Letters of Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Part 2 out of 2

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 prot‚g‚
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 th‡ 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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