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Is it so? Have I won? And do I send you frequent letters, which, as you were leaving, you said I should never take the trouble to do for you? It is even so, that is to say, if the letters I send reach you. And, indeed, I am all the more energetic about this because, being at leisure, I have nowhere to spend my little holiday with any pleasure. When you were at Rome I had an unfailing and most delightful resource for an idle day—to spend the holiday with you. I miss this exceedingly, so that not only do I feel myself to be all alone, but now you are gone a desert seems to have been created at Rome; and I who in my carelessness omitted paying you a visit on many days, when you were here, am now daily tortured to think that I have not got you to run to. But, above all, my rival 1 Hirrus takes care that I should look for you day and night. You can imagine how vexed that rival of yours for the augurship is, and how he tries to conceal the fact that I am a surer candidate than himself. That you should receive the news about him which you wish at the earliest possible moment, I desire, on my honour, more for your sake than my own. For as to myself, if I am elected, I shall perhaps be so with a colleague richer than myself: 2 but even this is so delightful, that, if it really does happen to me, I can never all my life long lack something to smile at. Is it really worth while? Yes! by Hercules. M. Octavius is unable to do much to soften the hostile feelings—and they are many—which spoil Hirrus's chances. As to the services of your freedman Philotimus and the property of Milo, I have taken care that Philotimus should satisfy Milo in his absence, as well as his family, by the most absolutely straightforward conduct, and that your character should not suffer as far as his good faith and activity are concerned. 3 What I now have to ask of you is that, if (as I hope) you get any leisure, you would compose some treatise dedicated to me, to shew me that you care for me. "How did that come into your head," say you, "a modest man like you?" I desire that out of your numerous writings there should be something extant handing down to posterity also the record of our friendship. "What sort of thing do you want?" I suppose you will ask. You, who are acquainted with every school of thought, will hit upon the suitable thing sooner than I. Only let it be of a kind that has some appropriateness to me, and let it contain practical instruction, that it may be widely used.

1 As candidate for the curule aedileship.

2 The reading and the interpretation of this clause are both very doubtful.

3 See p. 18.

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