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CCCXXXVIII (A VIII, 8)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
FORMIAE, 24 FEBRUARY
What a disgraceful and, for that reason, what a miserable thing! For, in my opinion, that which is disgraceful is ultimately, or rather is alone, miserable. He had fostered Caesar, and then, all on a sudden, had begun to be afraid of him: he had declined any terms of peace: he had made no preparation for war: he had abandoned the city: he had lost Picenum by his own fault: he had blocked himself up in Apulia: he was preparing to go to Greece: he was going to leave us without a word, entirely uninformed of a move on his part so important and so unprecedented. Lo and behold, there is suddenly sprung on us a letter from Domitius to him, and one from him to the consuls. I thought honour had flashed before his eyes, and that he—the real man he ought to be—had exclaimed: “ So let them try each sleight they may against me,
And every craft their cunning can devise:
The right is on my side.
1 But our hero, bidding a long good-bye to honour, takes himself to Brundisium, while Domitius, they say, and those with him, on hearing of this, surrendered. What a lamentable thing! Distress prevents my writing any more to you. I wait for a letter from you.


1 A fragment of Euripides, parodied by Aristoph. Acharn. 659.

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