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958

MARIUS.

consoled himself and encouraged his companions by the assurance that he should still live to see his seventh consulship, in accordance with a prediction that had been made to him in his youth: he told them that when a child an eagle's nest with seven young ones had fallen into his lap, and that the soothsayers had informed his parents that the pro­digy intimated that he should obtain the supreme command and magistracy seven times. Marius and his friends wandered on to Minturnae, and when they were within two miles from the city, they saw a party of horsemen galloping towards them. In great haste they hurried down to the sea, and swam off to two merchant vessels, which received them onboard. The horsemen bade the sailors bring the ship to land, or throw Marius overboard ; but moved by the tears and entreaties of the old man, they refused to comply with the request. As soon, however, as the horsemen had ridden off, the sailors, fearing to keep. Marius, and yet not choosing to betray him, landed him at the mouth of the river Liris, and immediately sailed away. Marius was now quite alone amid the swamps and marshes through which the Liris flows, and with difficulty waded through them to the hut of an old man, who concealed him in a hole near the river, and covered him with reeds. But hearing shortly afterwards the noise of his pursuers in the hut of the old man, he crept out of his hiding-place, stript off his clothes, and threw him­self into the thick and muddy water of the marsh. Here he was discovered, dragged out of the water, and covered with mud, and with a rope round his neck was delivered up to the authorities of Min­turnae. They placed him for security in the house of a woman named Fannia, who was supposed to be a personal enemy of his [fannia], and then deliberated whether they should comply with the instruction that had been sent from Rome to .all the municipal towns, to put Marius to death as Soon as they found him. After some consultation they resolved to obey it, but at first they could find no one to carry it into execution. At length a Gallic or Cimbrian horse-soldier undertook the horrible duty, and with a drawn sword in his hand entered the apartment where Marius was confined. The part of the room in which Marius lay was in the shade; and to the frightened barbarian the eyes of Marius seemed to dart out fire, and from the darkness a terrible voice shouted out, " Man, dost thou dare to murder C. Marius?" The barbarian immedi­ately threw down his sword, and rushed out of the house, exclaiming, " I cannot kill C* Marius." Straightway there was a revulsion of feeling among the inhabitants of Minturnae. They repented of their ungrateful conduct towards a man who had saved Rome and Italy ; they got ready a ship for his departure, provided him with every thing ne­cessary for the voyage, and with prayers and wishes for his safety conducted him to the sea, and placed him on board. From Minturnae the wind carried him to the island of Aenaria (now Ischia), where he found Granius and the rest of his friends ; and from thence he set sail for Africa, which he reached in safety, after narrowly escaping death at Eryx in Sicily, where he was obliged to land to take in water. At Carthage Marius landed ; but he had scarcely put his foot on shore before the Roman governor Sextilius sent an officer to bid him leave the country, or else he would carry into execution the decree of the senate, and treat him as an enemy

MARIUS.

of the Roman people. This last blow almost un­manned Marius ; grief and indignation for a time deprived him of utterance ; and at last his only reply was, " Tell the praetor that you have C. Marius a fugitive sitting on the ruins of Carthage." Meanwhile, the younger Marius, who had been to Numidia to implore the assistance of Hiempsal, had been detained by the Numidian king, but had escaped by the assistance of one of the concubines of Hiempsal, who had fallen in love with him, and joined his father just at this time. They forthwith got on board a small fishing-boat, and crossed over to the island of Cercina, as some Numidian horse­men were riding up to apprehend them.

During this time a revolution had taken place at Rome, which prepared the way for the return of Marius to Italy. The consuls for the year b. c. 87 were Cn. Octavius and L. Cornelius Cinna, of whom the former belonged to the aristocratical and the latter to the Marian party. Sulla, however, had made Cinna swear that he would not attempt to make any alteration in the state ; but as soon as the former had left Italy to prosecute the war against Mithridates, Cinna, paying no regard to the oaths he had taken, brought forward again the law of Sulpicius for incorporating the new Italian citizens among the thirty-five tribes. The two consuls had recourse to arms, Octavius to oppose and Cinna to carry the law. A dreadful conflict took place in the forum ; the party of Octavius obtained the victory, and Cinna was driven out of the city with great slaughter. The senate forth­with passed a decree, declaring that Cinna had forfeited his citizenship and consulship, and ap­pointing L. Cornelius Merula consul in his stead. But Cinna would not relinquish his power without another struggle ; and by means of the new citi­zens, whose cause he espoused, he was soon at the head of a formidable army. As soon as Marius heard of these changes he set sail from Africa, landed at Telamo in Etruria, and proclaiming freedom to the slaves began to collect a large force. He sent to Cinna, offering to obey him as consul. Cinna accepted his proposal, and named Marius pro­consul, but Marius would not accept the title nor the insignia of office, observing that'. such marks of honour were not suited to his condition and for­tune. The sufferings and privations he had en­dured had exasperated his proud and haughty spirit almost to madness, and nothing but the blood of his enemies could appease his resentment. The old man proceeded slowly to join Sulla, inspiring mingled respect and horror, as he went along: he was clad in a mean and humble dress, and his hair and beard had not been cut from the day he had been driven out of Rome. After joining Cinna, Marius proceeded to prosecute the war with great vigour. He first captured the corn ships, and thus cut off Rome from its usual supply of food. He next took Ostia, and the other towns on the sea-coast, and moving down the Tiber, encamped on the Janiculus. Famine began to rage in the city, and the senate was obliged to yield. They sent a deputation to Cinna and Marius, inviting them into the city, but entreating them to spare the citizens. Cinna received the deputies sitting in his chair of office, and gave them a kind answer: Marius stood by the consul's chair without speak­ing, but his looks spoke louder than words. After the audience was over, they marched to the city: Cinna entered it with his guards j but when Mariua

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