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And yet it seems very difficult for any person to realise what is the philosophical conclusion, namely, that the work of each of us matters very little to the world, but that it matters very much to ourselves that we should have some work to do. We seem to be a very feeble-minded race in this respect, that we require to be constantly bribed and tempted by illusions. I have known men of force and vigour both in youth and middle life who had a strong sense of the value and significance of their work; as age came upon them, the value of their work gradually disappeared; they were deferred to, consulted, outwardly reverenced, and perhaps all the more scrupulously and compassionately in order that they might not guess the lamentable fact that their work was done and that the forces and influences were in younger hands. But the men themselves never lost the sense of their importance. I knew an octogenarian clergyman who declared once in my presence that it was ridiculous to say that old men lost their faculty of dealing with affairs.

The Second Punic War was not so much a contest between the powers of two great nations--between Carthage and Rome--as between the individual genius of Hannibal on one hand, and the combined energies of the Roman people on the other. The position of Hannibal was indeed very peculiar. His command in Spain, and the powerful army there, which was entirely at his own disposal, rendered him in great measure independent of the government at Carthage, and the latter seemed disposed to devolve all responsibility upon him. Even now they did little themselves to prepare for the impending contest. All was left to Hannibal, who, after the conquest of Saguntum, had returned once more to New Carthage for the winter, and was there actively engaged in preparations for transporting the scene of war in the ensuing campaign from Spain into Italy. At the same time he did not neglect to provide for the defense of Spain and Africa during his absence. In the former country he placed his brother Hasdrubal, with a considerable army, great part of which was composed of Africans, while he sent over a large body of Spanish troops to contribute to the defense of Africa, and even of Carthage itself.

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