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He determined, therefore, to lay aside, for the present, the design of pursuing Pompey, and turn all his thoughts towards Spain. He ordered the magistrates of the municipal towns to assemble all the vessels they could, and send them to Brundusium. He sent Valerius, one of his lieutenants, into Sardinia, with one legion, and the propretor Curio into Sicily with three, ordering him, as soon as he had mastered Sicily, to pass over with his army into Africa.

M. Cotta commanded in Sardinia; M. Cato in Sicily; and Africa had fallen by lot to Tubero. The inhabitants of Cagliari, hearing of Valerius's commission, of their own accord, before he had left Italy, drove Cotta out of their city; who terrified by the unanimous opposition he met with from the province, fled into Africa. In Sicily, Cato applied himself with great diligence to the refitting of old ships, and building of new. He sent his lieutenant to raise forces in Lucania, and the country of the Brutians, and ordered the states of Sicily to furnish him with a certain number of horse and foot. When these preparations were almost completed, being informed of Curio's arrival, he called his chief officers together, and complained, " That he was betrayed and abandoned by Pompey, who, without any previous preparation, had involved the commonwealth in an unnecessary war; and upon being questioned by himself and others in the senate, had assured them, that he was abundantly able to sustain it." Having thus declared his mind, he quitted the province, which by this means submitted without trouble to Curio, as Sardinia had before done to Valerius.

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