Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113). Letters.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
III. To the Emperor Trajan
THE EXPERIENCE, most excellent Emperor, I have had of your unbounded generosity to me, in my own person, encourages me to hope I may be yet farther obliged to it, in that of my friends. Voconius Romanus (who was my schoolfellow and companion from our earliest years) claims the first rank in that number; in consequence of which I petitioned your sacred father to promote him to the dignity of the senatorial order. But the completion of my request is reserved to your goodness; for his mother had not then advanced, in the manner the law directs, the liberal gift of four hundred thousand sesterces, which she engaged to give him, in her letter to the late emperor, your father. This, however, by my advice she has since done, having made over certain estates to him, as well as completed every other act necessary to make the conveyance valid. The difficulties therefore being removed which deferred the gratification of our wishes, it is with full confidence I venture to assure you of the worth of my friend Romanus, heightened and adorned as it is not only by liberal culture, but by his extraordinary tenderness to his parents as well. It is to that virtue he owes the present liberality of his mother; as well as his immediate succession to his late father’s estate, and his adoption by his father-in-law. To these personal qualifications, the wealth and rank of his family give additional lustre; and I persuade myself it will be some further recommendation that I solicit in his behalf. Let me, then, entreat you, Sir, to enable me to congratulate Romanus on so desirable an occasion, and at the same time to indulge an eager and, I hope, laudable ambition, of having it in my power to boast that your favourable regards are extended not only to myself, but also to my friend.