Now the truth of the matter was this: Eumenes neither wished success to Perseus nor intended to make war upon him; and his ill-will arose not so much from the enmity which they inherited from their fathers, as from the personal quarrels which had broken out between themselves.
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jealousy of the two kings was not so moderate, that Eumenes could, with patience, have seen Perseus acquiring such vast power and glory as awaited him, if he conquered the Romans.
Besides which, he saw that Perseus, from the commencement of the war, by every mean, sought a prospect of peace; and that every day, as the danger approached nearer, he was contriving and contemplating no other object.
He considered, too, that as the war had been protracted beyond the expectations of the Romans, their commanders and senate would not be averse from putting an end to a contest so inconvenient and difficult. Having discovered this inclination in both parties, he concluded, that, from the disgust of the stronger party, and the fears of the weaker, this might take place spontaneously;
and therefore he the more wished, for the sake of conciliating favour to himself, to make his own efforts available in the business.
He therefore, sometimes, laboured to stipulate for a consideration for not affording assistance to the Romans, either on sea or land; at other times, for bringing about a peace with them. He demanded for not interfering in the war, one thousand talents;1
for effecting a peace, one thousand five hundred;2
and for his sincerity in either case, he professed himself prepared, not only to make oath, but to give hostages also.
Perseus, stimulated by his fears, showed the greatest readiness in the beginning of the negotiation, and treated without delay about receiving the hostages; when it was agreed, that, on their being received, they should be sent to Crete.
But when they came to the mention of money, there he hesitated;
remarking that, in the case of kings of their high character, a pecuniary consideration was mean and sordid, both with respect to the giver, and still more so with respect to the receiver.
He preferred not to decline the payment in the hope of a peace with Rome, but said that he would pay the money when the business should be concluded; and that he would lodge it in the mean time in the temple of Samothrace.
As that island was under his own dominion, Eumenes said, that it was all the same as if the money were at Pella; and he struggled hard to obtain some part of it at the present.
Thus, having manœuvred with each other to no purpose, they gained nothing but disgrace.