"But if you consider us more guilty than unfortunate, we confess our fault and ask pardon for it. Justification belongs to the innocent, entreaty to those who have offended. And much more readily will the fortunate extend pity to others, when they observe the mutability of human affairs, and see people craving mercy to-day who yesterday were carrying things with a high hand. Such is the condition of Carthage, the greatest and most powerful city of Africa, in ships and money, in elephants, in infantry and cavalry, and in subject peoples, which has flourished 700 years and held sway over all Africa and so many other nations, islands, and seas, standing for the greater part of this time on an equality with yourselves, but which now places her hope of safety not in her dominion of the sea, her ships, her horses, her subjects (all of which have passed over to you), but in you, whom we have heretofore shamefully treated. Contemplating these facts, Romans, it is fit that you should beware of the Nemesis which has come upon them and should use your good fortune mercifully, to do deeds worthy of your own magnanimity and of the former fortunes of Carthage, and to deal with the changes which Providence has ordered in our affairs without reproach, so that your conduct may be blameless before the gods and win the praises of all mankind.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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