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[41] He, as consul, adopted measures in which he wished to have me for a partner; and if I was opposed to the measures themselves, still I could not avoid being pleased at the opinion of me which he displayed by that wish. He entreated me also to accept the office of quinquevir.1 He wished me to be one of three men of consular rank2 most closely connected with himself; and he offered me any lieutenancy or embassy I pleased, with as much honour and distinction as was agreeable to me. All which offers I rejected with great firmness in my own sentiments, but not without feeling obliged to him for them. How wisely I acted is not now the question; for many will not approve of my conduct. At all events I acted with consistency and firmness, inasmuch as though by accepting them I might have fortified myself by the most irresistible assistance against all the wickedness of my enemies and should have been able to repel the attacks of popularity hunters by the protection of popular men, I preferred to meet any fortune to encounter any violence and any in jury, rather than differ from the wise and righteous sentiments of the senate, or deviate from the line of conduct which I had marked out for myself.

But a man is bound to be grateful, not only if he has received a kindness, but if he has had an opportunity of receiving one. I did not think that all those compliments and distinctions with which he was loading me became me, or were suited to the exploits which I had performed. But I saw that he regarded me with the same friendly disposition with which he looked on that chief of the citizens, his own son-in-law.

1 Some read here vigentiviratum referring it to the commission of twenty citizens for the division of the lands in Campania, a place in which was offered to Cicero and refused by him. And Orellius thinks that reading not to be disregarded but retains the one translated in the text (quinqueviratum), because (Epist ad Att. ii. 7,) he also speaks of a quinqueviratus, which therefore Orellius thinks may refer to some project which was never brought to bear.

2 Cicero speaks also in his Letters to Atticus (ii.3) of Caesar's overtures to him to join him and Pompeius and Crassus in their partition of all power between them and of Caesar's sending him word by Balbus that he would be governed in all his proceedings by him and Pompeius and Crassus; but Cicero refused entering into any engagements with the three whose union he thought dangerous to the state, and at that time too he certainly had great suspicions of Caesar.

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