O Titus, should some aid of mine dispel
The cares that now within thy bosom dwell
And wring thy heart and torture thee with pain,
What then would be the measure of my gain?
For, my dear Atticus, I may fitly speak to you in these self-same lines in which,
That man
Of little wealth, but rich in loyalty
speaks to Flamininus. And yet I am perfectly sure that it cannot be said of you, as the poet said of Flamininus,
You fret and worry, Titus, day and night,
for I know your self-control and the even temper of your mind, and I am aware that you brought home from Athens not only a cognomen but culture and practical wisdom too. Nevertheless I suspect that you, at times, are quite seriously perturbed by the same circumstances2 which are troubling me; but to find comfort for them is too difficult a task to be undertaken now and must be deferred until another time.

[p. 11] However, at the present, I have determined to write something on old age to be dedicated to you,

1 Ennius, Annales, lib. x., words addressed by an Epirote shepherd to Titus Quinctius Flamininus, then (198 B.C.) engaged in war with Philip of Macedon, and here applied by Cicero to his lifelong friend, Titus Pomponius Atticus.

2 Referring to the existing political situation. See Introd. p. 3.

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