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SCIPIO JUNIOR. It is reported that Scipio Junior never bought nor sold nor built any thing for the space of fifty-four years, and so long as he lived; and that of so great an estate, he left but thirty-three pounds of silver, and two of gold behind him, although he was lord of Carthage, and enriched his soldiers more than other generals. He observed the precept of Polybius, and endeavored never to return from the forum, until by some means or other he had engaged some one he lighted on to be his friend or companion. While he was yet young, he had such a repute for valor and knowledge, that Cato the Elder, being asked his opinion of the commanders in Africa, of whom Scipio was one, answered in that Greek verse,— [p. 236]
Others like shadows fly;
He only is wise.

When he came from the army to Rome, the people preferred him, not to gratify him, but because they hoped by his assistance to conquer Carthage with more ease and speed. After he was entered the walls, the Carthaginians defended themselves in the castle, separated by the sea, not very deep. Polybius advised him to scatter caltrops in the water, or planks with iron spikes, that the enemy might not pass over to assault their bulwark. He answered, that it was ridiculous for those who had taken the walls and were within the city to contrive how they might not fight with the enemy. He found the city full of Greek statues and presents brought thither from Sicily, and made proclamation that such as were present from those cities might claim and carry away what belonged to them. When others plundered and carried away the spoil, he would not suffer any that belonged to him, either slave or freeman, to take, nor so much as to buy any of it. He assisted C. Laelius, his most beloved friend, when he stood to be consul, and asked Pompey (who was thought to be a piper's son) whether he stood or not. He replied, No; and besides promised to join with them in going about and procuring votes, which they believed and expected, but were deceived; for news was brought that Pompey was in the forum, fawning on and soliciting the citizens for himself; whereat others being enraged, Scipio laughed. We may thank our own folly for this, said he, that, as if we were not to request men but the Gods, we lose our time in waiting for a piper. When he stood to be censor, Appius Claudius, his rival, told him that he could salute all the Romans by their names, whereas Scipio scarce knew any of them. You say true, said he, for it hath been my care not to know many, but that all might know me. He advised [p. 237] the city, which then had an army in Celtiberia, to send them both to the army, either as tribunes or lieutenants, that thus the soldiers might be witnesses and judges of the valor of each of them. When he was made censor, he took away his horse from a young man, who, in the time while Carthage was besieged, made a costly supper, in which was a honey-cake, made after the shape of that city, which he named Carthage and set before his guests to be plundered by them; and when the young man asked the reason why he took his horse from him, he said, Because you plundered Carthage before me. As he saw C. Licinius coming towards him, I know, said he, that man is perjured; but since nobody accuses him, I cannot be his accuser and judge too. The senate sent him thrice, as Clitomachus saith, to take cognizance of men, cities, and manners, as an overseer of cities, kings, and countries. As he came to Alexandria and landed, he went with his head covered, and the Alexandrians running about him entreated he would gratify them by uncovering and showing them his desirable face. When he uncovered his head, they clapped their hands with a loud acclamation. The king, by reason of his laziness and corpulency, making a hard shift to keep pace with them, Scipio whispered softly to Panaetius: The Alexandrians have already received some benefit of our visit, for upon our account they have seen their king walk. There travelled with him one friend, Panaetius the philosopher, and five servants, whereof one dying in the journey, he would not buy another, but sent for one to Rome. The Numantines seemed invincible, and having overcome several generals, the people the second time chose Scipio general in that war. When great numbers strived to list them in his army, even that the senate forbade, as if Italy thereby would be left destitute. Nor did they allow him money that was in bank, but ordered him to receive the revenues of tributes that were [p. 238] not yet payable. As to money, Scipio said he wanted none, for of his own and by his friends he could be supplied; but of the decree concerning the soldiers he complained, for the war (he said) was a hard and difficult one, whether their defeat had been caused by the valor of the enemy or by the cowardice of their own men. When he came to the army, he found there much disorder, intemperance, superstition, and luxury. Immediately he drove away the soothsayers, priests, and panders. He ordered them to send away their household stuff, all except kettles, a spit, and an earthen cup. He allowed a silver cup, weighing not more than two pounds, to such as desired it. He forbade them to bathe; and those that anointed themselves were to rub themselves too; for horses wanted another to rub them, he said, only because they had no hand of their own. He ordered them to eat their dinner standing, and to have only such food as was dressed without fire; but they might sit down at supper, to bread, plain porridge, and flesh boiled or roasted. He himself walked about clothed in a black cassock, saying, he mourned for the disgrace of the army. He met by chance with the pack-horses of Memmius, a tribune that carried wine-coolers set with precious stones, and the best Corinthian vessels. Since you are such a one, said he, you have made yourself useless to me and to your country for thirty days, but to yourself all your life long. Another showed him a shield well adorned. The shield, said he, young man, is a fine one, but it becomes a Roman to have his confidence placed rather in his right hand than in his left. To one that was building the rampart, saying his burthen was very heavy, And deservedly, said he, for you trust more to this wood than to your sword. When he saw the rash confidence of the enemy, he said that he bought security with time; for a good general, like a good physician, useth iron as his last remedy. And yet he fought when he saw it convenient, [p. 239] and routed the enemy. When they were worsted, the elder men chid them, and asked why they fled from those they had pursued so often. It is said a Numantine answered, The sheep are the same still, but they have another shepherd. After he had taken Numantia and triumphed a second time, he had a controversy with C. Gracchus concerning the senate and the allies; and the abusive people made a tumult about him as he spake from the pulpit; The outcry of the army, said he, when they charge, never disturbed me, much less the clamor of a rabble of newcomers, to whom Italy is a step-mother (I am well assured) and not a mother. And when they of Gracchus's party cried out, Kill the Tyrant,—No wonder, said he, that they who make war upon their country would kill me first; for Rome cannot fall while Scipio stands, nor can Scipio live when Rome is fallen.

1 See Odyss. X. 495.

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