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barking and crossing the sea to the island of Meninx, there learnt for the first time that his son had escaped with Cethegus, and that they were going to Iampsas (Hiempsal), king of the Numidians, to ask aid of him. This news encouraged him a little, and he was emboldened to move from the island to the neighbourhood of Carthage. At this time the governor of Libya was Sextilius, Roman, who had neither received injury nor favour from Marius, and it was expected that he would help him, at least, as far as feelings of compassion move a man. But no sooner had Marius landed with a few of his party, than an officer met him, and standing right in front of him said, “ The Governor Sextilius forbids you, Marius, to set foot on Libya, and he says that, if you do, he will support the decree of the Senate by treating you as an enemy.” On hearing this, grief and indignation deprived Marius of utterance, and he was a long time silent, looking fixedly at the officer. Upon the officer asking Marius what he had to say, what reply he had for the governor, he answered with a deep groan, " Tell him
you have seen Caius Marius a fugitive, sitting on the ruins of Carthage:" a reply in which he not unaptly compared the fate of that city and his own changed fortunes. In the meantime, Iampsas, the king of the Numidians, being unresolved which way to act, treated young Marius and his companions with respect, but still detained them on some new pretext whenever they wished to leave; and it was evident that he had no fair object in view in thus deferring their departure. However, an incident happened of no uncommon kind, which brought about their deliverance. The younger Marius was handsome, and one of the king's concubines was grieved to see him in a condition unbefitting his station, and this feeling of compassion was a beginning and motive towards love. At first, however, Marius rejected the woman's proposals, but seeing that there were no other means of escape, and that her conduct proceeded from more serious motives than mere passion, he accepted her proffered favours, and with her aid stole
away with his friends and made his escape to his father. After embracing one another, they went along the shore, where they saw some scorpious fighting, which Marius considered to be a bad omen. Accordingly they forthwith embarked in a fishing boat, and passed over to the island Cercina, which was no great distance from the mainland; and it happened that they had only just set sail, when some
horsemen despatched by the king were seen riding to the spot where they embarked. Marius thus escaped a danger equal to any that ever threatened him.
News reached Rome that Sulla was encountering the generals of Mithridates in Bæotia, while the consuls were quarrelling and taking up arms.
A battle was fought, in which Octavius got the victory and ejected Cinna, who was attempting to govern by violent means, and he put in Cinna's place as consul Cornelius Merula; but Cinna collected troops in Italy and made war against Octavius. On hearing this, Marius determined to set sail immediately, which he did with some Moorish cavalry that he took from Africa, and some few Italians who had fled there, but the number of both together did not exceed a thousand. Coming to shore at Telamo in Tyrrhenia, and landing there, Marius proclaimed freedom to the slaves; and as the freemen who were employed in agriculture there, and in pasturing cattle, flocked to the sea, attracted by his fame, Marius persuaded the most vigorous of them to join him, and in a few days he had collected a considerable force and manned forty ships. Knowing that Octavius was an honourable man and wished to direct the administration in the justest way, but that Cinna was disliked by Sulla and opposed to the existing constitution, he determined to join him with his force. Accordingly he sent to Cinna and proffered to obey him as consul in everything. Cinna accepted the proposal, and naming Marius proconsul, sent him fasces and the other insignia of the office. Marius, however, observing that such things were not suited to his fortunes, clad in a mean dress, with his hair uncut from the day that he had been an exile, and now above seventy years of age, advanced with slow steps, wishing to make himself an object of compassion ; but there was mingled with his abject mien more than his usual terrific expression of countenance, and through his downcast looks he showed that his passion, so far from being humbled, was infuriated by his reverses of fortune.
As soon as he had embraced Cinna and greeted the soldiers, Marius commenced active operations and gave a great turn to affairs. First of all, by attacking the corn-vessels with his ships and plundering the merchants, he made himself master of the supplies. He next sailed to the maritime cities, which he took; and, finally, Ostia being treacherously surrendered to him, he made plunder of the property that he found there and put to death many of the people, and by blocking up the river he completely cut off his enemies from all supplies by sea. He now moved on with his army towards Rome and occupied the Janiculus. Octavius damaged his own cause, not so much from want of skill as through his scrupulous observance of the law, to which he unwisely sacrificed the public interests; for, though many persons advised him to invite the slaves to join him by promising their freedom, he refused to make them members of the state from which he was endeavouring to exclude Marius in obedience to the law. On the arrival at Rome of Metellus, the son of Metellus who had commanded in Libya, and had been banished from the city through the intrigues of Marius, the soldiers deserted Octavius and came to Metellus, entreating him to take the command and save the city; they said, if they had an experienced and active commander, they would fight well and get the victory. But Metellus expressed great dissatisfaction at their conduct and bade them go to the consul, upon which they passed over to the enemy. Metellus also in despair left the city. But Octavius was persuaded by Chaldæans and ortain diviners and interpreters of the Sibylline books to stay in Rome by the assurance that all would turn out well. Octavius, who in all other matters had as solid a judg. ment as any Roman, and most carefully maintained the consular dignity free from all undue influence according to the usage of his country and the laws, as if they were unchangeable rules, nevertheless showed great weakness in keeping company with impostors and diviners, rather than with men versed in political and military matters. Now Octavius was dragged down from the Rostra before Marius entered the city, by some persons who were sent forward, and murdered; and it is said that a Chaldæan writing was found in his bosom after he was killed. It seemed to be a very inexplicable circumstance that, of two illustrious commanders, Marius owed his success to not disregarding divination, and Octavius thereby lost his life.
