizens, as we know happened during the supremacy of Cinna, and
on some other occasions, I should not under the pressure, I don t
say of rewards, which are the last things to influence me, but even
of danger, by which, after all, the bravest men are moved, have
attached myself to their party, not even if their services to me had
been of the very highest kind. As it is, seeing that the leading
statesman in the Republic was Pompey, a man who had gained this
power and renown by the most eminent services to the state and
the most glorious achievements, and one of whose postion I had
been a supporter from my youth up, and in my praetorship and
consulship an active promoter also, and seeing that this same
statesman had assisted me, in his own person by the weight of his
influence and the expression of his opinion, and, in conjunction
with you, by his counsels and zeal, and that he regarded my enemy
as his own supreme enemy in the state I did not think that I need
fear the reproach of inconsistency, if in some of my senatorial
votes I somewhat changed my standpoint, and contributed my zeal
to the promotion of the dignity of a most distiii  guished man, and
one to whom I am under the highest obligations. In this sentiment I
had necessarily to include Caesar, as you see, for their policy and
position were inseparably united. Here I was greatly influenced by
two things the old friendship which you know that I and my
brother Quintus have had with Caesar, and his own kindness and
liberality, of which we have recently had clear and mistakable
evidence both by his letters and his personal attentions. I was also
strongly affected by the Republic itself, which appeared to me to
demand, especially considering Caesar's brilliant successes, that
there should be no quarrel maintained with these men, and indeed
to forbid it in the strongest manner possible. Moreover, while
entertaining these feelings, I was above all shaken by the pledge
which Pompey had given for me to Caesar, and my brother to
Pompey. Besides, I was forced to take into consideration the state
maxim so divinely expressed by our master Plato--" Such as are
the chief men in a republic, such are ever wont to be the other
citizens." I called to mind that in my consulship, from the very 1st
of January, such a foundation was laid of encouragement for the
senate, that no one ought to have been surprised that on the 5th of
December there was so much spirit and such commanding
influence in that house. I also remember that when I became a
private citizen up to the consulship of Caesar and Bibulus, when
the opinions expressed by me had great weight in the senate, the
feeling among all the loyalists was invariable. Afterwards, while
you were holding the province of hither Spain with imperiuni and
the Republic had no genuine consuls, but mere hucksters of
provinces, mere slaves and agents of sedition, an accident threw
my head as an apple of discord into the midst of contending
factions and civil broils. And in that hour of danger, though a
unanimity was displayed on the part of the senate that was
surprising, on the part of all Italy surpassing belief, and of all the
loyalists unparalleled, in standing forth in my defence, I will not
say what happened--for the blame attaches to many, and is of
various shades of turpitude--I will only say briefly that it was not
the rank and file, but the leaders, that played me false. And in this
matter, though some blame does attach to those who failed to
defend me, no less attaches to those who abandoned me: and if
those who were frightened deserve reproach, if there are such, still
more are those to be blamed who pretended to be frightened. At
any rate, my policy is justly to be praised for refusing to allow my
fellow citizens (preserved by me and ardently desiring to preserve
me) to be exposed while bereft of leaders to armed slaves, and for
preferring that it should be made manifest how much force there
might be in the unanimity of the loyalists, if they had been
permitted to champion my cause before I had fallen, when after
that fall they had proved strong enough to raise me up again. And
the real feelings of these men you not only had the penetration to
see, when bringing forward my case, but the power to encourage
and keep alive. In promoting which measure--I will not merely not
deny, but shall always remember also and gladly proclaim it--you
found certain men of the highest rank more courageous in securing
my restoration than they had been in preserving me from my fall:
and, if they had chosen to maintain that frame of mind, they would
have recovered their own commanding position along with my
salvation. For when the spirit of the loyalists had been renewed by
your consulship, and they had been roused from their dismay by
the extreme firmness and rectitude of your official conduct; when,
above all, Pompey's support had been secured; and when Caesar,
too, with all the prestige of his brilliant achievements, after being
honoured with unique and unprecedented marks of distinction and
compliments by the senate, was now supporting the dignity of the
house, there could have been no opportunity for a disloyal citizen
of outraging the Republic.

But now notice, I beg, what actually ensued. First of all, that
intruder upon the women's rites, who had shewn no more respect
for the Bona Dea than for his three sisters, secured immunity by
the votes of those men who, when a tribune wished by a legal
action to exact penalties from a seditious citizen by the agency of
the loyalists, deprived the Republic of what would have been
hereafter a most splendid precedent for the punishment of sedition.
And these same persons, in the case of the monument, which was
not mine, indeed--for it was not erected from the proceeds of
spoils won by me, and I had nothing to do with it beyond giving
out the contract for its construction--well, they allowed this
monument of the senate's to have branded upon it the name of a
public enemy, and an inscription written in blood. That those men
wished my safety rouses my liveliest gratitude, but I could have
wished that they had not chosen to take my bare safety into
consideration, like doctors, but, like trainers, my strength and
complexion also! As it is, just as Apelles perfected the head and
bust of his Venus with the most elaborate art, but left the rest of
her body in the rough, so certain persons only took pains with my
head, and left the rest of my body unfinished and unworked. Yet in
this matter I have falsified the expectation, not only of the jealous,
but also of the downright hostile, who formerly conceived a wrong
opinion from the case of Quintus Metellus, son of Lucius--the most
energetic and gallant man in the world, and in my opinion of
surpassing courage and firmness--who, people say, was much cast
down and dispirited after his return from exile. Now, in the first
place, we are asked to believe that a man who accepted exile with
entire willingness and remarkable cheerfulness, and never took any
pains at all to get recalled, was crushed in spirit about an affair in
which he had shewn more firmness and constancy than anyone
else, even than the preeminent M. Scaurus himself! But, again, the
account they had received, or rather the conjectures they were
indulging in about him, they now transferred to me, imagining that
I should be more than usually broken in spirit: whereas, in fact, the
Republic was inspiring me with even greater courage than I had
ever had before, by making it plain that I was the one citizen it
could not do without; and by the fact that while a bill proposed by
only one tribune had recalled Metellus, the whole state had joined
as one man in recalling me--the senate leading the way, the whole
of Italy following after, eight of the tribunes publishing the bill, a
consul putting the question at the centuriate assembly, all orders
and individuals pressing it on, in fact, with all the forces at its
command. Nor is it the case that I afterwards made any pretension,
or am making any at this day, which can justly offend anyone,
even the most malevolent: my only effort is that I may not fail
either my friends or those more remotely connected with me in
either active service, or counsel, or personal exertion. This course
of life perhaps offends those who fix their eyes on the glitter and
show of my professional position, but are unable to appreciate its
anxieties and laboriousness.

Again, they make no concealment of their dissatisfaction on the
ground that in the speeches which I make in the senate in praise of
Caesar I am departing from my old policy. But while giving
explanations on the points which I put before you a short time ago,
I will not keep till the last the following, which I have already
touched upon. You will not find, my dear Lentulus, the sentiments
of the loyalists the same as you left them--strengthened by my
consulship, suffering relapse at intervals afterwards, crushed down
before your consulship, revived by you: they have now been
abandoned by those whose duty it was to have maintained them:
and this fact they, who in the old state of things as it existed in our
day used to be called Optiinates, not only declare by look and
expression of countenance, by which a false pretence is easiest
supported, but have proved again and again by their actual
sympathies and votes. Accordingly, the entire view and aim of
wise citizens, such as I wish both to be and to be reckoned, must
needs have undergone a change. For that is the maxim of that same
great Plato, whom I emphatically regard as my master: "Maintain a
political controversy only so far as you can convince your fellow
citizens of its justice: never offer violence to parent or fatherland."
He, it is true, alleges this as his motive for having abstained from
politics, because, having found the Athenian people all but in its
dotage, and seeing that it could not be ruled by persuasion, or by
anything short of compulsion, while he doubted the possibility of
persuasion, he looked upon compulsion as criminal. My position
was different in this: as the people was not in its dotage, nor the
question of engaging in politics still an open one for me, I was
bound hand and foot. Yet I rejoiced that I was permitted in one and
the same cause to support a policy at once advantageous to myself
and acceptable to every loyalist. An additional motive was Caesar's
memorable and almost superhuman kindness to myself and my
brother, who thus would have deserved my support whatever he
undertook; while as it is, considering his great success and his
brilliant victories, he would seem, even if he had not behaved to
me as he has, to claim a panegyric from me. For I would have you
believe that, putting you aside, who were the authors of my recall,
there is no one by whose good offices I would not only confess,
but would even rejoice, to have been so much bound.

Having explained this matter to you, the questions you ask about
Vatinius and Crassus are easy to answer. For, since you remark
about Appius, as about Caesar, "that you have no fault to find," I
can only say that I am glad you approve my policy. But as to
Vatinius, in the first place there had been in the interval a
reconciliation effected through Pompey, immediately after his
election to the praetorship, though I had, it is true, impugned his
candidature in some very strong speeches in the senate, and yet not
so much for the sake of attacking him as of defending and
complimenting Cato. Again, later on, there followed a very
pressing request from Caesar that I should undertake his defence.
But my reason for testifying to his character I beg you will not ask,
either in the case of this defendant or of others, lest I retaliate by
asking you the same question when you come home: though I can
do so even before you return: for remember for whom you sent a
certificate of character from the ends of the earth. However, don't
be afraid, for those same persons are praised by myself, and will
continue to be so. Yet, after all, there was also the motive spurring
me on to undertake his defence, of which, during the trial, when I
appeared for him, I remarked that I was doing just what the
parasite in the Eunuchus advised the captain to do:

"As oft as she names Phxdria, you retort
With Pamphila. If ever she suggest,
'Do let us have in Phudria to our revel:'
Quoth you, 'And let us call on Pamphila
To sing a song.' If she shall praise his looks,
Do you praise hers to match them: and, in fine,
Give tit for tat, that you may sting her soul."

So I asked the jurors, since certain men of high rank, who, had also
done me very great favours, were much enamoured of my enemy,
and often under my very eyes in the senate now took him aside in
grave consultation, now embraced him familiarly and
cheerfully--since these men had their Publius, to grant me another
Publius, in whose person I might repay a slight attack by a
moderate retort. And, indeed, I am often as good as my word, with
the applause of gods and men. So much for Vatinius. Now about
Crassus. I thought I had done much to secure his gratitude in
having, for the sake of the general harmony, wiped out by a kind of
voluntary act of oblivion all his very serious injuries, when he
suddenly undertook the defence of Gabinius, whom only a few
days before he had attacked with the greatest bitterness.
Nevertheless, I should have borne that, if he had done so without
casting any offensive reflexions on me. But on his attacking tile,
though I was only arg-tling and not inveighing against him, I fired
up not only, I think, with the passion of the moment--for that
perhaps would not have been so hot--but the smothered wrath at
his many wrongs to me, of which I thought I had wholly got rid,
having, unconsciously to myself, lingered in my soul, it suddenly
shewed itself in full force, And it was at this precise time that
certain persons (the same whom I frequently indicate by a sign or
hint), while declaring that they had much enjoyed my outspoken
style, and had never before fully realized that I was restored to the
Republic in all my old character, and when my conduct of that
controversy had gained me much credit outside the house also,
began saying that they were glad both that he was now my enemy,
and that those who were involved with him would never be my
friends. So when their ill-natured remarks were reported to me by
men of most respectable character, and when Pompey pressed me
as he had never done before to be reconciled to Crassus, and
Caesar wrote to say that he was exceedingly grieved at that
quarrel, I took into consideration not only my circumstances, but
my natural inclination: and Crassus, that our reconciliation might,
as it were, be attested to the Roman people, started for his
province, it might almost be said, from my hearth. For he himself
named a day and dined with me in the suburban villa of my
son-in-law Crassipes. On this account, as you say that you have
been told, I supported his cause in the senate, which I had
undertaken on Pompey's strong recommendation, as I was bound
in honour to do.

