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DXXXII (F VI, 5)

TO AULUS CAECINA (IN SICILY)
ROME (JANUARY)
EVERY time I see your son—and that is nearly every day—I promise him my zealous and active support, without any reserve as to labour, prior engagement, or time: but the exertion of my interest or favour with this reservation, "as far as I have the opportunity or power." Your book has been read and is still being read by me with attention, and kept under lock and key with the greatest care. Your prospects and fortunes are of the highest concern to me. They seem to me to grow brighter and less complicated every day: and I can see that many are much interested in them, of whose zeal, 'as well as of his own hopes, I feel certain that your son has written fully to you. But as to those particulars, in which I am reduced to conjecture, I do not take upon myself to profess greater foresight than I am convinced that your own eyes and your own intelligence give you: but all the same, as it may. very well be that your reflexions on those points are somewhat agitated, I think it is incumbent upon me to explain my opinions. It is neither in the nature of things nor the ordinary revolutions of time that a position such as either your own or that of the rest should be protracted, or that so outrageous an injustice should be persistently maintained in so good a cause and in the case of such good citizens. In which matter, in addition to the hope which your own case gives me to a degree beyond the common—I don't mean only from your high position and admirable character, for these are distinctions which you share with others-there are the claims which brilliant genius and eminent virtue make peculiar to yourself. And to these, by Hercules, he in whose power we are allows much weight. Accordingly, you would not have remained even a moment in your present position, had it not been that he thought himself to have been insulted by precisely that accomplishment of yours, in which he takes delight. But this feeling is softening every day, and those who live with him hint to me, that this very opinion which he entertains of your genius will do you a great deal of good with him. Wherefore, in the first place, keep up your spirits and courage: for your birth, education, learning, and character in the world demand that you should do so. In the next place, entertain the most certain hopes for the reasons which I have given you. On my side, indeed, I would have you feel sure that everything I can do is most completely at your service and at that of your sons: for this is no more than our longstanding friendship, and my invariable conduct to my friends, and your many kindnesses to me demand.


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