Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113). Letters.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
XLVII. To Romatius Firmus
LOOK here! The next time the courts sits, you must, at all events, take your place there. In vain would your indolence repose itself under my protection, for there is no absenting oneself with impunity. Look at that severe, determined prætor, Licinius Nepos, who fined even a senator for the same neglect! The senator pleaded his cause in person, but in suppliant tone. The fine, it is true, was remitted, but sore was his dismay, humble his intercession, and he had to ask pardon. “All prætors are not so severe as that,” you will reply; you are mistaken—for though indeed to be the author and reviver of an example of this kind may be an act of severity, yet, once introduced, even lenity herself may follow the precedent. Farewell.