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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
XCV. To the Emperor Trajan
 
 
SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS, Sir, is a most excellent, honourable, and learned man. I was so much pleased with his tastes and disposition that I have long since invited him into my family, as my constant guest and domestic friend; and my affection for him increased the more I knew of him. Two reasons concur to render the privilege 1 which the law grants to those who have three children particularly necessary to him; I mean the bounty of his friends, and the ill success of his marriage. Those advantages, therefore, which nature had denied to him, he hopes to obtain from your goodness, by my intercession. I am thoroughly sensible, Sir, of the value of the privilege I am asking; but I know, too, I am asking it from one whose gracious compliance with all my desires I have amply experienced. How passionately I wish to do so in the present instance, you will judge by my thus requesting it in my absence; which I would not, had it not been a favour which I am more than ordinarily anxious to obtain.  1
 
Note 1. By the law for encouragement of matrimony (some account of which has already been given in a previous note), as a penalty upon those who lived bachelors, they were declared incapable of inheriting any legacy by will; so likewise, if, being married, they had no children, they could not claim the full advantage of benefactions of that kind. M. [back]
 

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