When Sylla came with his cavalry into Africa, as has just been stated, and arrived at the camp of Marius, though he had hitherto been unskilled and undisciplined in the art of war, he became, in a short time, the most expert of the whole army. He was besides affable to the soldiers; he conferred favors on many at their request, and on others of his own accord, and was reluctant to receive any in return. But he repaid other obligations more readily than those of a pecuniary nature; he himself demanded repayment from no one; but rather made it his object that as many as possible should be indebted to him. He conversed, jocosely as well as seriously, with the humblest of the soldiers; he was their frequent companion at their works, on the march, and on guard. Nor did he ever, as is usual with depraved ambition, attempt to injure the character of the consul, or of any deserving person. His sole aim, whether in the council or the field, was to suffer none to excel him; to most he was superior. By such conduct he soon became a favorite both with Marius and with the army.