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CDXXXIV (A XI, 25)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
BRUNDISIUM, 5 JULY
I have no difficulty in agreeing with your letter, in which you point out at considerable length that there is no advice by which I can be aided by you. At least there is no consolation capable of relieving my sorrow. For nothing has been brought upon me by chance—for that would have been endurable—but I have created it all by those mistakes and miserable conditions of mind and body, to which I only wish those nearest and dearest to me had preferred to apply remedies! Therefore, since I have no ray of hope either of advice from you or of any consolation, I will not ask you for them in future. I would only ask one thing of you—that you should not omit writing to me whatever comes into your mind, whenever you have anyone to whom you can give a letter, and as long as there shall be anyone to whom to write, which won't be very long. There is a rumour of a doubtful sort that Caesar has quitted Alexandria. It arose from a letter from Sulpicius, 1 which all subsequent messengers have confirmed. Since it makes no difference to me, I don't know whether I should prefer this news being true or false. As to what I said some time ago to you about Terentia's will, I should like it preserved in the custody of the Vestals. 2

I am worn out and harassed to death by the folly of this most unhappy girl. 3 I don't think there was ever such a creature born. If any measure of mine can do her any good, I should like you to tell me of it. I can see that you will have the same difficulty as you had before in giving me advice—but this is a matter that causes me more anxiety than everything else. I was blind to pay the second instalment. I wish I had done otherwise: but that's past and done with. I beg of you that, considering the ruinous state of affairs, if any money can be collected or got together and put in safe hands, from sale of plate and the fairly abundant furniture, you would take steps to do so. 4 For I think that the worst is hard upon us, that there will be no making of peace, and that the present regime will collapse even without an opponent. Speak to Terentia also on this subject, if you think it right, at some convenient opportunity. I can't write all I have to say. Good-bye.

5 July.


1 The son of Servius Sulpicius Rufus was with Caesar. See vol. ii., pp.356, 361.

2 The MS. reading is apud epistolas velim ut possim adversas. I venture to write—as no satisfactory suggestion has been made—apud Vestales velim depositum adservari. The Vestals were frequently the holders of wills (see Suet. Iul. 83; Aug.101 Tac. Ann. i. 8; Plutarch, Ant. 58), and Terentia had a half-sister a Vestal virgin, or perhaps apud ἀσφαλεῖς might be suggested from p.47.

3 If the reading fatuitate is right—which is very doubtful—Cicero apparently has found Tullia infatuated with her dissolute husband Dolabella, and unwilling to divorce him, though reduced to great straits by his extravagance. The "second instalment" refers to Tullia's dowry. See pp.39, 41.

4 Comparing pp.44 48, I think this must be taken to refer to movables belonging to Tullia, not Cicero. He wishes them to be sold and the money deposited in safe hands, in case of her husband repudiating her, or being himself ruined.

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