I have now told you with what motives I have supported each
measure and cause, and what my position is in politics as far as I
take any part in them: and I would wish you to make sure of
this--that I should have entertamed the same sentiments, if I had
been still perfectly uncommitted and free to choose. For I should
not have thought it right to fight against such overwhelming
power, nor to destroy the supremacy of the most distinguished
citizens, even if it had been possible; nor, again, should I have
thought myself bound to abide by the same view, when
circumstances were changed and the feelings of the loyalists
altered, but rather to bow to circumstances. For the persistence in
the same view has never been regarded as a merit in men eminent
for their guidance of the helm of state; but as in steering a ship one
secret of the art is to run before the storm, even if you cannot make
the harbour; yet, when you can do so by tacking about, it is folly to
keep to the course you have begun rather than by changing it to
arrive all the same at the destination you desire: so while we all
ought in the administration of the state to keep always in view the
object I have very frequently mentioned, peace combined with
dignity, we are not bound always to use the same language, but to
fix our eyes on the same object. Wherefore, as I laid down a little
while ago, if I had had as free a hand as possible in everything, I
should yet have been no other than I now am in politics. When,
moreover, I am at once induced to adopt these sentiments by the
kindness of certain persons, and driven to do so by the injuries of
others, I am quite content to think and speak about public affairs as
I conceive best conduces to the interests both of myself and of the
Republic. Moreover, I make this declaration the more openly and
frequently, both because my brother Quintus is Caesar's legate, and
because no word of mine, however trivial, to say nothing of any
act, in support of Caesar has ever transpired, which lie has not
received with such marked gratitude, as to make me look upon
myself as closely bound to him. Accordingly, I have the advantage
of his popularity, which you know to be very great, and his
material resources, which you know to be immense, as though they
were my own. Nor do I think that I could in any other way have
frustrated the plots of unprincipled persons against me, unless I
had now combined with those protections, which I have always
possessed, the goodwill also of the men in power. I should, to the
best of my belief, have followed this same line of policy even if I
had had you here. For I well know the reasonableness and
soberness of your judgment: I know your mind, while warmly
attached to me, to be without a tinge of malevolence to others, but
on the contrary as open and candid as it is great and lofty. I have
seen certain persons conduct themselves towards you as you might
have seen the same persons conduct themselves towards me. The
same things that have annoyed me would certainly have annoyed
you. But whenever I shall have the enjoyment of your presence,
you will be the wise critic of all my plans: you who took thought
for my safety will also do so for my dignity. Me, indeed, you will
have as the partner and associate in all your actions, sentiments,
wishes--in fact, in everything; nor shall I ever in all my life have
any purpose so steadfastly before me, as that you should rejoice
more and more warmly every day that you did me such eminent

As to your request that I would send you any books I have written
since your departure, there are sonic speeches, which I will give
Menocritus, not so very many, so don't be afraid! I have also
written- for I am now rather withdrawing from oratory and
returning to the gentler Muses, which now give me greater delight
than any others, as they have done since my earliest youth--well,
then, I have written in the Aristotelian style, at least that was my
aim, three books in the form of a discussion in dialogue "On the
Orator," which, I think, well be of some service to your Lentulus.
For they differ a good deal from the current maxims, and embrace
a discussion on the whole oratorical theory of the ancients, both
that of Aristotle and Isocrates. I have also written in verse three
books "On my own Times," which I should have sent you some
time ago, if I had thought they ought to be published--for they are
witnesses, and will he eternal witnesses, of your services to me
arid of my affection--hut I refrained because I was afraid, not of
those who might think themselves attacked, for I have been very
sparing and gentle in that respect, but of my benefactors, of whom
it were an endless task to mention the whole list. Nevertheless, the
books, such as they are, if I find anyone to whom I can safely
commit them, I will take care to have conveyed to you: and as far
as that part of my life and conduct is concerned, I submit it entirely
to your judgment. All that I shall succeed in accomplishing in
literature or in learning--my old favourite relaxations--I shall with
the utmost cheerfulness place before the bar of your criticism, for
you have always had a fondness for such things. As to what you
say in your letter about your domestic affairs, and all you charge
me to do, I am so attentive to them that I don't like being
reminded, can scarcely bear, indeed, to be asked without a very
painful feeling. As to your saying, in regard to Quintus's business,
that you could not do anything last summer, because you were
prevented by illness from crossing to Cilicia, but that you will now
do everything in your power to settle it, I may tell you that the fact
of the matter is that, if he can annex this property, my brother
thinks that he will owe to you the consolidation of this ancestral
estate. I should like you to write about all your affairs, and about
the studies and training of your son Lentulus (whom I regard as
mine also) as confidentially and as frequently as possible, and to
believe that there never has been anyone either dearer or more
congenial to another than you are to me, and that I will not only
make you feel that to be the case, but will make all the world and
posterity itself to the latest generation aware of it.

Appius used some time back to repeat in conversation, and
afterwards said openly, even in the senate, that if he were allowed
to carry a law in the cornitia curiata, he vould draw lots with his
colleague for their provinces; but if no curiatian law were passed,
he would make an arralgement with his colleague and succeed
you: that a curiatian law was a proper thing for a consul, but was
not a necessity: that since he was in possession of a province by a
decree of the senate, he should have imperiuns in virtue of the
Cornelian law until such time as he entered the city. I don't know
what your several connexions write to you on the subject: I
understand that opinion varies. There are some who think that you
can legally refuse to quit your province, because your successor is
named without a curiatian law: some also hold that, even if you do
quit it, you may leave some one behind you to conduct its
government. For myself, I do not feel so certain about the point of
law--although there is not much doubt even about that--as I do of
this, that it is for your greatest honour, dignity, and independence,
which I know you always value above everything, to hand over
your province to a successor without any delay, especially as you
cannot thwart his greediness without rousing suspicion of your
own. I regard my duty as twofold--to let you know what I think,
and to defend what you have done.

PS.--I had written the above when I received your letter about the
publicani, to whom I could not but admire the justice of your
conduct. I could have wished that you had been able by sonic
lucky chance to avoid running counter to the interests and wishes
of that order, whose honour you have always promoted. For my
part, I shall not cease to defend your decrees: but you know the
ways of that class of men; you are aware how bitterly hostile they
were to the famous Q. Scaevola himself. However, I advise you to
reconcile that order to yourself, or at least soften its feelings, if you
can by any means do so. Though difficult, I think it is,
nevertheless, not beyond the reach of your sagacity.




IN the "Trojan Horse," just at the end, you remember the words,
"Too late they learn wisdom." You, however, old man, were wise
in time. Those first snappy letters of yours were foolish enough,
and then--! I don't at all blame you for not being over-curious in
regard to Britain. For the present, however, you seem to be in
winter quarters somewhat short of warm clothing, and therefore
not caring to stir out:

"Not here and there, but everywhere,
Be wise and ware:
No sharper steel can warrior bear."

If I had been by way of dining out, I would not have failed your
friend Cn. Octavius; to whom, however, I did remark upon his
repeated invitations, "Pray, who are you?" But, by Hercules, joking
apart, be is a pretty fellow: I could have wished you had taken him
with you! Let me know for certain what you are doing and whether
you intend coming to Italy at all this winter. Balbus has assured me
that you will be rich. Whether he speaks after the simple Roman
fashion, meaning that you will be well supplied with money, or
according to the Stoic dictum, that "all are rich who can enjoy the
sky and the earth," I shall know hereafter. Those who come from
your part accuse you of pride, because they say you won't answer
men who put questions to you. However, there is one thing that
will please you: they all agree in saying that there is no better
lawyer than you at Samarobriva!




YES, I saw well enough what your feelings were as I parted from
you; what mine were I am my own witness. This makes it all the
mote incumbent on you to prevent an additional decree being
passed, so that this mutual regret of ours may not last more than a
year. As to Annius Saturninus, your measures are excellent. As to
the guarantee, pray, during your stay at Rome, give it yourself.
You will find several guarantees on purchase, such as those of the
estates of Memmius, or rather of Attilius. As to Oppius, that is
exactly what I wished, and especially your having engaged to pay
him the 8oo sestertia (about 6,400 pounds), which I am determined
shall be paid in any case, even if I have to borrow to do so, rather
than wait for the last day of getting in my own debts.

I now come to that last line of your letter written crossways, in
which you give me a word of caution about your sister. The facts
of the matter are these. On arriving at my place at Arpinum, my
brother came to see me, and our first subject of conversation was
yourself, and we discussed it at great length. After this I brought
the conversation round to what you and I had discussed at
Tusculum, on the subject of your sister. I never saw anything so
gentle and placable as my brother was on that occasion in regard to
your sister: so much so, indeed, that if there had been any cause of
quarrel on the score of expense, it was not apparent. So much for
that day. Next day we started from Arpinum. A country festival
caused Quintus to stop at Arcanum; I stopped at Aquinum; but we
lunched at Arcanum. You know his property there. When we got
there Quintus said, in the kindest manner, "Pomponia, do you ask
the ladies in, I will invite the men." Nothing, as I thought, could be
more courteous, and that, too, not only in the actual words, but
also in his intention and the expression of face. But she, in the
hearing of us all, exclaimed, "I am only a stranger here! " The
origin of that was, as I think, the fact that Statius had preceded us
to look after the luncheon. Thereupon Quintus said to me, "There,
that's what I have to put up with every day!" You will say, "Well,
what does that amount to?" A great deal, and, indeed, she had
irritated even me: her answer had been given with such
unnecessary acrimony, both of word and look. I concealed my
annoyance. We all took our places at table except her. However,
Ouintus sent her dishes from the table, which she declined. In
short, I thought I never saw anything better tempered than my
brother, or crosser than your sister: and there were many
particulars which I omit that raised my bile more than did that of
Quintus himself. I then went on to Aquinum; Quintus stopped at
Arcanum, and joined me early the next day at Aquinum. He told
me that she had refused to sleep with him, and when on the point
of leaving she behaved just as I had seen her. Need I say more?
You may tell her herself that in my judgment she shewed a marked
want of kindness on that day. I have told you this story at greater
length, perhaps, than was necessary, to convince you that you, too,
have something to do in the way of giving her instruction and

There only remains for me to beg you to complete all my
commissions before leaving town; to give Pomptinus a push, and
make him start; to let me know as soon as you have left town, and
to believe that, by heaven, there is nothing I love and find more
pleasure in than yourself. I said a most affectionate good-bye to
that best of men, A. Torquatus, at Minturnae, to whom I wish you
would remark, in the course of conversation, that I have mentioned
him in my letter.




Your own immense prestige and my unvarying belief in your
consummate virtue have convinced me of the great importance it
is to me that you should be acquainted with what I have
accomplished, and that you should not be ignorant of the equity
and disinterestedness with which I protected our allies and
governed my province. For if you knew these facts, I thought I
should with greater ease secure your approval of my wishes.

Having entered my province on the last day of July, and seeing that
the time of year made it necessary for me to make all haste to the
army, I spent but two days at Laodicea, four at Apamea three at
Synnada, and the same at Philomelium. Having held largely
attended assizes in these towns, I freed a great number of cities
from very vexatious tributes, excessive interest, and fraudulent
debt. Again, the army having before my arrival been broken up by
something like a mutiny, and five cohorts--without a legate or a
military tribune, and, in fact, actually without a single centurion--
having taken up its quarters at Philomelium, while the rest of the
army was in Lycaonia, I ordered my legate M. Anneius to bring
those five cohorts to join the main army; and, having thus got the
whole army together into one place, to pitch a camp at Iconium in
Lycaonia. This order having been energetically executed by him, I
arrived at the camp myself on the 24th of August, having
meanwhile, in accordance with the decree of the senate, collected
in the intervening days a strong body of reserve men, a very
adequate force of cavalry, and a contingent of volunteers from the
free peoples and allied sovereigns. While this was going on, and
when, after reviewing the army, I had on the 28th of August begun
my march to Cilicia, some legates sent to me by the sovereign of
Commagene announced, with every sign of panic, yet not without
some foundation, that the Parthians had entered Syria. On hearing
this I was rendered very anxious both for Syria and my own
province, and, in fact, for all the rest of Asia. Accordingly, I made
up my mind that I must lead the army through the district of
Cappadocia, which adjoins Cilicia. For if I had gone straight down
into Cilicia, I could easily indeed have held Cilicia itself, owing to
the natural strength of Mount Amanus--for there are only two
defiles opening into Cilicia from Syria, both of which are capable
of being closed by insignificant garrisons owing to their
narrowness, nor can anything be imagined better fortified than is
Cilicia on the Syrian side--but I was disturbed for Cappadocia,
which is quite open on the Syrian side, and is surrounded by kings,
who, even if they are our friends in secret, nevertheless do not
venture to be openly hostile to the Parthians. Accordingly, I
pitched my camp in the extreme south of Cappadocia at the town
of Cybistra, not far from Mount Taurus, with the object at once of
covering Cilicia, and of thwarting the designs of the neighbouring
tribes by holding Cappadocia. Meanwhile, in the midst of this
serious commotion and anxious expectation of a very formidable
war king Deiotarus, who has with good reason been always highly
honoured in your judgment and my own, as well as that of the
senate--a man distinguished for his goodwill and loyalty to the
Roman people, as well as for his eminent courage and
wisdom--sent legates to tell me that he was on his way to my camp
in full force. Much affected by his zeal and kindness, I sent him a
letter of thanks, and urged him to hasten. However, being detained
at Cybistra five days while mats ring my plan of campaign, I
rescued king Ariobarzanes, whose safety had been intrusted to me
by the senate on your motion, from a plot that, to his surprise, had
been formed against him: and I not only saved his life, but I took
pains also to secure that his royal authority should be respected.
Metras and Athenus (the latter strongly commended to me by
yourself), who had been exiled owing to the persistent enmity of
queen Athenais, I restored to a position of the highest influence
and favour with the king. Then, as there was danger of serious
hostilities arising in Cappadocia in case the priest, as it was
thought likely that he would do, defended himself with arms--for
he was a young man, well furnished with horse and foot and
money, and relying on those all who desired political change of
any sort--I contrived that he should leave the kingdom: and that the
king, without civil war or an appeal to arms, with the full authority
of the court thoroughly secured, should hold the kingdom with
proper dignity.

