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"For myself I will claim nothing more than not to be reckoned inferior to Valens and Cæcina. But do not spurn Mucianus as an associate, because you do not find in him a rival. I count myself better than Vitellius; I count you better than myself. Your house is ennobled by the glories of a triumph; it has two youthful scions, one of whom is already equal to the cares of Empire, and in the earliest years of his military career won renown with these very armies of Germany. It would be ridiculous in me not to waive my claims to Empire in favour of the man whose son I should adopt, were I myself Emperor. Between us, however, there will not be an equal distribution of the fruits of success or failure. If we are victorious, I shall have whatever honour you think fit to bestow on me; the danger and the peril we shall share alike; nay, I would rather have you, as is the better policy, direct your armies, and leave to me the conduct of the war and the hazards of battle. At this very moment a stricter discipline prevails among the conquered than among the conquerors. The conquered are fired to valour by anger, by hatred, by the desire of vengeance, while the conquerors are losing their energy in pride and insolence. War will of itself discover and lay open the hidden and rankling wounds of the victorious party. And, indeed, your vigilance, economy, and wisdom, do not inspire me with greater confidence of success than do the indolence, ignorance, and cruelty of Vitellius. Once at war, we have a better cause than we can have in peace, for those who deliberate on revolt have revolted already."