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DLXVIII (A XII, 31.1-2)

SICCA expresses surprise at Silius having changed his mind. He makes his son the excuse, and I don't think it a bad one, for he is a son after his own heart. Accordingly, I am more surprised at your saying that you think he will sell, if we would include something else which he is anxious to get rid of, as he had of his own accord determined not to do so. You ask me to fix my maximum price and to say how muck I prefer those pleasure grounds of Drusus. I have never set foot in them. I know Coponius's villa to be old and not very spacious, the wood a fine one, but I don't know what either brings in, and that after all I think we ought to know. But for me either one or the other is to be valued by my occasion for it rather than by the market price. Pray consider whether I could acquire them or not. If I were to sell my claim on Faberius, I don't doubt my being able to settle for the grounds of Silius even by a ready money payment, if he could only be induced to sell. If he had none for sale, I would have recourse to Drusus, even at the large price at which Egnatius told you that he was willing to sell. For Hermogenes can give me great assistance in finding the money. But I beg you to allow me the disposition of an eager purchaser; yet, though I am under the influence of this eagerness and of my sorrow, I am willing to be ruled by you.

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