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DCCXXVIII (A XV, I b)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ARPINUM, 18 MAY
I wrote to you yesterday as I was leaving Puteoli, and I then paid a visit to my villa at Cumae. There I saw Pilia looking quite well. 1 Nay, more, I saw her afterwards in the town of Cumae: for she had come to a funeral which I also attended. Our friend Gnaeus Lucullus was burying his mother. I stayed therefore that day in the lodge at Sinuessa, and when on the point of starting early the next day for Arpinum I dash off this letter. However, I have nothing new to tell you or to ask you; unless by chance you think the following is to the point. Our friend Brutus has sent me his speech delivered at the public meeting on the Capitol, and has asked me to correct it before publication without any regard to his feelings. It is, I may add, a speech of the utmost finish as far as the sentiments are concerned, and in point of language not to be surpassed. Nevertheless, if I had had to handle that cause, I should have written with more fire. But the theme and the character of the writer being as you see, I was unable to correct it. For, granting the kind of orator that our Brutus aims at being, and the opinion he entertains of the best style of speech, he has secured an unqualified success. Nothing could be more finished. But I have always aimed, rightly or wrongly, at something different. However, read the speech yourself, unless indeed you have read it already, and tell me what you think of it. However, I fear that, misled by your surname, you will be somewhat hyper-Attic in your criticism. But if you will only recall Demosthenes's thunder, you will understand that the most vigorous denunciation is consistent with the purest Attic style. But of this when we meet. For the present my only wish is that Metrodorus should not go to you without a letter, nor with one that had nothing in it.


1 Cicero had lent his villa at Puteoli to Pilia, the wife of Atticus. See p.41.

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