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DCCLXVIII (A XVI, 4)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
PUTEOLI, 10 JULY
So, as I told you yesterday—or perhaps I should say today, for Quintus said he should not reach you till the second day—I went to Nesis on the 8th. Brutus was there. How hurt he was by the "Nones of July"! 1 He was really surprisingly upset. Accordingly, he said that he should write orders to advertise the beast-hunt, which is to follow the games of Apollo, as to take place on the "3rd day before the Ides of Quinctilis." Libo came in while I was there. He said that Philo, a freedman of Pompey's, and Hilarus, a freedman of his own, had come from Sextus Pompeius with a letter addressed to the consuls, or whatever they are called. 2 He read us a copy of it, to see if anything occurred to us. There were a few ill-expressed sentences: in other respects it was written with considerable dignity and without violence. The only addition we decided upon was that instead of being addressed "to the consuls" only, it should be addressed "to consuls, praetors, tribunes of the plebs, and senate," for fear the consuls should decline to produce a letter addressed to themselves personally. They also report that Sextus has been at New Carthage with only one legion, and that on the very day on which he captured the town of Barea he received the news about Caesar. That after the capture of the town there was great rejoicing and recovery of spirits, and people flocked to him from every side; but that he returned to the six legions which he had left in lower Spain. He also wrote to Libo saying that be cared for nothing unless he were allowed to return to his own house. The upshot of his demands was that all armies wherever stationed should be disbanded. That is nearly all about Sextus. 3

Though I have been asking questions of everybody about the Buthrotians, I cannot find out the truth. Some say the land-grabbers were badly mauled, others that Plancus for a sum of money abandoned them and fled. So I don't see how I am to know the truth of the matter unless I get some sort of letter at once. 4

The route to Brundisium, about which I was hesitating, appears now to be out of the question: for the legions are said to be arriving there. But the voyage from this place is not without its suspicion of dangers. Therefore I am making up my mind to a joint voyage. I found Brutus more advanced in his preparations than I had been told was the case. For both he and Domitius have some really good two-banked galleys; there are also some fine vessels belonging to Sestius, Bucilianus, and others. For, as to the fleet of Cassius, which is a really fine one, I don't count on that beyond the Sicilian Strait. One thing does cause me some little uneasiness—that Brutus seems to be in no great hurry. In the first place he is waiting for news as to the completion of his games; in the next place, as far as I can understand, he is likely to make the voyage slowly, stopping at several points. However, I think it is better to sail slowly than not to sail at all. And if; when we have got some distance on, things seem more certain we shall take advantage of the Etesian winds.


1 See p.98.

2 Cicero regarded the election of Antony, and of course therefore of Dolabella, as irregular, and that accordingly they were not properly to be called consuls. See Phil. 2.10.

3 For ad Larem see p.99. Antony was in possession of Pompey's town house (2 Phil. §§ 67, 76).

4 See p. 98.

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