Letters to Atticus/3.19

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Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To Atticus at Rome[edit]

Thessalonica, 15 September 58 BC[edit]

As long as my letters from you all continued to be of such a nature as to keep expectation alive, I was bound to Thessalonica by hope and eager longing: afterwards, when all political measures for this year appeared to me to be over, I yet determined not to go to Asia, both because a crowd of people is disagreeable to me, and because, in case any movement was set on foot by the new magistrates, I was unwilling to be far off. Accordingly, I resolved to go to your house in Epirus, not because the natural features of the country mattered to me, shunning as I do the light of day altogether, but because it will be most grateful to my feelings to set out fr?m a harbour of yours to my restoration; and, if that restoration is denied me, there is no place where I shall with greater ease either support this most wretched existence or (which is much better) rid myself of it. I shall be in a small society : I shall shake off the crowd. Your letters have never raised me to such a pitch of hope as those of others; and yet my hopes have always been less warm than your letters. Nevertheless, since a beginning has been made in the case, of whatever sort and from whatever motive, I will not disappoint the sad and touching entreaties of my best and only brother, nor the promises of Sestius and others, nor the hopes of my most afflicted wife, nor the entreaties of my most unhappy Tulliola, as well as your own loyal letter. Epirus will furnish me with a road to restoration or to that other alternative mentioned above. I beg and entreat of you, Titus Pomponius, as you see that I have been despoiled by the treachery of men of all that most adds splendour to life, of all that can most gratify and delight the soul, as you see that I have been betrayed and cast away by my own advisers, as you understand that I have been forced to ruin myself and my family-help me by your compassion, and support my brother Quintus who is still capable of being saved; protect Terentia and my children. For myself, if you think it possible that you may see me at Rome, wait for me; if not, come to see me if you can, and make over to me just so much of your land as may be covered by my corpse. Finally, send slaves to me with letters as soon and as often as possible.

15 September.