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CCCXC (A X, 8 a)

M. ANTONIUS TO CICERO (AT CUMAE)
CAMPANIA (END OF APRIL)
HAD I not been warmly attached to you—much more warmly, indeed, than you suppose—I should not have been alarmed at the rumour which has reached me about you, especially as I thought it was without foundation. But just because I am so exceedingly devoted to you, I cannot conceal the fact that even a report, however groundless, is a serious thing in my eyes. I cannot believe that you are about to cross the sea, considering how highly you value Dolabella and your dear Tullia, and how highly you are valued by me, to whom, by heaven, your rank and reputation are almost dearer than they are to yourself. Nevertheless, I did not think that it would be friendly in me not to be rendered anxious by the talk even of men of low character. And, indeed, I have been the more zealous, because I considered that I had thrust upon me a somewhat difficult part to play, owing to the misunderstanding between us, which was the result of jealousy on my part rather than of any wrong done me by you. 1 For I want to convince you that no one is dearer to me than you are, except my Caesar, and that my conviction at the same time is that Caesar gives M. Cicero a very high place among his friends. Wherefore, my dear Cicero, I beg you not to take any compromising step; and not to place any reliance on the man who, to do you a favour, first inflicted an injury upon you; and, on the other hand, not to fly from one who, even supposing he loses all affection for you— which is impossible—will yet desire your safety and your highest honour. I have taken pains to send my most intimate friend Calpurnius 2 to you, that you may know that your life and honour are great objects with me.


1 We have no references in previous letters to any misunderstanding between Antony and Cicero, but in the second Philippic, 2, 48, 49, Cicero says that Antony was an intimate friend of P. Clodius in B.C. 58, that he (Cicero) had interfered to break off his connexion with the younger Curio, and had a controversy with him in regard to a lawsuit with one Sicca, a freedman of Antony's. Again, in B.C. 53, they had both been candidates for the augurship, though Antony retired from the canvass. The Ζηλοτυπία may refer either to Curio or the augurship. Antony was now a tribune, but had been left in charge of Italy with the rank of propraetor.

2 Perhaps the L. Calpurnius Piso spoken of afterwards as Antony's legatus and familiaris (Phil. 10.13; Phil. 12.1).

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