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CCLXXXI (A VI, 9)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ATHENS, 15 OCTOBER
IMMEDIATELY on my landing in the Piraeus, on the 14th of October, I received your letter from the hand of my slave Acastus. Having been long looking forward to it, I was surprised, as soon as I looked at the letter before breaking the seal, at its brevity; when I opened it I was again surprised at the cramped handwriting, for your letters are generally supremely well-written and clear, and, to make a long story short, I understood from the fact of your writing like that, that you had arrived at Rome on the 19th of September in a fit of fever. Much disturbed—but not more than I was bound to be—I at once questioned Acastus. He said that both you and he thought, and his impression was confirmed by what your people at Rome told him, that it could not be anything serious. This appeared to be supported by an expression used by you at the end of your letter, that you wrote while suffering from a" slight touch of fever." Yet it roused my gratitude, as well as my surprise, that you should, in spite of it, have written to me with your own hand. So enough about this. For I hope, considering your prudence and temperate life, and, by heaven, I feel confident—as Acastus bids me—that by this time you are as well as I could wish.

I am glad you have got my letter from Turranius. Keep an eye, an you love me, and a very keen one, upon the ambition of that cooker of accounts. 1 This legacy again—which I swear is a source of great grief to me, for I loved the man-this legacy of Precius don't let him lay a single finger upon. You will say that I shall want some ready money for the expenses of the triumph, which, as you advise, you shall find me neither weakly vain in seeking, nor over-modest in declining. I gather from your letter that Turranius told you that I had handed over my province to my brother. Do you think I so entirely failed to grasp the wise caution of your letter? You said your judgment was in "suspense." What could have called for your hesitation, if there had been any reason whatever for deciding that a brother should be left in command, and such a brother? I took your meaning to be "dogmatic rejection," 2 not "suspension of judgment." You urged in regard to the young Quintus, that I should not leave him in any case. "You tell me my own dream." 3 The same points occurred to us both, just as though we had talked it over together. It was the only thing to be done, and your "long suspension of judgment" relieved me of all doubt. But I fancy you have already a letter on this subject written in more detail. I intend to send off letter-carriers tomorrow, who I think will arrive sooner than our friend Saufeius. But it was scarcely decent that he should arrive without a letter from me to you. In your turn, pray fulfil your promise of writing fully to me of my Tulliola, that is, of Dolabella, of politics—which I foresee will be in a very dangerous situation—of the censors, and especially what is taking place about the statues and pictures, whether the matter will be brought before the Senate. I write this on the 15th of October, on which day, you tell me, Caesar is going to bring four legions to Placentia. 4 Pray, what is to become of us? My post on the Acropolis of Athens seems to me at present the best one.


1 Philotimus, a freedman of Terentia's, whom Cicero suspected of dishonesty. We shall hear more of him. The sentence, like those in previous letters referring to him, is in Greek, with a pun on the name of Philotim4s.

2 ἀθέτησις, For ἐποχή. See p. 191.

3 τοὐμὸν ὄνειρον ἐμοί, "you but repeat my own thoughts."

4 This rumour, referred to again, caused great alarm at Rome, but was false (Appian, B.C. 2.31). It was in consequence of it, however, that the consul Marcellus deputed Pompey to raise troops in Italy.

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