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Publius and Lucius Become Aediles

His mother thought no more about it: but Publius, having obtained a white toga, went to the Forum before his mother was awake. His boldness, as well as his previous popularity, secured him a brilliant reception from the people; and when he advanced to the spot assigned for candidates, and took his place by the side of his brother, the people not only invested him with the office, but his brother also for his sake; and both brothers returned home Aediles designate. The news having been suddenly brought to their mother, she rushed in the utmost delight to meet them at the door, and kissed the young men in an ecstasy of joy. Accordingly Publius was believed by all who had heard previously about his dream to have held commune with the gods, not merely in his sleep, but rather in a waking vision, and by day. But in point of fact there was no dream at all: Scipio was kind, open-handed, and courteous, and by these means had conciliated the favour of the multitude. But by a dexterous use of the occasion, both with the people and his mother, he obtained his purpose, and moreover got the reputation of acting under divine inspiration. For those persons, who, from dulness or want of experience, or idleness, can never take a clear view of the occasions or causes or connexion of events, are apt to give the gods and chance the credit for what is really effected by sagacity and far-seeing calculation. I have thought it worth while to say thus much, that my readers may not be misled by unfounded gossip to pass over this great man's finest and most splendid qualities, I mean his wealth of resource and untiring diligence; which will become still more apparent when we come to recount his actual achievements.

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