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CDXXIII (A XI, 10)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
BRUNDISIUM, 19 JANUARY
My distresses, already past calculation, have received an addition by the news brought to me of the elder and younger Quintus. My connexion Publius Terentius was employed as deputy master of his company in Asia in collecting the harbour dues and the pasture rents. 1 He saw the younger Quintus at Ephesus on the 8th of December, and entertained him warmly for the sake of our friendship, and on asking some questions about me, he tells me that Quintus replied that he was bitterly opposed to me, and shewed him a roll containing a speech which he intended to deliver against me before Caesar. 2 Terentius says that he dissuaded him from such a senseless proceeding at great length; and that afterwards at Patrae the elder Quintus talked a great deal to him in a similar strain of treachery. The latter's furious state of mind you have been able to gather from the letters which I sent on to you. I know these things are painful to you: they are positive torture to me, and the more so that I don't think I shall have the opportunity of even remonstrating with them.

As to the state of things in Africa, 3 my information is widely different from your letter. They say that nothing could be sounder or better organized. Added to that, there is Spain, an alienated Italy, a decline in the loyalty and the strength of the legions, total disorder in the city. 4 Where can I find any repose except in reading your letters? And they would certainly have been more frequent, had you had anything to say by which you thought that my distress might be relieved. But nevertheless I beg you not to omit writing to tell me whatever occurs; and, if you can't absolutely hate the men who have shewn themselves so cruelly hostile to me, 5 yet do rebuke them: not with the view of doing any good, but to make them feel that I am dear to you. I will write at greater length to you when you have answered my last. Good-bye.

19 January.


1 See vol. ii., p.44.

2 It was not unusual, it appears, to deliver a set harangue from a written copy to a great man, though in an informal meeting. Suetonius says that Augustus always did so on important matters, even with his wife Livia (Suet. Aug. 84), and Dio has preserved a conversation of the sort between them (55, 15), and two speeches of Agrippa and Maecenas of the same kind (52, I, ff.). Tacitus (Ann. 4.39) says that it was the common custom in the time of Tiberius.

3 Where Cato and the other Pompeian leaders were making great head.

4 All these disorders make Cicero fear that, after all, Caesar will fail, and his own position be worse than ever, as he has hopelessly offended the Pompeians. The military disorders were among the legions sent back to Italy after Pharsalia, who were discontented with their rewards. The disturbances in the city were caused by the contests between Dolabella and his fellow tribunes-Dolabella endeavouring to introduce an act for the relief of debtors, which gave rise to bloody faction fights in Rome, which Antony, Caesar's Master of the Horse, vainly tried to suppress ([Caesar) Bell. Alex. 65; Dio, 42, 29-32; App. Bell. Civ. 2.92). For the trouble in Spain, see p.30.

5 Quintus, father and son, whom, as Atticus's brother-in-law and nephew, he would not cast off, however much he may have disapproved of their conduct.

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