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I congratulate you on your safe return to your family from your province, without loss to your reputation or to the state. But if I had seen you at Rome I should also have thanked you for having looked after L. Egnatius, my most intimate friend, who is still absent, and L. Oppius, who is here. With Antipater of Derbe I have become not merely on visiting terms, but really very intimate. I have been told that you are exceedingly angry with him, and I was very sorry to hear it. I have no means of judging the merits of the case, only I am persuaded that a man of your character has done nothing without good reason. However, I do beg of you again and again that, in consideration of our old friendship, you will, for my sake if for anyone's, grant his sons, who are in your power, their liberty, unless you consider that in doing so your reputation may be injured. If I had thought that, I would never have made the request, for your fame is of more importance in my eyes than any friendship with him. But I persuade myself—though I may possibly be mistaken—that this measure will bring you honour rather than abuse. What can be done in the matter, and what you can do for my sake (for as to your willingness I feel no doubt), I should be obliged by your informing me, if it is not too much trouble to you.

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