Meanwhile. I was informed by despatches and messengers from
many sides, that the Parthians and Arabs had approached the town
of Antioch in great force, and that a large body of their horsemen,
which had crossed into Cilicia, had been cut to pieces by some
squadrons of my cavalry and the prntorian cohort then on garrison
duty at Epiphanea- Wherefore, seeing that the forces of the
Parthians had turned their backs upon Cappadocia, and were not
far from the frontiers of Cilicia, I led my army to Anianus with the
longest forced marches I could. Arrived there, I learnt that the
enemy had retired from Antioch, and that Bibulus was at Antioch.
I thereupon informed Deiotarus, who was hurrying to join me with
a large and strong body of horse and foot, and with all the forces
he could muster, that I saw no reason for his leaving his own
do-minions, and that in case of any new event, I would
immediately write and send to him. And as my intention in coming
had been to relieve both provinces, should occasion arise, so now I
proceeded to do what I had all along made up my mind was greatly
to the interest of both provinces, namely, to reduce Amanus, and to
remove from that mountain an eternal enemy. So I made a feint
of retiring from the mountain and making for other parts of Cilicia:
and having gone a day's march from Amanus and pitched a camp,
on the 12th of October, towards evening, at Epiphanea, with my
army in light marching order I effected such a night march, that by
dawn on the 13th I was already ascending Amanus. Having formed
the cohorts and auxiliaries into several columns of attack--I and
my legate Quintus (my brother) commanding one, my legate C.
Pomptinus another, and my legates M. Anneius and L. Tullius the
rest--we surprised most of the inhabitants, who, being cut off from
all retreat, were killed or taken prisoners. But Erana, which was
more like a town than a village, and was the capital of Amanus, as
also Sepyra and Commons, which offered a determined and
protracted resistance from before daybreak till four in the
afternoon--Pomptinus being in command in that part of
Amanus--we took, after killing a great number of the enemy, and
stormed and set fire to several fortresses. After these operations
we lay encamped for four days on the spurs of Amanus, near the
Arce Alezandri, and all that time we devoted to the destruction of
the remaining inhabitants of Amanus, and devastating their lands
on that side of the mountain which belongs to my province.
Having accomplished this, I led the army away to Pindenissus, a
town of the Eleutherocilices. And since this town was situated on a
very lofty and strongly fortified spot, and was inhabited by men
who have never submitted even to the kings, and since they were
offering harbourage to deserters, and were eagerly expecting the
arrival of the Parthians, I thought it of importance to the prestige
of the empire to suppress their audacity, in order that there might
be less difficulty in breaking the spirits of all such as were
anywhere disaffected to our rule. I encircled them with a stockade
and trench: I beleaguered them with six forts and huge camps: I
assaulted them by the aid of earth-works, pent-houses, and towers:
and having employed numerous catapults and bowmen, with great
personal labour, and without troubling the allies or costing them
anything, I reduced them to such extremities that, after every
region of their town had been battered down or fired, they
surrendered to me on the fifty-seventh day. Their next neighbours
were the people of Tebra, no less predatory and audacious: from
them after the capture of Pindenissus I received hostages. I then
dismissed the army to winter quarters; and I put my brother in
command, with orders to station the men in villages that had either
been captured or were disaffected.

Well now, I would have you feel convinced that, should a motion
be brought before the senate on these matters, I shall consider that
the highest possible compliment has been paid me, if you give
your vote in favour of a mark of honour being bestowed upon me.
And as to this, though I am aware that in such matters men of the
most respectable character are accustomed to ask and to be asked,
yet I think in your case that it is rather a reminder than a request
which is called for from me. For it is you who have on very many
occasions complimented me in votes which you delivered, who
have praised me to the skies in conversation, in panegyric, in the
most laudatory speeches in senate and public meeting: you are the
man to whose words I ever attached such weight as to hold myself
in possession of my utmost ambition, if your lips joined the chorus
of my praise. It was you finally, as I recollect, who said, when
voting against a supplicatlo in honour of a certain illustrious and
noble person, that you would have voted for it, if the motion had
related to what he had done in the city as consul. It was you, too,
who voted for granting me a supplicatio, though only a civilian,
not as had been done in many instances, "for good services to the
state," but, as I remember, "for having saved the state." I pass over
your having shared the hatred I excited, the dangers I ran, all the
storms' that I have encountered, and your having been entirely
ready to have shared them much more fully if I had allowed it; and
finally your having regarded my enemy as your own; of whose
death even--thus shewing me clearly how much you valued
me--you manifested your approval by supporting the cause of Milo
in the senate. On the other hand, I have borne a testimony to you,
which I do not regard as constituting any claim on your gratitude,
but as a frank expression of genuine opinion: for I did not confine
myself to a silent admiration of your eminent virtues--who does
not admire them? But in all forms of speech, whether in the senate
or at the bar; in all kinds of writing, Greek or Latin; in fine, in all
the various branches of my literary activity, I proclaimed your
superiority not only to contemporaries, but also to those of whom
we have heard in history.

Yon will ask, perhaps, why I place such value on this or that
modicum of congratulation or compliment from the senate. I
will be frank with you, as our common tastes' and mutual good
services, our close friendship, nay, the intimacy of our fathers
demand. If there ever was anyone by natural inclination, and still
more, I think, by reason and reflexion, averse from the empty
praise and comments of the vulgar, I am certainly the man.
Witness my consulship, in which, as in the rest of my life, I
confess that I eagerly pursued the objects capable of producing
true glory: mere glory for its own sake I never thought a subject for
ambition. Accordingly, I not only passed over a province after the
votes for its outfit had been taken, but also with it an almost
certain hope of a triumph; and finally the priesthood, though, as I
think you will agree with me, I could have obtained it without
much difficulty, I did not try to get. Yet after my unjust
disgrace--always stigmatized by you as a disaster to the Republic,
and rather an honour than a disaster to myself--I was anxious that
some very signal marks of the approbation of the senate and
Roman people should be put on record. Accordingly, in the first
place, I did subsequently wish for the augurship, about which I had
not troubled myself before; and the compliment usually paid by
the senate in the case of success in war, though passed over by me
in old times, I now think an object to be desired. That you should
approve and support this wish of mine, in which you may trace a
strong desire to heal the wounds inflicted upon me by my disgrace,
though I a little while ago declared that I would not ask it, I now
do earnestly ask of you: but only on condition that you shall not
think my humble services paltry and insignificant, but of such a
nature and importance, that many for far less signal successes have
obtained the highest honours from the senate. I have, too, I think,
noticed this--for you know how attentively I ever listen to you--that
in granting or withholding honours you are accustomed to look not
so much to the particular achievements as to the character, the
principles' and conduct of commanders. Well, if you apply this test
to my case, you will find that, with a weak army, my strongest
support against the threat of a very formidable war has been my
equity and purity of conduct. With these as my aids I accomplished
what I never could have accomplished by any amount of legions:
among the allies I have created the warmest devotion in place of
the most extreme alienation; the most complete loyalty in place of
the most dangerous disaffection; and their spirits fluttered by the
prospect of change I have brought back to feelings of affection for
the old rule.

But I have said too much of myself, especially to you, in whom
singly the grievances of all our allies alike find a listener. You will
learn the truth from those who think themselves restored to life by
my administration. And while all with nearly one consent will
praise me in your hearing as I most desire to be praised, so will
your two chief client states--the island of Cyprus and the kingdom
of Cappadocia--have something to say to you about me also. So,
too, I think, will Deiotarus, who is attached to you with special
warmth. Now, if these things are above the common run, and if in
all ages it has been rarer to find men capable of conquering their
own desires than capable of conquering an enemy's army, it is
quite in harmony with your principles, when you find these rarer
and more difficult virtues combined with success in war, to regard
that success itself as more complete and glorious.

I have only one last resource--philosophy: and to make her plead
for me, as though I doubted the efficacy of a mere request:
philosophy, the best friend I have ever had in all my life, the
greatest gift which has been bestowed by the gods upon mankind.
Yes! this common sympathy in tastes and studies--our inseparable
devotion and attachment to which from boyhood have caused us to
become almost unique examples of men bringing that true and
ancient philosophy (which some regard as only the employment of
leisure and idleness) down to the forum, the council chamber, and
the very camp itself--pleads the cause of my glory with you: and I
do not think a Cato can, with a good conscience, say her nay.
Wherefore I would have you convince yourself that, if my despatch
is made the ground of paying me this compliment with your
concurrence, I shall consider that the dearest wish of my heart has
been fulfilled owing at once to your influence and to your




I RECEIVED your letter on the fifth day before the Terminalia
(19th of February) at Laodicea. I was delighted to read it, for it
teemed with affection, kindness, and an active and obliging
temper. I will, therefore, answer it sentence by sentence--for such
is your request--and I will not introduce an arrangement of my
own, but will follow your order.

You say that the last letter you had of mine was from Cybistra,
dated 21st September, and you want to know which of yours I have
received. Nearly all you mention, except the one that you say that
you delivered to Lentulus's messengers at Equotuticus and
Brundisium. Wherefore your industry has not been thrown away,
as you fear, but has been exceedingly well laid out, if, that is to
say, your object was to give me pleasure. For I have never been
more delighted with anything. I am exceedingly glad that you
approve of my self-restraint in the case of Appius, and of my
independence even in the case of Brutus: and I had thought that it
might be somewhat otherwise. For Appius, in the course of his
journey, had sent me two or three rather querulous letters, because
I rescinded some of his decisions. It is exactly as if a doctor, upon
a patient having been placed under another doctor, should choose
to be angry with the latter if he changed some of his prescriptions.
Thus Appius, having treated the province on the system of
depletion, bleeding, and removing everything he could, and having
handed it over to me in the last state of exhaustion, he cannot bear
seeing it treated by me on the nutritive system. Yet he is
sometimes angry with me, at other times thanks me; for nothing I
ever do is accompanied with any reflexion upon him. It is only the
dissimilarity of my system that annoys him. For what could be a
more striking difference--under his rule a province drained by
charges for maintenance and by losses, under mine, not a penny
exacted either from private persons or public bodies? Why speak
of his praefecti, staff, and legates? Or even of acts of plunder,
licentiousness, and insult? While as things actually are, no private
house, by Hercules, is governed with so much system, or on such
strict principles, nor is so well disciplined, as is my whole
province. Some of Appius's friends put a ridiculous construction
on this, holding that I wish for a good reputation to set off his bad
one, and act rightly, not for the sake of my own credit, but in order
to cast reflexion upon him. But if Appius, as Brutus's letter
forwarded by you indicated, expresses gratitude to me, I am
satisfied. Nevertheless, this very day on which I write this, before
dawn, I am thinking of rescinding many of his inequitable
appointments and decisions.

