Bomilcar took the earliest opportunity of addressing Jugurtha, at a time when he was full of anxiety, and lamenting his ill success. He exhorted and implored him, with tears in his eyes, to take at length some thought for himself and his children, as well as for the people of Numidia, who had so much claim upon him. He reminded him that they had been defeated in every battle; that the country was laid waste; that numbers of his subjects had been captured or slain; that the resources of the kingdom were greatly reduced; that the valor of his soldiers, and his own fortune, had been already sufficiently tried; and that he should beware, lest, if he delayed to consult for his people, his people should consult for themselves. By these and similar appeals, he prevailed with Jugurtha to think of a surrender. Embassadors were accordingly sent to the Roman general, announcing that Jugurtha was ready to submit to whatever he should desire, and to trust himself and his kingdom unconditionally to his honor. Metellus, on receiving this statement, summoned such of his officers as were of senatorial rank, from their winter quarters; of whom, with others whom he thought eligible, he formed a council. By a resolution of this assembly, in conformity with ancient usage, he demanded of Jugurtha, through his embassadors, two hundred thousand pounds' weight of silver, all his elephants, and a portion of his horses and arms. These requisitions being immediately complied with, he next desired that all the deserters should be brought to him in chains. A large number of them were accordingly brought; but a few, when the surrender first began to be mentioned, had fled into Mauretania to king Bocchus.
When Jugurtha, however, after being thus despoiled of arms, men and money, was summoned to appear in person at Tisidium,1
to await the consul's commands, he began again to change his mind, dreading, from a consciousness of guilt, the
punishment due to his crimes. Having spent several days in hesitation, sometimes, from disgust at his ill success, believing any thing better than war, and sometimes considering with himself how grievous would be the fall from sovereignty to slavery, he at last determined, notwithstanding that he had lost so many and so valuable means of resistance, to commence hostilities anew.
At Rome, meanwhile, the senate, having been consulted about the provinces, had decreed Numidia to Metellus.