Cicero, Letters to Brutus

LCL 462: 206-207

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Marcus Tullius Cicero

1 (II.1) cicero bruto salutem

1Cum haec scribebam, res existimabatur in extremum adducta discrimen. tristes enim de Bruto nostro litterae nuntiique adferebantur. me quidem non maxime conturbabant. his enim exercitibus ducibusque quos habemus nullo modo poteram diffidere, neque adsentiebar maiori parti hominum; fidem enim consulum non condemnabam, quae suspecta vehementer erat, desiderabam non nullis in rebus prudentiam et celeritatem. qua si essent usi, iam pridem rem <publicam>1 reciperassemus. non enim ignoras quanta momenta sint in re publica temporum et quid intersit idem illud utrum ante an post decernatur, suscipiatur, agatur. omnia quae severe decreta sunt hoc tumultu, si aut quo die dixi sententiam perfecta essent et non in diem ex die dilata aut quo ex tempore suscepta sunt ut agerentur non tardata et procrastinata, bellum iam nullum haberemus.

2Omnia, Brute, praestiti rei publicae quae praestare debuit is qui esset <in>2 eo quo ego sum gradu senatus populique iudicio collocatus, nec illa modo quae nimirum sola ab homine <tenui>3 sunt postulanda, fidem, vigilantiam,

  • 1(Patricius)
  • 2(Lamb.)
  • 3(SB)
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Letters to Brutus

1 (II.1) From Cicero to Brutus greetings.

As I write, the ultimate crisis is thought to be upon us. Gloomy letters and messengers are coming in about our friend Brutus.1 They do not disturb me overmuch, for I cannot possibly lack confidence in our armies and generals, nor do I subscribe to the majority opinion—I do not judge unfavourably of the loyalty of the Consuls, which is under strong suspicion; though in certain matters I could have wished for more wisdom and promptitude. Had that been forthcoming, we should have had public order restored a while ago. You are well aware of the importance of the right moment in political affairs, and what a vast difference it makes whether the same decree or enterprise or action be adopted before or after. If only all the strong measures decreed during this turmoil had been carried through the day I proposed them, or not put off from one day to the next or dragged out and procrastinated after action upon them had been taken in hand, we should now have no war.

My dear Brutus, I have done for our country all that lies with one who stands where I, by judgement of Senate and People, stand today. I have not only given all that I suppose can fairly be demanded of an ordinary man: good faith,

  • 1Decimus Brutus.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-letters_to_brutus.2002