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[82] And as this is the case, I will succumb, O Laterensis, to your accusation; and in that very particular in which there cannot by any possibility be any excess,—namely, in gratitude, I will confess that I have gone to excess, since you insist upon it that it is so. And I will entreat you, O judges, to bind that man to you by a kindness, in whom the only fault that those who blame him find with him is that they accuse him of being immoderately grateful. And that ought not to prevail with you so as to make you think lightly of my gratitude, when he said that you were neither guilty men nor litigious men, so that there was the less reason for your allowing me any great influence over you: as if in my intercourse with my friends I did not always prefer that these abilities of mine (if indeed I have any abilities) should be at the service of my friends, rather than they should become necessary to them. In truth, I do venture to say this of myself, that my friendship has been a pleasure to more men than those to whom it has been a protection; and I should greatly repent of my past life; if there was no room in my friendship for any one who was not either a litigious person or a guilty one.


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