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ON the evening of the 2nd I received a letter from Balbus telling me that there would be a meeting of the senate on the 5th, in order to appoint Brutus to the superintendence of the corn-supply in Asia, Cassius in Sicily. What an indignity! To begin with, to take any appointment from that party, and then, if they must take some office, such a subordinate one as that, which could be done by legati! And yet I don't feel sure that it isn't better than sitting idle on the banks of his Eurotas. 1 But these things will be governed by fortune. He says also that a decree is going to be passed at the same meeting for assigning provinces to them and other ex-praetors. This is certainly better than his "Persian Portico"—for I would not have you imagine that I mean a Sparta farther off than Lanuvium. 2 "Are you laughing," you ask, "in such grave matters?" What am I to do? I am tired of lamenting. Good heavens, what a fright the first page of your letter gave me! Why, how did that warlike outbreak in your house come about? But I rejoice that that storm-cloud at any rate has passed quickly away. I am very anxious to hear how you sped on that conciliatory mission—it was a melancholy as well as a difficult one. 3 For the knot cannot be untied: we are so completely hemmed in by every kind of force. For myself, the letter of Brutus, which you shew me that you have read, has caused me so much agitation that, though I was already at a loss which course to adopt, I am yet rendered still less ready to act from distress of mind. But I will write more fully when I have your news. For the present I have nothing to say, and the less so that I am doubtful of your getting even this letter. For it is uncertain whether the letter-carrier will find you. I am very anxious for a letter from you.

1 A stream in the property of Brutus at Lanuvium, to which he had given the name of the river of Sparta.

2 Reading nolo enim Lacedaemonem longinquiorem Lanuvio existimaris. But both text and meaning are very uncertain. The Περσικὴ porticus seems to refer to some covered walk in Brutus's property at Lanuvium, also named from the στοὰ Περσκιὴ at Sparta, for which see Pausanias, 2.11, 3. The latter was so named from being adorned by spoils taken at Plataea. The Roman Stoics affected an admiration of Sparta and Spartan ways.

3 Apparently Atticus was contemplating a visit to Brutus at Lanuvium with some proposals from Antony's party (see p. 56). The visit, however, did not come off, and Brutus and Cassius presently removed to Antium. What the casus armorum refers to we cannot tell. Some of Antony's ever-increasing bodyguards may have had some fracas at his house.

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