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into the island. There he repulsed an attack. A storm again shattering his fleet, he stopped his advance, and returned to the coast, to provide for the safety of his ships, Ten days afterwards he resumed his former position, and was immediately assaulted by some of the British tribes, who had confederated under the temporary command of Cassivellaun. They were repelled. They attempted hostilities again on the succeeding day; but were again defeated. On these failures, the auxiliary bodies left Cassivellaun ; and Cæsar being informed of their desertion, ventured to advance to the Thames, and to the borders of the state of the British prince. The ford had been fortified by sharp stakes under the water, and on the banks, The Romans passed it, up to their necks in water, in the presence of the natives, collected in arms on the other side, who, dismayed at the courage of the enemy, hastily retired. Cassivellaun, keeping only four thousand war chariots with him, confined his efforts to harassing the invaders.
The civil dissensions of the island then began to give Cæsar the advantage of his enterprises. The Trinobantes, of whose territories London was the metropolis, desired his aid, for their chief Mandubratius or Androgorus, against Cassivellaun ; and five other tribes also sent in their submission. Cæsar was afterwards attacked by four kings of Kent, Cingetorix, Carnilius, Taximagulus, and Segonax, but without success; and Cassivellaun now sending an embassy for peace, Cæsar immediately granted it, demanded hostages, appointed a tribute, retired with his army to the sea coast, and relanded it in Gaul. The Romans appeared no more in Britain, nor attempted to molest it for fourscore years.
Some British chiefs, to sacrifice their patriotism to their revenge, incited Claudius to order Aulus Plautus to lead an army into Britain. This general landed with a powerful force, comprising German auxiliaries and some elephants; and with Vespasian for one of his officers. He had the usual successes of the Roman discipline and skill. The Emperor Claudius came bimself to partake the triumph. He took Camalodunum or Malden, the capital of Cunobellin's dominion; and, after a residence of sixteen days in the island, returned to Rome, leaving Plautus to govern
Britain. Vespasian distinguished himself in Britain at this period. He fought thirty battles with the natives, took twenty towns, and subdued the Isle of Wight : exertions which imply corresponding efforts and intrepidity on the part of the Britons. Titus, the conqueror of Jerusalem, fought here also, as military tribune under his father.
The island, although thus penetrated to a certain extent, and the southern parts occupied by the Romans, was as yet neither conquered nor tranquil. Seven years afterwards, we find Ostorius withstanding the British assaults and establishing a line of posts between the Nen and the Severn. The Britons on the east and north, and afterwards those of Wales, renewed the conflicts.
After this Ostorius turned his arms against the Cangians in the western
part of Wales, who were soon entirely dispersed. The Roman army was not far from the Irish sea, when news was brought the General that the Brigantes in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, were in arms. This obliged him to put off the execution of his first design to another time; and being willing, before he proceeded to new conquests, to make all sure in his rear, he marched back with all speed against the revolted Brigantes. This insurrection was appeased by the punishment of those that had been the cause of it. But the Silures, Hereford, Radnor, Brecknock, Monmouth, and Glamorganshires, the bravest and most powerful of all the Britons, could not be brought under, either by fair words or by force. Caractacus, their King, was looked upon as the greatest General which Britain had ever produced. This prince, on whom the nations in alliance with the Silures had conferred the conmand of the confederate army, was retired into North Wales, where he had gathered his whole army together, with a resolution to wait and expect the enemy. To this end he had posted himself, in an advantageous manner, on a steep hill, at the foot of which was a little river. Moreover, his camp was surrounded with a rampart of flint and stones, so that, posted as he was, he seemed to have nothing to fear.
Caractacus, to inspire his troops with courage, rode up and down on the day of battle, representing to them that this was the day that would give them liberty or perpetual slavery. He called to their remembrance the glory of their ancestors, who had driven Cæsar out of Britain, and freed their country from the Roman yoke. The Britons, with loud acclamations, declared they were ready to shed the last drop of their blood in defence of their liberty. The resolution and firmness that appeared in the looks of the Britons at first startled the Roman General. But finding his army extremely desirous of engaging, he gave the signal of battle, after he had observed in what places the river might best be forded. The Romans passed the river without difficulty; but before they could approach the enemy's camp, they were exposed to showers of darts, by which many were killed and wounded. But in spite of all opposition they reached the rampart, which, being only loose stones, they easily tumbled down. As soon as they came to use their swords, the Britons could not possibly withstand the warlike and veteran troops, but were soon put to flight. The wife, daughters, and brothers of Caractacus were taken prisoners, and he himself, a few days after, was unexpectedly delivered up to Ostorius by Cartismandua, Queen of the Brigantes, to whom he had fled for protection. He had commanded the confederate army of the Britons nine years, and his fame was spread as far as Rome, where all were surprized at his resisting the Roman power so long. The Emperor ordered the captives to be sent to Rome; and on a day appointed, the people being present, they were brought before him as he sat on his throne. First came Charactacus's vassals and retinue, then his wife, daughter, and brothers,
and lastly he himself, walking with a firm countenance, without hanging down his head, or appearing too much dejected at his misfortunes.