Matters being in this state, the Senate met and sent a deputation to Cinna and Marius to invite them into the city and to entreat them to spare the citizens. Cinna, as consul, sitting on his chair of office gave audience to the commissioners and returned a kind answer: Marius stood by the consul's chair without speaking a word, but indicating by the unchanging heaviness of his brow and his gloomy look that he intended to fill Rome with slaughter. After the audience was over, they marched to the city. Cinna entered accompanied by his guards, but Marius, halting at the gates, angrily affected to have some scruples about entering: he said he was an exile and was excluded from his country by a law, and if any body wanted to have him in the city, they must go to the vote again and undo the vote by which he was banished, just as if he were a man who respected the laws and were returning from exile to a free state. Accordingly he summoned the people to the Forum; but before three or four of the tribes had voted, throwing off the mask and setting aside all the talk about being legally recalled, he entered with some guards selected from the slaves who had flocked to him, and were called Bardiæi. These fellows killed many persons by his express orders and many on the mere signal of his nod; and at last meeting with Ancharius, a senator who had filled the office of prætor, they struck him down with their daggers in the presence of Marius, when they saw that Marius did not salute him. After this, whenever he did not salute a man or return his salute, this was a signal for them to massacre him forthwith in the streets, in consequence of which even the friends of Marius were filled with consternation and horror when they approached him. The slaughter was now great, and Cinna’s appetite was dulled and he was satisfied with blood; but Marius daily went on with his passion at the highest pitch and thirsting for vengeance, through the whole list of those whom he suspected in any degree. And every road and every city was filled with the pursuers, hunting out those who attempted to escape and conceal themselves; and the ties of hospitality and friendship were proved to be no security in misfortune, for there were very few who did not betray those who sought refuge with them. This rendered the conduct of the slaves of Cornutus the more worthy of praise and admiration, for they concealed their master at home, and hanging up by the neck the dead body of some obscure person, and putting a gold ring on his finger, they showed him to the guards of Marius, and then, wrapping up the body as if it were their master's, they interred it. The device went unsuspected, and Cornutus, being thus secreted by his slaves, made his escape to Gaul.
The orator Marcus Antonius found a faithful friend, but still he did not escape. This man, though poor, and of the lower class, received in his house one of the most illustrious of the Romans, and, wishing to entertain him as well as he could, he sent a slave to one of the neighbouring wine-shops to get some wine. As the slave was more curious than usual in tasting it, and told the man to give him some better wine, the merchant asked what could be the reason that he did not buy the new wine, as usual, and the ordinary wine, but wanted some of good quality and high price. The slave replied in his simplicity, as he was speaking to an old acquaintance, that his master was entertaining Marcus Antonius, who was concealed at his house. The wine-dealer, a faithless and unprincipled wretch, as soon as the slave left him, hurried off to Marius, who was at supper, and, having gained admission, told him that he would betray Marcus Antonius to him. On hearing this, Marius is said to have uttered a loud shout and to have clapped his hands with delight; and he was near getting up and going to the place himself, but his friends stopped him, and he despatched Annius with some soldiers, with orders to bring him the head of Antonius immediately. On reaching the house, Annius waited at the door, and the soldiers mounting the stairs entered the room, but on seeing Antonius every man began to urge some of his companions and push him forward to do the deed instead of himself. And so powerful were the charm and persuasion of his eloquence, when Antonius began to speak and pray for his life, that not a man of them could venture to lay hands on him or look him in the face, but they all bent their heads down and shed tears. As this caused some delay, Annius went up stairs, where he saw Antonius speaking and the soldiers awed and completely softened by his eloquence; on which he abused them, and, running up to Antonius, cut off his head with his own hand. The friends of Catulus Lutatius, who had been joint Consul with Marius and with him had triumphed over the Cimbri, interceded for him with Marius, and begged for his life; but the only answer they got was, “He must die!” and accordingly Catulus shut himself up in a room, and, lighting a quantity of charcoal, suffocated himself. Headless trunks, thrown into the streets and trampled under foot, excited no feeling of compassion, but only a universal shudder and alarm. But the people were most provoked by the licence of the Bardiæi, who murdered fathers of families in their houses, defiled their children, and violated their ives; and they went on plundering and committing violence, till Cinna and Sertorius, combining, attacked them when they were asleep in the camp, and transfixed them with spears.