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DCCXIII (A XIV, 13 a)

M. ANTONIUS TO CICERO (AT PUTEOLI)
SOUTH ITALY, ABOUT 24 APRIL
I was prevented by my engagements, and by your own sudden departure from town, from mentioning to you a request by word of mouth, which I fear will have less weight in your eyes owing to its not being personally presented. But if your liberality answers to the opinion which I have always entertained of you I shall rejoice. I asked Caesar for the restoration of Sextus Clodius. 1 I obtained my request. It was in my mind even at the time only to avail myself of the favour if you did not object. I am therefore the more anxious to be allowed to do it now with your acquiescence. But if you shew yourself sternly inclined towards his distressing and ruinous position, I will not contest the matter with you though I consider myself bound to carry out a minute of Caesar's. But, by Hercules, if you are inclined to take a large-hearted philosophical and kindly view of my proceedings, you will certainly shew your good nature and will wish P. Clodius, 2 a boy of very great promise, to feel that you have not been inveterate to his father's friends. I beg you to suffer it to be seen that you quarrelled with his father on public grounds only. Of this family you can have no reason for thinking meanly. It is of course more to our honour, and more agreeable to our feelings, to give up quarrels undertaken on public grounds than those that are the result of personal prejudice. Let me then at once lead the youth to think and be convinced, while his mind is young and impressionable, that enmities are not to be transmitted to another generation. Although your fortunes, my dear Cicero, are now, I feel assured, removed from every danger, nevertheless I think you would prefer spending a peaceful and honoured old age rather than one full of anxiety. Finally, I claim a right to ask this favour of you myself; for I have omitted nothing that I could do for your sake. But if I don't obtain it I shall not make this grant to Clodius as far as I am concerned, in order that you may understand what weight your authority has with me, and may on that account shew yourself all the more placable.


1 A scriba and hanger—on of Publius Clodius, called Athenio in vol. i., p.99. He had been acquitted on a charge of vis by a narrow majority in B.C. 56 (vol. i., p.221), but was condemned in B.C. 52 on account of the riots following the death of his patron and the burning of the Curia (pro Mil. § 90; Asconius, § 55).

2 Son of P. Clodius by Fulvia, whom Antony had married.

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