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DXLV (A XII, 14)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA (8 MARCH)
I wrote to you yesterday about making my excuses to Appuleius. I think there is no difficulty. No matter to whom you apply, no one will refuse. But see Septimius, Laenas, and Statilius about it. For three are required. Laenas, however, undertook the whole business for me. You say that you have been dunned by Iunius: Cornificius 1 is certainly a man of substance, yet I should nevertheless like to know when I am said to have given the guarantee, and whether it was for the father or son. None the less pray do as you say, and interview the agents of Cornificius and Appuleius the land-dealer.

You wish me some relaxation of my mourning: you are kind, as usual, but you can bear me witness that I have not been wanting to myself. For not a word has been written by anyone on the subject of abating grief which I did not read at your house. But my sorrow is too much for any consolation. Nay, I have done what certainly no one ever did before me—tried to console myself by writing a book, which I will send to you as soon as my amanuenses have made copies of it. I assure you that there is no more efficacious consolation. I write all day long, not that I do any good, but for a while I experience a kind of check, or, if not quite that—for the violence of my grief is overpowering-yet I get some relaxation, and I try with all my might to recover composure, not of heart, yet, if possible, of countenance. When doing that I sometimes feel myself to be doing wrong, sometimes that I shall be doing wrong if I don't. Solitude does me some good, but it would have done me more good, if you after all had been here: and that is my only reason for quitting this place, for it does very well in such miserable circumstances. And even this suggests another cause of sorrow. For you will not be able to be to me now what you once were: everything you used to like about me is gone. I wrote to you before about Brutus's letter to me: it contained a great deal of good sense, but nothing to give me any comfort. As to his asking in his letter to you whether I should like him to come to see me—by all means: he would be sure to give me some help, considering his strong affection for me. If you have any news, pray write and tell me, especially as to when Pansa goes. 2 I am sorry about Attica: yet I believe in Craterus. Tell Pilia not to be anxious: my sorrow is enough for us all.


1 There are two men named Q. Cornificius, father and son, mentioned in the correspondence. The former was a candidate with Cicero for the consulship (vol. i., p. 13); the latter was now going as governor to Africa (see p.131).

2 I.e., to his province. Pansa had left Rome at the end of the previous year paludatus (p.193). Boot supposes that he stayed in some villa till March, which was the usual time of going to a province.

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