Author's Note (Updated): So I've decided to carry on with this work with certain encouragement from people within the community as well as outside. I would like to remind readers though that this is patently NOT history, but my story. It's a work of fiction, and as every work of fiction that is derived from history goes, it is well and good to take each word with a grain of salt. All errors in time and space, relative to the actual events mentioned here are intentional for the purpose of wielding the story to how I see it. At the end of it all, we endeavor to find some truth in stories to makes sense of ourselves. This is my attempt at doing the same. Thank you!
Special thanks to AKrey177 for the much needed encouragement to have it continued through fictionpress!
Caesar consoling Cicero, from Spain
It is with deep sadness that I write to you, and with condolences, send you this letter as my poor attempt at consoling you in this time of grieving. Your Tullia has been a light to us all, and to you, the ballast upon which the world is brought to its equilibrium. Indeed I am at a loss as to what words may be expressed to alleviate you from your sufferings, and yet I find myself compelled to put pen to paper, and with great effort, endeavor to put your mind to ease.
It serves us no purpose to mince words. We are both men of our worth, and the conflicts between us can in no way be reduced to polemics that do no good beyond the natural tendency of human nature to find fault in others. You and I differ in such ways as fire is to water. I have found myself accustomed to the vitriol of my peers, and I am not averse to facing these with as much honesty and brevity as I can muster within myself. It is no secret either to you or me or even to the people that you bear me no love. Nevertheless I share my sympathies to you, a father bereft of a beloved daughter, upon whom you have placed hopes and prayers for a bright future. Like you, I too have been a father, and have found the greatest of joys in the wonders drawn from the love borne for me by my daughter.
Tullia, like Julia, has lived at a time of great misfortune to the state. And yet from their love we have taken the strength upon which we have been fortunate enough to use in our efforts to serve our country. Fidelity and manly virtue, of which we are unaccustomed to see in most women of our time, brightly burnish our names through them. I can think of no greater honor than to have had Julia for a daughter. It fills me with inconsolable grief to know that I had failed to be at her side when the specter of death found it apt to take her away from me.
It is easy to say to one's self not to dwell upon it. It would be foolish to assume that the same ease with which it is said applies to the exercise of its virtues. I have more often than not found myself lost beyond imaginings as I realized the fact of her extinction. To think of no longer being able to see her smile; to hear her wit and feel her charm upon which there can only be admiration, if not outright love to answer. In her I have found the extension of all that is myself and in her I have found the key to my own immortality. Thus the heaviness which you now feel in your grief has been upon my heart for these long years. From Gaul to Britain, Italy to Greece, Egypt to Africa, I have carried this burden in as much as a condemned man carries the lumber upon which he is to be crucified. And time does not ebb the pain which, in its pitiless forward march, distance us from the memories we hold dear.
You, my dear Cicero, have been of great service to the state. There is no doubting of your love for your country which you have dedicated your life to preserve. I feel I can speak freely as I say that it is that same love which you have given to your daughter that brings the best in you. Tullia, in her effervescent nature and generosity of spirit embodies all the virtues of Rome. As with Rome, you have tended to your daughter as the doting father she has always needed and deserved. I have seen her, in her own small way, become the woman which we all desire our children to be; that of great piety, matronly dignity, vigorous mind and faithful love. The cheerfulness she used bring to those around her makes men forget the trifles of life. I cannot blame you should you find Reason to be insufficient to alleviate your affliction. To lose this treasure is beyond consoling, and it cannot be expected from any man to walk away from such loss.
Life is brief. And the timeless feeling of loss all the more makes us human. We in our arrogance tend to forget that our time on this Earth is fleeting. It is only until we have faced the realities of death and impermanence do we realize the importance of making each moment last. I have lost eight precious years away in Gaul, fighting wars against barbarians; eight years of which I could have spent at my own daughter's side. Eight years of which all the men I have lost could have instead spent with their wives and children. But such is the nature of Fate that we are not privy to the outcomes of the future. Though we be the arbiters of our destinies, we are not always Fortune's favorites. Let this letter of mine provide you with comfort, no matter how small, in these dark hours of your life, and let the wounds that bear witness to her wonderful life heal of their own accord. We shall use Reason to dictate our wills in the future.
Caius Julius Caesar - Roman politician, general, populist and later dictator of the Roman Republic
Marcus Tullius Cicero - Roman senator, philosopher and linguist; he is a political rival of Caesar as part of the "optimates" party
Tullia Ciceronis - daughter of Cicero, died after giving birth; the child survived.
Julia Caesaris - daughter of Caesar, died after miscarriage