" I never expected that I, the greatest monarch in this part of the world, and the richest of all whom I know, should ever owe a favor to a private man. Indeed, Sylla, before I knew you, I gave assistance to many who solicited me, and to others without solicitation, and stood in need of no man's assistance. But at this loss of independence, at which others are wont to repine, I am rather inclined to rejoice. It will be a pleasure to me1
to have once needed your friendship, than which I hold nothing dearer to my heart. Of the sincerity of this assertion you may at once make trial; take my arms, my soldiers, my money, or whatever you please, and use it as your own. But do not suppose, as long as you live, that your kindness to me has been fully requited; my sense of it will always remain undiminished, and you shall, with my knowledge, wish for nothing in vain. For, as I am of opinion, it is less dishonorable to a prince to be conquered in battle than to be surpassed in generosity.
" With respect to your republic, whose interests you are sent to guard, hear briefly what I have to say. I have neither made war upon the Roman people, nor desired that it should be made; I have merely defended my territories with arms against an armed force. But from hostilities, since such is your pleasure, I now desist. Prosecute the war with Jugurtha as you think proper. The river Mulucha, which was the boundary between Miscipsa and me, I shall neither pass myself, nor suffer Jugurtha to come within it. And if you shall ask any thing besides, worthy of me and of yourself, you shall not depart with a refusal."