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The news of Mago's departure reached Rome at the same time as that of Hannibal. The joy with which the intelligence of this twofold relief was received was, however, chastened by the fact that their generals had, through lack of either courage or strength, failed to detain them, though they had received express instructions from the senate to that effect.  There was also a feeling of anxiety as to what the issue would be now that the whole brunt of the war fell upon one army and one commander.  Just at this time, a commission arrived from Saguntum bringing some Carthaginians who had landed in Spain for the purpose of hiring auxiliaries, and whom they had captured together with the money they had brought.  250 pounds of silver and 800 pounds of gold were deposited in the vestibule of the senate-house.  After the men had been handed over and thrown into prison, the gold and silver was returned to the Saguntines. A vote of thanks was accorded to them, they were presented with gifts and also provided with ships in which to return to Spain. Following upon this incident some of the senior senators reminded the House of a great omission.  "Men," they said, "are much more alive to their misfortunes than to the good things that come to them. We remember what panic and terror we felt when Hannibal descended upon Italy.  What defeats and mourning followed! The enemy's camp was visible from the City-what prayers we one and all put up!  How often in our councils have we heard the plaint of men lifting up their hands to heaven and asking whether the day would ever come when they would see Italy freed from an enemy's presence and flourishing in peace and prosperity!  At last, after sixteen years of war, the gods have granted us this boon, and yet there are none who ask that thanks should be offered to them. Men do not receive even a present blessing with grateful hearts, much less are they are likely to remember past benefits."  A general shout arose from all parts of the House calling upon the praetor P. Aelius to submit a motion. It was decreed that a five days' thanksgiving should be offered at all the shrines and a hundred and twenty full-grown victims sacrificed.  Laelius had by this time left Rome with Masinissa's envoys. On tidings being received that the Carthaginian peace deputation had been seen at Puteoli and would come on from there by land it was decided to recall Laelius in order that he might be present at the interview. Q. Fulvius Gillo, one of Scipio's staff-officers, conducted the Carthaginians to Rome.  As they were forbidden to enter the City they were domiciled in a country house belonging to the State, and an audience of the senate was granted them in the temple of Bellona.
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