15 August 45 BCE: To Atticus (at Rome) from Cicero (at Tusculum)
Cicero's son has been spending too much
‘When your order, Agamemnon, reached my ears,’ not ‘to come’—for that, too, I should have done, had it not been for Torquatus*—but to write, ‘I at once’ gave up what I had begun, threw aside what I had in hand, and ‘hewed out a model of thy design.’*
I wish you would ascertain from Pollex the state of my accounts. It is not becoming that my son should be straitened in this his first year at Athens. Afterwards we will be more particular in keeping down his expenses. Pollex also must be sent back to Puteoli, in order that Vestorius may accept the inheritance.* It is clear that I must not go there, both for the reasons mentioned in your letter and because Caesar is near at hand.
Dolabella writes to say that he is coming to see me on the 14th. What a tiresome instructor!*
Read Ad Atticum 13.47 in Latin here | Check the glossary here
Torquatus—See pp. 296, 326. [Cic. Att. 13.20, 13.45]
‘hewed out a model of thy design’—Atticus appears to have urged Cicero to write something of the nature of the letter before condemned to present to Caesar. Cicero says that he at once laid aside the philosophical treatise on which he was engaged (de Natura Deorum), and drew up a first sketch of such a document. The words are from some unknown poet.
in order that Vestorius may accept the inheritance—Pollex had come from Puteoli, but had not brought full information. He is to be sent back to convey Cicero's formal authorization to Vestorius.
What a tiresome instructor!—He expects Dolabella to instruct him how to behave to Caesar, as he had before instructed him in the art of dining.