CCCLXXII (A IX, 15)
TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)AFTER I had despatched the letter informing you that Caesar would be at Capua on the 26th, I received one from Capua saying that he would be in Curio's Alban villa on the 28th. 1 When I have seen him I shall go to Arpinum. If he grants me the indulgence I ask for, 2 I shall avail myself of his terms: if not, I shall take my own line without consulting anyone but myself. 3 Caesar, as he has informed me, has stationed a legion at Brundisium, Tarentum, and Sipontum respectively. He appears to me to be closing up exits by sea, and yet himself to have his eyes on Greece rather than on Spain. But these considerations are still remote. For the present I am at once excited by the idea of meeting him (and that is now close at hand), and alarmed as to his first political steps. For he will, I presume, want a decree of the senate, and also a decree of the augurs: we shall be hurried off to Rome or molested, if we hold aloof, with a view of either the praetor holding an election of consuls or naming a dictator, neither of which is constitutional. 4 Although, if Sulla was able to secure being named dictator by an interrex, why should he not be able to do so? I see no way out of it, except either meeting the fate of Q. Mucius from the one, or of L. Scipio 5 from the other. By the time you read this, I shall perhaps have had my interview with him. "Endure! still worse a fate" 6 —no, not even my own old misfortune! In that case there was a hope of a speedy return, there was universal remonstrance. In the present instance I am eager to quit the country, with what hope of return I cannot ever conceive. Again, not only is there no remonstrance on the part of townsmen and countryfolk, but, on the contrary, they are actually afraid of Pompey as bloodthirsty and enraged. Nevertheless, nothing makes me more wretched than to have stayed here, and there is nothing that I more earnestly desire than to fly away, not so much to share in a war as in a flight. But you were for putting off all plans until such time as we knew what had happened at Brundisium. Well, we now know: but we are as undecided as ever. For I can scarcely hope that he will grant me this indulgence; although I have many fair pleas for obtaining it. However, I will at once send you a verbatim report of everything he says to me and I to him. Pray strive with all the affection you have for me to assist me by your caution and wisdom. Caesar is travelling hither at such a pace, that I am unable to have an interview even with Titus Rebilus, apparently, that he will go to Pompey, but he doesn't want to say so clearly. as I had settled upon doing. I have to conduct the whole business without preparation. Yet, as the hero in the Odyssey says: “Some my own heart, and some will God suggest.” 7 Whatever I do you shall know promptly. The demands of Caesar sent to Pompey and the consuls, for which you ask, I do not possess: nor did Lucius Caesar bring them in writing. 8 I sent you at the time an account from which you might gather what the demands were. Philippus is at Naples, Lentulus at Puteoli. As to Domitius, continue your inquiries as to where he is, and what he contemplates doing. You say that I have written more bitterly about Dionysius than suits my character. See what an old-fashioned man I am! I thought, upon my honour, that you would be annoyed at this affair more than I was myself. For, besides the fact that I think you ought to be moved by an injury done me by anyone, this man has also in a certain sense outraged yourself in having behaved badly to me. But what account you should take of this it is for you to judge. However, in this matter I don't wish to lay any burden upon you. For my part, I always thought him half cracked, now I think him a scoundrel and a good-for-nothing besides: and yet, after all, not a worse enemy to me than to himself. What you said to Philargyrus was quite right: you certainly have a clear and good case in proving that I had been abandoned rather than had abandoned. When I had already despatched my letter on the 25th, the servants whom I had sent with Matius and Trebatius brought me a letter, of which this is a copy: “
FORMIAE, 25 MARCH
FORMIAE, 25 MARCH
MATIUS AND TREBATIUS TO CICERO IMPERATOR.After leaving Capua we heard, while on the road, that Pompey, with all the forces he had, started from Brundisium on the 15th of March: that Caesar next day entered the town, made a speech, hurried thence for Rome, intending to be at the city before the 1st of April and to remain there a few days, and then to start for Spain. We thought it the proper thing to do, since we were assured of Caesar's approach, to send your servants back to you, that you might be informed of it as early as possible. We do not forget your charges, and we will carry them out as circumstances shall demand. Trebatius is making great exertions to reach you before Caesar. After this letter had been written we received tidings that Caesar would stop at Beneventum on the 25th of March, at Capua on the 26th, at Sinuessa on the 27th. We think you may depend on this.