DCCCXIV (F XII, 24)
TO QUINTUS CORNIFICIUS (IN AFRICA)I OMIT no opportunity—as is indeed my bounden duty-not only of sounding your praises, but even of securing you marks of distinction. But my exertions on your behalf I prefer being known to you from the letters of your family rather than from my own. Nevertheless, I exhort you, on your part, to throw yourself heart and soul into the cause of the Republic. This is the proper task of a spirit and a character such as yours: it is this which is called for by the hope, which you ought to entertain, of enhancing your position. But on this point at greater length at another time. For at the moment of writing this everything is in a state of suspense. The ambassadors have not yet returned, whom the senate sent, not to beg for peace, but to proclaim war in case he did not comply with the message of its emissaries. Nevertheless, as soon as the opportunity was afforded me, I spoke in defence of the constitution in my old style. I put myself forward as a leader of the senate and Roman people: nor have I since thus undertaking the cause of freedom lost a single moment in supporting the common safety and liberty. But this, too, I should prefer your learning from others. I commend Titus Pinarius to you—my most intimate friend-with an earnestness beyond which I cannot go. I am very much attached to him for all his high qualities as well as for the tastes which we have in common. He is managing the accounts and business affairs of our friend Dionysius, of whom you are very fond, while I regard him as one of the first of men. This recommendation ought not to require any word of mine, yet I make it all the same. Pray therefore let me learn from Pinarius's letters—that most grateful of men—of your kind ness both to him and Dionysius.