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Servius Sulpicius Rufus, Cos. B.C. 51.

Another recipient of long and friendly letters was SERVIUS SULPICIUS RUFUS, a jurisconsult of eminence, who had taken the Pompeian side, though without much enthusiasm, for his son, apparently with his consent, was serving under Caesar: and after Pharsalia he himself accepted the government of Greece and Epirus as Caesar's legatus. He died whilst on the embassy from the senate to Antony at Mutina in B.C. 43. Cicero addresses him as though confident of his disapproving of much in Caesar's government,1 but he had previously referred in rather severe terms to his lukewarmness and inconsistency. Sulpicius in fact appears to have been a man of high character, but of no strong political opinions, content with performing his administrative functions without troubling himself too much on the constitutional authority of those under whom he acted.

More ominous is the evidently closer relations with M. BRUTUS and C. CASSIUS. We have seen that the intercourse with Brutus in previous years had not been entirely a pleasure to Cicero. Brutus adopted rather too high and patronizing a tone, which Cicero resented, though he wished to stand well with him. But in the letters of introduction addressed to him in this volume there is an air of greater intimacy. And though Cicero did not much like the letter of consolation from him on the death of Tullia, he is always shewing interest in his movements; continually questions Atticus about him; and is particularly eager to hear all about his marriage with Porcia, daughter of Cato Uticensis and widow of the Pompeian Bibulus—a match which seems to have fluttered society at Rome a good deal, as a sign that Brutus was gravitating back to his old party. The two letters also addressed to Cassius when on a tour undertaken—perhaps on a hint from headquarters—so as to be absent from Rome while Caesar, whom he had declined to accompany, was in Spain, indicate a growing understanding between them. An estimate of Brutus, Cassius, and other persons who took a prominent part in politics after Caesar's death must be reserved for the next volume. Here I must be content with noticing the growing rapprochement between them.

1 See especially p.138.

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