DLXX (F XIII, 15)
TO C. IULIUS CAESAR (IN SPAIN)Cicero to Caesar, imperator.1I recommend Precilius to your special favour, the son of a connexion of your own, a very intimate friend of mine, and a most excellent man. For the young man himself I have an extraordinary affection on account of his rectitude, culture, and the spirit and affection he has displayed to myself: but of his father also I have had practical reason to know and thoroughly learn what a warm friend he has ever been to me. Now see!—this is the man that more than anyone else has been used to ridicule and chide me for not attaching myself to you, especially when invited to do so by you in the most Complimentary manner: “But in my breast my heart he ne'er could move.” For I heard our nobles shouting: “ Be staunch, and unborn men shall speak thee fair.
He spake, and on him fell black clouds of woe.
” However, these same men give me consolation also: they wish even now—though once singed—to inflame me with the fire of glory, and speak thus: "Nay, not a coward's death nor shorn of fame, But after some high deed to live for aye." 2 But they move me less than of yore, as you see. Accordingly from the high style of Homer I transfer myself to the true maxims of Euripides: “Out on the sage that cannot guide himself!” This is a verse that the elder Precilius praises to the skies, and says that a man may be able to see both "before and behind," and yet “Still may excel and rise above the crowd.” But to return to what I began with: you will greatly oblige me, if you give this young man the benefit of the kindness which so distinguishes you, and will add to what I think you would do for the sake of the Precilii themselves as much as my recommendation may be worth. I have adopted a new style of letter to you, that you might understand that my recommendation is no common one. 3