"If any one is disposed to treat all these considerations lightly, and is only thinking how he may succeed to Scipio's command and turn it to his own advantage, trusting that the favors of fortune will attend him to the end, what are we going to do with the city after we have taken it -- supposing we do take it? Shall we destroy it utterly because they seized some of our corn and ships, which they are ready to give back, together with many other things? If we do not do this (having regard to the indignation of the gods and the censures of men) shall we give it to Masinissa? Although he is our friend, it is best not to make him too strong. It should rather be considered a public advantage to the Romans that the two should be at strife with each other. Is it said that we might collect rent from their land? The expense of military protection would eat up the rent, for we should need a strong force to ward off so many surrounding tribes, all of them uncivilized. Can we plant colonies in the midst of such a host of Numidians? They would always be exposed to the depredations of these powerful barbarians, and if they should conquer them they might hereafter become objects of fear and jealousy to us, possessing a country so much more fruitful than ours. All of which things, it seems to me, Scipio clearly discerned when he advised us to yield to the prayers of the Carthaginians. Let us then grant their request and that of our general."
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THE PUNIC WARS
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