With a great part of the senate he prevailed, owing to private interest and the importance of his services.
The elder part refused him a triumph, both “because the army, with which he had acted, belonged to another; and because he had left his province through an ambitious desire of snatching that opportunity of procuring a triumph, —but
that he had taken this course without any precedent.”
The senators of consular rank particularly insisted, that “he ought to have waited for the consul; for that he might, by pitching his camp near the city, and thereby securing the colony without coming to an engagement, have protracted the affair until his arrival; and that, what the praetor had not done, the senate ought to do; they should wait for the consul.
After hearing the business discussed by the consul and praetor in their presence, they would be able, more correctly, to form a judgment on the case.”
Great part were of opinion, that the senate ought to consider nothing but the service performed, and whether he had performed it while in office, and under his own auspices.
For, “when of two colonies, which had been [p. 1392]
opposed, as barriers, to restrain the tumultuous inroads of the Gauls, one had been already sacked and burned, the flames being ready to spread (as if from an adjoining house) to the other colony, which lay so near, what ought the praetor to have done?
For if it was improper to enter on any action without the consul, then the senate had acted wrong in giving the army to the praetor; because, if they chose that the business should be performed, not under the praetor's auspices, but the consul's, they might have limited the decree in such a manner, that not the praetor, but the consul, should manage it;
or else the consul had acted wrong, who, after ordering the army to remove from Etruria into Gaul, did not meet it at Ariminum, in order to be present at operations, which were not allowed to be performed without him.
But the exigencies of war do not wait for the delays and procrastinations of commanders; and battles must be sometimes fought, not because commanders choose it, but because the enemy compels it. The fight itself, and the issue of the fight, is what ought to be regarded now.
The enemy were routed and slain, their camp taken and plundered, the colony relieved from a siege, the prisoners taken from the other colony recovered and restored to their friends, and an end put to the war in one battle.
And not only men rejoiced at this victory, but the immortal gods also had supplications paid to them, for the space of three days, on account of the business of the state having been wisely and successfully, not rashly and unfortunately, conducted by Lucius Furius, praetor. Besides, the Gallic wars were, by some fatality, destined to the Furian family.”