Then Servilius said: "If it were impossible,1
fellow-citizens, to determine from anything else how great a general Lucius Aemilius has shown himself to be this one criterion would have sufficed -that although he had in camp such mutinous and unreliable soldiers, as well as a personal enemy of such high rank, so rash, and so eloquent a rabble-rouser, yet Paulus had no breach of discipline in his army.
The same strictness of command which now they hate at that time restrained them. Consequently, being kept under old-fashioned discipline, they neither said nor did anything mutinous.
"As for Servius Galba, if he wished by accusing Lucius Paulus to put his apprenticeship behind him and offer proof of his skill as an orator,2
he should not have interfered with the triumph, which the senate had adjudged to be proper, to say nothing of other considerations.
Rather on the day after the triumph was celebrated, when he would see Paulus a private citizen, he should bring accusation and question him according to law,3
or a little later, when Galba entered upon his first public office, he should summon his enemy to trial and accuse him before the people.
Thus there would accrue to Lucius Paulus not only the triumph which is the due reward for his success in gloriously conducting the war, but also punishment, if he had done anything unworthy of his laurels, both new and old. [p. 377]
"But, if you please, Galba wished to tarnish the4
praises of the man to whom he could ascribe no crime, no guilt.
Yesterday he asked for a full day in which to accuse Lucius Paulus; actually he squandered in speaking four hours, all that was left of the day.
What defendant was ever so guilty that the faults in his life could not be expounded in all those hours? What did Galba say in this time which Lucius Paulus would want to deny, if he were on trial? Let someone, pray, call two meetings for a moment, one of the army of Macedonia, the other unprejudiced and of judgment less impaired by partisanship or hate, a meeting of the whole Roman people.
"Let the defendant be brought first before the meeting in mufti —the civilians. What would you say before the citizen-body of Rome, Servius Galba?
For all your speech of yesterday would be cut short: 'You were posted on guard too strictly and watchfully; the sentries were inspected too severely and too frequently; you got more work done than formerly, because the general himself was going the rounds to see that it was done; on the same day you made a march and went from the march out to battle;5
even when you had won the battle he did not let you rest —he led you at once in pursuit of the enemy.
Although he might have made you rich by dividing the spoil, he is planning to carry the royal treasure in his triumph and deposit it in the treasury.'
These statements, though they have a certain sting to provoke the temper of the soldiers, who think that Paulus has catered too little to their lack of discipline and their greed, would just as surely have had no [p. 379]
power to move the Roman people; for even though6
the people should not recall the old stories which they heard from their fathers of disasters suffered
because generals courted popularity, and of victories won by strictness of command, yet the people surely remember the late Punic War, and what a difference there was between Marcus Minucius the master of horse, and Quintus Fabius Maximus the dictator. And so it would have been clear that the accuser could not open his mouth, and that a defence of Paulus was superfluous.
"Let us pass over to the other meeting;
and I think I will not address you as 'Citizens,' but as 'Soldiers,' in case this title may at least bring a blush to your cheeks, and instill some scruple against maltreating your general.