Cicero the successful Advocate.The eleven letters, then, which date before the consulship, show us Cicero in full career of success as an advocate and rising official, not as yet apparently much interested in party politics, but with his mind, in the intervals of forensic business, engaged on the adornment of the new villa at Tusculum, the first of the numerous country residences which his growing wealth or his heightened ideas of the dignity of his position prompted him to purchase. Atticus is commissioned to search in Athens and elsewhere for objects of art suitable for the residence of a wealthy Roman, who at the same time was a scholar and man of letters. He is beginning to feel the charm of at any rate a temporary retreat from the constant bustle and occupations of the city. Though Cicero loved Rome, and could hardly conceive of life unconnected with its business and excitements, 1 and eagerly looked for news of the city in his absence, yet there was another side to his character. His interest in literature and philosophy was quite as genuine as his interest in the forum and senate-house. When the season came for temporarily withdrawing from the latter, he returned to the former with eager passion. But Tusculum was too near Rome to secure him the quiet and solitude necessary for study and composition. Thus, though he says (vol. i., p.4), "I am so delighted with my Tusculan villa that I never feel really happy till I get there," he often found it necessary, when engaged in any serious literary work, to seek the more complete retirement of Formiae, Cumae, or Pompeii, near all of which he acquired properties, besides an inheritance at Arpinum. 2 But the important achievements in literature were still in the future. The few letters of B.C. 68—67 are full of directions to Atticus for the collection of books or works of
Death of Cicero's Father.