DCCLXXV (A XVI, 16 c)
TO GAIUS CAPITO (IN EPIRUS)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-Caesar 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 tonal decree to decide on Caesar's acta—the business was deferred by them to the 1st 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 "all things appointed, decreed, done by Caesar." The case of the Buthrotians was brought before the consuls. The decree of Caesar was read and many other minutes of Caesar'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 sup-porting 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 Caesar 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.