When he came near the Emperor, he spoke in the following manner, according to Tacitus:
“ If my moderation had been as great as my birth or fortune, Rome had beheld me this day her ally and not her captive, and perhaps she would not have disdained to have ranked in the number of her friends, a Prince royally descended, and who conimanded many nations. My present condition is as dishonourable to me, as it is glorious to you. I had arms, horses, riches, and grandeur. Is it strange I should part with them unwillingly? Does it follow, because you have a mind to rule over all, that every one must tamely submit? Had I sooner been betrayed to you, neither your glory nor my misfortunes had been rendered so famous, and my punishment would have been buried in eternal oblivion. But now, if you preserve my life, I shall be a standing monument of your clemency to future ages."
The Emperor, moved with this discourse, immediately pardoned them all. The senate being met to consider what honours should be conferred on Ostorius, his victory over Caractacus was extolled to the skies: it was equalled to those of Scipio over Syphax, and of Paulus Emilius over Perses ; and they came to a resolution to decree him the same honours.
In the mean time, the reputation of Ostorius began to lose ground, whether he did not carry on the war so vigorously as before, or whether the Britons exerted their utmost to repair the disgrace of their defeat. They fell upon
the troops that were left behind to build forts in the country of the Silures. The Roman commander was slain, with eight captains, and a great number of soldiers. Ostorius, quite spent with vexation and trouble, at not being able to put an end to the war, died soon after ; and the Britons rejoiced exceedingly at his death ; the more so, because they attributed it to his regret at not having it in his power to put a stop to their victories.
This celebrated British Heroine was the widow of Prasutagus, Prince of the Iceni, now Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, and Hunts, who, in the hope of securing his wealth to his family and the protection of the Romans, made a will, in which he constituted the Emperor Nero his heir, jointly with two of his daughters.
But it fell out quite otherwise; for, as soon as he was in his grave, the emperor's officers seized upon all his effects in their master's name. Boadicea, his widow, a woman of great spirit, opposing these unjust proceedings, the barbarity of the officers was such, that they caused her to be publicly whipped, and her daughters to be ravished.
This outrage was so highly resented by the Britons, that the whole island was inspired with a spirit of revolt, which soon broke forth into action. The Icenians led the way, followed by the Trinobantes their neighbours. Venutius and his party joined with them; and, in fine, all the nations that had submitted to the Romans, took up arms with one consent, the City of London only excepted. The Roman historians themselves agree that these unjust proceedings of the emperor's officers gave the Britons too just cause to revolt. They were deprived of their estates without any form of law, by the Veterans, who were sent to settle in the island. Seneca, often named as a philosopher, but equally remarkable for his wealth and usurious practices, had seduced the British princes and nobles, to borrow large sums on usurious terms, and then, to enrich himself, exacted payment on a sudden, to the ruin of the debtors. --Catus Decianus, Nero's Procurator, without any regard to the petitions that were presented him, or to an ordinance of Claudius, that left the vanquished in possession of their goods, confiscated their estates to the emperor's use. This treatment bred in the minds of the people so utter an aversion to the Roman yoke, that they were all at once inspired with a resolution to shake it off. Venutius, a mortal enemy of the Romans, fomented the rebellion to the utmost of his power. Even the adherents of the queen his wife, dropping their domestic disputes, and renouncing the friendship of the Romans, joined on this occasion the rest of their countrymen for the recovery of their liberty.
Boadicea, burning with a desire of revenge, headed the revolters, and exhorted them in a lively manner to take the advantage of the Ronan general's being then at a distance, to free themselves from slavery, by putting the foreigners, their oppressors, to the sword. The Britons closing immediately with her proposal, fell in a sudden and furious manner upon the Romans in their colonies, which they had taken more care to embellish than to fortify, and massacred all, without distinction of age or sex. Unheard of cruelties were practised on this occasion. Wives were hung up with their infants at their breasts, to make them in some measure suffer a double death. Virgins had their breasts cut off and crambed into their months, that they might seem, in the agonies of death, to eat their own flesh. The Veterans at Camelodunum, having shut themselves up in a temple as in an asylum, they chose rather to burn them alive than to starye them to death. In a word, their fury was carried to so great a height, that not a Roman was suffered to escape, and fourscore thousand were said to have perished in the massacre.
Boadicea, whose noble figure and heroic courage made them hope she had all the qualities of a general, was now at the head of 100,000 Britons. She ardently desired to come to a battle with Suetonius, the Roman general, whose army consisted only of 10,000 men, flattering herself she should complete her revenge by the destruction of so inconsiderable a division of the enemy. Suetonius, who expected no succours from any place, was in a great strait what to do. The ninth legion under Petilius Cerealis had just been entirely routed, and Pænius Posthumjus, who had a considerable detachment of the second, refused to join him. Thus Suetonius