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[2] And indeed many other portents disturbed him: sundry temples were struck by lightning, and in that of Jupiter, mice had gnawed the gold; it was reported also that an ox had uttered human speech, and that a boy had been born with an elephant's head; moreover, in their expiatory rites and sacrifices, the seers received bad omens, and therefore detained him at Rome, though he was all on fire and impatient to be gone.1 For no man ever had such a passion for any thing as he had for fighting a decisive battle with Hannibal.

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