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[2] for I fain would lighten both for you and for me our common burden1 of old age, which, if not already pressing hard upon us, is surely coming on apace; and yet I have certain knowledge that you, at all events, are bearing and will continue to bear that burden, as you do all others, with a calm and philosophic mind. But when I resolved to write something on this theme you continually came before my mind as worthy of a gift which both of us might enjoy together. To me, at any rate, the composition of this book has been so delightful that it has not only wiped away all the annoyances of old age, but has even made it an easy and a happy state. Philosophy, therefore, can never be praised as much as she deserves, since she enables the man who is obedient to her precepts to pass every season of life free from worry.

1 Cicero was then 62, Atticus 65.

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