Letters to friends/15.5

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From M. Porcius Cato at Rome[edit]

To Cicero in Cilicia, June 50 BC[edit]

I gladly obey the call of the state and of our friendship, in rejoicing that your virtue, integrity, and energy, already known at home in a most important crisis, when you were a civilian, should be maintained abroad with the same painstaking care now that you have military command. Therefore what I could conscientiously do in setting forth in laudatory terms that the province had been defended by your wisdom; that the kingdom of Ariobarzanes, as well as the king himself, had been preserved; and that the feelings of the allies had been won back to loyalty to our empire—that I have done by speech and vote. That a thanksgiving was decreed I am glad, if you prefer our thanking the gods rather than giving you the credit for a success which has been in no respect left to chance, but has been secured for the Republic by your own eminent prudence and self-control. But if you think a thanksgiving to be a presumption in favour of a triumph, and therefore prefer fortune having the credit rather than yourself, let me remind you that a triumph does not always follow a thanksgiving; and that it is an honour much more brilliant than a triumph for the senate to declare its opinion, that a province has been retained rather by the uprightness and mildness of its governor, than by the strength of an army or the favour of heaven: and that is what I meant to express by my vote. And I write this to you at greater length than I usually do write, because I wish above all things that you should think of me as taking pains to convince you, both that I have wished for you what I believed to be for your highest honour, and am glad that you have got what you preferred to it. Farewell: continue to love me; and by the way you conduct your home-journey, secure to the allies and the Republic the advantages of your integrity and energy.

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