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[31] The Carthaginians, depressed by their ill success, chose Hannibal as their commanding general and sent an admiral with ships to hasten his coming. At the same time they sent ambassadors to Scipio to negotiate for peace, thinking to gain one of two things, either peace or a delay until Hannibal should arrive. Scipio consented to an armistice, and having thus gained sufficient supplies for his army allowed them to send their ambassadors to Rome. They did so, but they were received there as enemies and required to lodge outside the walls. When the Senate gave them audience they asked pardon. Some of the senators adverted to the faithlessness of the Carthaginians, and told how often they had made treaties and broken them, and what injuries Hannibal had inflicted on the Romans and their allies in Spain and Italy. Others represented that the Carthaginians were not more in need of peace than themselves, Italy being exhausted by so many wars; and they showed how much danger was to be feared from the great armies moving together against Scipio, that of Hannibal from Italy, that of Mago from Liguria, and that of Hanno at Carthage.

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