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YOURS was a very short letter. "Short" do I say? Rather it was not a letter at all. Brutus write to me in three lines at such a crisis as this? I would rather have written nothing at all. And you talk of not hearing from me! Which of your men ever came to you without a letter from me? And what epistle of mine had not something of weight in it? And if they have not reached you, I think that your family letters cannot have done So either. You say that you will give a longer letter to my son. So far, so good: but even this one ought to have had more matter in it. Now upon your writing to me about my son's quitting you, I immediately bustled my letter-carriers off with a letter to my son telling him that, even if he came to Italy, he should return to you: for nothing could be more gratifying to me and nothing more honourable to him. However, I had several times written to tell him that the election to the sacred colleges had by great exertions on my part been put off to another year. This I had taken pains to do for the sake of my son, and also for that of Domitius, Cato, Lentulus, and the Bibuli—as I wrote to tell you. But of course when you sent me that stingy little note this was not yet known to you. Wherefore I urge you, my dear Brutus, with all my might not to send my son from your side, and to bring him home with you in person, which if you have any regard for the Republic, for which you were born, you ought to do at once. For the war has revived—and a very serious one—owing to the crime of Lepidus: while Caesar's army, which was in an excellent state, is not only of no service, but even makes it necessary for your army to be summoned. If that once reaches Italy there will not be a single citizen, deserving to be called such, who will not find his way to your camp. It is true that Decimus Brutus has effected a splendid junction with Plancus, yet you are not ignorant how uncertain are men's feelings when infected with party spirit, how uncertain the results of battles. Nay, even if we conquer, as I hope, nevertheless the public service will require a great deal of guidance from your wisdom and your influence. Come to our help, therefore, in God's name, and that as soon as possible: and assure yourself that you did not do better service to your country by the Ides of March, on which you shook the yoke of slavery from your fellow citizens, than you will do if you now arrive in good time.

11 July.

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