I now come to Brutus, whose friendship I embraced with all
possible earnestness on your advice. I had even begun to feel
genuine affection for him--but here I pull myself up short, lest I
should offend you: for don't imagine that there is anything I wish
more than to fulfil his commissions, or that there is anything about
which I have taken more trouble. Now he gave me a volume of
commissions, and you had already spoken with me about the same
matters. I have pushed them on with the greatest energy. To begin
with, I put such pressure on Ariobarzanes, that he paid him the
talents which he promised me. As long as the king was with me,
the business was in excellent train: later on he begun to be pressed
by countless agents of Pompey. Now Pompey has by himself more
influence than all the rest put together for many reasons, and
especially because there is an idea that he is coming to undertake
the Parthian war. However, even he has to put up with the
following scale of payment: on every thirtieth day thirty-three Attic
talents (7,920 pounds), and that raised by special taxes: nor is it
sufficient for the monthly interest. But our friend Gnaeus is an
creditor: he stands out of his capital, is content with the interest,
and even that not in full. The king neither pays anyone else, nor is
capable of doing so: for he has no treasury, no regular income, He
levies taxes after the method of Appius. They scarcely produce
enough to satisfy Pompey's interest. The king has two or three very
rich friends, but they stick to their own as energetically as you or I.
For my part, nevertheless, I do not cease sending letters asking,
urging, chiding the king. Delotarus also has informed me that he
has sent emissaries to him on Brutus's business: that they have
brought him back word that he has not got the money. And, by
Hercules, I believe it is the case; nothing can be stripped cleaner
than his kingdom, or be more needy than the king. Accordingly, I
am thinking either of renouncing my guardianship, or, as Scaevola
did on behalf of Glabrio, of stopping payment altogether--principal
and interest alike. However, I have conferred the prefectures which
I promised Brutus through you on M. Scaptius and L. Gavius, who
were acting as Brutus's agents in the kingdom: for they were not
carrying on business in my own province. You will remember that
I made that condition, that he might have as many prefectures as
he pleased, so long as it was not
for a man in business. Accordingly, I have given him two others
besides: but the men for whom he asked them had left the
province. Now for the case of the Salaminians, which I see came
upon you also as a novelty, as it did upon me. For Brutus never
told me that the money was his own. Nay, I have his own
document containing the words, "The Salaminians owe my friends
M. Scaptius and P. Matinius a sum of money." He recommends
them to me: he even adds, as though by way of a spur to me, that
he has gone surety for them to a large amount. I had succeeded in
arranging that they should pay with interest for six years at the rate
of twelve per cent, and added yearly to the capital sum. But
Scaptius demanded forty-eight per cent. I was afraid, if he got that,
you yourself would cease to have any affection for me. For I
should have receded from my own edict, and should have titterly
ruined a statc which was under the protection not only of Cato, but
also of Brutus himself, and had been the recipient of favours from
myself. When lo and behold! at this very juncture Scaptius comes
down upon me with a letter from Brutus, stating that his own
property is being imperilled--a fact that Brutus had never told
either me or you. He also begged that I would confer a prefecture
on Scaptius. That was the very reservation that I had made to
you--" not to a man in business": and if to anyone, to such a man as
that--no I for he has been a praefectus to Appius, and had, in fact,
had some squadrons of cavalry, with which he had kept the senate
under so close a siege in their own council chamber at Salamis,
that five senators died of starvation. Accordingly, the first day of
my entering my province, Cyprian legates having already visited
me at Ephesus, I sent orders for the cavalry to quit the island at
once. For these reasons I believe Scaptius has written some
unfavorable remarks about me to Brutus. However, my feeling is
this: if Brutus holds that I ought to have decided in favour of
forty-eight per cent., though throughout my province I have only
recognized twelve per cent., and had laid down that rule in my
edict with the assent even of the most grasping money-lenders; if
he complains of my refusal of a prefecture to a man in business,
which I refused to our friend Torquatus in the case of your protege
Lamius, and to Pompey himself in the case of Sext. Statius,
without offending either of them; if, finally, he is annoyed at my
recall of the cavalry, I shall indeed feel some distress at his being
angry with me, but much greater distress at finding him not to be
the man that I had thought him. Thus much Scaptius will own--that
he had the opportunity in my court of taking away with him the
whole sum allowed by my edict. I will add a fact which I fear you
may not approve. The interest ought to have ceased to run (I mean
the interest allowed by my edict), but I induced the Salasninians to
say nothing about that. They gave in to me, it is true, but what will
become of them if Paullus comes here? However, I have granted
all this in favour of Brutus, who writes very kind letters to you
about me, but to me myself, even when he has a favour to ask,
writes usually in a tone of hauteur, arrogance, and offensive
superiority. You, however, I hope will write to him on this
business, in order that I may know how he takes what I have done.
For you will tell me. I have, it is true, written you a full and careful
account in a former letter, but I wished you clearly to understand
that I had not forgotten what you had said to me in one of your
letters: that if I brought home from this province nothing else
except his goodwill, I should have done enough. By all means,
since you will have it so: but I assume my dealings with him to be
without breach of duty on my part. Well, then, by my decree the
payment of the money to Statius is good at law: whether that is just
you must judge for yourself--I will not appeal even to Cato. But
don't think that I have cast your exhortations to the winds: they
have sunk deeply into my mind. With tears in your eyes you urged
me to be careful of my reputation. Have I ever got a letter from
you without the same subject being mentioned? So, then, let who
will be angry, I will endure it: "for the right is on my side,"
especially as I have given six books as bail, so to speak, for my
good conduct. I am very glad you like them, though in one
point--about Cn. Flavius, son of Annius--you question my history.
He, it is true, did not live before the decemvirs, for he was curule
aedile, an office created many years after the decemvirs. What
good did he do, then, by publishing the Fasti? It is supposed that
the tablet containing them had been kept concealed up to a certain
date, in order that information as to days for doing business might
have to be sought from a small coterie. And indeed several of our
authorities relate that a scribe named Cn. Flavius published the
Fasti and composed forms of pleading--so don't imagine that I, or
rather Africanus (for he is the spokesman), invented the fact. So
you noticed the remark about the "action of an actor," did you?
You suspect a malicious meaning: I wrote in all simplicity.

You say that Philotimus told you about my having been saluted
imperator. But I feel sure that, as you are now in Epirus, you have
received my own letters on the whole subject, one from
Pindenissus after its capture, another from Laodicea, both
delivered to your own messengers. On these events, for fear of
accidents at sea, I sent a public despatch to Rome in duplicate by
two different letter-carriers.

As to my Tullia, I agree with you, and I have written to her and to
Terentia giving my consent. For you have already said in a
previous letter to me, "and I could wish that you had returned to
your old set." There was no occasion to alter the letter you sent by
Memnius: for I much prefer to accept this man from Pontidia, than
the other from Servilia. Wherefore take our friend Saufeius into
council. He was always fond of me, and now I suppose all the
more so as he is bound to have accepted Appius's affection for me
with the rest of the property he has inherited. Appius often showed
how much he valued me, and especially in the trial of Bursa.
Indeed you will have relieved me of a serious anxiety.

I don't like Furnius's proviso. For, in fact, there is no state of things
that alarms me except just that of which he makes the only
exception. But I should have written at great length to you on this
subject if you had been at Rome. I don't wonder that you rest all
your hope of peace on Ponipey: I believe that is the truth, and in
my opinion you must strike out your word " insincerity." If my
arrangement of topics is somewhat random, blame yourself: for I
am following your own haphazard order.

My son and nephew are very fond of each other. They take their
lessons and their exercise together; but as Isocrates said of
Ephorus and Theopompus, the one wants the rein, the other the
spur. I intend giving Quintus the toga virilis on the Liberalia. For
his father commissioned me to do so. And I shall observe the day
without taking intercalation into account. I am very fond of
Dionysius: the boys, however, say that he gets into mad passions.
But after all there could not be a man of greater learning, purer
character, or more attached to you and me. The praises you hear of
Thermus and Silius are thoroughly deserved: they conduct
themselves in the most honourable manner. You may say the same
of M. Nonius, Bibulus, and myself, if you like. I only wish Scrofa
had had an opportunity to do the same: for he is an excellent
fellow. The rest don't do much honour to Cato's policy. Many
thanks for commending my case to Hortensius. As for Amianus,
Dionysius thinks there is no hope. I haven't found a trace of
Terentius. Maeragenes has certainly been killed. I made a progress
through his district, in which there was not a single living thing
left. I didn't know about this, when I spoke to your man
Democritus. I have ordered the service of Rhosian ware. But,
hallo! what are you thinking of? You generally serve us up a
dinner of herbs on fern-pattern plates, and the most sparkling of
baskets: what am I to expect you to give on porcelain? I have
ordered a horn for Phemius: one will be sure to turn up; I only
hope he may play something worthy of it.

There is a threat of a Parthian war. Cassius's despatch was empty
brag: that of Bibulus had not arrived: when that is read I think the
senate will at length be roused. I am myself in serious anxiety. If,
as I hope, my government is not prolonged, I have only June and
July to fear. May it be so! Bibulus will keep them in check for two
months. What will happen to the man I leave in charge, especially
if it is my brother? Or, again, what will happen to me, if I don't
leave my province so soon? It is a great nuisance. However, I have
agreed with Deiotarus that he should join my camp in full force.
He has thirty cohorts of four hundred men apiece, armed in the
Roman fashion, and two thousand cavalry. That will be sufficient
to hold out till the arrival of Pompey, who in a letter he writes to
me indicates that the business will be put in his hands. The
Parthians are wintering in a Roman province. Orodes is expected
in person. In short, it is a serious matter. As to Bibulus's edict there
is nothing new, except the proviso of which you said in your letter,
"that it reflected with excessive severity on our order." I, however,
have a proviso in my own edict of equivalent force, but less openly
expressed (derived from the Asiatic edict of Q. Mucius, son of
Publius)--" provided that the agreement made is not such as cannot
hold good in equity." I have followed Scaevola in many points,
among others in this--which the Greeks regard as a charta of
liberty.--that Greeks are to decide controversies between each
other according to their own laws. But my edict was shortened by
my method of making a division, as I thought it well to publish it
under two heads: the first, exclusive.Iy applicable to a province,
concerned borough accounts, debt, rate of interest, contracts, all
regulations also referring to the publicani: the second, including
what cannot conveniently be transacted without an edict, related to
inheritances, ownership and sale, appointment of receivers, all
which are by custom brought into court and settled in accordance
with the edict: a third division, embracing the remaining
departments of judicial business, I left unwritten. I gave out that in
regard to that class of business I should accommodate my
decisions to those made at Rome: I accordingly do so, and give
general satisfaction. The Greeks, indeed, are jubilant because they
have non-Roman jurors.

"Yes," you will say, "a very poor kind." What does that matter?
They, at any rate, imagine themselves to have obtained
"autonomy." You at Rome, I suppose, have men of high character
in that capacity--Tupio the shoemaker and Vettius the broker! You
seem to wish to know how I treat the publicani. I pet, indulge,
compliment, and honour them: I contrive, however, that they
oppress no one. The most surprising thing is that even Servilius
maintained the rates of usury entered on their contracts. My line is
this: I mirrie a day fairly distant, before which, if they have paid, I
give out that I shall recognize only twelve per cent.: if they have
not paid, the rate shall be according to the contract. The result is
that the Greeks pay at a reasonable rate of interest, and the
publicani are thoroughly satisfied by receiving in full measure
what I mentioned--complimentary speeches and frequent
invitations. Need I say more? They are all on such terms with me
that each thinks himself my most intimate friend. However, (Greek
phrase)--you know the rest.

As to the statue of Africanus--what a mass of confusion I But that
was just what interested me in your letter. Do you really mean it?
Does the present Metellus Scipio not know that his
great-grandfather was never censor? Why, the statue placed at a
high elevation in the temple of Ops had no inscription except
CENS, while on the statue near the Hercules of Polycles there is
also the inscription CENS, and that this is the statue of the same
man is proved by attitude, dress, ring, and the likeness itself. But,
by Hercules, when I observed in the group of gilded equestrian
statues, placed by the present Metellus on the Capitol, a statue of
Africanus with the name of Serapio inscribed under it, I thought it
a mistake of the workman. I now see that it is an error of
Metellus's. What a shocking historical blunder! For that about
Flavius and the Fasti, if it is a blunder, is one shared in by all, and
you were quite right to raise the question. I followed the opinion
which runs through nearly all historians, as is often the case with
Greek writers. For example, do they not all say that Eupolis, the
poet of the old comedy, was thrown into the sea by Alcibiades on
his voyage to Sicily? Eratosthenes disproves it: for he produces
some plays exhibited by him after that date. Is that careful
historian, Duris of Samos, laughed out of court because he, in
common with many others, made this mistake? Has not, again,
every writer affirmed that Zaleucus drew up a constitution for the
Locrians? Are we on that account to regard Theophrastus as utterly
discredited, because your favourite Timams attacked his
statement? But not to know that one's own great-grandfather was
never censor is discreditable, especially as since his consulship no
Cornelius was censor in his lifetime.

As to what you say about Philotimus and the payment ot the
20,600 sestertia, I hear that Philotimus arrived in the Chersonese
about the 1st of January: but as yet I have not had a word from
him. The balance due to me Camillus writes me word that he has
received; I don't know how much it is, and I am anxious to know.
However, we will talk of this later on, and with greater advantage,
perhaps, when we meet?
But, my dear Atticus, that sentence almost at the end of your letter
gave me great uneasiness. For you say, "What else is there to say?"
and then you go on to entreat me in most affectionate terms not to
forget my vigilance, and to keep my eyes on what is going on.
Have you heard any-thing about anyone? I am sure nothing of the
sort has taken place. No, no, it can't be! It would never have eluded
my notice, nor will it. Yet that reminder of yours, so carefully
worded, seems to suggest something.

As to M. Octavius, I hereby again repeat that your answer was
excellent: I could have wished it a little more positive still. For
Caelius has sent me a freedman and a carefully written letter about
some panthers and also a grant from the states. I have written back
to say that, as to the latter, I am much vexed if my course of
conduct is still obscure, amid if it is not known at Rome that not a
penny has been exacted from my province except for the payment
of debt; and I have explained to him that it is improper both for me
to solicit the money and for him to receive it; and I have advised
him (for I am really attached to him) that, after prosecuting others,
he should be extra-careful as to his own conduct. As to the former
request, I have said that it is inconsistent with my character that
the people of Cibyra should hunt at the public expense while I am

Lepta jumps for joy at your letter. it is indeed prettily written, and
has placed me in a very agreeable light in his eyes. I am much
obliged to your little daughter for so earnestly bidding you send me
her love. It is very kind of Pilia also; but your daughter's kindness
is the greater, because she sends the message to one she has never
seen. Therefore pray give my love to both in return. The day on
which your letter was dated, the last day of December, reminded
me pleasantly of that glorious oath of mine, which I have not
forgotten. I was a civilian Magnus on that day.

There's your letter completely answered! Not as you were good
enough to ask, with "gold for bronze," but tit for tat. Oh, but here
is another little note, which I will not leave unanswered. Lucceius,
on my word, could get a good price for his Tusculan property,
unless, perchance, his flute-player is a fixture (for that's his way),
and I should like to know in what condition it is. Our friend
Lentulus, I hear, has advertised everything for sale except his
Tusculan property. I should like to see these men cleared of their
embarrassments, Cestius also, and you may add Caelius, to all of
whom the line applies,

"Ashamed to shrink and yet afraid to take."

I suppose you have heard of Curio's plan for recalling Memmius.
Of the debt due from Egnatius of Sidicinum I am not without some
hope, though it is a feeble one. Pinarius, whom you recommended
to me, is seriously ill, and is being very carefully looked after by
Deiotarus. So there's the answer to your note also.

