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CLXXIX (F V, 18)

Although I too, who am desirous of consoling you,1 stand in need of consolation myself—for nothing for a long time past has so deeply afflicted me as your disaster—nevertheless I do strongly not only exhort, but even beg and implore you, with all the earnestness that my affection dictates, to summon all your energies, to shew a manly courage, and to reflect under what conditions all mortals, and in what times we particularly, have been born. Your virtue has given you more than fortune has taken away: for you have obtained what not many "new men" have obtained; you have lost what many men of the highest rank have lost. Finally, a state of legislation, law courts, and politics generally appears to be imminent, such that the man would seem to be the most fortunate who has quitted such a republic as ours with the lightest possible penalty. As for you, however—since you retain your fortune and children, with myself and others still very closely united to you, whether by relationship or affection—and since you are likely to have much opportunity of living with me and all your friends—and since, again, your condemnation is the only one out of so many that is impugned, because, having been passed by one vote (and that a doubtful one), it is regarded as a concession to a particular person's overwhelming power 2 —for all these reasons, I say, you ought to be as little distressed as possible at the inconvenience that has befallen you. My feeling towards yourself and your children will always be such as you wish, and such as it is in duty bound to be.

1 Titus Fadius Gallus had been a quaestor in Cicero's consulship (B.C. 63), and a tribune in B.C. 58, when Cicero reckoned him among those on whom he depended to resist Clodius. He also, among others, had a motion prepared for Cicero's recall, of which Cicero speaks with approbation (p. 178). We do not know on what charge he had been condemned, but a number of prosecutions followed the death of Clodius and Pompey's legislation as to violence and corruption of juries.

2 Pompey. He uses the word potentia, as he generally does, in an invidious sense of "tyrannical, or, unconstitutional power," as opposed to auctoritas, " legitimate influence."

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