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In such a situation of affairs,* nothing can be more grievous than a state of uncertainty, which, without descending to particulars, gives occasion to the mind to image to itself every misery. As soon as it was kuown that the fleet was arrived at Utica, the deputies repaired to the Roinan camp; signifying, that they were come in the name of their republic, in order to receive their commands, which they were ready to obey. The consul, after praising their good disposition and compliance, commanded them to deliver up to him, without fraud or delay, all their arms. This they consented to, but besought him to reflect on the sad condition to which he was reducing them, at a time when Asdrubal, whose quarrel against them was owing to no other cause than their perfect submission to the orders of the Romans, was advanced almost to their gates, with an army of 20,000 men. The answer returned them was, that the Ro mans would set that matter right.

This order was immediately put in execution.f There arrived in the camp, a long train of waggons, loaded with all the preparations of war, taken out of Carthage; 200,000 complete sets of armour, a numberless multitude of darts nd javelins, with 2000 engines for shooting darts and stones. Then followed the deputies of Carthage, accompanied by the most venerable senators and priests, who came purposely to try to move the Romarrs to compassion in this critical moment, when their sentence was going to be pronounced, and their fate would be irreversible. Censorinus, the consul, for it was he who had all along spoken, rose up for a moment at their coming, and expressed some kindness and affection for them; but suddenly resuming a grave and severe countenance: I cannot, says he, but commend the readiness with which you execute the orders of the senate. They have commanded me to tell you, that it is their absolute will and pleasure that you depart out of Carthage, which they have resolved to destroy; and that you remove into any other part of your dominions which

you

shall think proper, provided it be at the distance of eighty stadias from the sea.

The instant the council pronounced this fulminating decree,|| nothing was heard among the Carthaginians but lamentable shrieks and howlings. Being now in a manner thunderstruck, they neither knew where they were, nor what they did; but rolled themselves ir the dust, tearing their clothes, and unable to vent their grief any otherwise, than by broken sighs and deep groans. Being afterwards a little recovered, they lifted up their hands with the air of suppliants, one moment towards the gods, and the next towards the Romans, imploring their mercy and justice towards a people, who would soon be reduced to the extremes of despair. But as both the gods and men were deaf to their fervent prayers, they soon changed them into reproaches and imprecations; bidding the Romans calì to mind

* Polyb. p. 975. Appian. p. 45, 46.

Four leagues, or twelve miles.

† Appian. p. 46.

Appian. p. 46–53.

Balistæ or Catapult.

that there were such beings as avenging deities, whose severe eyes were for ever open on guilt and treachery. The Romans themselves could not refrain from tears at so moving a spectacle, but their resolution was fixed. The deputies could not even prevail so far as to get the execution of this order suspended, till they should have ai opportunity of presenting themselves again before the senate, to attempt, if possible, to get it revoked. They were forced to set out immediately, and carry the answer to Carthage.

The people waited for their return with such an impatience and terror, as words could never express.* It was scarce possible for them to break through the crowd that flocked round them, to hear the answer which was but too strongly painted in their face. When they were come into the senate, and had declared the barbarous orders of the Romans, a general shriek informed the people of their fate; and, from that instant, nothing was seen and heard in every part of the city, but howling and despair, madness and fury.

The reader will here give me leave to interrupt the course of the history for a moment, to reflect on the conduct of the Romans. It is a great pity that the fragment of Polybius, where an account is given of this deputation, should end exactly in the most interesting part of this narrative. I should set a much higher value on one short reflection of so judicious an author, than on the long harangues which Ap pian ascribes to the deputies and consul. I can never believe, that so rational, judicious, and just a man as Polybius could have approved the proceedings of the Romans on the present occasion. We do not here discover, in my opinion, any of the characteristics which distinguished them anciently; that the greatness of soul, that rectitude, that utter abhorrence of all mean artifices, frauds, and impostures, which, as is somewhere said, formed no part of the Roman disposition: Minimè Romanus artibus. Why did not the Romans attack the Carthaginians by open force? Why should they declare expressly in a treaty (a most solemn and sacred thing) that they allowed them the full enjoyment of their liberty and laws; and understand, at the same time, certain private conditions, which proved the entire ruin of both? Why should they conceal, under the scandalous omission of the word city in this treaty, the perfidious design of destroying Carthage? as if, beneath the cover of such an equivocation, they might destroy it with justice. In short, why did the Romans not make their last declaration till after they had extorted from the Carthaginians, at different times, their hostages and arms; that is, till they had absolutely rendered them incapable of disobeying their most arbitrary commands? Is it not manifest, that Carthage, notwithstanding all its defeats and losses, though it was weakened and almost exhausted, was still a terror to the Romans, and that they were persuaded they were not able to conquer it by force of arms? It is very dangerous to be possessed of so much power, as to be able

