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CDXCVII (A XII, 6)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ROME, THE SECOND INTERCALARY MONTH
As to Caelius, please see that there is no defect in the gold. 1 I don't know anything about such matters. But at any rate there is quite enough loss on exchange. If to this is added gold...but why need I talk? You will see to it. That is a specimen of the style of Hegesias, which Varro commends. 2

Now I come to Tyrannio. Do you really mean it? Was this fair? Without me? Why, how often, though quite at leisure, did I yet refuse without you? How will you excuse yourself for this? The only way of course is to send me the book; and I beg you earnestly to do so. And yet the book itself will not give me more pleasure than your admiration of it has already done. For I love everyone who "loves learning," and I rejoice at your feeling such a great admiration for that essay on a minute point. However, you are that sort of man in everything. You want to know, and that is the only food of the intellect. But pray what did you get that contributed to your summum bonum from that acute and grave essay? 3 However, I am talking too much, and you have been occupied in some business which is perhaps mine: and in return for that dry basking of yours in the sun, of which you took such full advantage on my lawn, I shall ask of you in return some sunshine and a good dinner. 4 But I return to what I was saying. The book, if you love me, send me the book! It is certainly yours to give, since indeed it was dedicated to you. "What, Chremes, Have you such leisure from your own affairs " 5 as even to read my "Orator"? Well done ! I am pleased to hear it, and shall be still more obliged if, not only in your own copy, but also in those meant for others, you will make your scribes alter "Eupolis" to "Aristophanes." 6

Caesar again seemed to me to smile at your word quaeso, as being somewhat "fanciful" and cockneyfied. But he bade you to have no anxiety in such a cordial manner, that he relieved me of all feeling of doubt. 7 I am sorry that Attica's ague is so lingering, but since she has now got rid of shivering fits, I hope all is well.


1 Caelius was a banker or money-changer.

2 Hegesias of Magnesia (in Asia) affected an abrupt and elliptic style. See Brut. § 286; Orat. § 230.

3 For Tyrannio and his book which Cicero wished to have read in the company of Atticus, see p.72. Tyrrell and Purser say it was "on accents," and see a reference to that in in ista acuta et gravi. There is no other authority for the subject of the book. Tyrannio wrote a large number of books, and there is nothing but this to shew what particular one is meant. The τέλος is thought by some to refer to the treatise de Finibus, on which Caesar was now employed; but it may equally well refer to the previous sentence-Atticus's τέλος or summum bonum was "knowledge."

4 Cicero playfully alludes to Atticus as taking part in his dialogue Brutus, which was represented as taking place as they were sitting "on a lawn near Plato's statue" (in pratulo propter Platonis statuam); and, as Atticus had been thus basking in sun on Cicero's imaginary lawn, he says that he shall ask to bask also on Atticus's real lawn, only with more creature comforts, such as a dinner. But it is obscurely expressed.

5 Terence, Haut. 75. Mueller begins a separate letter with these words.

6 Orat. § 29, where Aristophanes (Ach. 530) is quoted as saying that Pericles "blazed, thundered, and threw all Greece into a turmoil."

7 Caesar was thinking of planting a colony at Buthrotum, and Atticus was trying to avoid confiscation of lands, either his own or those of the townsmen, near his villa. We shall hear much more of it.

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