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Statesmen Must Pay Attention to Motives

Antiochus listened to this story, and being convinced that it was told with genuine feeling and sincerity, gave up all his suspicions, And we, too, must regard this as an unquestionable proof of the animosity of Hamilcar and of the aim of his general policy; which, indeed, is also proved by facts. For he inspired his son-in-law Hasdrubal and his son Hannibal with a bitterness of resentment against Rome which nothing could surpass. Hasdrubal, indeed, was prevented by death from showing the full extent of his purpose; but time gave Hannibal abundant opportunity to manifest the hatred of Rome which he had inherited from his father.

The most important thing, then, for statesmen to observe is the motives of those who lay aside old enmities or form new friendships; and to ascertain when their consent to treaties is a mere concession to the necessities of the hour, and when it is the indication of a real consciousness of defeat. In the former case they must be on their guard against such people lying in wait for an opportunity; while in the latter they may unhesitatingly impose whatever injunctions are necessary, in full reliance on the genuineness of their feelings whether as subjects or friends. So much for the causes of the war. I will now relate the first actions in it.

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