CDLXXXVII (F VI, 13)
TO Q. LIGARIUS (IN EXILE)Although in your present circumstances I was bound, in view of our friendship, to write you some word either of consolation or support, yet up to this time I had omitted doing so, because I did not think myself able by mere words either to soften or remove your grief. When, however, I began to entertain a strong hope that it would not be long before we had you here in full enjoyment of your civil rights, I could not refrain from declaring my opinion and wishes to you. To begin with, then, I will say this, of which I have a clear knowledge and full perception—that Caesar will not be very obdurate to you. For circumstances, as well as the lapse of time and public opinion, and—as it seems to me—even his own natural disposition, daily render him more indulgent. And that I not only perceive in the case of others, but I am also told it in regard to yourself by his most intimate friends, to whom, ever since the news from Africa first arrived, I have never ceased in conjunction with your brothers to make representations. Thanks indeed to their virtue and piety and their unique affection for you, their constant and unremitting care for your safety are having such good effect, that I think there is now no indulgence that Caesar himself will not grant you. But if this comes to pass somewhat less quickly than we wish, the reason is that, owing to the multiplicity of his business, interviews with him have been somewhat difficult to obtain. At the same time, being unusually angered at the resistance in Africa, he seems resolved to keep those in suspense somewhat longer, by whom he considers himself to have been involved in the worry of a more protracted struggle. But even this, I understand, he daily regards in a more forgiving and placable spirit. Wherefore, believe me, and remember that I said so to you, that you will not be much longer in your distressing position. Having told you my opinion, I will shew what my wishes are in regard to you by deeds rather than by words. If I were as powerful as I ought to be in a Republic, to which my services have been such as you estimate them, you certainly would not have now been in your present disadvantageous position: for the same cause has ruined my influence which has brought your safety into danger. But nevertheless, whatever the shadow of my old position, whatever the remains of my popularity shall be able to effect, all my zeal, advice, efforts, and fidelity shall be ever at the service of your most excellent brothers. Be sure, on your part, to keep the brave spirit which you have always kept. First, for the reasons which I have mentioned: and, secondly, because your wishes and sentiments about the Republic have ever been such as not only to warrant a hope of prosperity now, but even, if everything goes wrong, to make it after all incumbent on you, from a consciousness of your actions and policy, to bear whatever happens with the greatest resolution and spirit.