"Soldiers, when I served with you under the command of Manilius, I gave you an example of obedience, as you can testify. I ask the same from you, now that I am in command; for while I have ample powers to punish the disobedient, I think it best to give you warning beforehand. You know what you have been doing. Therefore why should I tell you what I am ashamed to speak of? You are more like robbers than soldiers. You are runaways instead of guardians of the camp. You are more like hucksters than conquerors. You are in quest of luxuries in the midst of war and before the victory is won. For this reason the enemy, from the hopeless weakness in which I left him, has risen to such strength, and your labor has been made harder by your laziness. If I considered you to blame for this I should punish you now, but since I ascribe it to another, I shall overlook the past. I have come here not to rob, but to conquer, not to exact money before victory, but to overcome the enemy first. Now, all of you who are not soldiers must leave the camp to-day, except those who have my permission to remain, and of those who go, I shall allow none to come back except such as bring food, and this must be for the army, and plain food at that. A definite time will be given to them to dispose of their goods, and I and my quæstor will superintend the sale. So much for the camp followers. For you, soldiers, I have one order adapted to all occasions, and that is, that you follow the example of my habits and my industry. If you observe this rule you will not be wanting in your duty and you will not fail of your reward. We must toil while the danger lasts; spoils and luxury must be postponed to their proper time. This I command and this the law commands. Those who obey shall reap large rewards; those who do not will repent it."
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THE PUNIC WARS
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