a manifest superiority, drew out his army in order of battle, and endeavored to provoke them by skirmishes of the Numidians. On this the Roman camp was again thrown into disturbance by mutinous behavior on the part of the soldiers, and dissension between the consuls; Paulus represented to Varro the fatal rashness of Sempronius and Flaminius; and Varro to him the example of Fabius as a specious precedent for timid and inactive commanders: the one1 calling gods and men to witness that none of the blame was to be imputed to him of Hannibal's now holding Italy as if by prescriptive right of possession; for he was chained down by his colleague, while the soldiers, full of rage and ardor for the fight, were kept unarmed. To which the other replied that, if any misfortune should happen to the legions from their being hurried into an inconsiderate and rash engagement, he himself, although entirely free from all reproach, must yet bear a share of the consequences, be they what they might. Let him take care that those whose tongues were now so ready and impetuous showed the same alertness during the fight.
While, instead of deliberating on proper measures, they thus wasted time in altercation, Hannibal, who had kept his forces drawn up in order of battle during a great part of the day, led back the rest towards the camp, and despatched the Numidian horse to the other side of the river to attack a watering party, which had come from the smaller camp of the Romans. They had scarcely reached the opposite bank when, merely by their shout and the rapidity of their motions, they dispersed this disorderly crowd; and then pushed forward against an advanced guard stationed before the____________________