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CCCL (A IX, 7 a)

ROME, 3 MARCH To say nothing of humble people like ourselves, even in the case of the most important persons designs are generally judged by the majority of mankind by their result, and not their intention: yet, relying on your goodness of heart, we will offer you, on the point as to which you have written to us, the advice which seems to us to be the soundest; and if it is not sensible advice, yet it will at least proceed from absolute good faith and good feeling. If we knew from his own lips that Caesar—as in our judgment we think he should do— would try directly he arrived in Rome to effect a reconciliation between himself and Pompey, we should urge you to resolve upon taking part in the negotiation, in order to facilitate and add an air of dignity to the business through the ties which bind you to both parties. Or if, on the contrary, we thought that Caesar would not do so, and if we knew that he wished to go to war with Pompey, we would never persuade you to bear arms against a man who had done you very great services, just as we have ever begged you not to engage in a war against Caesar. But since, even now, what Caesar intends doing is for us a matter of opinion rather than of knowledge, all we can say is this: we do not think it consistent with your position or your universally acknowledged good faith to bear arms against either one or the other, considering your intimate connexions with both; and we have no doubt that Caesar with his usual kindness, will very warmly approve this course. However, if you wish it, we will write to Caesar, and ask to be informed what he means to do in the circumstances. On receiving an answer from him, we will at once write and tell you what our sentiments are, and will convince you that we give you the advice which seems to us to conduce most to your own position, not to Caesar's policy. And this we feel certain that Caesar, with his usual liberality in making allowance for his friend, will approve.

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