CDXCIV (F IV, II)
MARCUS MARCELLUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)That your influence has ever had the greatest weight with me everything that has occurred has given you reason to know, but nothing so clearly as the recent transaction. For though C. Marcellus, my very affectionate cousin, not only advised me, but besought me in moving terms, he failed to persuade me. It was only your letter that induced me to follow the advice that you and he gave in preference to every other. Your letters describe to me the nature of the debate in the senate. Though your congratulation is exceedingly acceptable to me, because it proceeds from the kindest of hearts, yet there is one thing still more delightful and gratifying to me—namely, that while I have so few friends, relations, or connexions to take a sincere interest in my safety, I have had reason to know that you desire my company and have shewn in a practical way an unparalleled devotion to my interest. Everything else is as you say. And considering the state of the times, I was well content to be out of it ill. I take the truth, indeed, to be that without the kind-ness of such gallant men and true friends no one, whether in adversity or prosperity, can live a real life. Accordingly, I congratulate myself on this. But for yourself, I will prove to you in a practical manner that you have been loyal to a man who loves you most deeply.