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M. CICERO, imperator, greets Gnaeus Magnus, proconsul. On the 15th of February I received your letter at Formiae, informing me that what had happened in Picenum was much more satisfactory than had been before reported to us; and I was glad to hear of the courage and activity of Vibullius. Up to this time, though I have continued living on this coast, of which I was put in command, yet I have kept a vessel in readiness. For the news that kept reaching me, and the anxious fears that I was entertaining, were of such a kind that I thought myself bound to follow any counsel you might give me. At present our hopes are stronger, thanks to your influence and policy. If you think that Tarracina and the sea-coast can be held, I am ready to remain in it, though there are no garrisons in the towns. There is, in fact, no one of senatorial rank in this part of the country except M. Eppius, whom I directed to remain at Minturnae, a man of vigilant and painstaking character. For that gallant and influential man, L. Torquatus, is not with me at Formiae: I think he has started to join you. Anyhow, according to your most recent directions, I went to Capua on the same day as you left Teanum Sidicinum: for you had expressed the wish that I should superintend operations there in conjunction with the praetor M. Considius. On my arrival in that town, I saw that Titus Ampius was holding a levy with the greatest energy, that Libo was taking over the men from him, who is also a man of very great energy and influence in that colony. I remained at Capua as long as the consuls did. I visited Capua a second time, in accordance with an order of the consuls, on the 5th of February. After staying there three days I returned to Formiae. At present I am ignorant of your designs and plan of campaign. If you think that this coast is to be held, which offers many advantages and is an important district, with illustrious citizens residing in it, and is capable, I think, of being held, there must be some one to command in it. But if everything is to be concentrated in one spot, I feel no hesitation about joining you at once. I wish for nothing more earnestly than that, and so I told you the day we quitted the city. For my part, I do not trouble myself about anyone's thinking that I have as yet been less active than I ought, so long as you do not think so: nevertheless, if, as I am convinced is the case, we have to fight, I feel confident of being able to justify myself to all the world. I have sent my connexion M. Tullius to you, to receive a letter, if you think it well to write to me.

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