Syphax considered it highly honourable to him, as it really was, that generals of the two most powerful people of the age should come to him on the same day to solicit peace and friendship with him.
He invited them both to become his guests; and, as it was the will of fortune that they should be [p. 1186]
under one roof, and under the protection of the same household gods, he endeavoured to bring them together to a conference, in order to put an end to the difference between them;
when Scipio declared, that there was no personal enmity between the Carthaginian and himself which he might do away with by a conference, and that he could not transact any business relating to the republic with an enemy without the command of the senate.
But the king being earnest in his endeavours to persuade him to come to the same entertainment, lest one of his guests should appear to be excluded, he did not withhold his assent.
They supped together at the king's table, and Scipio and Hasdrubal even sat at meat on the same couch, because it was the king's pleasure.
So courteous was the manner of Scipio, so naturally happy and universal was his genius, that by his conversation he gained the esteem not only of Syphax, a barbarian, and unused to Roman manners, but even of a most inveterate enemy, who openly avowed, that “he
appeared to him more to be admired for the qualities he displayed on a personal interview with him, than for his exploits in war, and that he had no doubt that Syphax and his kingdom were already at the disposal of the
Romans, such were the abilities that man possessed for gaining the esteem of others.
That it, therefore, was incumbent upon the Carthaginians not more to inquire by what means they had lost Spain, than to consider how they might retain possession of Africa.
That it was not from a desire to visit foreign countries, or to roam about delightful coasts, that so great a Roman captain, leaving a recently subdued province, and his armies, had crossed over into Africa with only two ships, entering an enemy's territory, and committing himself to the untried honour of the king, but in pursuance of a hope he had conceived of subduing Africa.
That it had been long the object of his anxious solicitude, and had drawn from him open expressions of his indignation, that Scipio was not carrying on war in Africa in the same way as Hannibal was in Italy.”
Scipio, having formed a league with Syphax, set out from Africa, and, after having been tossed about during his voyage by variable and generally tempestuous winds, made the port of New Carthage on the fourth day.