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word to his colleague that the sacrifice was accomplished, and then, girding his robe round him in the manner adopted in sacrificing to the gods, he mounted his white horse, and rushed like lightning into the thickest of the Latins. At first they fell away on all sides as if some heavenly apparition had come down on them; then, as some recognized him, they closed in on him, and pierced his breast with their weapons; but even as he fell the superstition that a devoted leader was sure to win the field came full on their minds, they broke and fled. Meanwhile, the message came to Manlius, and drew from him a burst of tears tears that he had not shed for his son - his hope of himself meeting the doom and ending his sorrow was gone; but none the less he nerved himself to complete the advantage gained by Decius' death. Only one wing of the Latins had fled, the other fought long and bravely; and when at last it was defeated, and cut down on the field of battle, both conqueror and conquered declared that, if Manlius had been the leader of the Latins, they would have had the victory. Manlius afterwards completely subdued the Latins, who became incorporated with the Romans; but bravely as he had borne up, his health gave way under his sorrow, and before the end of the year he was unable to take the field.
Forty-five years later, in the year 294, another Decius was consul. He was the son of the first devoted Decius, and had shown himself worthy of his name, both as a citizen and soldier. His first consulate had been in conjunction with one of the most high-spirited and famous Roman nobles, Quintus Fabius, surnamed Maximus, or the Greatest, and at three years' end they were again chosen together, when the Romans had been brought into considerable peril by an alliance between the Gauls and the Samnites, their chief enemies in Italy.
One being a patrician and the other a plebeian, there was every attempt made at Rome to stir up jealousies and dissensions between them ; but both were much too hoble and generous to be thus set one against the other; and when Fabius found how serious was the state of affairs in Etruria, he sent to Rome to entreat that Decius would come and act with him. “ With him I shall never want forces, nor have too many enemies to deal with."
The Gauls, since the time of Brennus, had so entirely settled in northern Italy, that it had acquired the name of Cisalpine Gaul, and they were as warlike as ever, while better armed and
trained. The united armies of Gauls, Samnites, and their allies, together, are said to have amounted to 143,330 foot and 46,000 horse, and the Roman army consisted of four legions, 24,000 in all, with an unspecified number of horse. The place of battle was at Sentinum, and here for the first time the Gauls brought armed chariots into use, — probably the wicker chariots, with scythes in the midst of the clumsy wooden wheels, which were used by the Celts in Britain two centuries later. the first time the Romans had encountered these barbarous vehicles: they were taken by surprise, the horses started, and could not be brought back to the charge, and the legions were mowed down like corn where the furious Gaul impelled his scythe. Decius shouted in vain, and tried to gather his men and lead them back; but the terror at this new mode of warfare had so mastered them, that they paid no attention to his call. Then, half in policy, half in superstition, he resolved to follow his father in his death. He called the chief priest, Marcus Livius, and standing on his javelin, went through the same formula of self-dedication, and in like manner threw himself, alone and unarmed, in the midst of the enemy, among whom he soon fell, under many a savage stroke.
The priest, himself a gallant soldier, called to the troops that their victory was now secured, and thoroughly believing him, they let him lead them back to the charge, and routed the Gauls; whilst Fabius so well did his part against the other nations, that the victory was complete, and 25,000 enemies were slain. So covered was the body of Decius by the corpses of his enemies, that all that day it could not be found; but on the next it was discovered, and Fabius, with a full heart, pronounced the funeral oration of the second Decius, who had willingly offered himself to turn the tide of battle in favor of his country. It was the last of such acts of dedication - the Romans became more learned and philosophical, and perhaps more reasonable ; and yet, mistaken as was the object, it seems a falling off that, two hundred years later, Cicero should not know who were the “nine gods” of the Decii, and should regard their sacrifice as “heroic indeed, but unworthy of men of understanding.
FROM THE “KNIGHTS” OF ARISTOPHANES.
METRICAL TRANSLATIONS BY JOHN HOOKHAM FRERE.
[ARISTOPHANES, the greatest of Greek comic poets, was born probably between B.C. 450 and 446, and died not later than B.C. 380. Little is known of his personal history beyond the allusions in his own works. His first comedy, the “ Banqueters," appeared in B.c. 427, and was followed by over forty others, of which there are extant only eleven : “Acharnians," “ Knights," “ Clouds," " Wasps,' ” “Peace,” “Birds," “ Lysistrata," " Thesmophoriazusæ,” “Frogs," “Ecclesiazusæ," and “Plutus." Aristophanes is the sole extant representative of the so-called Old Comedy of Athens. ]
Demus, an old citizen of Athens, and in whom the Athenian people are
personified = the John Bull or Uncle Sam of Athens. DEMOSTHENES | the two most fortunate and able generals of Athens during Nicias Š the Peloponnesian War, represented as slaves of Demus. Cleon, a tanner (the PAPHLAGONIAN, from naplácw, I mouth or foam),
steward to Demus and the leading demagogue of Athens. SAUSAGE SelleR (afterwards AGORACRITUS). CHORUS OF KNIGHT8.
Scene: Space before DeMus' House.
After a noise of lashes and screams from behind the scenes,
DEMOSTHENES and Nicias enter in the dress of slaves.
Out! out alas ! what a scandal! what a shame!
We're beaten and abused continually.
I say so too, with all my heart I do,
A rascally Paphlagonian! so he is!
Well, come now, if you like, I'll state your case
A couple of servants — with a master at home
A kind of bean-fed husky, testy character,
A fixed determination. Where's the Paphlagonian?
He's fast asleep - within there, on his back,
With a hash of confiscations half digested.
That's well!-Now fill me a hearty, lusty draught. Nicias
Make the libation first, and drink this cup
To the good Genius.
O most worthy Genius!
Why, what's the matter? Demosthenes
I'm inspired to tell you That you must steal the Paphlagonian's oracles
Whilst he's asleep.
[Exit Nicias. 1 Allusion to the beans used in balloting.
2 After Demosthenes had blockaded four bundred of the principal citizens of Sparta in an island in the bay of Pylos, Cleon was sent to supersede him. Aided by the advice of Demosthenes, whom he retained as his lieutenant, he compelled the Spartans to surrender.
Come, I must meditate, and consult my pitcher;
And moisten my understanding a little more. [While Nicias is absent, DEMOSTHENES is drinking repeatedly
and getting drunk.
How fast asleep the Paphlagonian was !
I've stolen it from him.
[With the papers in his hand. Ay, there it is, - you rascally Paphlagonian!
This was the prophecy that you kept so secret.
With the manner of his destruction all foretold.
As how ?
Why, the Oracle tells you how, distinctly,
To hold the administration of affairs."
Well, there's one jobber. Who's the next? Read on! Demosthenes
A cattle jobber must succeed to him." Nicias
More jobbers! well — then what becomes of him ?
He, too, shall prosper, till a viler rascal
A loud, rapacious, leather-selling ruffian.
Is it foretold, then, that the cattle jobber
Must be destroyed by the seller of leather ? Demosthenes
1 After the death of Pericles, Eucrates and Lysicles were the leaders of the people for a short time,