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Ep. XIV. and XXIII.

(Under the Emperor Valens Cæsarius returned to public life and was made Quæstor of Bithynia.  While he was in this office the following letters were written to him by his brother on behalf of two cousins, Eulalius, who afterwards succeeded Gregory in the Bishopric of Nazianzus, and with whom Gregory was on terms of intimate friendship, and Amphilochius, who, through the roguery of a partner, had got into some trouble at Constantinople about money matters, and for whom he asks aid and advice.  Some however think that this letter is not addressed to his brother (who may have been at Constantinople at the time), but to some other officer of high rank at the Imperial Court.  Amphilochius soon after retired from the world, and by a.d. 347 was already bishop of the important See of Iconium.  Gregory’s letters to him are given later in this division.)

Do a kindness to yourself and to me, of a kind that you will not often have an opportunity of doing, because opportunities for such kindnesses do not often occur.  Undertake a most righteous protection of my dear cousins, who are worried more than enough about a property which they bought as suitable for retirement, and capable of providing them with some means of living; but after having completed the purchase they have fallen into many troubles, partly through finding the vendors dishonest, and partly through being plundered and robbed by their neighbours, so that it would be a gain to them to get rid of their acquisition for the price they gave for it, plus the not small sum they have spent on it besides.  If, then, you would like to transfer the business to yourself, after examining the contract to see how it may be best and most securely done, this course would be most acceptable both to them and me; but if you would rather not, the next best course would be to oppose yourself to the officiousness and dishonesty of the man, that he may not succeed in gaining one advantage over their want of business habits, either by wronging them if they retain their property, or by inflicting loss upon them if they part with it.  I am really ashamed to write to you on such a subject.  All the same, since we owe it to them, on account both of their relationship and of their profession (for of whom would one rather take care than of such, or what would one be more ashamed of than of being unwilling to confer such a benefit?) do you either for your own sake, or for mine, or for the sake of the men themselves, or for all these sakes put together, by all means do them this kindness.

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