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DXI (F XIII, 18)

TO SERVIUS SULPICIUS RUFUS (IN ACHAIA)
ROME
I WILL not allow that your most kind and courteous letter to Atticus—whom I see to be transported with delight-was more gratifying to him than to myself. For, though it was almost equally pleasing to us both, yet I was the more struck with admiration of the two. You would, of course, have made a courteous answer to Atticus if asked, or at least reminded: but (as for my part I never doubted that you would do) you spontaneously wrote to him, and, without his expecting it, offered him so warm an expression of goodwill. 1 On this subject not only ought I not to ask you to be more zealous in that respect for my sake also—for nothing could go beyond your promises—but I should be wrong even to thank you, since you have acted for his own sake and on your own initiative. However, I will say this, that I am exceedingly gratified at what you have done. For such appreciation on your part of a man who has a place apart in my affections cannot fail to be supremely delightful to me: and, that being so, it of course excites my gratitude. But all the same, since considering our intimacy a faux pas in writing to you is allowable to me, I will do both the things that I said that I ought not to do. In the first place, to what you have shewn that you will do for the sake of Atticus I would have you make as large an addition as our mutual affection can suggest: in the second place, though I said just now that I feared to thank you, I now do so outright: and I would wish you to believe that, under whatever obligations you place Atticus, whether in regard to his affairs in Epirus or elsewhere, I shall consider myself to be equally bound to you by them.


1 We know that Atticus had many transactions with towns in the Peloponnese, and he probably required the countenance of Sulpicius, as governor of Achaia, to get his interest on capital paid (vol. i., pp.57, 60, 66).

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