Pray talk to me on paper as frequently as possible while I am at
Laodicea, where I shall be up to the 15th of May: and when you
reach Athens at any rate send me letter-carriers, for by that time
we shall know about the business in the city and the arrangements
as to the provinces, the settlement of all which has been fixed for

But look here! Have you yet wrung out of Caesar by the agency of
Herodes the fifty Attic talents? In that matter you have, I hear,
roused great wrath on the part of Pompey. For he thinks that you
have snapped up money rightly his, and that Caesar will be no less
lavish in his building at the Nemus Diame.

I was told all this by P. Vedius, a hare-brained fellow enough, but
yet an intimate friend of Pompey's. This Vedius came to meet me
with two chariots, and a carriage and horses, and a sedan, and a
large suite of servants, for which last, if Curio has carried his law,
he will have to pay a toll of a hundred sestertii apiece. There was
also in a chariot a dog-headed baboon, as well as some wild asses.
I never saw a more extravagant fool. But the cream of the whole is
this. He stayed at Laodicea with Pompeius Vindullus. There he
deposited his properties when coming to see me. Meanwhile
Vindullus dies, and his property is supposed to revert to Pompeius
Magnus. Gaius Vennonius comes to Vindullus's house: when,
while putting a seal on all goods, he conies across the baggage of
Vedius. In this are found five small portrait busts of married
ladies, among which is one of the wife of your friend--" brute,"
indeed, to be intimate with such a fellow! and of the wife of
Lepidus-- as easy-going as his name to take this so calmly! I
wanted you to know these historiettes by the way; for we have both
a pretty taste in gossip. There is one other thing I should like you
to turn over in your mind. I am told that Appius is building a
propyheum at Eleusis. Should I be foolishly vain if I also built one
at the Academy? "I think so," you will say. Well, then, write and
tell me that that is your opinion. For myself, I am deeply attached
to Athens itself. I would like some memorial of myself to exist. I
loathe sham inscriptions on statues really representing other
people. But settle it as you please, and be kind enough to inform
me on what day the Roman mysteries fall, and how you have
passed the winter. Take care of your health. Dated the 765th day
since the battle of Leuctra!




I GLADLY obey the call of the state and of our friendship, in
rejoicing that your virtue, integrity, and energy, already known at
home in a most important crisis, when you were a civilian, should
be maintained abroad with the same painstaking care now that you
have military command. Therefore what I could conscientiously
do in setting forth in laudatory terms that the province had been
defended by your wisdom; that the kingdom of Ariobarzanes, as
well as the king, himself, had been preserved; and that the feelings
of the allies had been won back to loyalty to our empire--that I
have done by speech and vote. That a thanksgiving was decreed I
am glad, if you prefer our thanking the gods rather than giving you
the credit for a success which has been in no respect left to chance,
but has been secured for the Republic by your own eminent
prudence and self-control. But if you think a thanksgiving to be a
presumption in favour of a triumph, and therefore prefer fortune
having the credit rather than yourself, let me remind you that a
triumph does not always follow a thanksgiving; and that it is an
honour much more brilliant than a triumph for the senate to
declare its opinion, that a province has been retained rather by the
uprightness and mildness of its governor, than by the strength of an
army or the favour of heaven: and that is what I meant to express
by my vote. And I write this to you at greater length than I usually
do write, because I wish above all things that you should think of
mc as taking pains to convince you, both that I have wished for
you what I believed to be for your highest honour, and am glad that
you have got what you preferred to it. Farewell: continue to love
me; and by the way you conduct your home-journey, secure to the
allies and the Republic the advantages of your integrity and




"RIGHT glad am I to be praised "--says Hector, I think, in
Naevius--" by thee, reverend senior, who hast thyself been
praised." For certainly praise is sweet that comes from those who
themselves have lived in high repute. For myself, there is nothing I
should not consider myself to have attained either by the
congratulation contained in your letter, or the testimony borne to
me in your senatorial speech: and it was at once the highest
compliment and the greatest gratification to me, that you willingly
conceded to friendship, what you transparently conceded to truth.
And if, I don't say all, but if many were Catos in our state--in
which it is a matter of wonder that there is even one--what
triumphal chariot or laurel should I have compared with praise
from you? For in regard to my feelings, and in view of the ideal
honesty and subtihity of your judgment, nothing can be more
complimentary than the speech of yours, which has been copied
for me by my friends. But the reason of my wish, for I will not call
it desire, I have explained to you in a former letter. And even if it
does not appear to you to be entirely sufficient, it at any rate leads
to this conclusion--not that the honour is one to excite excessive
desire, but yet is one which, if offered by the senate, ought
certainly not to be rejected. Now I hope that that House,
considering the labours I have undergone on behalf of the state,
will not think me undeserving of an honour, especially one that has
become a matter of usage. And if this turns out to be so, all I ask of
you is that--to use your own most friendly words-- since you have
paid me what in your judgment is the highest compliment, you will
still "be glad" if I have the good fortune to get what I myself have
preferred. For I perceive that you have acted, felt, and written in
this sense: and the facts themselves shew that the compliment paid
me of a supplicatio was agreeable to you, since your name appears
on the decree: for decrees of the senate of this nature are, I am
aware, usually drawn out by the warmest friends of the man
concerned in the honour. I should, I hope, soon see you, and may it
be in a better state of political affairs than my fears forebode!




CICERO and his son greet Tiro warmly. We parted from you, as
you know, on the 2nd of November. We arrived at Leucas on the
6th of November, on the 7th at Actium. There we were detained
till the 8th by a storm. Thence on the 9th we arrived at Corcyra
after a charming voyage. At Corcyra we were detained by bad
weather till the 15th. On the 16th we continued our voyage to
Cassiope, a harbor of Corcyra, a distance of 120 stades. There we
were detaine4 by winds until the 22nd. Many of those who in this
interval impatiently attempted the crossing suffered shipwreck. On
the 22nd, after dinner, we weighed anchor. Thence with a very
gentle south wind and a clear sky, in the coarse of that night and
the next day we arrived in high spirits on Italian soil at Hydrus, and
with the same wind next day--that is, the 24th of November--at io
o'clock in the morning we reached Brundisium, and exactly at the
same time as ourselves Terentia (who values you very highly)
made her entrance into the town. On the 26th, at Brundisium, a
slave of Cn. Plancius at length delivered to me the ardently
expected letter from you, dated the 13th of November. It greatly
lightened my anxiety: would that it had entirely removed it!
However, the physician Asclapo positively asserts that you will
shortly be well. What need is there for me at this time of day to
exhort you to take every means to re-establish your health? I know
your good sense, temperate habits, and affection for me: I am sure
you will do everything you can to join me as soon as possible. But
though I wish this, I would not have you hurry yourself in any way.
I could have wished you had shirked Lyso's concert, for fear of
incurring a fourth fit of your seven-day fever. But since you have
preferred to consuit your politeness rather than your health, be
careful for the future. I have sent orders to Curius for a douceur to
be given to the physician, and that he should advance you
whatever you want, engaging to pay the money to any agent he
may name. I am leaving a horse and mule for you at Brundisium.

At Rome I fear that the 1st of January will be the beginning of
serious disturbances. I shall take a moderate line in all respects. It
only remains to beg and entreat you not to set sail rashly--seamen
are wont to hurry things for their own profit: be cautious, my dear
Tiro: you have a wide and difficult sea before you. If you can, start
with Mescinius; he is usually cautious about a sea passage: if not,
travel with some man of rank, whose position may give him
influence over the ship-owner. If you take every precaution in this
matter and present yourself to us safe and sound, I shall want
nothing more of you. Good-bye, again and again, dear Tiro! I am
writing with the greatest earnestness about you to the physician, to
Curius, and to Lyso. Good-bye, and God bless you.




I WAS charmed with your letter, in which, first of all, what I loved
was the tenderness which prompted you to write, in alarm lest
Silius should by his news have caused me any anxiety. About this
news, not only had you written to me before--in fact twice, one
letter being a duplicate of the other--shewing me clearly that you
were upset, but I also had answered you in full detail, in order that
I might, as far as such a business and such a crisis admitted, free
you from your anxiety, or at any rate alleviate it. But since you
shew in your last also how anxious you are about that matter--
make up your mind to this, my dear Paetus: that whatever could
possibly be accomplished by art--for it is not enough nowadays to
contend with mere prudence, a sort of system must be elaborated--
however, whatever could be done or effected towards winning and
securing the goodwill of those men I have done, and not, I think, in
vain. For I receive such attentions, such politenesses from all
Caesar's favourites as make me believe myself  beloved by them.
For, though genuine love is not easily distinguished from feigned,
unless some crisis occurs of a kind to test faithful affection by its
danger, as gold in the fire, there are other indications of a general
nature. But I only employ one proof to convince me that I am
loved from the heart and in sincerity--namely, that my fortune and
theirs is of such a kind as to preclude any motive on their part for
pretending. In regard, again, to the man who now possesses all
power, I see no reason for my being alarmed: except the fact that,
once depart from law, everything is uncertain; and that nothing can
be guaranteed as to the future which depends on another man's
will, not to say caprice. Be that as it may, personally his feelings
have in no respect been wounded by me. For in that particular
point I have exhibited the greatest self-control. For, as in old times
I used to reckon that to speak without reserve was a privilege of
mine, since to my exertions the existence of liberty in the state was
owing, so, now that that is lost, I think it is my duty to say nothing
calculated to offend either his wishes or those of his favourites.
But if I want to avoid the credit of certain keen or witty epigrams, I
must entirely abjure a reputation for genius, which I would not
refuse to do, if I could. But after all Caesar himself has a very keen
critical faculty, and, just as your cousin Servius--whom I consider
to have been a most accomplished man of letters--had no difficulty
in saying: "This verse is not Plautus's, this is--" because he had
acquired a sensitive ear by dint of classifying the various styles of
poets and habitual reading, so I am told that Caesar, having now
completed his volumes of bons mots, if anything is brought to him
as mine, which is not so, habitually rejects it. This he now does all
the more, because his intimates are in my company almost every
day. Now in the course of our discursive talk many remarks are let
fall, which perhaps at the time of my making them seem to them
wanting neither in literary flavour nor in piquancy. These are
conveyed to him along with the other news of the day: for so he
himself directed. Thus it comes about that if he is told of anything
besides about me, he considers that he ought not to listen to it.
Wherefore I have no need of your DEnomaus, though your
quotation of Accius's verses was very much on the spot. But what
is this jealousy, or what have I now of which anyone can be
jealous? But suppose the worst. I find that the philosophers, who
alone in my view grasp the true nature of virtue, hold that the wise
man does not pledge himself against anything except doing wrong;
and of this I consider myself clear in two ways, first in that my
veiws were most absolutely correct; and second because, when I
found that we had not sufficient material force to maintain them, I
was against a trial of strength with the stronger party. Therefore, so
far as the duty of a good citizen is concerned, I am certainly not
open to reproach. What remains is that I should not say or do
anything foolish or rash against the men in power: that too, I think,
is the part of the wise man. As to the rest--what this or that man
may say that I said, or the light in which he views it, or the amount
of good faith with which those who continually seek me out and
pay me attention may be acting--for these things I cannot be
responsible. The result is that I console myself with the
consciousness of my uprightness in the past and my moderation in
the present, and apply that simile of Accius's not to jealousy, but to
fortune, which I hold--as being inconstant and frail--ought to be
beaten back by a strong and manly soul, as a wave is by a rock.
For, considering that Greek history is full of examples of how the
wisest men endured tyrannies either at Athens or Syracuse, when,
though their countries were enslaved, they themselves in a certain
sense remained free--am I to believe that I cannot so maintain my
position as not to hurt anyone's feelings and yet not blast my own

I now come to your jests, since as an afterpiece to Accius's
DEnomaus, you have brought on the stage, not, as was his wont, an
Atellan play, but, according to the present fashion, a mime. What's
all this about a pilot-fish, a denarius, and a dish of salt fish and
cheese? In my old easy-going days I put up with that sort of thing:
but times are changed. Hirthms and Dolabella are my pupils in
rhetoric, but my masters in the art of dining. For I think you must
have heard, if you really get all news, that their practice is to
declaim at my house, and mine to dine at theirs. Now it is no use
your making an affidavit of insolvency to me: for when you had
some property, petty profits used to keep you a little too close to
business; but as things are now, seeing that you are losing money
so cheerfully, all you have to do, when entertaining me, is to
regard yourself as accepting a "composition"; and even that loss is
less annoying when it comes from a friend than from a debtor. Yet,
after all, I don't require dinners superfluous in quantity: only let
what there is be first-rate in quality and recherche. I remember you
used to tell me stories of Phamea's dinner. Let yours be earlier, but
in other respects like that. But if you persist in bringing me back to
a dinner like your mother's, I should put up with that also. For I
should like to see the man who had the face to put on the table for
me what you describe, or even a polypus--looking as red as Iupiter
Miniatus. Believe me, you won't dare. Before I arrive the fame of
my new magnificence will reach you: and you will be awestruck at
it. Yet it is no use building any hope on your hors d'aeuvre. I have
quite abolished that: for in old times I found my appetite spoilt by
your olives and Lucanian sausages. But why all this talk? Let me
only get to you. By all means--for I wish to wipe away all fear
from your heart--go back to your old cheese-and-sardine dish. The
only expense I shall cause you will be that you will have to have
the bath heated. All the rest according to my regular habits. What I
have just been saying was all a joke.

