CCCXLV (A VIII, 15 a)
L. CORNELIUS BALBUS TO CICERO (AT FORMIAE)I entreat you, my dear Cicero, to undertake a task and a project in the highest degree worthy of your high character—to recall Caesar and Pompey to their former cordiality, who have been alienated by the treachery of others. Believe me, Caesar will not only put himself in your hands, but will also consider himself under the deepest obligation to you, if you throw yourself into this task. I wish Pompey would do the same, but that he Can at this time of day be induced to accept any terms is rather a matter for wishes than hopes. But when he has recovered from his agitation and alarm, I shall begin to have some hope that your influence with him may prove to be of the greatest avail. In having expressed a wish that my friend the consul Lentulus should remain at Rome you have obliged Caesar, and, believe me, myself also in the highest degree. For I value him so greatly, that he holds as high a place in my regard as Caesar himself: and if he had only allowed me to talk with him as usual, and had not again and again shewed himself wholly averse from conversation with me, I should have been less unhappy than I am. For you must not suppose that anyone at this crisis is more painfully affected than I am by seeing a man, whom I love more than myself, resolved in his consulship to be anything in the world rather than a consul. If he will only deign to take your advice and to believe us in regard to Caesar, and to serve the rest of his consulship at Rome, I shall even begin to hope that by the advice of the senate— acting at your suggestion, and with him to bring the matter formally before it—Pompey and Caesar may be reconciled. If that is done, I shall think that I have not lived in vain. I feel sure that you will entirely approve of what Caesar did about Corfinium. Considering the circumstances, nothing better could have occurred than a settlement being made without a drop of blood. I am much gratified by the pleasure you express at the visit of my dear (and your dear) Balbus. Whatever Balbus has told you about Caesar, and whatever Caesar has written, I am sure the latter will convince you by his acts—whatever measure of success he may have—that he has written with the most absolute sincerity.