"It seems that Scipio was apprehensive of these things when he communicated his own opinion to us, saying that if we delayed he would conclude peace himself. It is reasonable to suppose, too, that he can form a better judgment than ourselves, since the one who presides over the whole business can have the best view of it. If we reject his advice we shall give pain to that ardent patriot, that renowned general, who urged us to carry the war into Africa when we were not in favor of it; and when he could not obtain an army from us, raised it himself, and there achieved for us a success far beyond our expectations. It is astonishing that you who entered upon this war so sluggishly in the beginning, should now prosecute it so fiercely and to such extremity. If any one agrees to this, but fears lest the Carthaginians should break faith again, I answer that it is more likely that they now perceive the necessity of keeping their agreements because they have suffered so much from former violations of them, and that they will observe the claims of religion all the more since their impiety has led only to their ruin. It is not consistent to despise the Carthaginians as being powerless, and in the same breath to fear lest they should have power to rebel. It will be easier for us to keep watch over them, that they do not become too great hereafter, than to destroy them now. They will fight with desperation now, but hereafter they will always be held in check by their fears. Besides, they will have plenty of troubles without us, for all their neighbors, angered by their former tyranny, will press upon them, and Masinissa, our most faithful ally, will always be there lying in wait for them.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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