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CCCXLVII (A VIII, 13)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
FORMIAE, I MARCH
Take the handwriting of my secretary as a sign of my eyes being inflamed, and let the same fact excuse my brevity, though at this particular time I have nothing to write. We are hanging entirely on news from Brundisium. If Caesar has caught our friend Gnaeus, there is a dubious hope of peace; but if the latter has got across beforehand, there is a fear of a fatal war. But do you see upon what sort of man the Republic has fallen? How clear-sighted, how alert, how well prepared! By heaven, if he puts no one to death, nor despoils anyone of anything, he will be most adored by those who had feared him most. The burgesses of the country towns, and the country people also, talk a great deal to me. They don't care a farthing for anything but their lands, their poor villas, their paltry pence. And now observe the reaction: the man in whom they once trusted they now dread: the man they dreaded they worship. What grave mistakes and vices on our side are accountable for this I cannot think of without sorrow. However, I have already written to tell you what I thought was threatening; and I am now waiting for a letter from you.


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