* Appian. p. 53, 54.

to commit injustice with impunity, and with a prospect of being a gainer by it. The experience of all ages shows, that states seldom scruple to commit injustice, when they think it will conduce to their advantage.

The noble character which Polybius gives of the Achæans,* differs widely from what was practised here. That people, says he, far from using artifice and deceit towards their allies, in order to enlarge their power, did not think themselves allowed to employ them even against their enemies, considering only those victories as solid and glorious, which were obtained sword in hand, by dint of courage and bravery. He owns, in the same place, that there then remained among the Romans but very faint traces of the ancient generosity of their ancestors; and he thinks it incumbent on him (as he declares) to make this remark, in opposition to a maxim which was grown very common in his time among persons in the administration of the government, who imagined, that sincerity is inconsistent with good policy; and that it is impossible to succeed in the administration of state affairs, either in war or peace, without using fraud and deceit on some occasions.

I now return to my subject. The consuls made no great haste to march against Carthage,t not suspecting they had any thing to fear from that city, as it was now disarmed. The inhabitants took the opportunity of this delay to put themselves in a posture of defence, being all unanimously resolved not to quit the city. They appointed as general without the walls, Asdrubal, who was at the head of 20,000 men, and to whom deputies were sent accordingly, to entreat him to forget, for his country's sake, the injustice which had been done him, from the dread they were under of the Romans. The command of the troops, within the walls, was given to another Asdrubal, grandson of Masinissa. They then applied themselves to the making arms with incredible expedition. The temples, the palaces, the open markets and squares, were all changed into so many arsenals, where men and women worked day and night. Every day were made 140 shields, 300 swords, 500 pikes or javelins, 1000 arrows, and a great number of engines to discharge them; and because they wanted materials to make

ropes, the women cut off their hair, and abundantly supplied their wants on this occasion.

Masinissa was very much disgusted at the Romans, because, after he had extremely weakened the Carthaginians, they came and reaped the fruits of his victory, without acquainting himn in any manner with their design, which circumstance caused some coldness between them.

During this interval, the consuls were advancing towards the city, in order to besiege it. As they expected nothing less than a vigorous resistance, the incredible resoli jion and courage of the be. sieged filled them with the utmost astonishment. The Carthaginians were for ever making the boldest sallies, in order to repulse the besiegers, to burn their engines, and to harass their foragers. Censorinus attacked the city on one side, and Manilius on the other. Seipio, afterwards surnamed Africanus, served then as tribune in the army; and distinguished himself above the rest of the officers, no less by his prudence, than by his bravery. The consul under whom he fought, committed many oversights, by having refused to follow his advice. This young officer extricated the troops from several dangers into which the imprudence of their leaders had plunged them. A renowned officer, Phamæas by name, who was general of the enemy's cavalry, and continually harassed the foragers, did not dare ever to keep the field, when it was Scipio's turn to support them, so capable was he of keeping his troops in good order, and posting himself to advantage. So great and universal a reputation excited some envy against him at first; but as he behaved, in all respects, with the utmost modesty and reserve, that envy was soon changed into adiniration; so that when the senate sent deputies to the camp, to inquire into the state of the siege, the whole army gave him unani. mously the highest commendation; the soldiers, as well as officers, nay, the very generals, with one voice extolled the merit of young Scipio: so necessary is it for a man to deaden, if I may be allowed the expression, the splendour of his rising glory, by a sweet and modest carriage; and not to excite jealousy, by haughty and self-sufficient behaviour, as this naturally awakens pride in others, and makes even virtue itself odious.

