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DCCLXXII (A XVI, 6)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
VIBO, 25 JULY
As yet—for I have got as far as Sicca's house at Vibo—I have prosecuted my voyage with more comfort than energy. For the greater part has been done by rowing, and there have been no nor'-nor'-easters. That has been rather lucky, for there were two bays to be crossed, that of Paestum and that of Vibo. We crossed both with sheets taut. I arrived at Sicca's house therefore on the eighth day from Pompeii, having rested one day at Velia. There I stayed at our friend Talna's house, and couldn't possibly have been received more hospitably-especially as Talna himself was away from home. So on the 24th I went to Sicca's house. There I found myself quite at home. So I put on an extra day to my visit. But I think when I reach Rhegium I shall consider—being “On long and weary sea voyage bent” 1 whether to make for Patrae on a merchant vessel or to go as far as Tarentine Leucopetra on packet-boats, and thence to Corcyra: and if on the ship of burden, whether to go from the strait direct or from Syracuse. 2 On this point I will write to you from Rhegium. By heaven, Atticus, it often occurs to me to ask: “What boots it you to journey hither thus?” 3 Why am I not with you? Why do I not see my pretty villas-those sweet eyes of Italy? But it is enough and to spare that I am losing you. And from what am I running away? Is it danger? But of that at the present moment, if I do not mistake, there is none. For it is precisely to that which you use your influence to bid me return. For you say that my quitting the country is praised to the skies, but only on the understanding that I return before the 1st of January. That I shall certainly try to do; for I had rather be at home even in fear, than at Athens without it. But look out to see to what things at Rome are tending, and either write me news of them or, as I should much prefer, bring it with you in person. Enough of this.

I hope you will not be annoyed at my next request, which I know is a subject of more anxiety to you than to myself: in heaven's name, set straight and clear up my debtor and creditor accounts. I have left an excellent balance, but there is need of careful attention. See that my co-heirs are paid for the Cluvian property 4 on the 1st of August; and what terms I ought to make with Publilius. He ought not to press, as I am not taking full advantage of my legal privileges: but, after all, I much wish him also to be satisfied. Terentia, again—what am I to assign to her? Pay her even before the day if you can. But if—as I hope-you are quickly coming to Epirus, I beg you to provide before you start for what I owe on security, to put it straight and leave it fully discharged.

But enough on these matters, and I fear you will think too much. Now just notice my carelessness. I have sent you a book "On Glory": but there is the same preface in it as in the third book of the Academics. That results from the fact that I keep a volume of prefaces. From it I am accustomed to select one when I have begun some treatise. So being at the time at Tusculum, as I did not remember that I had already used that preface, I put it into the book which I sent you. When, however, I was reading the Academics on board ship, I noticed my mistake. Accordingly, I have written out a new preface, and am sending it to you. Please cut the other one off and glue this on. Give my love to Pilia and Attica, my pet and darling.


1 δολιχὸν πλόον ὁρμαίνοντες (Hom. Odyss. 3.169).

2 He apparently went to Syracuse, but returned to Rhegium (Phil. 1.7). Tarentine Leucopetra seems to be a different place from the Leucopetra near Rhegium, but it is not known.

3 See p.70.

4 See p. 105.

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