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DLXXXI (A XII, 38.3-4)

You think that by this time my composure of spirit ought to be en evidence, and you say that certain persons speak with more severity of me than either you or Brutus repeat in your letters: if anybody supposes me to be crushed in spirit and unmanned, let them know the amount of my literary labours and their nature. I believe, if they are only reasonable men, they would think, if I am so far recovered as to bring a disengaged mind to writing on difficult subjects, that I am not open to their criticism; or if I have selected a diversion from sorrow in the highest degree noble and worthy of a scholar, that I even deserve to be praised. But though I do everything I can to relieve my sorrow, pray bring to a conclusion what I see that you are as much concerned about as I am myself. I regard this as a debt, the burden of which cannot be lightened unless I pay it, or see a possibility of paying it, that is, unless I find a site such as I wish. If Scapula's heirs, as you say that Otho told you, think of cutting up the pleasure-grounds into four lots, and bidding for them between themselves, there is of course no room for a purchaser. But if they are to come into the market we will see what can be done. For that ground once belonging to Publicius, and now to Trebonius and Cusinius, has been suggested to me. But you know it is a town building site. I don't like it at all. Clodia's I like very much, but I don't think they are for sale. As to Drusus's pleasure-grounds, though you say that you dislike them, I shall take refuge in them after all, unless you find something. I don't mind the building, for I shall build nothing that I should not build even if I don't have them. "Cyrus, books IV and V" pleased me about as much as the other works of Antisthenes 1 —a man of acuteness rather than of learning.

1 Founder of the Cynic School at Athens about B.C. 366. One of his many dialogues was called Cyrus.

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