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0. Prevailed on by your continued solicitations, Balbus, I have engaged in a most difficult task, as my daily refusals appear to plead not my inability, but indolence, as an excuse. I have compiled a continuation of the Commentaries of our Caesar's Wars in Gaul, not indeed to be compared to his writings, which either precede or follow them; and recently, I have completed what he left imperfect after the transactions in Alexandria , to the end, not indeed of the civil broils, to which we see no issue, but of Caesar's life. I wish that those who may read them could know how unwillingly I undertook to write them, as then I might the more readily escape the imputation of folly and arrogance, in presuming to intrude among Caesar's writings. For it is agreed on all hands, that no composition was ever executed with so great care, that it is not exceeded in elegance by these Commentaries, which were published for the use of historians, that they might not want memoirs of such achievements; and they stand so high in the esteem of all men, that historians seem rather deprived of, than furnished with material. At which we have more reason to be surprised than other men; for they can only appreciate the elegance and correctness with which he finished them, while we know with what ease and expedition. Caesar possessed not only an uncommon flow of language and elegance of style, but also a thorough knowledge of the method of conveying his ideas. But I had not even the good fortune to share in the Alexandrian or African war; and though these were partly communicated to me by Caesar himself, in conversation, yet we listen with a different degree of attention to those things which strike us with admiration by their novelty, and those which we design to attest to posterity. But, in truth, while I urge every apology, that I may not be compared to Caesar, I incur the charge of vanity, by thinking it possible that I can in the judgment of any one be put in competition with him. Farewell.

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