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An experienced king, Artabanus knew that men do not necessarily feign hatred because they are false in friendship. He delayed only while he was raising auxiliaries in Scythia, and then pushed on in haste, thus anticipating the plots of enemies and the fickleness of friends. Wishing to attract popular sympathy, he did not even cast off his miserable garb. He stooped to wiles and to entreaties, to anything indeed by which he might allure the wavering and confirm the willing. He was now approaching the neighbourhood of Seleucia with a large force, while Tiridates, dismayed by the rumour and then by the king's presence in person, was divided in mind, and doubted whether he should march against him or prolong the war by delay. Those who wished for battle with its prompt decision argued that ill-arrayed levies fatigued by a long march could not even in heart be thoroughly united in obedience, traitors and enemies, as they had lately been, to the prince whom now again they were supporting Abdageses, however, advised a retreat into Mesopotamia. There, with a river in their front, they might in the interval summon to their aid the Armenians and Elymæans and other nations in their rear, and then, reinforced by allies and troops which would be sent by the Roman general, they might try the fortune of war. This advice prevailed, for Abdageses had the chief influence and Tiridates was a coward in the face of danger. But their retreat resembled a flight. The Arabs made a beginning, and then the rest went to their homes or to the camp of Artabanus, till Tiridates returned to Syria with a few followers and thus relieved all from the disgrace of desertion.