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We have seen that L. Vibullius Rufus, Pompey's chief engineer, had fallen twice into Caesar's hands, and been as often set at liberty; the first time at Corfinium, the next in Spain. Having been therefore twice indebted to him for his life, and being also much in Pompey's esteem, Caesar thought him a proper person to negotiate between them. His instructions were; "That it was now time for both to desist from their obstinacy, and lay down their arms, without exposing themselves any more to the precarious events of fortune. That the losses they had already sustained ought to serve as lessons and cautions, and fill them with just apprehensions with regard to the future. That Pompey had been forced to abandon Italy, had lost Sicily and Sardinia, the two Spains, with about a hundred and thirty cohorts of Roman citizens, who had perished in these countries. That himself too had been a considerable sufferer by the death of Curio, the destruction of the African army, and the surrender of his forces at Corcyra. That it was therefore incumbent on them to show some regard to the sinking state of the commonwealth, having sufficiently experienced, by their own misfortunes, how prevalent fortune was in war. That the present moment was the most favourable in this respect; because, not having yet tried one another's strength, and considering them as equals, there would be more likelihood of agreeing on terms: whereas, if one of them once got the superiority, he would exact every thing from the other, and give up nothing. That as hitherto they had been unable to settle the conditions of peace, they ought to refer them to the decision of the senate and people of Rome; and, in the meantime, to obtain a free and unbiassed judgment, both swear to disband their armies in three days' time. That when they were once divested of their national and auxiliary forces, in which their whole confidence lay, they would find themselves under a necessity of submitting to the decree of the senate and people. In fine, that to give Pompey a proof of his readiness to perform these proposals, he would give immediate orders for the discharge of all his forces, both in garrison and in the field."
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