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WHEN I was hesitating—as my friend Atticus knows-about the entire idea of my journey, because many considerations on both sides kept occurring to my mind, your judgment and advice had great weight in clearing away all feeling of hesitation: for not only did your letter express your opinion frankly, but Atticus also conveyed to me what you had said by word of mouth. It has ever been my opinion that nothing could exceed your wisdom in conceiving or your honesty in imparting advice. I had a supreme instance of this when I wrote to consult you at the beginning of the civil war as to what you thought I ought to do—go to Pompey, or stay in Italy. You advised me to consider what was due to my position. 1 That told me plainly what your opinion was; and I admired your honesty and conscientiousness in giving advice. For though you thought that your dearest friend would wish it to be otherwise, your duty to me was of superior importance in your eyes to his wishes. For my part, even before that time I was attached to you, and always felt that you were attached to me. And when I was abroad and in the midst of great dangers, I remember that both I myself in my absence and my family who were at home enjoyed your attentions and protection. Again, after my return I can call all who usually observe such things to witness on what intimate terms you have been with me, and what feelings I have both entertained and avowed in regard to you. But the weightiest expression of your judgment as to my honour and consistency was given by you when, after Caesar's death, you devoted yourself heart and soul to my friendship. If I fail to justify that judgment by displaying the warmest affection for you and serving you in every possible way, I shall regard myself as a monster of ingratitude. Pray, my dear Oppius, maintain your love for me—though, after all, I say this more because it is usual to say it, than from an idea that you need to be reminded—and continue to protect all my interests. As to what they are I have charged Atticus to enlighten you. As soon as I have secured a little leisure you may expect a longer letter from me. Take good care to keep well; you cannot oblige me more than by doing that.

1 He seems to be referring, though not with very great precision, to the joint letter from Oppius and Balbus in March, B.C. 49. See vol. ii., p. 308 (Fam. 9.7a).

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