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[200] Such was the vision I beheld in the night. But when I had risen and dipped my hands in the clear-flowing water of a spring, I drew near to an altar with incense in my hand, intending to make an offering of sacrificial cake to the divinities that avert evil, those to whom these rites are due. [205] But I saw an eagle fleeing for safety to the altar of Phoebus—and out of terror, my friends, I stood speechless. Thereupon I caught sight of a falcon rushing at full speed with outstretched wings and with his talons plucking at the head of the eagle, which did nothing but cower and [210] yielded its body to his foe.

These are the terrors I beheld, terrors too for you to hear. Be assured that if my son should suceeed, he would prove to be remarkable indeed, but if he fails, he does not have to answer to the state; if he returns safely, he will hold sway in this land as he did before.

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