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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
LXXXVI. To Septitius
 
 
I HAD a good journey here, excepting only that some of my servants, were upset by the excessive heat. Poor Encolpius, my reader, 1 who is so indispensable to me in my studies and amusements, was so affected with the dust that it brought on a spitting of blood: an accident which will prove no less unpleasant to me than unfortunate to himself, should he be thereby rendered unfit for the literary work in which he so greatly excels. If that should unhappily result, where shall I find one who will read my works so well, or appreciate them so thoroughly, as he? Whose tones will my ears drink in as they do his? But the gods seem to favour our better hopes, as the bleeding is stopped, and the pain abated. Besides, he is extremely temperate; while no concern is wanting on my part or care on his physician’s. This, together with the wholesomeness of the air, and the quiet of retirement, gives us reason to expect that the country will contribute as much to the restoration of his health as to his rest. Farewell.  1
 
Note 1. Persons of rank and literature among the Romans retained in their families a domestic whose sole business was to read to them. M. [back]
 

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