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[15] Wherefore, as I have already said, it has gone very well with him, less so with me, for, as I was before him in entering life, it had been more reasonable to expect that I should have been before him in leaving it. Still, such is my enjoyment in the recollection of our friendship that I feel as if my life has been happy because it was spent with Scipio, with whom I shared my public and private cares; lived under the same roof at home; served in the same campaigns abroad, and enjoyed that wherein lies the whole essence of friendship—the most complete agreement in policy, in pursuits, and in opinions. Hence, I am not so much delighted by my reputation for wisdom which Fannius just now called to mind, especially since it is undeserved, as I am by the hope that the memory of our friendship will always endure; and this thought is the more pleasing to me because in the whole range of history only three or four pairs1 of friends are mentioned; and I venture to hope that among such instances the friendship of Scipio and Laelius will be known to posterity.

1 The three pairs are Theseus and Pirithous, Achilles and Patroclus, Orestes and Pylades; the fourth, probably in Cicero's mind (Cic. Off. iii. 45; Fin. ii. 79), was Damon and Phintias (vulg. Pythias).

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