I undertook my present task, Marcellus Victorius, mainly to gratify your request,1 but also with a view to assist the more earnest of our young men as far as lay in my power, while latterly the energy with which I have devoted myself to my labours has been inspired by the almost imperative necessity imposed by the office conferred on me,2 though all the while I have had an eye to my own personal pleasure. For I thought that this work would be the most precious part of the inheritance that would fall to my son, whose ability was so remarkable that it called for the most anxious cultivation on the part of his father. Thus if, as would have been but just and devoutly to be wished, the fates had torn me from his side, he would still have been able to enjoy the benefit of his father's instruction.

1 cp. Proem, Bk. I.

2 cp. Proem, Bk. IV.

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