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The consul had not yet started for Canusium; they found him and his scanty, insufficiently armed force still at Venusia, an object calculated to arouse the deepest compassion in trusty allies, and nothing but contempt amongst arrogant and treacherous ones like the Campanians. The consul made matters worse and increased the contempt felt for himself and his fortunes by revealing too plainly and openly the extent of the disaster.  When the envoys assured him that the senate and people of [3??] Capua were much grieved that any mischance had happened to the Romans and expressed their readiness to supply all that was needed for the war, he replied:  "In bidding us requisition from you what we need for the war you have preserved the tone in which we speak to allies instead of suiting your language to the actual state of our circumstances.  For what was left us at Cannae that we should wish what is lacking-as though we still possessed something-to be made up by our allies? Are we to ask you to furnish infantry as though we still possessed any cavalry? Are we to say that we want money, as though that were the only thing we want? Fortune has not even left us anything which we can supplement.  Legions, cavalry, arms, standards, men and horses, money, supplies-all have gone either on the battlefield or when the two camps were lost the following day.  So then, men of Capua, you have not to help us in the war but almost to undertake the war for us. Call to mind how once when your forefathers were driven in hurried flight within their [8??] walls in dread of the Sidicine as well as the Samnite we took them under our protection at Saticula, and how the war which then commenced with the Samnites on your behalf was kept up by us with all its changeful fortunes for nearly a century.  Besides all this you must remember that after you had surrendered we gave you a treaty on equal terms, we allowed you to retain your own laws, and-what was, before our defeat at Cannae at all events, the greatest privilege-we granted our citizenship to most of you and made you members of our commonwealth.  Under these circumstances, men of Capua, you ought to realise that you have suffered this defeat as much as we have, and to feel that we have a common country to defend.  It is not with the Samnites or the Etruscans that we have to do; if they deprived us of our power it would still be Italians who would hold it. But the Carthaginian is dragging after him an army that is not even made up of natives of Africa, he has collected a force from the furthest corners of the earth, from the ocean straits, and the Pillars of Hercules, men devoid of any sense of right, destitute of the condition, and almost of the speech of men.  Savage and barbarous by nature and habit, their general has made them still more brutal by building up bridges and barriers with human bodies and-I shudder to say it-teaching them to feed on human flesh.  What man, if he were merely a native of Italy, would not be horrified at the thought of looking upon men who feast upon what it is impious even to touch as his lords and masters, looking to Africa and above all to Carthage for his laws, and having to submit to Italy becoming a dependency of the Numidians and the Moors?  It will be a splendid thing, men of Capua, if the dominion of Rome, which has collapsed in defeat, should be saved and restored by your loyalty, your strength.  I think that in Campania you can raise 30,000 infantry and 4000 cavalry; you have already sufficient money and corn. If you show a loyalty corresponding to your means Hannibal will not feel that he has conquered or that the Romans are vanquished."
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