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I have not yet been able to make up my mind whether Trebatius—kind man and devoted friend of us both-brought me more pain or pleasure. The fact is that I having reached Tusculum in the evening, early next day he called on me: though he was not fully recovered. I scolded him for not being sufficiently considerate of his weak health: but he said that nothing had been more wearisome to him than waiting to see me. "Nothing fresh happened, has there?" said I. Then he told me of your grievance. But before I answer it I will put before you a few facts. As far back as I can remember I have no older friend than your-self. But after all the length of a friendship is something in which many others share. Not so warmth of affection. I became attached to you the first day I knew you, and formed the opinion that you were attached to me. After that your absence—which was a very prolonged one—my own official career, and the different line we took in life did not allow our inclinations to be cemented by a constant intercourse. Nevertheless, I had proof of your affection for me many years before the civil war, when Caesar was in Gaul. For you secured what you were strongly of opinion was to my advantage and not without advantage to Caesar himself—that the latter should like me, pay me attention, and rate me among his friends. I pass over instances in those times of words, letters, and various communications of the most friendly character passing between us. For a more dangerous crisis followed: and at the beginning of the civil war, when you were on your way to Brundisium to join Caesar, you came to call on me at Formiae. How much that implies in itself, to begin with, especially at such a crisis! And in the next place, do you suppose that I have forgotten your advice, conversation, and kindly interest? And in these I remember that Trebatius took part. 1 Nor, again, have I for gotten the letter you sent me after you had met Caesar in the district, if I remember rightly, of Trebula. 2 Then followed the period in which whether you call it shame or duty or fortune compelled me to go abroad to join Pompey. What service or zeal was wanting on your part, either towards myself when away from town, or my family, who were still there? Whom did all my family regard as more warmly attached either to me or to themselves?

I came to Brundisium : 3 do you suppose that I have forgotten with what speed you flew to me from Tarentum, as soon as you heard of it? Or, of how patiently you sat by my side, talked to me, and strengthened my courage, which had been broken by the dread of the universal ruin? At length our residence at Rome began: could anything be more intimate than we were? In questions of the first importance I consulted you as to my attitude towards Caesar, and in other matters availed myself of your good offices. Setting Caesar aside, whom else but me did you so far distinguish as to visit constantly at home, where you often spent many hours in the most delightful conversation? And it was then too, if you remember, that you instigated me to write these philosophical works. After Caesar's return, was there any object dearer to you than that I should be on the terms of closest friendship with him? And this you had accomplished.

To what end, therefore, is this preamble which has run to greater length than I anticipated? Why, to explain my surprise that you, who were bound to have known all this, should have believed me capable of having done anything incompatible with our friendship. For besides these facts, which are well attested and as clear as the day, I could mention many others of a more secret nature, such as I can hardly express in words. Everything about you gives me pleasure: but above all your surpassing fidelity in friendship, the prudence, trustworthiness and consistency of your character, as well as the charm of your manners, the cultivation of your intellect, and your knowledge of literature.

This being understood, I return to your statement of grievance. That you voted for that law 4 I at first refused to believe. In the next place, if I had believed it, I should never have believed that you did so without some sound reason. Your rank makes it inevitable that whatever you do should be noticed: while the ill-nature of the world causes certain things to be represented in a harsher light than your actions have really warranted. If you never hear such observations I don't know what to say. For my part, whenever I hear them I defend you, as I know that I am always defended by you against my detractors. Now my line of defence is twofold. There are some statements which I meet with a blank denial, as about that very vote of yours. Others I defend on the ground of the loyalty and kindness of your motives, as in regard to the superintendence of the games. 5 But it does not escape a mind so highly cultivated as yours that, if Caesar was a tyrant—as I think he was-two opposite theories are capable of being maintained in regard to your services. One is mine—when I hold that your loyalty and kindness are to be commended for shewing affection to a friend, even after his death. The opposite theory, advanced by some, is that the liberty of our country is to be preferred to the life of a friend. From such discussions as these I only wish that the arguments I have advanced had come to your ears! Two other points, which above everything else redound to you reputation, no one could put oftener and with more satisfaction than I do: that your voice was the strongest both against beginning the civil war, and for moderation in victory. And in this I have never found anyone who did not agree with me. Therefore I am grateful to our friend Trebatius for giving me an excuse for writing this letter. And if you do not believe in it, you will thereby condemn me as wanting in duty and good feeling: than which nothing can be more discreditable to me or more foreign to your own character.

1 For a joint letter from Matius and Trebatius acquainting Cicero with Caesar's movements in B.C. 49, see vol. ii., p.350.

2 Vol.. ii., p. 5.

3 That is, after Pharsalia, at the beginning of November, B.C. 48. See vol. iii., p.11.

4 We have no certain indication of what law is meant. It may mean the law which gave Antony Gallia Cisalpina and the Macedonian legions

5 See p.52.

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