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The fear which others entertain makes me nervous about M. Lepidus. If he has wrenched himself from us—which I hope it will turn out that people have suspected about him hurriedly and without good grounds—I beg and beseech you, Cicero, appealing to our close friendship and your kindness to me, to forget that my sister's children are the sons of Lepidus, and to consider that I have succeeded to the place of their father. If I can induce you to do that, there is certainly nothing that you will hesitate to undertake for them. Some people live on one sort of terms with their relations, others on another, but I cannot do enough for my sister's children to satisfy my affection or duty. What consideration is there, moreover, which either the loyalists can shew me—if I am but worthy of some consideration from them—or what can I promise my mother and sister and these children, if Brutus being their uncle has no weight with you and the senate against the fact of Lepidus being their father? I am neither able for anxiety and vexation to write at great length to you, nor ought I to do so. For in a matter of so much importance and so vitally affecting me, if I need words in order to move your interest and confirm your resolution, there is no hope that you will do what I wish or what you are in duty bound to do. Therefore don't expect a lengthy petition from me. Only fix your eyes on me, who have a good right to obtain this service from you, either on private grounds from Cicero the man—and the closest of my friends—or from the consular, all private ties put aside. What you mean to do please write and tell me as soon as possible.

1 July, in camp.

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