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I will now reply to you, O Laterensis, perhaps less vigorously than I have been attacked by you and certainly in a manner not more destitute of consideration for, or of friendly feeling towards you than your manner was towards me. For in the first place that was rather a harsh thing for you to say, that in what I was saying about Plancius I was speaking falsely, and inventing statements to suit the emergency. I suppose, forsooth, I, like a wise man, planned how I might appear bound to another by the greatest bonds of kindness and gratitude when I was in reality a free man and under no obligation at all. Why need I have done so? Had I not plenty of reasons besides for defending Plancius? were not my own intimacy with him, my neighbourhood to him, and my friendship for his father, sufficiently cogent motives? And even if they had not existed, I had reason to fear, I suppose, lest I should be doing a discreditable thing in defending a man of his high respectability and worth. It must have been a very clever idea of mine to pretend that I owed everything to that man who was about to owe everything to me! But this is a thing which even common soldiers do against their will, and they are reluctant to give a civic crown to a citizen, and to confess that they have been saved by any one; not because it is discreditable to have been protected in battle, or to be saved out of the hands of the enemy, (for in truth that is a thing which can only happen to a brave man, and to one fighting hand to hand with the enemy,) but they dread the burden of the obligation, because it is an enormous thing to be under the same obligation to a stranger that one is to a parent.

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