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He was in fact completely cut off from his supplies on every side, and from his reinforcements, expected by him from Gaul. The description of his condition, too long to be here transcribed, is contained in chapter 48. The inundation which had occasioned this disaster, continued for many days, while the Pompeians, in the meantime, were enjoying the utmost abundance. An ineffectual attempt was made to re-establish the bridges; but the enemy upon the opposite, or left bank, were in too great force to permit their construction. An immense convoy, protected by a party of cavalry and bowmen were on their way from Gaul to Caesar; but upon their arrival at the Segre, they found themselves stopped by its swollen waters. Afranius, with three legions and all his cavalry, fell upon this body, which, somewhat incredibly, is described as dispersing and flying into (10) the Adjacent Mount AINs, with little comparative loss. The situation of Caesar was now in the highest degree distressful and perilous. To extricate himself he had recourse to the following expedient. He ordered the troops to construct vessels” similar to those which he had observed to be in use among the British upon his invasion of their country. The keel and ribs consisted of light wood and twigs, covered over with skins. A number of these slender embarkations were conveyed, by night, in carts, to a spot twenty-two miles from (above) his camp. The troops were carried over, the place fortified for the head of a bridge, and the bridge itself completed in two days. He thus not only re-established his communications, &c. but he surprized and cut off unexpectedly some of the enemy’s foraging parties. A change of fortune so material is then described to have taken place, as to occasion the defection of the Spanish provinces from the cause of his opponent, as well as the utter consternation and despair of his enemies themselves. We have already seen that the talents for stratagem and engineering, of which Casar was so justly proud, had enabled him to construct his bridge over the Segre at the distance of twenty-two miles above his camp. The great circuit, however, which his cavalry were obliged to make, when employed in foraging, &c. in order to avail themselves of its service, induced him to attempt the gigantic project of diverting the waters of the river in such a manner
* They may still be seen occasionally upon the waters of Wales, which in this instance, as in many others, continue to be essentially British. Their name of Coracle, however, is no longer “germane to the matter,” as pitched canvas is now adopted instead of the leather (corium) formerly in use.
as to render it fordable. This object he proposed to effect by (11) digging a number of chANNels, thirty feet deep each; but while he was eagerly engaged in the work, Afranius and Petreius alarmed at the growing difficulties of their situation, resolved to carry the war into Celtiberia (the modern Arragon) beyond the Ebro, by building a bridge across it at Octogesa (perhaps Mequimenza, where the Segre and Cinca flow with their united streams
into that great river). The bridge was established nearly at the
same time that a ford was found by Caesar. The two parties were soon therefore in full motion. The Pompeians, leaving two legions in Lerida, were marching on the left of the Segre, while the cavalry of Caesar were pressing and harassing their rear. The legionary troops of the latter now demanded to be led on to the pursuit, nor did Caesar hesitate to commit them to the perils of the passage by a dubious and difficult ford. Their zeal and practised activity advanced them with such rapidity, that in the course of twelve hours they had overtaken their retreating foe, who, terrified by a pursuit so emergetic, as well as worn out by the fatigue of continual skirmishes with the cavalry, resolved to (12) halt in A MoUNTAINous spot, (at about five miles distance”) where some release from the attacks of the latter might be hoped for. Five miles further, beyond this halting place of Afranius, and an adjoining hill occupied by Caesar, was, if I rightly understand the narrative, (13) ANother piece of difficult Ground, directly in the line of the Pompeians march. To gain this, therefore, was not only an important but a decisive object to both parties; and in the war of legs, which consequently ensued, Caesar was fortunate or dexterous enough to succeed. Having gained upon the summit of this (14) GREAT AND Rough piece of Rocky Gaou ND AN open space sufficient for his purpose, he drew up his troops with the view of intercepting the enemy, who, on their part, seizing a hill in the neighbourhood, made an ineffectual push to occupy (15) the very highest MounTAIN, then in sight. Thus cut off from the Ebro, pressed by a superior cavalry, in want of provisions, and only able to procure water at the expense of incessant skirmishes, while the power of moving at all from their present position was restricted to returning to Lerida, or to hazarding a march to Tarragona, the Lieutenants of Pompey found themselves reduced to the sad necessity of attempting to re-measure their steps without any very certain prospects of extrication before them. A mutiny with their troops, a treaty with Caesar, and their final submission to him followed; while the consequences of a victory so bloodless gave to the conqueror all the Spains, and allowed him to turn his face towards the east without the fear of any interruption from behind him. I have marked and numbered all the features of country which the description of Caesar appeared to me to render necessary, in order to understand the course of his narrative. A visitant upon the spot and in the neighbourhood, if such there should be found, would find, I trust, data from what is here written, sufficient to guide him to a competent illustration of a campaign so remarkable for the fertility of resource displayed by Caesar. In my own opinion, this man's talents, acquirements, and fortunate opportunity for their exhibition, yet remain unrivalled. In his contests with his countrymen he has obtained and deserves the praise of clemency; but with respect to the people of other countries, he was, like all his countrymen, a bloody and remorseless villain, who, in order to further his views or establish his renown, was as reckless of human lives as a desperate gamester is of the counters with which he marks the progress of the game. I will conclude these few pages with observing, that the resemblance between the commentaries of Caesar, and the recent French bulletins, is as striking as it is amusing. The same assumption of pure motives; the same display of unoffending mildness on their own part, contrasted with the unprincipled provocation of their adversaries; the same adoption of the cause of the vanquished, in order to pick a quarrel with other states; the same affectation of facility in their military achievements, and the same insolent tone of taking it for granted that opposition must be criminal, wherever they are opposed; may all be found in the compositions of the Gaul and of the Roman. I mean not, however, to compare with the Roman the French people; but in favour of the latter I must observe, that, if they be inferior in dignity and policy, they stand absolved from the atrocious and systematic wickedness and cruelty, at least in a degree, by which the former were so eminently characterized. I remain, Sir, &c. &c.
* To what have these five miles reference? Does Caesar mean that the hills or
mountains were five miles from Lerida, or from the spot where he overtook Afranius?
Author of " MUSCOVY,” $c. &c.
From Burgos castled town,
To glory and renown!
'Twas then the fleet and bold hussar
Drew forth his shining brand,
On Ebro's bloody strand.
'Twas then the warm and mounting blood,
Which glides through March's * veins,
And on Castilian plains.
And how will glow that lady's + face,
The wife and mother fair,
To bloom and flourish there.
There princely Orange, young and brave,
A grateful country's pride,
On Ebro's willowed side. • After the evacuation of Burgos, that gallant and distinguished nobleman, the Earl of March, bad a very narrow escape: in pursuing with the bussars, his Lordship got among the rear of the enemy; an officer attacked him, and levelled a tremendous blow with his sabre; he avoided it by dexterously tlirowiog bimself back on the saddle; it fell on the borse's neck, and wounded him severely; an English Dragoon, in the meantime, cut down the Frenchman.
+ Her Grace the Duchess of Richmond. The Prince of Orange, in full pursuit of the retreating enemy, had likewise an escape. A French Dragoon fired his musket, but fortunately missed his Higbness : And when the Gallic soldier's ball
Assailed his valued life,
Amidst that sanguined strife.
Oh young and noble! brave and good!
The glory of his race !
And followed up the chase.
Beloved and honoured in the field,
And in the fight a host;
Or ever quit his post.
In war's high toil or peaceful guise
The gallant youth shall shine ;
To grace his honoured line.
THE BATTLE OF SALAMANCA.
. A HASTY SKETCH,
The poet ought to share his fame! the Dragoon was instantly dispatched. The escape of his Highness delighted every one, for that gallant and excellent Prince is the idol of the British army :-in his manners a perfect Englishman, and by his gallantry and amiable temper, he has endeared bimself to the soldiery.
* Walter Scott.