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stand it. But that such loci communes should at once occur to your own mind upon any question being proposed, you can only secure by practice. To this, indeed, I shall keep you, if I get home safe and find things safe at Rome.
28 July, Rhegium.
DCCLXXIV (A XVI, 16 b)
TO GNÆUS MUNATIUS PLANCUS (AT ROME)
I HAVE already written to request you that the cause of the Buthrotians having received the approval of the consuls, to whom authority had been given both by a law and a senatorial decree, that they should investigate, determine, and decide on Cæsar's acta," you would support that decision and relieve both our friend Atticus—whom I know you to be anxious to serve—and myself, who am no less anxious than he, from all trouble. For as the whole business has been completed with much care and much labour, it now rests with you that we should be able to make as early an end as possible to our anxiety. Although I am well aware that a man of your wisdom must see that, if the decrees of the consuls which have been delivered as to Cæsar's acta are not observed, a most chaotic state of things will be the result. The fact is that though many of Cæsar's arrangements—as was inevitable in the multitude of his occupations -are not now thought good, I am yet accustomed to support them with the utmost vigour for the sake of peace and quietness. I think you ought by all means to do the same, though this letter is not meant to persuade but to prefer a request. Therefore, my dear Plancus, I beg and beseech you with an earnestness and a heartiness beyond which, upon my honour, I cannot plead any cause, to carry on,
1 Prætor-designate, brother of Lucius and Titus Munatius Plancus. (Neither the exact date nor the place of writing of these letters on the tiresome Buthrotian business can be fixed.]
treat, and settle this business in such a way that what we have obtained from the consuls without any hesitation, owing to their great kindness and the justice of our cause, you will not only acquiesce, but even rejoice, in our having secured. What your disposition towards Atticus is you have often shewn him to his face, as well as myself. If you do this you will have put me—always closely allied to you by personal feeling and inherited friendship—under the greatest possible obligation. I ask you earnestly and repeatedly to do so.
DCCLXXV (A XVI, 16 c)
TO GAIUS CAPITO (IN EPIRUS)
(JULY) I NEVER thought that I should have to come to you as a suppliant. But, by heaven, I am not sorry that an opportunity has been given me to test your affection. You know how highly I value Atticus. Pray do me this favour also : forget for my sake that he wished support given to his own friend who happened to be an opponent of yours, when that person's reputation was at stake. That you should grant this pardon is demanded by your own sense of fairness; for every man is bound to support his own friends. In the next place, if you love me— I put Atticus out of the question
- let this be a concession made entirely to your Cicero, your value for whom you constantly avow, in order that I may now unmistakably understand, what I have always thought, that I am deeply loved by you.
By a decree—which I in company of many men of the highest rank countersigned-Cæsar freed the Buthrotians, and indicated to us that, since the assignees of land had crossed the sea, he would send a despatch stating into what district they were to be taken. After that, as chance would have it, he met with a sudden death. Then, as you know-for you were present when the consuls were bound by a sena
torial decree to decide on Cæsar's acta— the business was deferred by them to the ist of June. To the decree of the senate there was added a law passed on the 2nd of June, which gave the consuls power to decide on appointed, decreed, done by Cæsar.” The case of the Buthrotians was brought before the consuls. The decree of Cæsar was read and many other minutes of Cæsar's were also produced. The consuls by the advice of their assessors pronounced judgment in favour of the Buthrotians. They commissioned Plancus. Now, my dear Capito—as I know how much influence you always exercise over those with whom
you are associated, especially over a man of the extreme good nature and kindness of Plancus—use every exertion, strain every nerve, or rather every power of fascination, to secure that Plancus, who, I hope, is likely to be very good to us, should become still better by your means. In any case the facts are of such a nature, in my opinion, that without anyone's influence Plancus, considering his character and practical wisdom, is himself not likely to hesitate in supporting a decision of the consuls, to whom by a law as well as a senatorial decree the inquiry into and decision of the matter has been committed. More especially so as—if this kind of judicial investigation is discredited—the acta of Cæsar seem likely to be called in question, the maintenance of which is desired not only by those whose personal interests are concerned, but for the sake of peace by those also who do not approve of them. This being the case, it is yet to our interest that Plancus should act with a ready and obliging disposition. And he will certainly do so, if you display that fortiter in re of which I have had frequent examples, and that suaviter in modo in which no one is your equal. I earnestly beg you to do so.
DCCLXXVI (A XVI, 16 d)
TO GAIUS CUPIENNIUS
I VALUED your father very highly, and he also shewed me remarkable attention and affection, nor, by heaven, had I ever any doubt of your affection for me. For my part I have never ceased feeling it for you. Therefore I beg you with more than common earnestness to help in relieving the state of Buthrotum; and take pains to induce our friend Plancus at the earliest opportunity to ratify and approve the decree of the consuls which they made in favour of the Buthrotians, since they had the power of settling the matter both by a law and a senatorial decree. I beg you, my dear Cupiennius, earnestly and repeatedly to do so.
DCCLXXVII (A XVI, 16 e)
TO GNÆUS MUNATIUS PLANCUS (IN EPIRUS)
CICERO to Plancus, prætor-designate. Pardon me for writing to you frequently on the same subject, in spite of having already written on it with the greatest minuteness. I do not do so, my dear Plancus, from distrust of your right feeling or of our friendship. The reason is the great amount of property of our friend Atticus—and now of his credit also -involved in his being proved able to maintain a measure ratified by Cæsar, witnessed and countersigned by ourselves as being present at the execution of Cæsar's decrees and
? Because he had paid their arrears to the treasury (see p. 95), which he would not be able to recover if they were dispossessed.
answers to petitions. And I appeal especially to you, because the whole control over that business is in your hands, I don't say to approve, but to approve with zeal and cheerfulness of what the consuls have decreed in virtue of Cæsar's decrees and promises. It is impossible for me to be more grateful for anything than I shall be for that. But although I hope that by the time you receive this letter what I asked of you in my previous letter will have been granted, yet I will not make an end of asking until I have received intelligence of your having actually done what I am looking forward to with strong hope. Further, I feel confident of being able to employ a different style of letter, and to thank you for an instance of your extreme kindness. If that comes to pass I would have you think that it is not so much Atticus-whose interests at stake are very large—as myself, who am equally anxious, that will be under an obligation to you.
DCCLXXVIII (A XVI, 16 f)
TO GAIUS CAPITO (IN EPIRUS)
I do not doubt that you are wondering and even feeling annoyed at my frequently pressing you on the same topic. Atticus—my most intimate friend and in every respect most closely united with me-has a very great interest at stake. I know how ready you are to serve your friends, and how ready your friends are to serve you. I know the kindness of your heart. I know how charming you are to your friends. Now no one can help us in this business more than you. The thing itself also is as certain as that ought to be which the consuls have decided on the advice of their assessors, after investigating it on the authority of a law and a decree of the senate. Still we regard everything as depending on the liberality of your friend Plancus: whom indeed I consider certain to confirm a consular decision, both as a private