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Cicero's correspondents.

Of Cicero's other correspondents in this volume, Atticus once more takes the first place, and is again the patient recipient of all Cicero's doubts and difficulties while residing at Brundisium in B.C. 48-47; and in B.C. 45, when he was trying to drown his grief for Tullia's death by a feverish devotion to composition at Astura; and again when he was hovering about from villa to villa in the spring and summer of B.C. 44, in painful indecision as to whether to go to Greece or stay at home. All his business affairs were transacted by Atticus—the purchase of property, the allowance to his son, the repayment of Terentia's dowry, and the demand for that of Tullia from Dolabella, the payment or the receipt of debts—nothing is too great or too small to be committed to those faithful hands and all-enduring patience. To him were fittingly dedicated the essays on Old Age and Friendship, composed in the early part of this year.

Of the other correspondents, most of the more important letters in the first part of the volume are addressed to members of the beaten party residing in various places of exile—expatiating on the chances of their recall, on the miseries of Rome which they escape, and justifying his own policy of submission to the conqueror. There is a certain sameness about these letters, but they bring out clearly Cicero's real view of the situation, and serve to illustrate very fully the state of things under the dictatorial government: and while they shew how unreconcilable was the old party of Optimates, they certainly tend to increase our respect for the moderation and magnanimity of Caesar.

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