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The envoys were then ordered to withdraw and the senators were asked for their opinions. M. Livius advised that as the consul C. Servilius was the nearest he should be summoned to Rome in order that he might be present during the debate.  No more important subject could be discussed than the one before them, and it did not seem to him compatible with the dignity of the Roman people that the discussion should take place in the absence of both the consuls.  Q. Metellus, who had been consul three years previously and had also been Dictator, gave it as his opinion that as P. Scipio, after destroying their armies and devastating their land, had driven the enemy to the necessity of suing for peace, there was no one in the world [4??] who could form a truer judgment as to their real intention in opening negotiations than the man who was at that moment carrying the war up to the gates of Carthage. In his opinion they ought to take Scipio's advice and no other as to whether the offer of peace ought to be accepted or rejected.  M. Valerius Laevinus, who had filled two consulships, declared that they had come as spies and not as envoys, and he urged that they should be ordered to leave Italy and escorted by a guard to their ships, and that written instructions should be sent to Scipio not to relax hostilities.  Laelius and Fulvius supported this proposal and stated that Scipio thought that the only hope of peace lay in Mago and Hannibal not being recalled, but the Carthaginians would adopt every subterfuge whilst waiting for their generals [7??] and their armies, and would then continue the war, ignoring treaties however recent, and in defiance of all the gods. These statements led the senate to adopt Laevinus' proposal.  The envoys were dismissed with no prospect of peace and the curtest of replies.
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