His discourse made a deep impression on the senate. However, for the present, no one, without doors, could know any thing more than that the king had been in the senate- house, in such secrecy were the deliberations of the senate involved; and it was not until after the conclusion of the war, that the purport of king Eumenes' speech, and the answer to it, transpired.
In a few days after, the senate gave audience to the ambassadors of Perseus. But their feelings as well as their ears were so prepossessed by king Eumenes, that every plea offered in his justification by the ambassadors, and every [p. 1972]
argument to alleviate the charges against him, were disregarded.
They were still further exasperated by the immoderate presumption of Harpalus, chief of the embassy, who said, that “the king was indeed desirous and even anxious, that credit should be given to him when pleading in his excuse that he had neither said nor done any thing hostile;
but that, if he saw them obstinately bent on finding out a pretence for war, he would defend himself with determined courage.
The fortune of war was open to all and the issue uncertain.” All the states of Greece and Asia were full of curiosity to learn what the ambassadors of Perseus, and what Eumenes, had effected with the senate; and most of them, on hearing of the latter's journey to Rome, which they supposed might produce material consequences, had sent ambassadors thither who pretended other business.
Among the rest came an embassy from Rhodes, at the head of which was a person named Satyrus, who had no kind of doubt but that Eumenes had included his state in the accusations brought against Perseus.
He therefore endeavoured, by every means, through his patrons and friends, to get an opportunity of debating the matter with Eumenes in presence of the senate.
When he obtained this, he inveighed against that king with intemperate vehemence, as having instigated the people of Lycia to an attack on the Rhodians, and as being more oppressive to Asia than Antiochus had been.
He delivered a discourse flattering indeed, and acceptable to the states of Asia, (for the popularity of Perseus had spread even to them,) but very displeasing to the senate, and disadvantageous to himself and his nation.
This apparent conspiracy against Eumenes, increased, indeed, the favour of the Romans towards him; so that every kind of honour was paid, and the most magnificent presents were made him; among which were a curule chair and an ivory sceptre.