Letters to Atticus/13.9

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Letters to Atticus by Marcus Tullius Cicero
13.9 (DCXX)
Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To Atticus at Rome[edit]

Tusculum, June 17[edit]

You had only just left me yesterday when Trebonius arrived and a little later Curtius--the latter merely intending to call, but he stayed on being pressed. We have Trebatius with us. Early this morning Dolabella arrived. We had much talk to a late hour in the day. I cannot exaggerate its cordial and affectionate tone. However, we came at last to the subject of Quintus.1 He told me many things beyond words-beyond expression: but there was one of such a kind that, had it not been notorious to the whole army, I should not have ventured, I don't say to dictate to Tiro, but even to write it with my own hand. But enough of that. Very opportunely, while I had Dolabella with me Torquatus arrived; and in the kindest manner Dolabella repeated to him what I had been saying. For I had been just speaking with very great earnestness in his cause,2 an earnestness which seemed to gratify Torquatus. I am waiting to hear what news you have about Brutus. However, Nicias thinks that the matter is settled, but that the divorce3 does not find favour.

All the more am I anxious for the same thing as you are.4 For if any scandal has been caused, this step may put it right. I must go to Arpinum: for in the first place my small property there needs putting straight, and in the second place I fear I may not be able to leave town when once Caesar has come, as to whose arrival Dolabella has the same opinion as you had-founded on your letter from Messalla.5 When I have got there and ascertained what amount of business there is to do, I will write and tell you the days of my return journey.6


1: The younger Quintus, who was with Caesar.
2: In urging Dolabella to stand his friend with Caesar. Aulus Manlius Torquatus, after Pompey's defeat, had been living in exile at Athens. He appears now to have been allowed to return. See p. 235.
3: From Claudia, to marry Porcia.
4: I.e., for the marriage with Porcia, a daughter of Cato and widow of Bibulus, a marriage which seems to have caused much excitement among the remains of the Pompeian party.
5: Dolabella had been with Caesar in Spain, but had come home direct, whereas Caesar (according to Nicolas of Damascus, "Life of Augustus," c. 11-12) went with Octavius and others to Carthage to arrange for the settlement of his colony there.
6: From Tusculum to Arpinum is about sixty miles, and it would be a two days' journey, which may possibly account for the plural ad quos dies, which, however, Dr. Reid would change to quo die; but see p. 207. Cicero was detained a considerable time at Arpinum.