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[40] When Scipio returned, some persons accused him of this, and two tribunes of the people brought a charge of corruption and betrayal of the public interest against him. He made light of it and scorned the accusation, and as his trial was set for the day which happened to be the anniversary of his victory over Carthage, he sent victims for sacrifice to the Capitol in advance of his coming, and then made his appearance in court clad in festive garments instead of the mournful and humble garb customary to those under accusation, whereby he made a profound impression on all and predisposed them favorably as to a high-minded citizen conscious of his own rectitude. When he began to speak he made no mention of the accusation against him, but detailed the events of his life, what he had done, the
B.C. 187
wars he had waged for his country, how he had carried on each, and how often he had been victorious. It delighted the listeners to hear this grand discourse. When he came to the overthrow of Carthage he was roused to the highest pitch of eloquence and filled the multitude, as well as himself, with noble rage, saying, "On this very day, O citizens, I won the victory and laid at you feet Carthage, that had lately been such an object of terror to you. Now I am going up to the Capitol to offer the sacrifice appointed for the day. As many of you as love your country join me in the sacrifice, which is offered for your own good." Having finished his speech he went to the Capitol, having made no allusion to the charge against him. The crowd followed him, including most of the judges, with joyful acclamations, which were continued while he was performing the sacrifice. The accusers were nonplussed and did not dare to call him to trial again, as that was to no purpose, or to charge him with demagogism, because they knew that his whole life had been above the reach of suspicion or calumny.

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