CDLXXXIX (F VI, 10, §§ 4-6)
TO TREBIANUS (IN EXILE)I would have sent you a letter before, if I had been able to hit upon the best sort to write: for at such a crisis the duty of friends is either to console or to make promises. I did not offer consolation, because I was told by many of the fortitude and wisdom with which you were bearing the hardship of the present situation, and how thoroughly you were consoled by the consciousness of your actions and policy. If that is the case, you are reaping a rich reward of your excellent studies, in which I know that you have ever been engaged, and I exhort you again and again to continue this line of conduct. At the same time, see here! You are a man deeply versed in what is recorded not only of particular examples, but in ancient history generally, while I am not quite ignorant of them either; but, though less deeply read than I could wish, I have had an even greater experience than I could have desired in actual affairs and practical business. Well, I pledge my word to you, that this indignation and this injurious treatment will not last long. For, in the first place, the man himself who has the chief power appears to me to be daily inclining insensibly towards just views and natural equity; and, in the second place, the merits of our cause itself are of such a kind, that It must necessarily revive and be renewed along with the Republic, which cannot possibly be kept down for ever. In fact, every day something is done in a spirit of greater Clemency and liberality than we feared would be the case. And since such things depend upon shifting circumstances, often minute, I will look out for every chance, and will not pass over any opportunity of helping and relieving you. Accordingly, that second style of letter which I mentioned will daily, I hope, become easier to adopt-enabling me to make promises also. That I should prefer doing practically rather than in mere words. I would have you be convinced of this—that you have more friends than others who are and have been in the same misfortune as yourself, as far at least as I have been able to ascertain; and that I yield to no one of them. Be sure you keep up a brave and lofty spirit. That depends on yourself alone: what depends on fortune will be guided by circumstances and provided for by prudent measures on our part.