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I had no difficulty in gathering from your letter, what I have always been anxious for, that I am very highly valued by you, and that you are fully aware how dear you are to me. As, then, we are both convinced of that, it remains for us to enter upon a rivalry of good offices. In that contest I shall be equally content to surpass you or to be surpassed by you. I am not displeased to find that there was no need for my letter being handed to Acilius. I gather from your letter that you had no great occasion for the services of Sulpicius, because your affairs had been so much reduced in magnitude, that they had "neither head nor feet." I could wish that they had "feet," that you might come back to Rome some day. For you see that the old fountain of humour has run dry, so that by this time our poet Pomponius might say with good reason: “ We only guard—a dwindling band—
The ancient fame of Attic land.
” So he is your successor, I his. Come, therefore, I beg, lest the seed for the harvest of wit perish along with the republic.

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