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DCII (A XIII, 27)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
TUSCULUM (25 MAY)
I had always determined, and on very good grounds, that your friends should read my letter to Caesar before it was sent. If I had acted otherwise, I should have been wanting in courtesy to them, and almost rash in regard to my own danger in case my letter should prove offensive to him. Now your friends have acted frankly, and have obliged me by not suppressing their opinion; but best of all by suggesting so many alterations, that I have no reason for writing it all over again. And yet, in the matter of the Parthian war, what ought I to have kept in view except what I thought was Caesar's wish ? 1 What, in fact, was the point of my letter at all except to say smooth things to him ? 2 Do you suppose that if I had wanted to give him the advice which I thought best, I should have been at a loss for language? Therefore the whole letter is altogether superfluous. For when no great "hit" is possible, and a "miss," however slight, would bring unpleasant consequences, what need to run the risk? Especially as it occurs to me that, as I have not written to him before, he will think that I should probably not have written had not the war been over. Moreover, I fear his thinking that I meant this as a sop for my "Cato." There is no more to be said. I am extremely sorry I wrote it; nor could anything in this affair have fallen out more in accordance with my wishes, than to find that my intrusion is not approved. For I should have found myself also involved with that party, and among them with your relative. 3 But to return to the pleasure-grounds. I absolutely will not have you go to them unless entirely convenient to yourself. There is no hurry. Whatever happens let us devote our efforts to Faberius. How ever, tell me the day of the auction, if you know it. The bearer of this has just come from Cumae, and as he reported that Attica was quite recovered, and said that he had a letter from her, I have sent him straight to you.


1 The Parthians were again threatening Syria, and Caesar seems to have let it be known that he wished to lead an army against them. He was, in fact, preparing to do so when he was assassinated.

2 κολακεία, a strong word. Speaking frankly to Atticus, Cicero makes no concealment of his real dislike of Caesar's policy and of his own unwilling submission to force majeure.

3 Their common nephew Quintus.

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