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DXLIV (A XII, 13)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA (7 MARCH)
I1 am disturbed about Attica, though I agree with Craterus. 2 Brutus's letter, full of wisdom and affection as it is, has yet cost me many tears. This solitude is less painful to me than the crowds of Rome. The only person I miss is yourself; but although I find no more difficulty in going on with my literary work than if I were at home, yet that passionate unrest haunts and never quits me, not, on my word, that I encourage it, I rather fight against it: still it is there. As to what you say about Appuleius, I don't think that there is any need for your exerting yourself, nor for applying to Balbus and Oppius, to whom he undertook to make things right, and even sent me a message to say that he would not be troublesome to me in any way. But see that my excuse of ill-health for each separate day is put in. Laenas undertook this. Add C. Septimius and L Statilius. In fact, no one, whomsoever you ask, will refuse to make the affidavit. But if there is any difficulty, I will come and make a sworn deposition myself of chronic ill-health. 3 For since I am to absent myself from the entertainments, I would rather be thought to do so in virtue of the augural law, than in consequence of grief. Please send a reminder to Cocceius, for he does not fulfil his promise: while I am desirous of purchasing some hiding-place and refuge for my sorrow.


1 The dates of this and the following letters to Atticus are deduced from DLX and DLXI, which give us the first indication—23rd of March. As Cicero says he will write every day, supposing no letter to be missing, we can feel fairly certain of their correctness.

2 A doctor mentioned by Horace, Sat. ii. 3, 161.

3 The augurs met regularly on the Nones of each month. The only admissible excuse for non-attendance (besides absence from Rome on official duty) was ill-health. See de Am. § 8, where Cicero represents his own case in the person of Laelius. There is nothing to shew whether M. Appuleius was the senior augur, to whom the excuse was to be given, or a recently elected augur, at whose inauguration and accompanying banquet Cicero felt unable to attend. The excuse appears to have needed the attestation of three other augurs.

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