Sincere friendships are neither dissolved by distance of place nor weakened by time. Time indeed inflicts indignities on our bodies, spoils them of the bloom of their beauty, and brings on old age; but of friendship he makes the beauty yet more blooming, ever kindling its fire to greater warmth and brightness. So separated as I am from your magnificence by many a day's march, pricked by the goad of friendship I indite you this letter of salutation. It is conveyed by the standard-bearer Patroinus, a man who on account of his high character is worthy of all respect, for he endeavours with much zeal to observe the laws of God. Deign, most excellent sir, to give us by him information of your excellency's precious health, and of the desired fulfilment of your promise.