|Do not fly Iberia
Pompey Chapter 66: Civil war: should Caesar be pursued?[48 BC]
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|Pompey's soldiers were so encouraged by this victory that they were eager now to have all put to the decision of a battle; but Pompey himself, though he wrote to distant kings, generals, and states in confederacy with him, as a conqueror, yet was afraid to hazard the success of a battle, choosing rather by delays, and distress of provisions, to tire out a body of men, who had never yet been conquered by force of arms, and had long been used to fight and conquer together; while their time of life, now an advanced one, which made them quickly weary of those other hardships of war, such as were long marches, and frequent decampings, making trenches, and building fortifications, made them eager to come to close combat and venture a battle with all speed. Pompey had all along hitherto by his persuasions pretty well quieted his soldiers; but after this last engagement, when Caesar for want of provisions was forced to raise his camp, and passed through Athamania into Thessaly, it was impossible to curb or allay the heat of their spirits any longer. For all crying out with a general voice, that Caesar was fled, some were for pursuing and pressing upon him, others for returning into Italy; some there were that sent their friends and servants beforehand to Rome, to hire houses near the forum, that they might be in readiness to sue for offices; several of their own motion sailed off at once to Lesbos to carry to Cornelia, (whom Pompey had conveyed thither to be in safety,) the joyful news, that the war was ended. And a senate being called, and the matter being under debate, Afranius was of opinion, that Italy should first be regained, for that it was the grand prize and crown of all the war; and they who were masters of that, would quickly have at their devotion all the provinces of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Spain, and Gaul; but what was of greatest weight and moment to Pompey, it was his own native country that lay near, reaching out her hand for his help; and certainly it could not be consistent with his honor to leave her thus exposed to all indignities, and in bondage under slaves and the flatterers of a tyrant. But Pompey himself, on the contrary, thought it neither honorable to fly a second time before Caesar, and be pursued, when fortune had given him the advantage of a pursuit; nor indeed lawful before the gods to forsake Scipio and divers other men of consular dignity dispersed throughout Greece and Thessaly, who must necessarily fall into Caesar's hands, together with large sums of money and numerous forces; and as to his care for the city of Rome, that would most eminently appear, by removing the scene of war to a greater distance, and leaving her, without feeling the distress or even hearing the sound of these evils, to await in peace the return of whichever should be the victor.