As to Selicius's villa, you have managed the business carefully and
written most wittily. So I think I won't buy. For there is enough salt
and not enough savour.




BEING quite at leisure in my Tusculan villa, because I had sent
my pupils to meet him, that they might at the same time present
me in as favourable a light as possible to their friend, I received
your most delightful letter, from which I learnt that you approved
my idea of having begun--now that legal proceedings are abolished
aiid my old supremacy in the forum is lost--to keep a kind of
school, just as Dionysius, when expelled from Syracuse, is said to
have opened a school at Corinth. In short, I too am delighted with
the idea, for I secure many advantages. First and foremost, I am
strengthening my position in view of the present crisis, and that is
of primary importance at this time. How much that amounts to I
don't know: I only see that as at present advised I prefer no one's
policy to this, unless, of course, it had been better to have died. In
one's own bed, I confess it might have been, but that did not occur:
and as to the field of battle, I was not there. The rest indeed--
Pompey, your friend Lentulus, Afranius--perished ingloriously.
But, it may be said, Cato died a noble death. Well, that at any rate
is in our power when we will: let us only do our best to prevent its
being as necessary to us as it was to him. That is what I am doing.
So that is the first thing I had to say. The next is this: I am
improving, in the first place in health, which I had lost from giving
up all exercise of my lungs. In the second place, my oratorical
faculty, such as it was, would have completely dried up, had I not
gone back to these exercises. The last thing I have to say, which I
rather think you will consider most important of all, is this: I have
now demolished more peacocks than you have young pigeons!
You there revel in Haterian law-sauce, I here in Hirtian hot-sauce.
Come then, if you are half a man, and learn from me the maxims
which you seek: yet it is a case of "a pig teaching Minerva." But it
will be my business to see to that: as for you, if you can't find
purchasers for your foreclosures and so fill your pot with denaril,
back you must come to Rome. It is better to die of indigestion
here, than of starvation there. I see you have lost money: I hope
these friends of yours have done the same. You are a ruined man if
you don't look out. You may possibly get to Rome on the only
mule that you say you have left, since you have eaten up your pack
horse. Your seat in the school, as second master, will be next to
mine: the honour of a cushion will come by-and-by.



I WAS doubly charmed by your letter, first because it made me
laugh myself, and secondly because I saw that you could still
laugh. Nor did I in the least object to being overwhelmed with
your shafts of ridicule, as though I were a light skirmisher in the
war of wits. What I am vexed at is that I have not been able, as I
intended, to run over to see you: for you would not have had a
mere guest, but a brother-in-arms. And such a hero! not the man
whom you used to do for by the hors d'aeuvre. I now bring an
unimpaired appetite to the egg, and so the fight is maintained right
up to the roast veal. The compliments you used to pay me in old
times "What a contented person !" "What an easy guest to entertain
!" are things of the past. All my anxiety about the good of the state,
all meditating of speeches to be delivered in the senate, all getting
up of briefs I have cast to the winds. I have thrown myself into the
camp of my old enemy Epicurus not, however, with a view to the
extravagance of the present day, but to that refined splendour of
yours I mean your old style when you had money to spend (though
you never had more landed estate). Therefore prepare! You have to
deal with a man, who not only has a large appetite, but who also
knows a thing or two. You are aware of the extravagance of your
bourgeois gentilhomtne. You must forget all your little baskets and
your omelettes. I am now far advanced in the art that I frequently
venture to ask your friend Verrius and Camillus to dinner--what
dandies! how fastidious! But think of my audacity: I even gave
Hirtius a dinner, without a peacock however. In that dinner my
cook could not imitate him in anything but the hot sauce.

So this is my way of life nowadays: in the morning I receive not
only a large number of "loyalists," who, however, look gloomy
enough, but also our exultant conquerors here, who in my case are
quite prodigal in polite and affectionate attentions. When the
stream of morning callers has ebbed, I wrap myself up in my
books, either writing or reading. There are also some visitors who
listen to my discourses under the belief of my being a man of
learning, because I am a trifle more learned than themselves. After
that all my time is given to my bodily comfort. I have mourned for
my country more deeply and longer than any mother for her only
son. But take care, if you love me, to keep your health, lest I
should take advantage of your being laid up to eat you out of house
and home. For I am resolved not to spare you even when you are




I AM afraid you may think me remiss in my attentions to you,
which, in view of our close union resulting from many mutual
services and kindred tastes, ought never to be lacking. In spite of
that I fear you do find me wanting in the matter of writing. The
fact is, I would have sent you a letter long ago and on frequent
occasions, had I not, from expecting day after day to have sonic
better news for you, wished to fill my letter with congratulation
rather than with exhortations to courage. As it is, I shall shortly, I
hope, have to congratulate you: and so I put off that subject for a
letter to another time. But imi this letter I think that your courage--
which I am told and hope is not at all shaken--ought to be
repeatedly braced by the authority of a man, who, if not the wisest
in the world, is yet the most devoted to you: and that not with such
words as I should use to console one utterly crushed and bereft of
all hope of restoration, but as to one of whose rehabilitation I have
no more doubt than I remember that you had of mine. For when
those men had driven me from the Republic, who thought that it
could not fall while I was on my feet, I remember hearing from
many visitors from Asia, in which country you then were, that you
were emphatic as to my glorious and rapid restoration. If that
system, so to speak, of Tuscan augury which you had inherited
from your noble and excellent father did not deceive you, neither
will our power of divination deceive me; which I have acquired
from the writings and maxims of the greatest savants, and, as you
know, by a very diligent study of their teaching, as well as by an
extensive experience in managing public business, and from the
great vicissitudes of fortune which I have encountered. And this
divination I am the more inclined to trust, from the fact that it
never once deceived me in the late troubles, in spite of their
obscurity and confusion. I would have told you what events I
foretold, were I not afraid to be thought to be making up a story
after the event Yet, after all, I have numberless witnesses to the
fact that I warned Pompey not to form a union with Caesar, and
afterwards not to sever it. By this union I saw that the power of the
senate would be broken, by its severance a civil war be provoked.
And yet I was very intimate with Caesar, and had a very great
regard for Pompey, but my advice was at once loyal to Pompey
and in the best interests of both alike. My other predictions I pass
over; for I would not have Caaesar think that I gave Pompey
advice, by which, if he had followed it, Caesar himself would have
now been a man of illustrious character in the state indeed, and the
first man in it, but yet not in possession of the great power he now
wields. I gave it as my opinion that he should go to Spain; and if
he had done so, there would have been no civil war at all. That
Caesar should be allowed to stand for the consulship in his
absence I did not so much contend to be constitutional as that,
since the law had been passed by the people at the instance of
Pompey himself when consul, it should be done. The pretext for
hostilities was given. What advice or remonstrance did I omit,
when urging that any peace, even the most inequitable, should be
preferred to the most righteous war? My advice was overruled, not
so much by Pompey--for he was affected by it--as by those who,
relying on him as a military leader, thought that a victory in that
war would be highly conducive to their private interests and
personal ambitions. The war was begun without my taking any
active part in it; it was forcibly removed from Italy, while I
remained there as long as I could. But honour had greater weight
with me than fear: I had scruples about failing to support Pompey's
safety, when on a certain occasion he had not failed to support
mine. Accordingly, overpowered by a feeling of duty, or by what
the loyalists would say, or by a regard for my honor--whichever
you please--like Amphiarus in the play, I went deliberately, and
fully aware of what I was doing, "to ruin full displayed before my
eyes." In this war there was not a single disaster that I did not
foretell. Therefore, since, after the manner of augurs and
astrologers, I too, as a state augur, have by my previous predictions
established the credit of my prophetic power and knowledge of
divination in your eyes, my prediction will justly claim to be
believed. Well, then, the prophecy I now give you does not rest on
the flight of a bird nor the note of a bird of good omen on the
left--according to the system of our augural college--nor from the
normal and audible pattering of the corn of the sacred chickens. I
have other signs to note; and if they are not more infallible than
those, yet after all they are less obscure or misleading. Now omens
as to the future are observed by me in what I may call a twofold
method: the one I deduce from Caesar himself, the other from the
nature and complexion of the political situation. Caesar's
characteristics are these: a disposition naturally placable and
clement--as delineated in your brilliant book of "Grievances"--and
a great liking also for superior talent, such as your own. Besides
this, he is relenting at the expressed wishes of a large number of
your friends, which are well-grounded and inspired by affection.
not hollow and self-seeking. Under this head the unanimous
feeling of Etruria will have great influence on him.

Why, then--you may ask--have these things as yet had no effect?
Why, because he thinks if he grants you yours, he cannot resist the
applications of numerous petitioners with whom to all appearance
he has juster grounds for anger. "What hope, then," you will say,
"from an angry man?" Why, he knows very well that he will draw
deep draughts of praise from the same fountain, from which he has
been already--though sparingly--bespattered. Lastly, he is a man
very acute and farseeing: he knows very well that a man like
you--far and away the greatest noble in an important district of
Italy, and in the state at large the equal of anyone of your
generation, however eminent, whether in ability or popularity or
reputation among the Roman people--cannot much longer be
debarred from taking part in public affairs. He will be unwilling
that you should, as you would sooner or later, have time to thank
for this rather than his favour.

So much for Caesar. Now I will speak of the nature of the actual
situation. There is no one so bitterly opposed to the cause, which
Pompey undertook with better intentions than provisions, as to
venture to call us bad citizens or dishonest men. On this head I am
always struck with astonishment at Caesar's sobriety, fairness, and
wisdom. He never speaks of Pompey except in the most respectful
terms. "But," you will say, "in regard to him as a public man his
actions have often been bitter enough." Those were acts of war and
victory, not of Caesar. But see with what open arms he has
received us! Cassius he has made his legate; Brutus governor of
Gaul; Sulpicius of Greece; Marcellus, with whom he was more
angry than with anyone, he has restored with the utmost
consideration for his rank. To what, then, does all this tend? The
nature of things and of the political situation will not suffer, nor
will any constitutional theory--whether it remain as it is or is
changed--permit, first, that the civil and personal position of all
should not be alike when the merits of their cases are the same;
and, secondly, that good men and good citizens of unblemished
character should not return to a state, into which so many have
returned after having been condemned of atrocious crimes.
That is my prediction. If I had felt any doubt about it I would not
have employed it in preference to a consolation which would have
easily enabled me to support a man of spirit. It is this. If you had
taken up arms for the Republic--for so you then thought--with the
full assurance of victory, you would not deserve special
commendation. But if, in view of the uncertainty attaching to all
wars, you had taken into consideration the possibility of our being
beaten, you ought not, while fully prepared to face success, to be
yet utterly unable to endure failure. I would have urged also what a
consolation the consciousness of your action, what a delightful
distraction in adversity, literature ought to be. I would have
recalled to your mind the signal disasters not only of men of old
times, but of those of our own day also, whether they were your
leaders or your comrades. I would even have named many cases of
illustrious foreigners: for the recollection of what I may call a
common law and of the conditions of human existence softens
grief. I would also have explained the nature of our life here in
Rome, how bewildering the disorder, how universal the chaos: for
it must needs cause less regret to be absent from a state in
disruption, than from one well-ordered. But there is no occasion
for anything of this sort. I shall soon see you, as I hope, or rather as
I clearly perceive, in enjoyment of your civil rights. Meanwhile, to
you in your absence, as also to your son who is here--the express
image of your soul and person, and a man of unsurpassable
firmness and excellence--I have long ere this both promised and
tendered practically my zeal, duty, exertions, and labours: all the
more so now that Caesar daily receives me with more open arms,
while his intimate friends distinguish me above everyone. Any
influence or favour I may gain with him I will employ in your
service. Be sure, for your part, to support yourself not only with
courage, but also with the brightest hopes.




WHEN I received the news of your daughter Tullia's death, I -was
indeed much grieved and distressed as I was bound to be, and
looked upon it as a calamity in which I shared. For, if I had been at
home, I should not have failed to be at your side, and should have
made my sorrow plain to you face to face. That kind of consolation
involves much distress and pain, because the relations and friends,
whose part it is to offer it, are themselves overcome by an equal
sorrow. They cannot attempt it without many tears, so that they
seem to require consolation themselves rather than to be able to
afford it to others. Still I have decided to set down briefly for your
benefit such thoughts as have occurred to my mind, not because I
suppose them to be unknown to you, but because your sorrow may
perhaps hinder you from being so keenly alive to them.

