DCCCVII (F X, 5)
TO L. MUNATIUS PLANCUS (IN TRANSALPINE GAUL)I have received a letter from you in duplicate, which in itself shews me how careful you are: for I understood that you were anxious that a letter which I most ardently desired should reach my hands. From this letter I received a double satisfaction, such that it is difficult for me to decide by any comparison, whether to regard your affection for me or your loyalty to the Republic as the more valuable. As a general truth affection for one's country is, in my judgment at least, the greatest thing of all; but personal love and sympathy find certainly a softer place in our heart. Therefore your recalling the friendship of our fathers and the affection which you have bestowed on me from your childhood, and all the other circumstances accompanying that feeling, gave me the keenest pleasure. Again, the revelation of the sentiments which you entertain towards the Republic and intend to maintain was most delightful to me, and my joy was all the greater because it came in addition to what you had said before. Accordingly, my dear Plancus, I do not merely exhort you—I go so far as actually to entreat you—as I did in the letter to which you have made such an exceedingly kind answer—to throw yourself with all your soul and with every impulse of your heart into the cause of the Republic. There is nothing that can bring you higher reward or greater glory, nor is there anything that a human being can do more splendid or brilliant than to deserve well of the Republic. I say this because as yet—for your consummate kindness and wisdom permit me to speak my sentiments with candour—you seem to have accomplished the most splendid achievements with the support of fortune; and though you could not have done so without personal merit, yet to a great extent those achievements are commonly put down to fortune and the circumstances of the time. But in a crisis of such supreme difficulty as the present, whatever help you give to the Republic will be wholly and peculiarly your own. You could scarcely believe how all citizens, except the rebel party, detest Antony. High hopes are placed on you and your army-great expectations. In heaven's name, do not let slip the opportunity for gaining such popularity and glory! I counsel you as a father might a son: I am as eager for your honour as for my own: I exhort you with the fervour inspired by my country's cause and the knowledge of your devoted friendship.