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I agree with you that the men whom you say in your letter are threatening Lilybaeum ought to have been punished on the spot; but you feared, you say, being thought to be giving too free a rein to vengeance. That is as much as to say, you feared being thought a high-minded citizen, too courageous, too worthy of yourself. I am obliged to you for renewing the partnership with me—inherited from your father—in working for the best interests of the state. That partnership, my dear Cornificius, will always be kept up between us. I am obliged also by your thinking that I needed no thanks on your behalf. For there ought to be no question of thanks between you and me. The senate would have been more frequently called upon to compliment you, if in the absence of the consuls it had been ever summoned except for the consideration of some fresh complication. Accordingly, neither in the business of the 20 sestertia, nor of the 700 sestertia, can anything be now done in the senate. I think, however, that in virtue of the original senatorial decree 1 you must raise the money by impost or loan. What is going on in political matters I expect you know from the letters of those whose duty it is to send you copies of the acta. I am in good heart. In prudence, vigilance, and labour I am not wanting. To all enemies of the constitution I avow my most uncompromising hostility. Even now the situation does not appear to be a very difficult one, and it would have been quite free from difficulty had it not been for misconduct in certain quarters. 2 [The three following letters of introduction to Cornificius probably belong to the early part of this year, but cannot be dated.]

1 The senatorial decree which settled the expenses of a provincial governor (de ornanda provincia).

2 He probably means Plancus and Lepidus, who had both advised that some terms should be come to with Antony rather than use their forces in support of Decimus Brutus against him. He may also refer to the consulars in the senate of whom he has complained before.

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