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[78] Crossing to the latter place they pitched the camp for their infantry at the same place where that of Scipio had formerly been. The fleet remained in the harbor of Utica. When the ambassadors came there from Carthage the consuls placed themselves on a high seat, with the chief officers and military tribunes standing near, and the whole army drawn up on either side with arms glistening and standards erect, in order that the ambassadors might be impressed in this way with the strength of the expedition. When the consuls had proclaimed silence by the trumpet, a herald told the Carthaginian envoys to come forward, and they advanced through the long camp, but did not draw near to the place where the consuls sat, because they were fenced off by a rope. The consuls then ordered them to tell what they wanted. The envoys then told a various and pitiful tale about the former agreements between the Romans and themselves, about the antiquity of Carthage, its size and power, and its wide dominion on land and sea. They said that they did not mention these things in a boasting way, this was no fit occasion for boasting, "but that you, Romans (they said), may be moved to moderation and clemency by the example of our sudden change of fortune. The bravest are those who pity the fallen, and they may cherish confidence in their own continued prosperity in proportion as they do nothing to the injury of others. Such a course will be worthy of you, Romans, and of that reverent spirit which you, of all men, most profess.


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