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DCCL (A XV, 21)

Let me tell you this-Quintus the elder is jumping for joy. For his son has written to say that he desired to desert to Brutus, because, when Antony charged him to secure his being made dictator, and to seize some fort, he refused. He says also that he refused for fear of hurting his father's feelings: and that ever since Antony had been his enemy. "Thereupon," says he, "I pulled myself together for fear he should do you some injury. So I smoothed him down: and indeed got 400 sestertia from him in cash, and a promise of more." Statius, moreover, writes word that the young man desires to share his father's house. This is a wonderful story, and my brother is in raptures with it. Did you ever know a greater fraud ? 1

You were both quite right to hesitate as to the affair of Canus. 2 I had had no suspicion about the deeds—I thought her dowry had been repayed in full. 3 I shall look forward to hearing what you postpone mentioning in order to discuss it when we meet. Keep my letter-carriers as long as you like: for I know you are busy. As to Xeno—quite right! I will send you what I am writing when I have finished it. 4 You told Quintus that you had sent him a letter: no one had brought one. Tiro says that you don't now approve of my going by Brundisium, and indeed that you say some-thing about soldiers there. Well, I had already settled in my mind upon Hydruntum ; 5 for your saying that it was only a five hours' voyage had great weight with me. But to start from this side—what a weary voyage! But I shall see. I have had no letter from you on the 21st. Naturally; for what is there new to say any longer? Therefore come as soon as you can. I am in haste, lest Sextus Pompeius should get here first. They say he is on his way. 6

1 The younger Quintus was, it seems, much given to romancing. See Letter DCVII (Att. 13.30); cp. pp.78, 97. His present object seems to have been to get over his father, probably in view of money help. Antony revenged himself on him for his change of allegiance by putting him on the proscription list in B.C. 43.

2 Apparently as to young Quintus marrying Cana, daughter of Q. Gellius Canus. See Letter DCLVIII.

3 Cana had divorced her previous husband.

4 Perhaps the de Amicitia.

5 Modern Otranto.

6 Sext. Pompeius was in command of a great fleet, and was dominating Southern Spain and Sicily. The senate was later on glad to acknowledge him as commander of the Roman fleet against Antony. Antony had proposed to restore him to his civil rights, and get about 5,000,000 sterling voted him as compensation for his father's property, but the negotiations had broken down, owing to his demands of a more complete restoration of property (see Letter DCCLXVIII; Appian, B.C. 3.4). At present, therefore, his coming would be the beginning of a civil war which Cicero was dreading and hoped to get out of Italy in time to avoid it.

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