Why is it that a private grief should agitate you so deeply? Think
how fortune has hitherto dealt with us. Reflect that we have had
snatchcd from us what ought to be no less dear to human beings
than their children--country, honour, rank, every political
distinction. What additional wound to your feelings could be
inflicted by this particular loss? Or where is the heart that should
not by this time have lost all sensibility and learn to regard
everything else as of minor importance? Is it on her account, pray,
that you sorrow? How many times have you recurred to the
thought--and I have often been struck with the same idea--that in
times like these theirs is far from being the worst fate to whom it
has been granted to exchange life for a painless death? Now what
was there at such an epoch that could greatly tempt her to live?
What scope, what hope, what heart's solace? That she might spend
her life with some young and distinguished husband? How
impossible for a man of your rank to select from the present
generation of young men a son-in-law, to whose honour you might
think yourself safe in trusting your child! Was it that she might
bear children to cheer her with the sight of their vigorous youth?
who might by their own character maintain the position handed
down to them by their parent, might be expected to sta~id for the
offices in their order, might exercise their freedom in supporting
their friends? What single one of these prospects has not been
taken away before it was given? But, it will be said, after all it is
an evil to lose one's children. Yes, it is: only it is a worse one to
endure and submit to the present state of things.

I wish to mention to you a circumstance which gave me no
common consolation, on the chance of its also proving capable of
diminishing your sorrow. On my voyage from Asia, as I was
sailing from Aegina towards Megara, I began to survey the
localities that were on every side of me. Behind me was Aegina, in
front Megara, on the right Piraeus, on my left Corinth: towns
which at one time were most flourishing, but now lay before my
eyes in ruin and decay. I began to reflect to myself thus: "Hah! do
we mannikins feel rebellious if one of us perishes or is killed--we
whose life ought to be still shorter--when the corpses of so many
towns lie in helpless ruin? Will you please, Servius, restrain
yourself and recollect that you are born a mortal man?" Believe
me, I was no little strengthened by that reflection. Now take the
trouble, if you agree with me, to put this thought before your eyes.
Not long ago all those most illustrious men perished at one blow:
the empire of the Roman people suffered that huge loss: all the
provinces were shaken to their foundations. If you have become
the poorer by the frail spirit of one poor girl, are you agitated thus
violently? If she had not died now, she would yet have had to die a
few years hence, for she was mortal born. You, too, withdraw soul
and thought from such things and rather remember those which
become the part you have played in life: that she lived as long as
life had anything to give her; that her life outlasted that of the
Republic; that she lived to see you--her own father--praetor,
consul, and augur; that she married young men of the highest rank;
that she had enjoyed nearly every possible blessing; that, when the
Republic fell, she departed from life. What fault have you or she to
find with fortune on this score? In fine, do not forget that you are
Cicero, and a man accustomed to instruct and advise others; and
do not imitate bad physicians, who in the diseases of others profess
to understand the art of healing, but are unable to prescribe for
themselves. Rather suggest to yourself and bring home to your own
mind the very maxims which you are accustomed to impress upon
others. There is no sorrow beyond the power of time at length to
diminish and soften: it is a reflexion on yea that you should wait
for this period, and not rather anticipate that restmlt by the aid of
your wisdom. But if here is any consciousness still existing in the
world below, such was her love for you and her dutiful affection
for all her family, that she certainly does not wish you to act as you
are acting. Grant this to her--your lost one! Grant it to your friends
and comrades who mourn with you in your sorrow! Grant it to your
country, that if the need arises she may have the use of your
services and advice.

Finally--since we are reduced by fortune to the necessity of taking
precautions on this point also--do not allow anyone to think that
you are not mourning so much for your daughter as for the state of
public affairs and the victory of others. I am ashamed to say any
more to you on this subject, lest I should appear to distrust your
wisdom. Therefore I will only make one suggestion before
bringing my letter to an end. We have seen you on many occasions
bear good fortune with a noble dignity which greatly enhanced
yotmr fame: now is the time for you to convince us that you are
able to bear bad fortune equally well, and that it does not appear to
you to be a heavier burden than you ought to think it. I would not
have this to be the only one of all the virtues that you do not

As far as I am concerned, when I learn that your mind is more
composed, I will write you an account of what is going on here,
and of the condition of th. province. Good-bye.




YES, indeed, my dear Servius, I would have wished--as you
say--that you had been by my side at the time of my grievous loss.
How much help your presence might have given me, both by
consolation and by your taking an almost equal share in my
sorrow, I can easily gather from the fact that after reading your
letter I experienced a great feeling of relief. For not only was what
you wrote calculated to soothe a mourner, but in offering me
consolation you manifested no slight sorrow of heart yourself. Yet,
after all, your son Servius by all the kindness of which such a time
admitted made it evident, both how much he personally valued me,
and how gratifying to you he thought such affection for me would
be. His kind offices have of course often been pleasanter to me, yet
never more acceptable. For myself again, it is not only your words
and (I had almost said) your partnership in my sorrow that
consoles me, it is your character also. For I think it a disgrace that I
should not bear my loss as you--a man of such wisdom-- think it
should be borne. But at times I am taken by surprise and scarcely
offer any resistance to my grief, because those consolations fail
me, which were not wanting in a similar misfortune to those
others, whose examples I put before my eyes. For instance,
Quintus Maximus, who lost a son who had been consul and was of
illustrious character and brilliant achievements, and Lucius
Paullus, who lost two within seven days, and your kinsman Gallus
and M. Cato, who each lost a son of the highest character and
valour,--all lived in circumstances which permitted their own great
position, earned by their public services, to assuage their grief. In
my case, after losing the honours which you yourself mention, and
which I had gained by the greatest possible exertions, there was
only that one solace left which has now been torn away. My sad
musings were not interrupted by the business of my friends, nor by
the management of public affairs: there was nothing I cared to do
in the forum: I could not bear the sight of the senate-house; I
thought--as was the fact--that I had lost all the fruits both of my
industry and of fortune. But while I thought that I shared these
losses with you and certain others, and while I was conquering my
feelings and forcing myself to bear them with patience, I had a
refuge, one bosom where I could find repose, one in whose
conversation and sweetness I could lay aside all anxieties and
sorrows. But now, after such a crushing blow as this, the wounds
which seemed to have healed break out afresh. For there is no
republic now to offer me a refuge and a consolation by its good
fortunes when I leave my home in sorrow, as there once was a
home to receive me when I returned saddened by the state of
public affairs. Hence I absent myself both from home and forum,
because home can no longer console the sorrow which public
affairs cause me, nor public affairs that which I suffer at home. All
the more I look forward to your coming, and long to see you as
soon as possible. No reasoning can give me greater solace than a
renewal of our intercourse and conversation. However, I hope your
arrival is approaching, for that is what I am told. For myself, while
I have many reasons for wishing to see you as soon as possible,
there is this one especially--that we may discuss beforehand on
what principles we should live through this period of entire
submission to the will of one man who is at once wise and liberal,
far, as I think I perceive, from being hostile to me, and very
friendly to you. But though that is so, yet it is a matter for serious
thought what plans, I don't say of action, but of passing a quiet life
by his leave and kindness, we should adopt. Good-bye.




WELL, I have no reason after all to repent my formidable guest!
For he made himself exceedingly pleasant. But on his arrival at the
villa of Philippus on the evening of the second day of the
Saturnalia, the villa was so choke full of soldiers that there was
scarcely a dining-room left for Caesar himself to dine in. Two
thousand men, if you please! I was in a great taking as to what was
to happen the next day; and so Cassius Barba came to my aid and
gave me guards. A camp was pitched in the open, the villa was put
in a state of defence. He stayed with Philippus on the third day of
the Saturnalia till one o'clock, without admitting anyone. He was
engaged on his accounts, I think, with Balbus. Then he took a walk
on the beach. After two he went to the bath. Then he heard about
Mamurra without changing countenance. He was anointed: took
his place at the table. He was under a course of emetics, and so ate
and drank without scruple and as suited his taste. It was a very
good dinner, and well served, and not only so, but

"Well cooked, well seasoned food, with rare discourse:
A banquet in a word to cheer the heart."

Besides this, the staff were entertained in three rooms in a very
liberal style. The freedmen of lower rank and the slaves had
everything they could want. But the upper sort had a really
recherche dinner. In fact, I shewed that I was somebody. However,
he is not a guest to whom one would say, "Pray look me up again
on your way back." Once is enough. We didn't say a word about
politics. There was plenty of literary talk. In short, he was pleased
and enjoyed himself. He said he should stay one day at Puteoli,
another at Baiaee. That's the story of the entertainment, or I might
call it the billeting on me--trying to the temper, but not seriously
inconvenient. I am staying on here for a short time and then go to
Tusculum. When he was passing Dolabella's villa, the whole guard
formed up on the right and left of his horse, and nowhere else.
This I was told by Nicias.




I HAVE come on a visit to the man, of whom I was talking to you
this morning. His view is that "the state of things is perfectly
shocking: that there is no way out of the embroglio. For if a man of
Caesar's genius failed, who can hope to succeed ?" In short, he says
that the ruin is complete. I am not sure that he is wrong; but then
he rejoices in it, and declares that within twenty days there will be
a rising in Gaul: that he has not had any conversation with anyone
except Lepidus since the Ides of March: finally that these things
can't pass off like this. What a wise man Oppius is, who regrets
Caesar quite as much, but yet says nothing that can offend any
loyalist! But enough of this. Pray don't be idle about writing me
word of anything new, for I expect a great deal. Among other
things, whether we can rely on Sextus Pompeius; but above all
about our friend Brutus, of whom my host says that Caesar was in
the habit of remarking: "It is of great importance what that man
wishes; at any rate, whatever he wishes he wishes strongly": and
that he noticed, when he was pleading for Deiotarus at Nicaea, that
he seemed to speak with great spirit and freedom. Also--for I like
to jot down things as they occur to me--that when on the request of
Sestius I went to Caesar's house, and was sitting waiting till I was
called in, he remarked: "Can I doubt that I am exceedingly
disliked, when Marcus Cicero has to sit waiting and cannot see me
at his own convenience? And yet if there is a good-natured man in
the world it is he; still I feel no doubt that he heartily dislikes me."
This and a good deal of the same sort. But to my purpose.
Whatever the news, small as well as great, write and tell me of it. I
will on my side let nothing pass.




AT length a letter-carrier from my son! And, by Hercules, a letter
elegantly expressed, shewing in itself some progress. Others also
give me excellent reports of him. Leonides, however, still sticks to
his favourite "at present." But Herodes speaks in the highest terms
of him. In short, 1 am glad even to be deceived in this matter, and
am not sorry to be credulous. Pray let me know if Statius has
written to you anything of importance to me.




CONFOUND Lucius Antonius, if he makes himself troublesome to
the Buthrotians! I have drawn out a deposition which shall be
signed and sealed whenever you please. As for the money of the
Arpinates, if the aedile L. Fadius asks for it, pay him back every
farthing. In a previous letter I mentioned to you a sum of 110
sestertia to be paid to Statius. If, then, Fadius applies for the
money, I wish it paid to him, and to no one except Fadius. I think
that amount was put into my hands, and I have written to Eros to
produce it.

I can't stand the Queen: and the voucher for her promises,
Hammonius, knows that I have good cause for saying so. What she
promised, indeed, were all things of the learned sort and suitable
to my character--such as I could avow even in a public meeting. As
for Sara, besides finding him to be an unprincipled rascal, I also
found him inclined to give himself airs to me. I only saw him
once at my house. And when I asked him politely what I could do
for him, he said that he had come in hopes of finding Atticus. The
Queen's insolence, too, when she was living in Caesar's trans-
Tiberine villa, I cannot recall without a pang. I won't have anything
to do therefore with that lot. They think not so much that I have no
spirit, as that I have scarcely any proper pride at all. My leaving
Italy is hindered by Eros's way of doing business. For whereas
from the balances struck by him on the 5th of April I ought to be
well off, I am obliged to borrow, while the receipts from those
paying properties of mine I think have been put aside for building
the shrine. But I have charged Tiro to see to all this, whom I am
sending to Rome for the express purpose.

I did not wish to add to your existing embarrassments. The steadier
the conduct of my son, the more I am vexed at his being hampered.
For he never mentioned the subject to me--the first person to
whom he should have done so. But he said in a letter to Tiro that
he had received nothing since the 1st of April--for that was the end
of his financial year. Now I know that your own kind feeling
always caused you to be of opinion that he ought to be treated not
only with liberality, but with splendour and generosity, and that
you also considered that to be due to my position. Wherefore pray
see--I would not have troubled you if I could have done it through
anyone else--that he has a bill of exchange at Athens for his year's
allowance. Eros will pay you the money. I am sending Tiro on that
business. Pray therefore see to it, and write and tell me any idea
you may have on the subject.




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 maintamed by Sextus Aelius, Manius Manilius, Marcus
Brutus. Nevertheless, I concur with Scaevola and Testa.




