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OUR friend Brutus has, as well as Cassius, written to me to urge that I should bring over Hirtius to the right side as much as possible. I neither knew that he entertained loyal sentiments, nor did I feel any confidence in being able to improve him in that respect by my influence : 1 for though he is perhaps somewhat irritated with Antony, he is devotedly attached to the cause. Nevertheless, I wrote to him and commended to him the maintenance of the civil position of Brutus and Cassius. I wished you to know the nature of his answer, in case you might entertain the same opinion as myself, namely, that that party are even now afraid of those heroes of ours having perhaps more courage than they actually do retain. “

Hirtius to his friend Cicero.
You want to know whether I have yet returned from the country. Am I to be skewing indifference, when all the world is in a state of excitement? I in fact have left town because it is my belief that my absence is more advantageous than my presence. I despatch this letter to you when on the point of starting for my Tusculan villa. Don't imagine me to be so indefatigable as to hurry back by the 5th. I can't see that there is anything now requiring my attention, especially as provision for safety has been made for so many years in advance. How I wish that Brutus and Cassius may be induced by your entreaties not to enter upon any hot-headed design, as easily as they can obtain a like promise from you in regard to myself! For you say that they have written what you mention when on the point of leaving the country. Why or whither are they going? Stop them, I beseech you, Cicero: and don't allow the present settlement to be entirely undone, which, on my honour, is being shaken by plunder, arson, and murder. Let them only take precautions against absolute danger: don't let them attempt anything beyond. I assure you they will gain nothing more by the most spirited policy than by resolutely playing the waiting game, so long as they remain on the alert. For things here are in a state of transition, and cannot from their very nature last long as they are. If a struggle occurs they have means to strike an ugly blow. What your hopes are for them write and tell me at my Tusculan villa.

There is Hirtius's letter. I said in answer that they were not contemplating anything more stirring than usual; and I assured him of it. I wanted you to know this, for what it was worth. Just as I had sealed this letter Balbus writes to say that Servilia has returned to town, and assures him tnat they do not intend to leave the country. So now I am looking forward to a letter from you

1 The text is corrupt, and the rendering conjectural.

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