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WHEN on your departure for Gaul you called at my house, as was natural from our close connexion and the great courtesy you have always shewn to me, I spoke to you about the land in Gaul which paid rent to the municipal town of Atella; and I indicated to you how warmly interested I was in the welfare of that town. Since your departure, however; as a question has arisen as to a matter of great importance to this most respectable town-very closely connected with me—and as to the performance of a duty on my part, I thought I ought to write to you in more explicit terms. I am quite aware, however, of the nature of the circumstances' and the limits of your power, and clearly understand that what Caesar has assigned to you is the transaction of a certain business, not the exercise of judicial powers. 1 Therefore I only ask of you as much as I think that you have both the power and the will to do for my sake. And to begin with I would have you consider—what is the fact—that the whole wealth of the town consists of that rent, while in the present state of affairs it is hard-pressed by very serious burdens, and is labouring under the greatest difficulties. Although this seems to be a misfortune common to many others, I assure you that certain special calamities have befallen this particular municipality, which I don't specify for fear that, while bewailing the miseries of my own connexions. I should seem to be casting a reflexion upon certain persons upon whom I have no wish to do so. Accordingly, if I had' not had a strong hope of our being able to secure the approval of Gaius Caesar for the plea of this town, there would have been no reason for my making an effort at this time to secure any favour from you. But because I feel sure that he will take into consideration both the respectability of the town and the justice of its case, and also its good disposition towards himself, I have not hesitated to urge upon you to reserve this cause for his decision. This request I should nevertheless have made to you if I had never heard of your having done anything of the sort; yet I did conceive a stronger hope of gaining my request when I was told that the people of Regium had obtained the same favour from you. Although these latter have a certain connexion with you, yet your affection for me compels me to hope that the indulgence you extend to your own friends you will also extend to mine: especially as these are the only ones for whom I prefer the request, whereas I have a considerable number of connexions who are in a similarly hard case. Though I think you believe that I am not doing this without good reason, and am not influenced by a frivolous and selfish motive in preferring this request, yet I would have you believe my definite assertion, that I owe a very great deal to this municipality, and that there has been no time either of my prosperity or adversity in which its zeal for my service has not been displayed in a remarkable manner. Wherefore again and again, in the name of our close union and of your unbroken and eminent affection for me, I ask and implore this of you with no common earnestness. Since you understand that the fortunes of a town are involved, which is very closely connected with me by ties of relationship, interchange of services and affection, do, if we obtain from Caesar what we hope, allow us to consider that we have obtained it by your kindness. But if we do not,. instead of that allow us to consider that at least you have done your best to enable us to obtain it. By doing this you will not only have greatly obliged me, but by a signal service you will have bound to yourself and your family men of the highest character, a number of the most honourable as well as the most grateful people, eminently worthy of being connected with you.

1 That is, Caesar has commissioned him to divide certain lands, not to decide which are to be divided.

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