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These deputies soon arrived in Africa, using the greater dispatch, because, while they were preparing for their journey, a report was spread at Rome of the- battle which had been fought, and of the siege of Cirta; but this report told much less than the truth.1 Jugurtha, having given them an audience, replied, "that nothing was of greater weight with him, nothing more respected, than the authority of the senate; that it had been his endeavor, from his youth, to deserve the esteem of all men of worth; that he had gained the favor of Publius Scipio, a man of the highest eminence, not by dishonorable practices, but by merit; that, for the same good qualities, and not from want of heirs to the throne, he had been adopted by Micipsa; but that, the more honorable and spirited his conduct had been, the less could his feelings endure injustice; that Adherbal had formed designs against his life, on discovering which, he had counteracted his malice; that the Romans would act neither justly nor reasonably, if they withheld from him the common right of nations;2 and, in conclusion, that he would soon send embassadors to Rome to explain the whole of his proceedings." On this understanding, both parties separated. Of addressing Adherbal the deputies had no opportunity.

1 XXII. Told much less than the truth] “Sed is rumor clemens erat.” “"It fell below the truth, not telling the whole of the atrocity that had been committed."” Gruter. “"Priscian (xviii. 26) interprets clemens 'non nimius,' alluding to this passage of Sallust."” Kritzius. All the later commentators have adopted this interpretation, except Bernouf, who adopts the supposition of Ciacconius, that a vague and uncertain rumor is meant.

2 Right of nations] “Jure gentium.” “"That is, the right of avenging himself."” Rupertus.

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