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DCCXVIII (A XIV, 16)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 3 MAY
I despatch this letter on the 3rd of May, when on the point of embarking on a rowing boat from the Cluvian pleasure-grounds, 1 after having handed over to Pilia my villa on the Lucrine lake, its servants, and bailiffs. I myself on that day am threatening the cheese-and-sardine dishes of my friend Paetus. 2 In a very few days I shall go to Pompeii, and afterwards shall return to my domains at Puteoli and Cumae. What desirable spots in other respects, yet owing to the crowd of visitors almost to be shunned!

But to come to business. What a gallant coup de main of my Dolabella! What a magnificent display! For my part I never cease mingling praise and exhortation in writing to him. 3 Yes, you are quite right in the opinion you express in all your letters about the action as well as the man. In my opinion our friend Brutus might walk through the forum even with a gold crown on his head. For who would venture to assault him with the fear of the cross and the rock before their eyes? Especially as this transaction has been so loudly cheered and so heartily approved by the very mob?

Now, my dear Atticus, do make things all right for me. I want, as soon as I have done fully all that Brutus requires of me, to make an excursion into Greece. It is much to my son's interest, or rather to mine, or by heaven to that of us both, that I should drop in upon him in his studies. For in the letter of Leonides 4 which you forwarded to me, what is there, after all, to give us any great pleasure? I shall never think the boy's report satisfactory while it contains such a phrase as "as he is going on at present." These are not the words of confidence, but rather of anxiety. Moreover, I had charged Herodes 5 to write to me in detail; but as yet I have not had a line from him. I fear he had nothing to say which he thought would be pleasant for me to know. I am much obliged to you for having written to Xeno. 6 It concerns my duty as well as my reputation that my son should not be in any way short of means. I hear that Flaminius Flamma 7 is at Rome. I have written to tell him that I have given you a written commission to speak to him about the business of Montanus. Please see that the letter I have sent him is delivered, and—if quite convenient to yourself—have a personal interview with him. I think, if there is a spark of shame in the man, he will see that the payment is not deferred to my loss. As to Attica you have done me a great kindness in seeing that I knew of her recovery before I knew that she had been unwell.


1 Those inherited from Cluvius of Puteoli. See p.15.

2 I am going to stay with Paetus at Naples. See vol. iii., p.92.

3 As the best way of keeping him up to the mark. Cp. vol. iii., p.59.

4 The tutor of the young Marcus Cicero.

5 One of young Cicero's teachers at Athens. We have already beard of him as undertaking a history of Cicero's consulship (vol. i., p.67).

6 An Epicurean philosopher at Athens (vol. ii., pp.26, 31). Atticus seems to have employed him to transmit money to young Cicero.

7 C. Flaminius Flamma owed Plancus money and also it seems Cicero. See vol. iii., p.258.

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