The Bijou

The Bijou;

or Annual of Literature and the Arts

compiled by William Fraser

London: William Pickering,


[Page 188] page image and link
The Epistle of Marcus Tullius Cicero to Servius Sulpicius
Translated by his late Royal Highness THE DUKE OF YORK.

I WISH, indeed, Servius, as you write, that you had been here when this misfortune befel [sic] me; for I easily understand from the quiet the reading of your letters administered to me, how much if you had been present, you might have assisted in consoling me, and almost equally sharing in my grief; for you have not only written such things as have alleviated my grief, but have very kindly sympathized with me. However you son Servius has testified by all those serviceswhich could be rendered to me, not only how much he esteems me, but how much he thinks you will be pleased with his kindness towards me *** whose good offices, though often upon pleasanter occasions, have never been more welcome to me than at this time. But it is not what you say in your letter, and the share you take in my affliction, but your authority also which has consoled me; for I think it unworthy of me not to bear my mis-

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fortune, as you who are endowed with so much wisdom, think I ought to do. But I am sometimes oppressed, and can hardly resist my grief; because those comforts are wanting which were not wanting to these, whom I have proposed to myself as patterns. For both Q. Maximus, who lost his son after he had been consul, and rendered himself famous by great actions; and L. Paulus, who was deprived of two sons in the compass of seven days, as well as your Gallus and Marcus; Cato who left a son of the greatest genius and virtue, all these lived at a time when their own dignity, which they had received at the hands of the republic, was alone able to alleviate their grief. But after I had lost those ornaments which you have mentioned, and which I had with much labour obtained, this was the only comfort left me, which I am now deprived of.

My thoughts were not employed on the affairs of friends, or in the affairs of the republic. It was irksome to me to do any thing in the Forum, and I could not even bear the sight of the Senate House. I thought what was very true, that I had lost all the fruits of my industry and fortune. Yet when I reflected that these things were common to me with you and many others; and when I was forcing myself to bear these things tolerably, I had a person to whom I could fly, with whom I could be at east, and in whose conversation and sweetness of manners I could lose all my cares and vexations. But this has opened

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again all my former wounds, which appeared to be healing. For it is not now as it was then, when my family relieved my concern for the affairs of the republic; neither can I fly for consolation under my private misfortunes to the prosperity of the republic. Therefore I absent myself as well from my own house as from the forum; because my own house is not able now to console me under the grief which I receive from the republic, nor the republic under the grief which I receive from my own private affairs. Wherefore I anxiously wait for you, and am very desirous of seeing you. No greater pleasure can I now receive, than in your conversation and friendship; and I hope, and indeed have heard, that your return will soon afford me this consolation. I am desirous in truth of seeing you as soon as possible for many reasons, but particularly that we may settle together our plan of life in this conjecture, which must be arranged according to the will of one man, who is prudent and liberal, a great friend as I conceive of yours, and no enemy of mine. Still it demands no small deliberation what measures we must take; I do not mean for acting, but for remaining quiet, with his permission and good will. Farewell.

[signature of Frederick.]

from The Bijou, 1828, pp. 188-190
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