then there was brought to him as a captive by the soldiers a grown maiden of a beauty so extraordinary that, wherever she went, she drew the eyes of everyone.
Scipio, upon enquiring about her native city and her parents, learned among other things that she had been betrothed to a leading man of the Celtiberians.
the young man's name was Allucius. accordingly he at once summoned parents and fiance from home, and as soon as he had arrived, Scipio, having heard meantime that he was desperately in love with his betrothed, addressed him in more studied language than he had used towards the parents.
“as a young man,” he said, “i speak to you as a young man — lessen embarrassment between us in this conversation. it was to me that your betrothed was brought as a captive by our soldiers, and I learned of your love for her —d her beauty made that easy to believe.
therefore, since in my own case, if it were only permitted me to enjoy the pleasures of youth, especially in a proper and legitimate love, and had not the state preoccupied my attention, I should wish to be pardoned for an ardent love of a bride, I favour what is in my power —your
your betrothed has been [p. 193]
in my camp with the same regard for modesty as1
in the house of your parents —in —law, her own parents.
she has been kept for you, so that she could be given you as a gift, unharmed and worthy of you and of me. this is the only price that I stipulate in return for that gift: be a friend to the Roman people, and if you believe me to be a good man, such as these tribes formerly came to know in my father and uncle, be assured that in the
Roman state there are many like us, and that no people in the world can be named to —day which you would be less desirous of having as an enemy to you and yours, or more desirous of having as a friend.”
the young man, overcome by embarrassment and at the same time by joy, holding Scipio's right hand, called upon all the gods to compensate him on his own behalf, since he was far from having sufficient means to do so in accordance with his own feeling and with what the general had done for him.
whereupon the parents and blood —relations of the maiden were summoned. they began to entreat Scipio, because the maiden, for whose ransom they had brought,
as they said, a considerable weight of gold, was being restored to them without price, to accept that gift from them, assuring him that they would feel no less gratitude for his acceptance than for the restoration of the maiden unharmed.
Scipio, since they so earnestly besought, promised that he would accept it, ordered the gift to be laid before his feet, and calling Allucius to him, said: “in addition to the dowry which you are about to receive from your father —in —law, this will be added by me as a nuptial gift to you.” and he ordered him to take up the gold and keep it.
delighting in this gift and courteous treatment he was [p. 195]
sent away to his home, and he filled his countrymen2
with the well —earned praises of Scipio, saying that there had come a most godlike youth, conquering everything by arms and especially by generosity and favours.
and so, after conducting a levy among his clients, he returned within a few days to Scipio with fourteen hundred picked horsemen.