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CXC (F III, 3)

UPON my arrival at Brundisium on the 22nd of May, your legate Q. Fabius Vergilianus was awaiting me, and by your direction put before me what had already occurred, not to me, whom it chiefly concerned, but to the whole Senate—that the province you are holding required a stronger garrison. In fact, nearly all the senators expressed themselves in favour of a reinforcement being enlisted in Italy for my legions and those of Bibulus. Upon Sulpicius declaring that he would not allow that measure, we protested indeed at great length, but so unanimous was the wish of the senate for our early start, that we were obliged to conform to it; and we did so accordingly. As things are now, I beg you, as I did in the letter I gave to your letter-carriers at Rome, that you will make it your object, in consideration of the very intimate union of our sentiments, to bestow attention and care on those details wherein an out-going provincial governor can consult for the advantage of a successor, who is joined to him by the closest ties of interest and affection; so that the whole world may see that I could not have succeeded anyone more kindly disposed to me, nor you have handed over the province to a warmer friend.

From the despatch intended to be read in the senate, of which you have sent me a copy, I had gathered that a large number of soldiers had been dismissed by you; but this same Fabius has pointed out that you had thought of doing so, but at the moment of his leaving you, the number of soldiers was still intact. If that is so, you will be doing me a very great favour if you make as small a reduction as possible in the scanty forces you already have : and I imagine that the decrees of the senate passed on this subject have been sent to you. For myself, so highly do I esteem you, that I shall approve of whatever you have done; but I feel confident that you also will do what you will perceive to be most in my interest. I am waiting for my legate C. Pomptinus at Brundisium, and I presume that he will arrive there before the 1st of June. And as soon as he has come I shall avail myself of the first opportunity of sailing that is offered me.

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