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OF all our men of rank there is no one of whom I have been fonder than of Publius Crassus the younger; and though I have had very great hopes of him from his earliest years, I began at once to entertain brilliant ideas of his abilities when I was informed of your high opinion of him. His freedman Apollonius I always valued and thought well of even when Crassus was alive: for he was very attentive to Crassus and extremely well suited to promote his best tastes: and, accordingly, was much liked by him. But after the death of Crassus he seemed the more worthy of admission to my confidence and friendship, because he regarded it as his duty to be attentive and polite to those whom the late Crassus had loved and by whom he had been beloved. Accordingly, he came to stay with me in Cilicia, and in many particulars his fidelity and good sense were of great use to me; and, as I think, he rendered you all the service in the Alexandrine war that was within the range of ability and fidelity. Hoping that you would think the same, he has started to join you in Spain—chiefly indeed on his own initiative, but also on my advice. I did not promise him a letter of recommendation, not because I doubted its weight with you, but because he did not seem to want any, for he had been on active service in your army, and had been put on your staff from respect to the memory of Crassus. And if he did choose to avail himself of introductions, I saw that he could accomplish that by means of others. It is a testimony to my opinion of him, which he values highly and which I also have found to have weight with you, that I hereby give him with pleasure. Well, then, I have found him to be well instructed and devoted to the highest pursuits, and that from a boy. For he lived much at my house from his boyhood along with the Stoic Diodotus, a man in my opinion of the most profound learning. At present, fired with admiration of your achievements, he desires to write a history of them in Greek. I think he is capable of doing it. He has great genius: great experience: for a long time past he has been engaged in that branch of study and literature: he is wonderfully eager to do justice to the immortal fame of your glorious achievements. You have here the record of my opinion, but your supreme wisdom will enable you to decide with much greater ease upon this point. Yet, after all, though I said I would not do so, I recommend him to you. Whatever favour you shew him will be more than ordinarily gratifying to me.

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