* Polyb. l. xiii. p. 671, 672. pian. p. 55. $ Id. p. 55-63.

† Appian 1 55. Strabo l. xvii. p. 833.

↑ Ap

About the same time Masinissa,* finding his end apA. Rom. 601. proach, sent to desire a visit from Scipio, in order that he might invest him with full powers to dispose, as he should see proper, of his kingdom and property, in behalf of his children. But, on Scipio's arrival, he found that monarch dead. Masinissa had commanded them, with his dying breath, to follow implicitly the directions of Scipio, whom he appointed to be a kind of father and guardian to them. I shall give no farther account here of the family and prosperity of Masinissa, because that would interrupt too much the history of Carthage.

The high esteem which Phameas had entertained for Scipio,t induced him to forsake the Carthaginians, and go over to the Romans. Accordingly, he joined them with above 2000 horse, and was afterwards of great

service at the siege. Calpurnius Pisof the consul, and L. Mancinus, his lieutenant, arrived in Africa in the beginning of the spring: Nothing remarkable was transacted during this campaign. The Romans were even defeated on several occasions, and carried on the siege of Carthage but slowly. The besieged, on the contrary, had recovered their spirits. Their troops were considerably increased; they daily got new

A. M. 3857.

* Appian. p. 63.

† M. p. 65

1b. p. 66.

A. M. 385.

allies; anıt even sent an express as far as Macedonia, to the counter feit Philp,* who pretended to be the son of Perseus, and was then engaged in a war with the Romans, to exhort him to carry it on with vigour, and promising to furnish him with money and ships.

This news occasioned some uneasiness at Rome. The people began to doubt the success of a war, which grew daily more uncer tain, and was more important than had at first been imagined. As much as they were dissatisfied with the dilatoriness of the generals, and exclaimed against their conduct, so much did they unanimously agree in applauding young Scipio, and extolling his rare and uncom mon virtues. He was come to Rome, in order to stand candidate for the edileship. The instant he appeared in the assembly, his name, his countenance, his reputation, a general persuasion that he was designed by the gods to end the third Punic war, as the first Scipio, his grandfather by adoption, had terminated the second; these several circumstances made a very strong impression on the people; and though it was contrary to law, and therefore opposed by the ancient men, instead of the edileship which he sued for, the people, disregard

ing for once the laws, conferred the consulship upon A. Rom. 602.

him, and assigned him Africa for his province, without casting lots for the provinces, as usual, and as Drusus his colleague dernanded.

As soon as Scipio had completed his recruits,f he set out for Sieily, and arrived soon after in Utica. He came very seasonably for Mancinus, Piso's lieutenant, who had rashly fixed himself in a post where he was surrounded by the enemy, and would have been cut to pieces that very morning, had not the new consul, who, on his arrival, heard of the danger he was in, re-embarked his troops in the night, and sailed with the utmost speed to his assistance.

Scipio's first care, after his arrival, was to revive discipline among the troops, which he found had been entirely neglected. There was not the least regularity, subordination, or obedience. Nothing was attended to but rapine, feasting, and diversions. He drove from the camp all useless persons, settled the quality of the provisions he would have brought in by the sutlers, and allowed of none but what were plain and fit for soldiers, studiously banishing all dainties and luxuries.

After he had made these regulations, which cost him but little time and pains, because he himself first set the example, he was persuaded that those under him were soldiers, and thereupon he prepared to carry on the siege with vigour. Having ordered his troops to provide themselves with axes, levers, and scaling-ladders, he led them in the dead of the night, and without the least noise, to a dis-' trict of the city, called Megara; when, ordering them to give a sudden and general shout, he attacked it with great vigour. The ene, my, who did not expect to be attacked in the night, were at first in

* Andriscus.

† Appian. p. 68

* Appian. p. 69

Ib. p. 70.

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