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The consuls spoke in reassuring terms to the senate. They declared that the other colonies were as loyal and dutiful as ever, and even those colonies which had forgotten their duty would learn to respect the empire if representatives of the government were sent amongst them, with words of admonishment and rebuke, not of supplication or entreaty.  The senate left it to the consuls to take such action as they deemed best in the interests of the State. After sounding the temper of the other colonies, they summoned their delegates to Rome and questioned them as to whether they had soldiers in readiness in accordance with the terms of their constitution.  M. Sextilius of Fregellae, acting as spokesman for the eighteen colonies, replied that the stipulated number of soldiers were ready for service; if more were needed they would furnish more, and do their utmost to carry out the wishes and commands of the Roman people.  They had no insufficiency of resources, they had more than a sufficiency of loyalty and goodwill.  The consuls told them in reply that they felt they could not praise their conduct as they deserved unless the senate as a body thanked them, and with this, bade them follow them into the House.  A resolution was adopted by the senate and read to them, couched in the most complimentary and laudatory terms possible. The consuls were then charged to introduce them to the Assembly and, among the other splendid services which they had rendered to them and their ancestors, to make special mention of this fresh obligation which they had conferred on the Republic.  Though so many generations have passed away, their names ought not to be passed over in silence nor their due meed of praise withheld.  Signia, Norba, Saticula, Fregellae, Lucerium, Venusia, Brundisium, Hadria, Formae and Ariminum; on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Pontia, Paestum, Cosa; and the inland colonies, Beneventum, Aesernum, Spoletum, Placentia and Cremona-these were the colonies by whose aid and succour the dominion of Rome was upheld, it was these who were publicly thanked in the senate and before the Assembly.  The senate forbade all mention of the other colonies who had proved false to the empire;  the consuls were to ignore their representatives, neither retaining them nor dismissing them nor addressing them, but leaving them severely alone. This silent rebuke seemed most in accordance with the dignity of the Roman people. The other preparations for war now occupied the attention of the consuls.  It was decided that the "vicesimary gold" which was kept as a reserve for extreme emergencies in the secret treasury should now be brought out. Four thousand pounds of gold were produced.  Of this 550 pounds were given to each of the consuls and to the proconsuls M. Marcellus and P. Sulpicius. A similar amount was given to the praetor L. Veturius, who had drawn in the lottery the province of Gaul, and a special grant of 100 pounds was placed in the hands of the consul Fabius, to be carried into the citadel of Tarentum.  The rest was made use of in purchasing, for cash at contract prices, clothing for the army in Spain, whose successful operations were enhancing their own and their general's reputation.
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