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Never within living memory have I seen anything happen, Plancus, more glorious, more welcome, or more exactly in the nick of time, than your despatch. For it was delivered to Cornutus 1 in a full meeting of the senate just after he had read aloud the cold and shuffling despatch of Lepidus. Immediately after it yours was read and was received with loud cheers. For it was not only most welcome for the actual news it contained and the zeal and good services to the state which it implied, but its language and sentiments were also most impressive. Cries were raised that Cornutus should at once bring forward a motion arising from your despatch. He said that he wished time for consideration. When this had brought down on him a severe remonstrance from the whole senate, five of the tribunes brought forward a motion. Servilius 2 being called upon voted for postponing the business. I then delivered an opinion with which they all agreed to a man. What it was you will learn from the decree itself. As for you, though you are in no want of prudence, or rather have enough and to spare, you ought yet to resolve to refer nothing here, nor in the midst of such sudden and pressing emergencies to think yourself bound to ask advice from the senate. Be your own senate, and follow wherever the interest of the public service shall lead you. Let it be your object that we hear of some brilliant operation by you before we thought that it was going to happen. I pledge my word to you that whatever you achieve the senate will accept as having been done not merely with loyal intention, but also with wisdom.

1 Praetor Urbanus, presiding in absence of consuls. See pp.207, 235.

2 P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus. Cicero thinks him always too lenient towards the party of Antony (see p.207). He had been Caesar's colleague in the consulship of B.C. 48. Though so much junior to Cicero as a consular, he seems to have been called on first.

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