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DCCLXXXVII (F XII, 2)

TO C. CASSIUS LONGINUS (NEAR PUTEOLI)
ROME (SEPTEMBER)
I am much delighted that my expression of opinion and my speech 1 have your approval. If one might speak like that more often, there would be no trouble about recovering freedom and the constitution. But that infatuated and unprincipled fellow-much worse than the man whom you declared to have been put to death for his flagrant iniquity—is seeking an excuse for a massacre, and accuses me of being the instigator of Caesar's assassination, with no other motive than that of inciting the veterans against me. 2 I don't dread that danger, so long as he associates the glory of the deed which you and your fellows wrought with my reputation. Accordingly, we can none of us come to the senate in safety : neither Piso, 3 who was the first to inveigh against him, without anyone to support him; nor I, who did the same a month afterwards; nor Publius Servilius, who followed me closely. For that gladiator 4 is seeking for a chance of using the sword, and thought that he was going to begin with me on the 19th of September, 5 on which day he came primed after studying his speech for many days in the villa of Metellus. 6 But what sort of "study" was possible in brothels and drunken riots? The result was that in everybody's eyes, as I wrote you word before, he seemed to be but vomiting in his usual way, not speaking. 7 Wherefore in reference to your remark that you felt confident that some good might be done by my influence and eloquence, I may say that some little good-considering the enormity of the evil-has been done. For the Roman people fully under-stand that there are three ex-consuls, 8 who, because they have thought honestly on politics and ventured to speak freely, cannot come in safety to the senate. Nor can you expect anything more than that: for your relative is greatly delighted with his new marriage connexion ; 9 and so he no longer cares about the games, and is bursting with envy at the applause given to your brother. 10 Your other brother-in-law has been smoothed down by the new hatch of Caesar's minutes. 11 Still these things are endurable. But the next is intolerable—that there is a man who thinks that his son is to be consul in the year of yourself and Brutus, and for that reason avows his subservience to this bandit. 12 For my friend Lucius Cotta, yielding to some fatal despair, now. comes less frequently to the senate: Lucius Caesar, a most loyal and gallant citizen, is hindered by ill-health: Servius Sulpicius, a man of the greatest influence and the most excellent sentiments, is not in town. As for the rest, the consuls-designate excepted, 13 pardon me if I do not reckon, them consulars. These are the leaders of our public policy. Few enough even if things were all going well—what think you in the present disastrous position? Wherefore our sole hope is in you. And if your motive for not coming to Rome is that you cannot do so safely—there is none in you either. But if you are meditating some stroke worthy of your glory,—I pray that I may live to see it. But if that cannot be, yet at least the Republic will shortly recover its legal rights by' your means. I am not failing to support your friends, nor shall I do so. If they refer to me for anything, my goodwill to you and my-good faith shall be made manifest.


1 The first Philippic, spoken in the senate on the 2nd of September. The constant parallelism in thought and language in the following letters with the second Philippic shews that they were written while Cicero was composing it, i.e., after 19th September.

2 This is the motive alleged in Phil. 2.33.

3 L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, the father of Caesar's last wife, had spoken against Antony in the senate on the 1st of August (Phil. 1.14).

4 Cicero is fond of applying this term to Antony, partly in reference to his bodily size and strength. See 2 Phil. §§ 7, 63; infra, p.169.

5 The day on which Antony delivered his reply to the first Philippic, composed Cicero says by the aid of the rhetorician Sextus Clodius (Phil. 2.42).

6 L. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, Pompey's father-in-law, who threw himself overboard while escaping from Africa after Thapsus (B.C. 46). Antony had in some way possessed himself of his villa at Tibur.

7 Repeated in 2 Phil. §§ 6, 42. For the vomiting—which is not meant to be merely metaphorical—see 2 Phil. §§ 63, 76, 84, 104.

8 Piso, Cicero, and P. Servilius Isauricus.

9 M. Aemilius Lepidus married Iunia, sister to Tertia, the wife of Cassius: they were both half-sisters to Brutus. The "new marriage connexion" refers to the marriage or betrothal of the son of Lepidus to a daughter of Antony's (Dio, 44, 53).

10 Quintus Cassius, tribune in this year, whom Antony threatened with death if he came to the senate (Phil. 3.23).

11 We don't know who this is. It may be M. Iunius Silanus, brother to Iunia and Tertia, now legatus to Lepidus, who survived to be consul in B.C. 25. He was serving under Antony at Mutina.

12 Brutus and Cassius being praetors B.C. 44, their" proper year" for the consulship would be B.C. 41. We don't know who was expecting to supplant them.

13 Pansa and Hirtius.

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