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The senate decided to ask Gulussa what answer he had to make to these charges, or whether he preferred to state first his object in coming to Rome.  Gulussa said that he was in a difficulty in having to deal with matters about which he had received no instructions from his father, nor would it have been easy for his father to give him instructions, for the Carthaginians had given no indication of the question they were going to raise or even of their intention to visit Rome.  For several nights their Inner Council had been meeting in secret conclave in the temple of Aesculapius, and in addition to other steps envoys were despatched to Rome with sealed instructions.  This was his father's reason for sending him to Rome, to ask the senate not to give any credit to the charges which their common foe was bringing against him; the only reason for their hatred was his unswerving loyalty to the people of Rome.  After giving both sides a hearing the senate debated the requests of the Carthaginians and ordered the following reply to be given: "It is the pleasure of the senate that Gulussa sets out at once for Numidia and announces to his father that he must send envoys to the senate as soon as possible to deal with the complaints of the Carthaginians;  he must also warn the Carthaginians to appear and state their case.  The senate is prepared to accord to Masinissa all possible honours in the future as they have done in the past, but they cannot let personal regard take the place of justice.  They wish every man to remain in possession of his own land; it is not their intention to fix new boundaries, but to preserve the old ones.  When the Carthaginians were vanquished they allowed them to retain their city and their land; but this was not that they might rob them in a time of peace of what they had not taken from them by the rights of war."  So the young prince and the Carthaginians were dismissed, the customary presents were given to each party and in other ways they were hospitably and courteously treated.
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