In reply to this the consul spoke in no very cheerful strain, admitting rather that what Fabius said was true than that it was easy of [p. 335]
The dictator had found his master of the1
horse intolerable: what power or influence then would a consul have over a turbulent and headstrong colleague?
In his former consulship he had escaped badly burnt from the flames of popular resentment; he hoped that everything would turn out for the best; but if any misfortune should befall, he would sooner expose his life to the swords of the enemy than to the suffrages of his angry fellow citizens.
Immediately after this conference they say that Paulus set out, escorted by the foremost senators: the plebeian consul was escorted by his own friends, the plebeians —in point of numbers the more imposing throng, though it contained no persons of distinction.
When they got to the camp, the new forces were united with the old and the camp was divided into two, with the new and smaller one nearer Hannibal, while the greater part of the army and all the choicest troops were in the old one.
Of the consuls of the year before, Marcus Atilius pleaded the excuse of age and was sent back to Rome; Geminus Servilius was put in command of the smaller camp, having under him a Roman legion and two thousand infantry and cavalry of the allies.
Hannibal, though lie perceived that the forces of his enemies were augmented by a half, was nevertheless greatly rejoiced at the coming of the consuls.
For not only were the spoils exhausted on which his men had subsisted from day to day, but there was not even any district left for them to spoil; for when it appeared that the farms were no longer safe, the corn had everywhere been carried into the walled towns, and in consequence there was barely grain [p. 337]
enough left —as
was afterwards discovered —to last2
ten days, and the Spaniards, for want of food, had made ready to desert, if the Romans had only waited till the time was ripe.