At length they sent the envoys, and among others
Cato. These went to the disputed territory and they asked that both parties should submit all their differences to them. Masinissa, who was grabbing more than his share and who had confidence in the Romans, consented. The Carthaginians hesitated, because their former experience had led them to fear that they should not receive justice. They said therefore that it was of no use to have a new dispute and a correction of the treaty made with Scipio, they only complained about transgressions of the treaty. As the envoys would not consent to arbitrate on the controversy in parts, they returned home. But they carefully observed the country; they saw how diligently it was cultivated, and what great estates it possessed. They entered the city and saw how greatly it had increased in wealth and population since its overthrow by Scipio not long before. When they returned to Rome they declared that Carthage was to them an object of apprehension rather than of jealousy, the city being so ill affected, so near them, and growing so rapidly. Cato especially said that even the liberty of Rome would never be secure until Carthage was destroyed. When the Senate learned these things it resolved upon war but waited for a pretext, and meanwhile concealed the intention. It is said that Cato, from that time, continually expressed the opinion in the Senate that Carthage must be destroyed. Scipio Nasica held the contrary opinion that Carthage ought to be spared so that the Roman discipline, which was already relaxing, might be preserved through fear of her.