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Cicero to Appius, imperator.1 Could the Republic itself speak and tell you of its state, you would not learn it more easily from its own lips than from your freedman Phania: he is a man of such clear insight, as well as (in a good sense) of such keen curiosity! Wherefore he shall explain everything to you: for that will suit me best by enabling me to curtail my letter, and will be more prudent for me in view of other circumstances. But in regard to my good feeling towards you, though you can learn it from this same Phania, yet I think that I also have personally something I ought to say on the subject. For assure yourself of this—that you are exceedingly dear to me, from the many attractions of your character, your kindness, and the goodness of your heart, but also because from your letter, as well as from the remarks of many, I understand that all my conduct towards you has been most warmly appreciated by you. And since that is so, I will take means to make up for the great loss of time, which we have sustained from this interruption of our intercourse, by the liberality, the frequency, and the importance of my services; and that I think I shall do, since you would have it be so, by no means against the grain, or as the phrase is, "against the will of Minerva"—a goddess by the way whom, if I shall chance to get possession of a statue of her from your stock, I shall not simply designate "Pallas," but "Appias." 2 Your freedman Cilix was not well known to me before, but when he delivered me your kind and affectionate letter, he confirmed the courteous expressions of that letter by his own words. I was much gratified by his speech, when he described to me your feelings and the remarks which you were daily making about me. In short, within two days he became my intimate friend, without, how ever, my ceasing to regret Phania deeply. When you send the latter back to Rome, which I imagine you intend speedily to do, pray give him instructions as to all matters which you wish to be transacted or looked after by me.

I commend L. Valerius the lawyer to you very strongly; not, however, in his capacity of lawyer: for I wish to take better precautions for him than he does for others. I am really fond of the man: he is one of my closest and most intimate friends. In a general way he expresses nothing but gratitude to you; but he also says that a letter from me will have very great influence with you. I beg you again and again that he may not find himself mistaken.

1 Brother of Cicero's enemy, P. Clodius. He had been consul in B.C. 54, and was now proconsul in Cilicia, in which government Cicero was to succeed him. His relations with Cicero had been varied, and though Cicero speaks warmly to him, he does not do so often of him, and his compliments are evidently not really sincere.

2 "I shall, in compliment to your accomplishments, call the goddess of learning and wisdom 'Appias,'" i.e., the "Appian Goddess." But the meaning of the elaborate and dull joke or compliment is far from clear, especially the phrase si forte de tuis sumpsero. Was Cicero expecting a present of a bust of Minerva, or intending to purchase one from Appius's collection? Or does he allude, as has been suggested, to the Minerva he had himself dedicated before his exile, and which had probably fallen into the hands of the Appian family?

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