When he had thus spoken, Publius Cornelius, a relative of Cornelius Lentulus, who was then consul and who expected to be Scipio's successor, replied thus: "In war, gentlemen, the only thing to be considered is, what is advantageous. We are told that this city is still powerful. So much the more ought we to be on our guard against treachery joined to power, and to crush the power since we cannot extinguish the treachery. No time can be better chosen to free ourselves from all fear of the Carthaginians than the present, when they are weak and stripped of everything, and before they grow again to their former proportions. Not that I would deny the claims of justice, but I do not think that we can be accused of want of moderation toward the Carthaginians, who in their days of prosperity were unjust and insolent to everybody, but have become suppliants in adversity, and will immediately break away from the new treaty if they have a chance. They have neither respect for treaties nor regard for their oaths--these people whom the gentleman thinks we ought to spare, in order that we may avoid the indignation of the gods and the censures of men. I think that the gods themselves have brought Carthage into this plight in order to punish for their former impiety those who in Sicily, in Spain, in Italy, and in Africa itself, with us and with all others, were always making covenants and breaking their oaths, and committing outrage and savagery. Of these things I will give you some foreign examples before I speak of those that concern ourselves, in order that you may know that all men will rejoice over the Carthaginians if they are brought to condign punishment.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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