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Extra resources for Cicero
Nor is it certain that his declamation, which some of his Roman rivals found fault with as savouring too much of the florid Oriental type, would have been agreeable to our colder English taste. He looked upon gesture and action as essential elements of the orator's power, and had studied them carefully from the artists of the theatre. There can be no doubt that we have his own views on this point in the words which he has put into the mouth of his "Brutus", in the treatise on oratory which bears that name.
43 Twenty-nine of the elder Cicero's letters to his brother remain, written in terms of remarkable kindness and affection, which go far to vindicate the Roman character from a charge which has sometimes been brought against it of coldness in these family relationships. Few modern brothers, probably, would write to each other in such terms as these: "Afraid lest your letters bother me? I wish you would bother me, and re-bother me, and talk to me and at me; for what can give me more pleasure? I swear that no muse-stricken rhymester ever reads his own last poem with more delight than I do what you write to me about matters public or private, town or country.
The secret lay in his wonderful energy and activity. We find him writing letters before day-break, during the service of his meals, on his journeys, and dictating them to an amanuensis as he walked up and down to take needful exercise. ] His correspondents were of almost all varieties of position and character, from Caesar and Pompey, the great men of the day, down to his domestic servant and secretary, Tiro. Amongst them were rich and ease-loving Epicureans like Atticus and Paetus, and even men of pleasure like Caelius: grave Stoics like Cato, eager patriots like Brutus and Cassius, authors such as Cornelius Nepos and Lucceius the historians, Varro the grammarian, and Metius the poet; men who dabbled with literature in a gentleman-like way, like Hirtius and Appius, and the accomplished literary critic and patron of the day--himself of no mean reputation as poet, orator, and historian--Caius Asinius Pollio.
Cicero by Collins