So spake the ambassadors. Then Censorinus rose and replied as follows: "Why is it necessary that I should tell you the causes of the war, Carthaginians, when your ambassadors have been at Rome and have learned them from the Senate? What you have stated falsely, that I will refute. The decree itself declared, and we gave you notice in Sicily when we received the hostages, that the rest of the conditions would be made known to you at Utica. For your promptness in sending the hostages and your care in selecting them, you are entitled to praise. If you are sincerely desirous of peace why do you need any arms? Bring all your weapons and engines of war, both public and private, and deliver them to us." When he had thus spoken the ambassadors said that they would comply with this order also, but that they did not know how they could defend themselves against Hasdrubal, whom they had condemned to death, and who was now leading 20,000 men against them, and was already encamped near Carthage. When the consul said that he would take care of Hasdrubal they promised to deliver up their arms. Thereupon Cornelius Scipio Nasica and Cnæus Cornelius Hispanus were sent with the ambassadors, and they received complete armor for 200,000 men, besides innumerable javelins and darts, and 2000 catapults for throwing pointed missiles and stones. When they came back it was a remarkable and unparalleled spectacle to behold the vast number of loaded wagons which the enemy themselves brought in. The ambassadors accompanied them, together with numerous senators and other leading men of the city, priests and distinguished persons, who hoped to inspire the consuls with respect or pity for them. They were brought in and stood in their robes before the consuls. Again Censorinus (who was a better speaker than his colleague) rose, and with a stern countenance spoke as follows: --
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THE PUNIC WARS
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