Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/422
to discharge its duties. That which was in your hands before an emperor was elected, you have completed beneficially and gloriously, by raising to this summit of honour a man whom you know by experience to have lived from his earliest youth to his present age with honour and integrity. Now then I entreat you to listen with quietness to a few plain observations which I think will be for the public advantage.
7. "So numerous are the matters for the consideration of an emperor, that I neither deny nor even doubt that it is a desirable thing that he should have a colleague of equal power to deal with every contingency. And I myself, as a man, do also fear the great accumulation of cares which must be mine, and the various changes of events. But still we must use every exertion to insure concord, by which even the smallest affairs give strength. And that is easily secured if, your patience concurring with your equity, you willingly grant me what belongs to me in this matter. For Fortune, the ally of all good counsels, will I trust aid me, while to the very utmost of my ability and power, I diligently search for a wise and temperate partner. For as wise men lay it down, not only in the case of empire where the dangers are frequent and vast, but also in matters of private and everyday life, a man ought rather to take a stranger into his friendship after he has had opportunities of judging him to be wise, than to ascertain his wisdom after he has made him his friend.
8. "This, in hopes of a happier fortune, I promise. Do you, retaining your steadiness of conduct and loyalty, recruit the vigour of your minds and bodies while rest in your winter quarters allows you to do so. And you shall soon receive what is your due on my nomination as emperor."
9. Having finished this speech, to which his unexpected authority gave weight, the emperor by it brought all over to his opinion. And even those who a few minutes before with loud voices demanded something different, now, following his advice, surrounded him with the eagles and standards, and, forming a splendid and formidable escort of all classes and ranks of the army, conducted him to the palace.