Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
From Letters: To Tiro; To Atticus
By Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.)
          [The following epistles are from Jeans’s ‘Letters of Cicero.’ This letter gives a vivid glimpse of Cicero’s tenderness to his slaves and freedmen. Tiro was probably the first editor of his former master’s letters.]
To Tiro

ÆGYPTA arrived here on the 12th of April. Although he reported that you were now quite rid of your fever and going on very well, he nevertheless caused me some anxiety by his report that you were not able to write to me, the more so because Hermia, who ought to have been here on the same day, has not yet come. I am more anxious than you can believe about your health. Only free me from this anxiety and I will free you from all duties. I would write you more if I thought you could now read more with pleasure. Use all the talents you possess, of which I have no small opinion, to keep yourself safe for my sake as well as your own. Again and again I repeat, take every precaution about your health. Good-by.
  P. S.—Hermia is just come. I have your note with its poor weak handwriting—no wonder, too, after so severe an illness. I send out Ægypta to stay with you because he is not a bad companion, and appeared to me to be fond of you; and with him a cook, for you to make use of his services. Good-by.  2
To Atticus

  [The family affection of Cicero might be illustrated by many such letters as the following:]

  IT being now eleven days since I left you, I am scrawling this little bit of a note just as I am leaving my country-house before it is light. I think of being at my place at Anagnia to-day, and Tusculum to-morrow; only one day there, so that I shall come up all right to time on the 28th; and oh, if I could but run on at once to embrace my Tullia and give Attica a kiss! Talking of this, by-the-by, do please write and let me know while I am stopping at Tusculum what her prattle is like, or if she is away in the country, what her letters to you are about. Meanwhile either send or give her my love, and Pilia too. And even though we shall meet immediately, yet will you write to me anything you can find to say?
  P. S.—I was just fastening up this letter, but your courier has arrived here after a long night journey with your letter. I was very sorry, you may be sure, to find on reading it that Attica is feverish. Everything else that I was waiting for I now know from your note; but when you tell me that to have a little fire in the morning “sent le vieillard,” I retort il le sent plus for one’s poor old memory to begin to totter: because it was the 29th I had promised to Axius; the 30th to you; and the day of my arrival, the 31st, to Quintus. So take that for yourself—you shall have no news. Then what on earth is the good of writing? And what good is it when we are together and chatter whatever comes to our tongues? Surely there is something in causerie after all; even if there is nothing under it, there is always at least the delicious feeling that we are talking with one another.  4

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.