Letters of Cicero
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Letters of Cicero

by Marcus Tullius Cicero

Translated by E. S. Shuckburgh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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




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

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




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

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

IV (A I, 17)



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

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

5 December.




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

29 April, from Brundisium.




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

Thessalonica, 13 June.




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

13 February.




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




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




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

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




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




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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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