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Only a little while ago I had sent you a letter by Cassius's letter-carrier, when my own letter-carrier arrived on the 11th, and, marvellous to say, without a letter from you. But I soon concluded that you had been at Lanuvium. Eros, however, made great haste to have Dolabella's letter delivered to me. It was not about my money—for he had not received my letter: but he wrote in answer to the letter of which I sent you a copy. It was very well expressed. Balbus, however, came to see me immediately after I had despatched Cassius's letter-carrier. Good heavens! how plainly he shewed his dread of peace! You know, too, what a reserved fellow he is, yet he told me Antony's plans. That he was making the round of the veterans, to induce them to confirm Caesar's acta, and to take an oath that they would do so; to secure that they all had arms; and that two commissioners should inspect them every month. 1 He also grumbled about the prejudice existing against himself, and his whole conversation indicated an affection for Antony. In a word, there is nothing sound about him. For my part, I feel certain that things have a warlike look. For that deed was done with the courage of men, but the imprudence of a child. For who can fail to see that an heir to the tyranny has been left? 2 Now what can be more irrational than “To fear the one, nor dread at all the other?” Nay, at this very moment there are many circumstances of a paradoxical character. What about the mother of the tyrannicide retaining the Neapolitan villa of Pontius ? 3 I must read over again and again my Cato Maior, which is dedicated to you. For old age is spoiling my temper. Everything puts me in a rage. But for me life is over. The rising generation must look to it. Take care of my affairs, as you always do.

I write, or rather dictate this, after the dessert has been put on the table at the house of Vestorius. Tomorrow I am thinking of dining with Hirtius—the sole survivor indeed of our set of five. 4 That is my way of bringing him Over to the Optimates. It is all nonsense: for there is not one of that party who does not dread a period of peace. Wherefore let us look out our winged-sandals! For I prefer anything to a camp. Pray give my best love to Attica. I am anxious to hear of Octavius's speech and anything else, but specially whether Dolabella has the true money chink, or has gone in for "repudiation" in regard to my debt also. 5

1 The text of this clause is doubtful, arma being a conjecture for utram of the MSS. Mueller reads castra. The duumviri also may mean the two chief magistrates of the colonia. For Antony's tour through the colonies of the veterans, see Phil. 2.100.

2 Cicero often says that Antony ought to have been killed at the same time as Caesar (Phil. 2.34). See pp.48, 69, etc.

3 Servilia, the mother of Brutus, had an estate at Naples given her by Caesar.

4 penteloipon. The reading, however, is not certain. Tyrrell and Purser reckon the set or coterie at Puteoli as including Hirtius, Pansa, Octavius, Lentulus Spinther, and Philippus. But the political views referred to in the next sentence do not apply to Philippus. See p.20.

5 As he did in his tribuneship of B.C. 47 (see vol. iii., pp.27, 33). Tinniat has a double meaning: (i) ringing true, like a vessel when tapped, and so being "honest (cp. Persius, 3.20); (2) "to chink" like money when handled, and so to be ready to pay.

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