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Despair at Carthage

Three things must be noticed in regard to the Carthaginians. First, among them the means of life of private persons are supplied by the produce of the land; secondly, all public expenses for war material and stores are discharged from the tribute paid by the people of Libya; and thirdly, it is their regular custom to carry on war by means of mercenary troops. At this moment they not only found themselves unexpectedly deprived of all these resources at once, but saw each one of them actually employed against themselves.
Despair at Carthage.
Such an unlooked-for event naturally reduced them to a state of great discouragement and despair. After the long agony of the Sicilian war they were in hopes, when the peace was ratified, that they might obtain some breathing space and some period of settled content. The very reverse was now befalling them. They were confronted by an outbreak of war still more difficult and formidable. In the former they were disputing with Rome for the possession of Sicily: but this was a domestic war, and the issue at stake was the bare existence of themselves and their county. Besides, the many battles in which they had been engaged at sea had naturally left them ill supplied with arms, sailors, and vessels. They had no store of provisions ready, and no expectation whatever of external assistance from friends or allies. They were indeed now thoroughly taught the difference between a foreign war, carried on beyond the seas, and a domestic insurrection and disturbance.

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