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DCCXCI (A XV, 13)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 25 OCTOBER
On the 25th I received two letters from you. I will therefore answer the earlier one first. I agree with you: but I would neither lead the van or bring up the rear, and yet be on that side in sympathy. I am sending you my speech. As to whether it is to be kept locked up or published, I leave the decision to you. But when shall we see the day when you shall think that it ought to be published? 1 I cannot see the possibility of the truce which you mention. Better a masterly silence, which I think I shall employ. You say that two legions have arrived at Brundisium: you in Rome get all news first. So please write and tell me whatever you hear. I am anxious for Varro's "Dialogue." 2 I am now all for writing something in the Heracleides style, 3 especially as you like it so much. But I should like to know the sort you want. As to what I said to you before (or "previously"—as you prefer to express it), you have, to confess the honest truth, made me keener for writing. For to your own opinion, with which I was already acquainted, you have added the authority of Peducaeus—a very high one in my eyes, and among the most weighty. I will therefore do my best to prevent your feeling the lack either of industry or accuracy on my part.

Yes, as you suggest in your letter, I am keeping up with Vettienus and Faberius. I don't think Clodius meant any harm, although. But it is all one! As to the maintenance of liberty-surely the most precious thing in the world— I agree with you. So it is Caninius Gallus's 4 turn now, is it? What a rascal he is! That's the only word for him. Oh cautious Marcellus! I am the same-yet not after all the most cautious of men!

I have answered your longer and earlier letter. Now for the shorter and later one—what answer am I to make except that it was a most delightful one? Events in Spain are going very well. If I do but see Balbilius safe and sound, I shall have a support for my old age. As to the estate of Annius your opinion is mine. Visellia shews me great attention. But that's the way of the world. Of Brutus you say that you know nothing: but Servilia says that Marcus Scaptius 5 has arrived, and that he will pay her a secret visit at her house without any parade, and that I shall know everything. Meanwhile, she also tells me that a slave of Bassus has arrived to announce that the legions at Alexandria are in arms; that Bassus 6 is being summoned; Cassius's 7 arrival looked for with eagerness. In short, the Republic seems about to recover its legitimate authority. But no shouting before we are out of the wood! You know what adepts in rascality and how reckless these fellows 8 are.


1 The venomous second Philippic—perhaps the most terrible invective ever composed—was never delivered. It is a pamphlet in the form of a speech supposed to be delivered in the senate on the 19th of September in answer to Antony's.

2 Varro had promised a Dialogue either dedicated to Cicero, or in which Cicero was to be one of the speakers. See vol. iii., p.304.

3 That is, on constitutional theories, like the work of Heracleides of Pontus. See pp.56, 93.

4 Most editions now read C. Annio, and refer it to C. Annius Cimber (Phil. 11.34), a follower of Antony's. In this case, Oh hominem nequam must be referred to Annius. The MS. reading is Gallo Caninio. For L. Caninius Gallus, see infra, p. 156. He seems to have just died, and if the name is retained here, we must refer Oh hominem nequam to Antony, and suppose Atticus to have told Cicero of some sharp practice of Antony's in regard to his will and property.

5 For this agent of Brutus, see vol. ii., p.329.

6 For Caecilius Bassus, the Pompeian who had nearly succeeded in occupying the province of Syria, see vol. iii., p.335.

7 Cassius was on his way to Syria—in spite of the senate having been forced by Antony to deprive him of that province and give him Cyrene.

8 The partisans of Antony.

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