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DCCXXII (A XIV, 19)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
POMPEII, 8 MAY
Being in my Pompeian villa on the 7th of May I received two letters from you, the first dated five days ago, the second three. I will therefore answer the earlier one first. How glad I am that Barnaeus delivered my letter at the nick of time! Yes, with Cassius as before. It is, however, a lucky coincidence that I had just done what you advise me to do. Five days ago I wrote to him and sent you a copy of my letter. But after I had been thrown into a great state of despair by Dolabella's avarice 1 —to use your expression—lo and behold, arrives a letter from Brutus and one from you. He is meditating exile: I, however, see before me a different port, and one better suited to my time of life. 2 Though, of course, I should prefer entering it with Brutus in prosperity and the constitution on a sound footing. As it is indeed, you are right in saying that we have now no choice in the matter. For you agree with me that my age is unsuitable to a camp, especially in a civil war. Marcus Antonius merely said about Clodius, in answer to my letter, that my leniency and placability had been very gratifying to him, and would be a source of great pleasure to myself. But Pansa seems to be fuming about Clodius as well as about Deiotarus. His words are stern enough, if you choose to believe them. Nevertheless, he is not sound—as I think—on the subject of- Dolabella's achievement, 3 of which he loudly expresses His disapproval. As to the men with the garlands, 4 when your sister's son was reproved by his father, he wrote back to say that he had worn a garland in honour of Caesar, that he had laid it aside as a sign of mourning; lastly, that he -was quite content to be vilified for loving Caesar even when dead. To Dolabella I have written cordially, as you said that you thought I ought to do. I have also done so to Sicca. I don't lay the responsibility of this upon you: I don't want you to incur his wrath. I recognize Servius's style of talk, in which I see more of timidity than wisdom. But since we have all been frightened out of our wits, I have nothing to say against Servius. Publilius has taken you in. For Caerellia was sent here by them as their envoy; but I convinced her without difficulty that what she asked was not even legal, to say nothing of my disliking it. 5 If I see Antony I will seriously press the case of Buthrotum.

I come now to your later letter, though I have already answered you in regard to Servius. You say that I am "making a good deal of Dolabella's achievement." Well, by heaven, it is my genuine opinion that it could not be surpassed in the circumstances and actual state of affairs. But after all, whatever credit I give him is founded on what you wrote. However, I agree with you that it would be a still greater "achievement" on his part, if he paid me what he owes me. 6 I should like Brutus to stay at Astura. You praise me for coming to no decision about leaving Italy till I see how affairs at Rome are likely to turn out. But I have changed my mind about that. I shall not, however, do anything till I have seen you. I am pleased that our dear Attica thanks me for what I have done for her mother. I have in fact put the whole villa and store-room at her service, and am thinking of going to see her on the 11th. Please give my love to Attica. I will take good care of Pilia.


1 No doubt—if the reading is sound—he refers to Dolabella still retaining Tullia's dowry in part.

2 That is, "death" (cp. de Sen. § 91). He had just written the essay on Old Age. There he makes Cato say that at his age death is so pleasant that "as I approach it more, I seem to be catching sight of land and to be at length coming into port after a long voyage." We often find the sentiment occurring in his letters which he was at the time expressing in books.

3 In executing the rioters collecting round the pillar marking the spot in the forum where his body was burnt. See pp.33-35.

4 At the Palilia. See Letter DCCXVI.

5 Re—marriage with the divorced Publilia.

6 The instalment of Tullia's dowry which he had to repay.

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