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CDXXVIII (A XI, 15)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
BRUNDISIUM, 14 MAY
As you give me good and sufficient reasons why I cannot see you at this time, I beg you to tell me what I ought to do. For it seems to me that, though Caesar is holding Alexandria, he is ashamed even to send a despatch on the operations there. Whereas these men in Africa seem to be on the point of coming over here: so, too, the Achaean refugees 1 seem to intend returning from Asia to join them, or to stay in some neutral place. What therefore do you think I ought to do? I quite see that it is difficult to advise. For I am the only one (or with one other 2 ) for whom neither a return to the one party is possible, nor a gleam of hope visible from the other. But nevertheless I should like to know what your opinion is, and that was the reason among others why I wished to see you, if it could be managed.

I wrote before to tell you that Minucius had only paid twelve sestertia: please see that the balance is provided.

Quintus wrote to me not only without any strong appeal for pardon, but in the most bitter style, while his son did so with astonishing malignity. No sorrow can be imagined with which I am not crushed. Yet everything is more bearable than the pain caused by my error: that is supreme and abiding. If I were destined to have the partners in that error that I expected, it would nevertheless be but a poor consolation. But the case of all the rest admits of some escape, mine of none. Some because they were taken prisoners, others because their way was barred, avoid having their loyalty called in question, all the more so, of course, now that they have extricated themselves and joined forces again. Why, even the very men who of their own free will went to Fufius 3 can merely be counted wanting in courage. Finally, there are many who will be taken back, in whatever way they return to that party. So you ought to be the less astonished that I cannot hold up against such violent grief. For I am the only one whose error cannot be repaired, except perhaps Laelius—but what alleviation is that to me?—for they say that even Gaius Cassius has changed his mind about going to Alexandria. I write this to you, not that you may be able to remove my anxiety, but to know whether you have any suggestion to make in regard to the distresses that are sapping my strength, to which are now added my son-in-law, and the rest that I am prevented by my tears from writing. Nay, even Aesop's son 4 wrings my heart. There is absolutely nothing wanting to make me the most unhappy of men. But to return to my first question—what do you think I ought to do? Should I remove secretly to some place nearer Rome, or should I cross the sea? For remaining here much longer is out of the question.

Why could no settlement he come to about the property of Fufidius? For the arrangement was one about which there is not usually any dispute, when the portion which is thought of the less value can be made up by putting the property up to auction among the heirs. I have a motive for asking the question: for I suspect that my co-heirs think that my position is doubtful, and therefore prefer allowing the matter to remain unsettled. 5 Good-bye.

15 May.


1 The Pompeians, who, instead of keeping with the Pompeian fleet, had taken refuge in Patrae and Sicyon, and had then crossed to Asia in hopes of meeting Caesar and obtaining pardon. See p. 14.

2 Decimus Laelius See pp.19, 33.

3 Q. Fufius Calenus, tribune in B.C. 61, and supporter of Clodius (vol. i., pp. 35, 109). One of Caesar's legates in Gaul, he stuck to him in the Civil War (vol. ii., p.318), and during B.C. 48 had been engaged in taking possession of Greek cities in Caesar's interest, among others Patrae, and remained there in command of troops (Caes. B.C. 3.56, 106; Dio. 42, 14). He was rewarded by the consulship for the last three months of B.C. 47. See supra, p.22.

4 The son of the famous actor, who was a great friend of Cicero's (vol. i., pp.132, 258). The son appears to have been dissolute.

5 Apparently he supposes that the other legatees thought it doubtful whether Cicero had not incurred confiscation of his property, and so, being disfranchised, would be unable to take his share: and therefore thought it better not to make a division. If that were once made they would have great difficulty in recovering the money.

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