These ambassadors set out, within three days, in company with those of Alexandria; and, on the last day of the feast of Minerva, the commissioners arrived from Macedonia. Their coming had been so impatiently wished for, that, if it had not been very late in the day, the consuls would have assembled the senate immediately.
Next day the senate met, and the commissioners had an audience.
They stated, that "the army had been led through pathless and difficult wilds into Macedonia, with more risk than advantage: that Pieria, to which its march had been directed, was then possessed by the king; and the two camps so close to each other, as to be separated only by the river Enipeus:
that the king offered no opportunity to fight, nor were our men strong enough to compel him; and, besides, that the winter had unexpectedly interrupted all military operations: that the soldiers were maintained in idleness, and had not corn sufficient for more than six days:
that the force of the Macedonians was said to amount to thirty thousand effective men: that if Appius Claudius had a sufficient force at Lychnidus, the king might be perplexed by a two-fold hostile array; but that, as the case stood, [p. 2079]
both Appius, and the troops under his command, were in the utmost danger, unless either a regular army were speedily sent thither, or they were removed thence.
“From the camp,” they stated that “they had gone to the fleet; where they learned, that part of the seamen had perished by sickness; that others, particularly such as came from Sicily, had gone off to their own homes; and that the ships were in want of men, while those who were on board had neither received pay nor had clothing:
that Eumenes and his fleet, as if driven thither by the wind, had both come and gone away, without any apparent reason; nor did the intentions of that king seem to be thoroughly settled.” While they reported every particular in the conduct of Eumenes as suspicious, they represented the fidelity of Attalus as stedfast in the highest degree.