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The war being now renewed, Albinus hastened to transport provisions, money, and other things necessary for the army, into Africa, whither he himself soon followed, with the hope that, before the time of the comitia, which was not far distant, he might be able, by an engagement, by capitulation, or by some other method, to bring the contest to a conclusion. Jugurtha, on the other hand, tried every means of protracting the war, continually inventing new causes for delay; at one time he promised to surrender, at another he feigned distrust; he retreated when Albinus attacked him, and then, lest his men should lose courage, attacked in return, and thus amused the consul with alternate procrastinations of war and of peace.

There were some, at that time, who thought that Albinus understood Jugurtha's object, and who believed that so ready a protraction of the war, after so much haste at the commencement, was to be attributed less to tardiness than to treachery. However this might be, Albinus, when time passed on, and the day of the comitia approached, left his brother Aulus in the camp as proprætor,1 and returned to Rome.

1 XXXVI. As proprætor] “Pro prœtore.” With the power of lieutenant-general.

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