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And indeed Plato, the fountain-head of genius and learning, thought that states would only be happy when scholars and philosophers began being their rulers, or when those who were their rulers had devoted all their attention to learning and philosophy. It was plainly this union of power and philosophy that in his opinion might prove the salvation of states. And this perhaps has at length fallen to the fortune of the whole empire: certainly it has in the present instance to your province, to have a man in supreme power in it, who has from boyhood spent the chief part of his zeal and time in imbibing the principles of philosophy, virtue, and humanity. Wherefore be careful that this third year, which has been added to your labour, may be thought a prolongation of prosperity to Asia. And since Asia was more fortunate in retaining you than I was in my endeavour to bring you back, see that my regret is softened by the exultation of the province. For if you have displayed the very greatest activity in earning honours such as, I think, have never been paid to anyone else, much greater ought your activity to be in preserving these honours. What I for my part think of honours of that kind I have told you in previous letters. I have always regarded them, if given indiscriminately, as of little value, if paid from interested motives, as worthless: if, however, as in this case, they are tributes to solid services on your part, I hold you bound to take much pains in preserving them. Since, then, you are exercising supreme power and official authority in cities, in which you have before your eyes the consecration and apotheosis of your virtues, in all decisions, decrees, and official acts consider what you owe to those warm opinions entertained of you, to those verdicts on your character, to those honours which have been rendered you. And what you owe will be to consult for the interests of all, to remedy men's misfortunes, to provide for their safety, to resolve that you will be both called and believed to be the "father of Asia."

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