Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Fam.].
<<Cic. Fam. 13.28a Cic. Fam. 13.29 (Latin) >>Cic. Fam. 13.30




I have no doubt of your knowing that, among the connexions bequeathed to you by your father, there was no one more closely united to you than myself, not only for the

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reasons which give an appearance of close attachment, but also for those which are kept in operation by actual intimacy and association, which you know to have existed between me and your father in the highest degree and with the greatest mutual gratification. Starting from that origin my personal affection enhanced the ancestral friendship, and the more so that I perceived, as soon as your time of life admitted of your forming an independent judgment as to the value you should attach to this or that person, that I at once began to receive from you marks of respect, regard, and affection. To this was added the bond—in itself no slight one—of common studies, and of such studies and accomplishments as, in their very nature, serve to bind together men who have the same tastes in close ties of intimacy also.

I imagine you must be waiting to see to what this elaborate prelude is tending. To begin with, let me assure you that this resume' of facts has not been made by me without good and sufficient reason. I am exceedingly intimate with C. Ateius Capito. You know what the ups and downs of my fortunes have been. In every position of honour or of difficulty of mine, Capito's courage, active assistance, influence, and even money were ever at my service, supplied my occasions, and were ready for every crisis. He had a relation named Titus Antistius. While this man was serving in Macedonia as quaestor, according to the lot, and had had no successor appointed, [Note] Pompey arrived in that province at the head of an army. Antistius could do nothing. For if he had had things his own way, there is nothing he would have preferred to going back to Capito, for whom he had a filial affection, especially as he knew how much he valued Caesar and had always done so. But, being taken by surprise, he only engaged in the business as far as he was unable to refuse. When money was being Coined at Apollonia, I cannot say that he presided at the mint, nor can I deny that he was engaged in it; but it was not for more than two or three months. After that he held aloof from the camp: he avoided official employment of

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every sort. I would have you believe me on this point as an eye-witness: for he used to see my melancholy during that campaign, he used to talk things over with me without reserve. Accordingly, he withdrew into hiding in central Macedonia at as great a distance as he could from the camp, so as to avoid not only taking command in any department, but even being on the spot. After the battle he retired to Bithynia to a friend's house named Aulus Plautius. When Caesar saw him there he did not say a single rough or angry word to him; and bade him come to Rome. Immediately after that he had an illness from which he never recovered. He arrived at Corcyra ill, and there died. By a will which he had made at Rome in the consulship of Paulus and Marcellus, [Note] Capito was made his heir to five-sixths of his estate: as regards the other sixth, the heirs were men whose share may be confiscated without a word of complaint from anyone. That amounts to thirty sestertia. [Note] This is a matter for Caesar to consider. But in the name of our ancestral friendship, in the name of our mutual affection, in the name of our common studies and the close identity in the whole current of our existence, I do ask and entreat you, my dear Plancus, with an anxiety and warmth beyond which I cannot go in any matter, to exert yourself, to put out your best energies, and to secure that by my recommendation, your own zeal, and Caesar's indulgence, Capito may obtain possession of his kinsman's legacy. Everything that I could possibly have got from you in this your hour of highest favour and influence, I shall regard you as having voluntarily bestowed upon me, if I obtain this object. There is a circumstance, of which Caesar has the best means of judging, which I hope will assist you-Capito always shewed respect and affection for Caesar. But Caesar can himself bear witness to this: I know the excellence of his memory: so I don't give you any instructions. Do not pledge yourself to Caesar on Capito's behalf, any farther than you shall perceive that he remembers. For my part, I will submit to you what I have been able to put to the test in my own case: you must judge of its importance for yourself. You are not ignorant of the side and the

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cause which I have supported in politics, by the aid of what individuals and orders I have maintained myself, and by whom I have been fortified. Believe me when I say this: if I have done anything in the late war itself which was not quite to Caesar's taste—though I am well aware that Caesar knows me to have done so quite against my will—I have done it by the advice, instigation, and influence of others. But in so far as I have been more moderate and reasonable than anyone else of that party, I have been so by the influence of Capito more than anyone else: and if my other connexions had been like him, I should perhaps have done the State some good, certainly I should have done a great deal to myself. If you accomplish this object, my dear Plancus, you will confirm my expectations as to your kind feeling towards myself, and you will by your eminent service have bound Capito himself to you as a friend—a man of the most grateful and obliging disposition, and of the most excellent character.

Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Fam.].
<<Cic. Fam. 13.28a Cic. Fam. 13.29 (Latin) >>Cic. Fam. 13.30

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