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CCCLII (A IX, I)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
FORMIAE, 6 MARCH
Although by the time you read this I think I shall know what has happened at Brundisium—for Gnaeus left Canusium on the 21st of February, and I write on the 6th of March, the fourteenth day after his removing from Canusium—yet I am kept in painful suspense as to what each hour may bring, and am wondering that nothing even by way of rumour has reached me. There is a surprising silence. But perhaps all this is mere idle curiosity 1 about what, after all, must soon be known. One thing worries me, that I cannot at present make out where our friend P. Lentulus and Domitius are. Now I want to know, in order the easier to find out their intentions, whether they are going to Pompey, and if so, by what route and when. The city, indeed, I am told, is now crammed full of Optimates. I hear that Sosius and Lupus are sitting in court, 2 whom our friend Gnaeus thought would arrive at Brundisium before himself. From these parts there is a general exodus. Even Manius Lepidus, with whom I am used to spend the day, is thinking of starting tomorrow. For myself, I am stopping on at Formiae in order to get quicker intelligence. Then I am for Arpinum. Thence, by whatever road there is least chance of meetings, to the Upper Sea, leaving behind or altogether giving up my lictors. For I am told that by some loyalists, who are now and have often been before a protection to the commonwealth, my staying in Italy is disapproved, and that at their entertainments (beginning pretty early in the day too) many severe reflexions are being made upon me! Evidently, then, the thing to do is to leave the country, to wage war on Italy by land and sea, to rouse the hatred of the disloyal against us once more, which had become extinct, and to follow the advice of a Lucceius and Theophanes! For others have some reason for going: Scipio, for instance, starts for Syria, the province allotted to him, or is accompanying his son-in-law, in either case with an honourable pretext, or, if you like, is avoiding the wrath of Caesar. The Marcelli, for their part, had they not feared the sword of Caesar, would have remained: Appius has the same reason for fear, and that, too, in connexion with a recent quarrel. Except him and Q. Cassius, the rest are legates, Faustus is a proquaestor: I am the only one who might take either one course or the other. Added to this, there is my brother, whom it is not fair to involve in this adventure, considering that Caesar would be still more angry with him. But I cannot induce him to stay behind. This concession I shall make to Pompey, as in duty bound: for as far as I am concerned no one else influences me— nor the talk of the loyalists, who do not really exist, nor the cause which has been Conducted with timidity and will be conducted with crime. To one man, one alone, I make this concession, and that, too, without any request from him, and though—as he says—he is not defending his own cause, but that of the state. I should like much to know what you are thinking of doing as to crossing into Epirus.


1 κενόσπουδα.

2 C. Sosius and P. Rubilius Rufus, praetors.

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