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[53] At the conclusion of his speech Eriphus burst into tears. Then Scipio dismissed them and consulted with his officers a long time. After he had come to a decision, he called the Carthaginian envoys back and addressed them thus: "You do not deserve pardon, you who have so often violated your treaties with us, and only lately abused our envoys in such a public and heaven-defying manner that you can neither excuse yourselves nor deny that you are worthy of the severest punishment. But what is the use of accusing those who confess? And now you take refuge in prayers, you who would have wiped out the very name of Rome if you had conquered. We did not imitate your bad example. When your ambassadors were at Rome, although you had violated the agreement and maltreated our envoys, the city allowed them to go free, and when they were driven into my camp, although the war had been recommenced, I sent them back to you unharmed. Now that you have condemned yourselves, you may consider whatever terms are granted to you in the light of a gain. I will tell you what my views are, and our Senate will vote upon them as it shall think best.

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