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But although you ought to rely on and be fortified by, friendships already gained and firmly secured, yet in the course of the canvass itself very numerous and useful friendships are acquired. For among its annoyances a candidature has this advantage : you can without loss of dignity, as you cannot in other affairs of life, admit whomsoever you choose to your friendship to whom if you were at any other time to offer your society, you would be thought guilty of an eccentricity; whereas during a canvass, if you don't do so with many, and take pains about it besides, you would be thought to be no use as a candidate at all. Moreover, I can assure you of this, that there is no one unless he happens to be bound by some special tie to some one of your rivals, whom you could not induce, if you took pains, to earn your affection by his good services, and to seize the opportunity of putting you under an obligation—let him but fully understand that you value him highly, that you really mean what you say, that he is making a good investment, and that there will accrue from it not only a brief and electioneering friendship, but a firm and lasting one. There will be no one, believe me, if he has anything in him at all, who will let slip this opportunity offered of establishing a friendship with you, especially when by good luck you have competitors whose friendship is one to be neglected or avoided, and who not only are unable to secure what I am urging you to secure, but cannot even make the first step towards it. For how should Antonius make the first step towards attaching people to himself, when he cannot even call them, unaided, by their proper names? I, for one, think that there can be no greater folly than to imagine a man solicitous to serve you whom you don't know by sight. Extraordinary indeed must be the fame, the political position and extent of the public services of that man whom entire strangers, without supporters to back him, would elect to office. That a man without principle or energy, without doing any good service, and without ability, lying under a cloud of discredit, and without friends, should beat a man fortified with the devotion of a numerous circle and by the good opinion of all, cannot possibly occur except from gross negligence.

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