AFTER I had been anxiously expecting letter-carriers day after
day, at length they arrived forty-six days after they left you. Their
arrival was most welcome to me: for while I took the greatest
possible pleasure in the letter of the kindest and most beloved of
fathers, still your most delightful letter put a finishing stroke to my
joy. So I no longer repent of having suspended writing for a time,
but am rather rejoiced at it; for I have reaped a great reward in
your kindness from my pen having been silent. I am therefore
exceedingly glad that you have unhesitatingly accepted my excuse.
I am sure, dearest Tiro, that the reports about me which reach you
answer your best wishes and hopes. I will make them good, and
will do my best that this belief in me, which day by day becomes
more and more en evidence, shall be doubled. Wherefore you may
with confidence and assurance fulfil your promise of being the
trumpeter of my reputation. For the errors of my youth have caused
me so much remorse and suffering, that not only does my heart
shrink from what I did, my very ears abhor the mention of  it. And
of this anguish and sorrow I know and am assured that you have
taken your share. And I don't wonder at it! for while you wished
me all success for my sake, you did so also for your own; for I
have ever meant you to be my partner in all my good fortunes.
Since, therefore, you have suffered sorrow through me, I will now
take care that through me your joy shall be doubled. Let me assure
you that my very close attachment to Cratippus is that of a son
rather than a pupil: for though I enjoy his lectures, I am also
specially charmed with his delightful manners. I spend whole days
with him, and often part of the night: for I induce him to dine with
me as often as possible. This intimacy having been established, he
often drops in upon us unexpectedly while we are at dinner, and
laying aside the stiff airs of a philosopher joins in our jests with
the greatest possible freedom. He is such a man--so delightful, so
distinguished--that you should take pains to make his acquaintance
at the earliest possible opportunity. I need hardly mention Bruttius,
whom I never allow to leave my side. He is a man of a strict and
moral life, as well as being the most delightful company. For in
him fun is not divorced from literature and the daily philosophical
inquiries which we make in common. I have hired a residence next
door to him, and as far as I can with my poor pittance I subsidize
his narrow means. Farthermore, I have begun practising
declamation in Greek with Cassius; in Latin I like having my
practice with Bruttius. My intimate friends and daily company are
those whom Cratippus brought with him from Mitylene--good
scholars, of whom he has the highest opinion. I also see a great
deal of Epicrates, the leading man at Athens, and Leonides, and
other men of that sort. So now you know how I am going on.

You remark in your letter on the character of Gorgias. The fact is, I
found him very useful in my daily practice of declamation; but I
subordinated everything to obeying my father's injunctions, for he
had written ordering me to give him up at once. I wouldn't shilly-
shally about the business, for fear my making a fuss should cause
my father to harbour some suspicion. Moreover, it occurred to me
that it would be offensive for me to express an opinion on a
decision of my father's. However, your interest and advice are
welcome and acceptable. Your apology for lack of time I quite
accept; for I know how busy you always are. I am very glad that
you have bought an estate, and you have my best wishes for the
success of your purchase. Don't be surprised at my congratulations
coming in at this point in my letter, for it was at the corresponding
point in yours that you told me of your purchase. You are a man of
property! You must drop your city manners: you have become a
Roman country-gentleman. How clearly I have your dearest face
before my eyes at this moment! For I seem to see you buying
things for the farm, talking to your bailiff, saving the seeds at
dessert in the corner of your cloak. But as to the matter of money, I
am as sorry as you that I was not on the spot to help you. But do
not doubt, my dear Tiro, of my assisting you in the future, if
fortune does but stand by me; especially as I know that this estate
has been purchased for our joint advantage. As to my commissions
about which you are taking trouble--many thanks! But I beg you to
send me a secretary at the earliest opportunity--if possible a Greek;
for he will save me a great deal of trouble in copying out notes.
Above all, take care of your health, that we may have some literary
talk together hereafter. I commend Anteros to you.




I HAVE castigated you, at least with the silent reproach of my
thoughts, because this is the second packet that has arrived without
a letter from you. You cannot escape the penalty for this crime by
your own advocacy: you will have to call Marcus to your aid, and
don't be too sure that even he, though he should compose a speech
after long study and a great expenditure of midnight oil, would be
able to establish your innocence. In plain terms, I beg you to do as
I remember my mother used to do. It was her custom to put a seal
on wine-jars even when empty to prevent any being labelled empty
that had been surreptitiously drained. In the same way, I beg you,
even if you have nothing to write about, to write all the same, lest
you be thought to have sought a cover for idleness: for I always
find the news in your letters trustworthy and welcome. Love me,
and goodbye.




YOU have Messalla with you. What letter, therefore, can I write
with such minute care as to enable me to explain to you what is
being done and what is occurring in public affairs, more
thoroughly than he will describe them to you, who has at once the
most intimate knowledge of everything, and the talent for
unfolding and conveying it to you in the best possible manner? For
beware of thinking, Brutus--for though it is unnecessary for me to
write to you what you know already, yet I cannot pass over in
silence such eminence in every kind of greatness--beware of
thinking, I say, that he has any parallel in honesty and firmness,
care and zeal for the Republic. So much so that in him
eloquence--in which he is extraordinarily eminent--scarcely seems
to offer any opportunity for praise. Yet in this accomplishment
itself his wisdom is made more evident; with such excellent
judgment and with so much acuteness has he practised himself in
the most genuine style of rhetoric. Such also is his industry, and so
great the amount of midnight labour that he bestows on this study,
that the chief thanks would not seem to be due to natural genius,
great as it is in his case. But my affection carries me away: for it is
not the purpose of this letter to praise Mesalla, especially to
Brutus, to whom his excellence is not less known than it is to me,
and these particular accomplishments of his which I am praising
even better. Grieved as I was to let him go from my side, my one
consolation was that in going to you who are to me a second self,
he was performing a duty and following the path of the truest
glory. But enough of this. I now come, after a long interval of time,
to a certain letter of yours, in which, while paying me many
compliments, you find one fault with me--that I was excessive and,
as it were, extravagant in proposing votes of honour. That is your
criticism: another's, perhaps, might be that I was too stern in
inflicting punishment and exacting penalties, unless by chance you
blame me for both. If that is so, I desire that my principle in both
these things should be very clearly known to you. And I do not rely
solely on the dictum of Solon, who was at once the wisest of the
Seven and the only lawgiver among them. He said that a state was
kept together by two things--reward and punishment. Of course
there is a certain moderation to be observed in both, as in
everything else, and what we may call a golden mean in both these
things. But I have no intention to dilate on such an important
subject in this place.

But what has been my aim during this war in the motions I have
made in the senate I think it will not be out of place to explain.
After the death of Caesar and your ever memorable Ides of March,
Brutus, you have not forgotten what I said had been omitted by you
and your colleagues, and what a heavy cloud I declared to be
hanging over the Republic. A great pest had been removed by your
means, a great blot on the Roman people wiped out, immense
glory in truth acquired by yourselves: but an engine for exercising
kingly power had been put into the hands of Lepidus and Antony,
of whom the former was the more fickle of the two, the latter the
more corrupt, but both of whom dreaded peace and were enemies
to quiet. Against these men, inflamed with the ambition of
revolutionizing the state, we had no protecting force to oppose. For
the fact of the matter was this: the state had become roused as one
man to maintain its liberty; I at the time was even excessively
warlike; you, perhaps with more wisdom, quitted the city which
you had liberated, and when Italy offered you her services declined
them. Accordingly, when I saw the city in the possession of
parricides, and that neither you nor Cassius could remain in it with
safety, and that it was held down by Antony's armed guards, I
thought that I too ought to leave it: for a city held down by traitors,
with all opportunity of giving aid cut off, was a shocking
spectacle. But the same spirit as always had animated me, staunch
to the love of country, did not admit the thought of a departure
from its dangers. Accordingly, in the very midst of my voyage to
Achaia, when in the period of the Etesian gales a south wind--as
though remonstrating against my design--had brought me back to
Italy, I saw you at Velia and was much distressed: for you were on
the point of leaving the country, Brutus--leaving it, I say, for our
friends the Stoics deny that wise men ever "flee." As soon as I
reached Rome I at once threw myself in opposition to Antony's
treason and insane policy: and having roused his wrath against me,
I began entering upon a policy truly Brutus-like--for this is the
distinctive mark of your family--that of freeing my country. The
rest of the story is too long to tell, and must be passed over by me,
for it is about myself. I will only say this much: that this young
Caesar, thanks to whom we still exist, if we would confess the
truth, was a stream from the fountain-head of my policy. To him I
voted honours, none indeed, Brutus, that were not his due. none
that were not inevitable.  For directly we began the recovery of
liberty, when the divine excellence of even Decimus Brutus had
not yet bestirred itself sufficiently to give us an indication of the
truth, and when our sole protection depended on the boy who had
shaken Antony from our shoulders, what honour was there that he
did not deserve to have decreed to him? However, all I then
proposed for him was a complimentary vote of thanks, and that too
expressed with nioderation. I also proposed a decree conferring
imperium on him, which, although it seemed too great a
compliment for one of his age, was yet necessary for one
commanding an army--for what is an army without a commander
with imperium? Philippus proposed a statue; Servius at first
proposed a license to stand for office before the regular time.
Servilius afterwards proposed that the time should be still farther
curtailed. At that time nothing was thought too good for him.

But somehow men are more easily found who are liberal at a time
of alarm, than grateful when victory has been won. For when that
most joyful day of Decimus Brutus's relief from blockade had
dawned on the Republic and happened also to be his birthday, I
proposed that the name of Brutus should be entered in the fasti
under that date. And in that I followed the example of our
ancestors, who paid this honour to the woman Laurentia, at whose
altar in the Velabrum you pontiffs are accustomed to offer service.
And when I proposed this honor to Brutus I wished that there
should be in the fasti an eternal memorial of a most welcome
victory: and yet on that very day I discovered that the ill-disposed
in the senate were somewhat in a majority over the grateful. In the
course of those same days I lavished honours--if you like that
word--upon the dead Hirtius, Pansa, and even Aquila. And who has
any fault to find with that, unless he be one who, no sooner an
alarm is over, forgets the past danger? There was added to this
grateful memorial of a benefit received some consideration of
what would be for the good of posterity also; for I wished that
there should exist some perpetual record of the popular execration
of our most ruthless enemies. I suspect that the next step does not
meet with your approbation. It was disapproved by your friends,
who are indeed most excellent citizens, but inexperienced in
public business. I mean my proposing an ovation for Caesar. For
myself, however--though I am perhaps wrong, and I am not a man
who believes his own way necessarily right--I think that in the
course of this war I never took a more prudent step. The reason for
this I must not reveal, lest I should seem to have a sense of favours
to come rather than to be grateful for those received. I have said
too much already: let us look at other points. I proposed honours to
Decimus Brutus, and also to Lucius Plancus. Those indeed are
noble spirits whose spur to action is glory: but the senate also is
wise to avail itself of any means--provided that they are
honourable--by which it thinks that a particular man can be
induced to support the Republic. But--you say--I am blamed in
regard to Lepidus: for, having placed his statue on the rostra, I also
voted for its removal. I tried by paying him a compliment to recall
him from his insane policy. The infatuation of that most unstable
of men rendered my prudence futile. Yet all the same more good
was done by demolishing the statue of Lepidus, than harm by
putting it up.

Enough about honours; now I must say a few words about
penalties. For I have gathered from frequent expressions in your
letters that in regard to those whom you have conquered in war,
you desire that your clemency should be praised. I hold, indeed,
that you do and say nothing but what becomes a philosopher. But
to omit the punishment of a crime--for that is what "pardoning"
amounts to--even if it is endurable in other cases, is mischievous in
a war like this. For there has been no civil war, of all that have
occurred in the state within my memory, in which there was not
certain to be some form of constitution remaining, whichever of
the two sides prevailed. In this war, if we are victorious, I should
not find it easy to affirm what kind of constitution we are likely to
have; if we are conquered, there will certainly never be any. 1
therefore proposed severe measures against Antony, and severe
ones also against Lepidus, and not so much out of revenge as in
order that I might for the present prevent unprincipled men by this
terror from attacking their country, and might for the future
establish a warning for all who were minded to imitate their

However, this proposal was not mine more than it was
everybody's. The point in it which had the appearance of cruelty
was that the penalty extended to the children who did not deserve
any. But that is a thing of long standing and characteristic of all
states. For instance, the children of Themistocles were in poverty.
And if the same penalty attaches to citizens legally condemned in
court, how could we be more indulgent to public enemies? What,
moreover, can anyone say against me when he must confess that,
had that man conquered, he would have been still more revengeful
towards me?

Here you have the principles which dictated my senatorial
proposals, at any rate in regard to this class of honours and
penalties. For, in regard to other matters, I think you have been
told what opinions I have expressed and what votes I have given.
But all this is not so very pressing. What is really pressing, Brutus,
is that you should come to Italy with your army as soon as
possible. There is the greatest anxiety for your arrival. Directly you
reach Italy all classes will flock to you. For whether we win the
victory--and we had in fact won a most glorious one, only that
Lepidus set his heart on ruining everything and perishing himself
with all his friends--there will be need of your counsel in
establishing some form of constitution. And even if there is still
some fighting left to be done, our greatest hope is both in your
personal influence and in the material strength of your army.
But make haste, in God's name! You know the importance of
seizing the right moment, and of rapidity. What pains I am taking
in the interests of your sister's children, I hope you know from the
letters of your mother and sister. In undertaking their cause I shew
more regard to your affection, which is very precious to me, than,
as some think, to my own consistency. But there is nothing in
which I more wish to be and to seem consistent than in loving you.

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