His Caesare ita respondit:  Eo sibi minus dubitationis dari, quod eas res, quas legati Helvetii commemorassent, memoria teneret, atque eo gravius ferre, quo minus merito populi Romani accidissent:  qui si alicuius iniuriae sibi conscius fuisset, non fuisse difficile cavere; sed eo deceptum, quod neque commissum a se intellegeret quare timeret, neque sine causa timendum putaret.  Quod si veteris contumeliae oblivisci vellet, num etiam recentium iniuriarum quod eo invito iter per provinciam per vim temptassent, quod Aeduos, quod Ambarros, quod Allobrogas vexassent, memoriam deponere posse?  Quod sua victoria tam insolenter gloriarentur quodque tam diu se impune iniurias tulisse admirarentur, eodem pertinere.  Consuesse enim deos immortales, quo gravius homines ex commutatione rerum doleant, quos pro scelere eorum ulcisci velint, his secundiores interdum res et diuturniorem impunitatem concedere.  Cum ea ita sint, tamen, si obsides ab eis sibi dentur, uti ea quae polliceantur facturos intellegat, et si Aeduis de iniuriis quas ipsis sociisque eorum intulerint, item si Allobrogibus satisfaciant, sese cum eis pacem esse facturum.  Divico respondit:  Ita Helvetios a maioribus suis institutos esse, uti obsides accipere, non dare, consuerint:  eius rei populum Romanum esse testem.  Hoc responso dato discessit.


To these remarks Caesar replied as follows:  As he remembered well the events which the Helvetian deputies had mentioned, he had therefore the less need to hesitate; and his indignation was the more vehement in proportion as the Roman people had not deserved the misfortune.  If the Romans had been conscious of some outrage done, it would not have been hard to take precaution; but that had been misled, because they did not understand that they had done anything to cause them apprehension, and they thought that they should not feel apprehension without cause.  And even if he were willing to forget an old affront, could he banish the memory of recent outrages--their attempts to march by force against his will through the Province, their ill-treatment of the Aedui, the Ambarri, the Allobroges?  Their insolent boast of their own victory, their suprise that their their outgrages had gone on so long with impunity, pointed the same way;1 for it was the wont of the immortal gods to grant a temporary prosperity and a longer impunity to make men whom they purposed to punish for their crime smart the more severely from a change of fortune.  Yet, for all this, he would make peace with the Helvetii, if they would offer him hostages to show him that they would perform their promises, and if they would give satisfaction to the Aedui in respect of the outrages inflicted on them and their allies, and likewise to the Allobroges.  Divico replied:  It was the ancestral practice of the Helvetii to receive, not to offer, hostages; the Roman people was witness thereof.  With this reply he departed.

1i.e., to coming vengeance.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards


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