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BATTLE OF THE METAUBUS.

of Rome were now quite otherwise affected, than they had been, when L. Æmilius Paulus and C. Terentius Varro were sent against Hannibal. They did no longer take upon them to direct their generals, or bid them dispatch, and win the victory betimes; but rather they stood in fear, lest all diligence, wisdom, and valour, should prove too little. For since few years had passed, wherein some one of their generals had not been slain; and since it was manifest, that if either of these present consuls were defeated, or put to the worst, the two Carthaginians would forthwith joyn, and make short work with the other: it seemed a greater happiness than could be expected, that each of them should return home victor; and come of with honour from such mighty opposition, as he was like to find. With extreme difficulty had Rome held up her head ever since the batde of Cannae; though it were so, that Hannibal alone, with little help from Carthage, had continued the war in Italy. But there was now arrived another son of Amilcar; and one that, in his present expedition, had seemed a man of more sufficiency than Hannibal himself. For, whereas in that long and dangerous march thorow barbarous nations, over great rivers and mountains, that were thought unpassable, Hannibal had lost a great part of his army; this Asdrubal, in