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DLXXIV (F VI, 2)

TO AULUS MANLIUS TORQUATUS (AT ATHENS)
(FICULEA, 20 APRIL)
I BEG you not to think that forgetfulness of you is the cause of my writing to you less often than I used to do; but either illness-from which however I am now recovering—or absence from the city, which prevents my knowing who is starting to where you are. Wherefore I would have you make up your mind that I always remember you with the most perfect affection, and regard all your interests as of no less concern to me than my own. That your case has experienced more vicissitudes than people either wished or expected is not, believe me, in these bad times a thing to give you anxiety. For it is inevitable that the republic should either be burdened by an unending war, or should at last recover itself by its cessation, or should utterly perish. If arms are to carry the day, you have no need to fear either the party by whom you are being taken back, nor that which you actually assisted; if—when arms are either laid down by a composition or thrown down from sheer weariness—the state ever recovers its breath, you will be permitted to enjoy your position and property. But if universal ruin is to be the result, and the end is to be what that very clear-sighted man Marcus Antonius used long ago to fear when he suspected that all this misfortune was impending, there is this consolation—a wretched one indeed, especially for such a citizen and such a man as yourself, but yet the only one we can have—that no one may make a private grievance of what affects all alike. If, as I am sure you will, you rightly conceive the meaning of these few words—for it was not proper to trust more to an epistle-you will certainly understand even without a letter from me that you have something to hope, nothing under this or any definite form of the constitution to fear. If there is general ruin, as you would not wish, even if you could, to survive the republic, you must bear your fortune, especially one which involves no blame to you. But enough of this. Pray write and tell me how you are and where you intend to stay, that I may know where to write or come.


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