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Under the influence of your letter-because you wrote to me on the subject of Varro—I have taken my Academica bodily from men of the highest rank and transferred it to our friend and contemporary. I have also rearranged it so as to form four books instead of two. 1 They Certainly have a more imposing effect than the previous edition, yet after all a good deal has been cut out. But I should much like you to write and tell me how you discovered that he wished it. This much at any rate I long to know—of whom you perceived him to have been jealous: unless perchance it was Brutus! By heaven, that's the last straw! However, I should be glad to know. The books themselves have left my hands—unless I am deceived by the usual author's self-love—so well elaborated, that there is nothing on the subject even among Greek writers to be compared with them. Pray do not be annoyed at your own loss in having had the treatise on the Academics now in your hands copied out in vain. 2 This second edition, after all, will be much more brilliant, concise, and better. In these circumstances, however, I don't know which way to turn. I wish to satisfy Dolabella's earnest desire. I don't see my way to anything, and at the same time "I fear the Trojans." 3 Now, even if I do hit on something, shall I be able to escape adverse criticism? I must therefore be idle or strike out some other kind of subject.

But why concern ourselves about these trivialities? Pray tell me how my dear Attica is. She causes me deep anxiety. But I pore over your letter again and again: I find comfort in it. Nevertheless, I wait anxiously for a fresh one.

1 For this second edition of the Academica, see last letter. Cicero cannot mean that he effected the change in one day. He must refer to an old letter of Atticus.

2 The first edition in two books, which Atticus's librarii had been copying.

3 I.e., public opinion, as often (see vol. i., p.90, etc.). He could not dedicate anything with a political tinge in it to Dolabella—a Caesarian—without being criticised by his own friends.

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