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DLXXII (F VI, 21)

TO C. TORANIUS (IN CORCYRA)
(ROME? MARCH ?)
Although at the moment of my writing this letter,1 the end of this most disastrous war appears to be approaching, and already some decisive blow to have been struck, yet I daily mention that you were the one man in that immense army who agreed with me and I with you, and that we two alone saw what terrible evil was involved in that war. For when all hope of peace was shut out, victory itself was likely to be calamitous in its results, since it meant death if you were on the losing, and slavery if on the winning, side. Accordingly I, whom at the time those brave and wise men the Domitii and Lentuli declared to be frightened—and I was so without doubt, for I feared that what actually happened would occur—am now in my turn afraid of nothing, and am prepared for anything that may happen. So long as any precaution seemed possible, I was grieved at its being neglected. Now, however, when all is ruined, when no good can be done by wise policy, the only plan seems to be to bear with resignation whatever occurs: especially as death ends all, and my conscience tells me that, as long as I was able to do so, I consulted for the dignity of the republic and, when that was lost, determined to save its existence. 2 I have written thus much, not with the object of talking about myself, but that you, who have been most closely united with me in sentiment and purpose, might entertain the same thoughts: for it is a great consolation to remember, even when there has been a disaster, that your presentiments were after all right and true. And I only hope we may eventually enjoy some form of constitution, and may live to compare the anxieties which we endured at the time when we were looked upon as timid, because we said that what has actually happened would do so. For your own fortunes I assure you that you have nothing to fear beyond the destruction affecting the republic in general; and of me I would have you think as of one who, to the best of his ability, will ever be ready with the utmost zeal to support your safety and that of your children. Good-bye.


1 There is nothing to shew where this letter was written, and only the allusion to the expectation of a decisive blow in Spain to put the time as late as March. Yet Cicero had begun speaking of expected news from Spain ever since January, and the absence of a reference to Tullia's death is an argument—though not quite decisive—of an earlier date. It does not much matter, however, as it represents Cicero's abiding view of the political situation, and is somewhat a relief in the rather monotonous lamentations for Tullia and plans for her memorial. C. Toranius was aedile with Octavius, father of Augustus, and one of the tutores of Augustus himself. He perished in the proscription of B.C. 43, betrayed by his son. Perhaps Augustus acquiesced in it because he had found him an unfaithful tutor. See Suet. Aug. 27; App. B.C. 4, 12, 18; Valer. Max. 9, II, 5; Nic. Damasc. Vit. Aug. 2.

2 Reading voluisse with the MSS. The noluisse adopted by some appears to me to misrepresent what Cicero always maintains, that his joining Pompey was right and his duty to the constitution, yet that his abandoning the Pompeians after Pharsalia was necessary for the safety of the state. He did not refuse to maintain his own safety.

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