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A few days before this, after the return of his envoys had dashed his hopes of peace, Perseus held a council of war. Opposing views led to considerable discussion.  Some thought that they ought to consent to pay an indemnity if it was imposed upon them, or cede a portion of their territory if this were insisted on; in fact, whatever sacrifice was necessary for the sake of peace ought to be made, and no step taken which would expose the king and his subjects to the hazard of fortune where such vital issues were involved.  If he were left in the certain possession of the crown, many things might happen in the future which would enable him not only to recover what he had lost, but even to become formidable to those of whom he now stood in fear.  The majority, however, were much more defiant. Any concessions made, they declared, would involve the loss of the kingdom.  The Romans were not in need of money or territory, but this they knew, that while all human affairs were liable to many accidents, kingdoms and empires were especially so.  They had shattered the power of the Carthaginians and saddled them with a very powerful monarch to keep them down. They had sent Antiochus and his posterity into banishment beyond the Taurus mountains.  The kingdom of Macedonia alone remained, a near neighbour and ready, whenever Rome lost the good fortune she once enjoyed, to animate the kings of Macedonia with their ancient courage. Whilst, therefore, his realm was still intact, Perseus must decide between two alternatives.  Either he must be prepared to strip himself of all his power, by making one concession after another, and, driven from his kingdom into exile, must beg the Romans to allow him Samothrace or some other island, where, having outlived his kingship, he might grow old in privacy, disgrace and poverty;  or else vindicate his fortunes and his dignity in arms, and confront as a brave man ought to do all that the chances of war can bring, and if victorious, deliver the world from its subjection to Rome. The expulsion of the Romans from Greece would not be a more wonderful thing than the expulsion of Hannibal from Italy.  They could not see how he who had resisted his brother to the uttermost in his unlawful attempt to seize the crown could with any consistency resign it to men of alien blood.  The question between peace and war can only arise so far as all are agreed that as there is nothing more disgraceful than to surrender the throne without striking a blow, so there is nothing more glorious than for a king to face all risks in defence of his sovereign dignity and majesty.
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