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fresh." The next day the Britons attacked three legions that \ttr« foraging, but were repulsed with considerable loss. Upon this ill success, the auxiliaries forsook Cassivellaunus, who was never after able to bring any formidable force into the field.
Not being able to make head against the Romans, the unfortunate British chief retreated toils own territories, and fortified the Thames, where fordable. Tbe Romans, however, forced a passage at Coway, in Middlesex, and proceeded an their march, when they were met by deputies from the magistrates of the chief city of theTriaobantes, who ignobly offered subjection, and traitorously joined the Romans; at the same time requesting that Mandubratius", one of Csesar's attendants, •whose father was-killed by Cassivellaunus, might be permitted to rule them. Caesar assented, but at the same time demanded forty hostages, and provisions for his whole army.
These conditions were complied with; and the defection of those people not only weakened the common cause, but induced several other states to follow their example. Among those who joined C'sesar, some •were base enough to let him know what strength Cassivellaunus had still remaining, and where he had retreated to. Upon this information, Caesar immediately proceeded to the city of Verulam, now St. Aluan's, andbesieged that nrifortunate chief in hi* capital. The place was tolerably well fortified with woods and morasses; but the Romans look it by storm, and put a prodigious number of the unhappy Britons to the sword. Cassivellaunus, however, escaped; and, as his last resource, persuaded four petty kings of Kent, viz. Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagalus, and Segonax, to attack the Roman camp, where the ships were secured, and try to destroy their navy. The project was put into execution, but failed of success; for the Britons were defeated, and Cingetorix taken prisoner. This ill success, the desolation of his country, and the revolt of his allies, induced Cassivellaunus at length to sue for peace.
His request was granted immediately by Caesar, who pretended to have a great respect for Cassivellaunus, on account of his personal courage; but the real reason of his granting him conditions tolerably favourable, was his desire to return to Gaul, where the public affairs rendered his immediate presence necessary. Previous to his departure, Ije imposed a yearly tribute upon the Britons; included his ally, Mandubratius, in tlie treaty; and tried to secure the allegiance of the different kingdoms, by taking with him a great number of hostages.
Thus concludes Ca'sar's second invasion, wherein Tacitus observes, he had rather shewn Britain to the Romans than given them possession of it.
Augustus's Threatened Invasion—The Emperor Augustgs, Caesar's immediate successor, determined to invade Britain, but was diverted from his purpose by a revolt in Panonia. About seven years afterwards he renewed his design; but the distracted state of Gaul, and the arrival of some ambassadors from'Britain, to sue for a peace; caused him a second time to change his resolution. The ensuing year he again re-assumed his intention, and was again disappointed by commotions in other parts. Thus all his plans of invading .Britain, proved abortive. Tiberius succeeded Augustus, and, like his predecessor, paid but'" regard to Britain.
Caligula's Cockle-shell Invasion.—On the death of Tiberius, the empire devolved to Caligula, a most cruel tyrant. In his reign, Adminius, the son of Cunobelin, a British king, raised an unnatural rebellion against his father; but, not succeeding according to his wish, he fled to Caligula, who, being of a base disposition himself, received the traitor with open arms. rlhe treacherous Briton,'fioding the encouragement given to his crimes, and perceiving the weakness of the entperor, persuaded him to invade not only his father's dominions; but those of all the other British princes; representing, that the conquest •would be very important from the riches it would bring; extremely glorious from its importance, and by no means difficult, from the terror of his name; for the Britons, said he, will throw down their arms, the moment they hear you are coming in person against them.
These arguments exactly suited the avarice, pride, and cowardice of the emperor; who thought that an opportunity to gain wealth and fame, without danger, was not to be neglected. He accordingly drefr together an army of 200,000 men, to invade Britain, and proceeded to the coast of Belgic Gaul. He was here informed, to his great surprise, that the Britons were under arms on the opposite shore, with a determined resolution to oppose his intended descent. This, at first, he could hardly believe. Being, however, at length convinced that his name was not so terrible as he imagined, his fears induced him to desist. But, that it should not be said he was afraid to see his enemies, he embarked on board a galley, sailed within a league of the British coast, took a peep at the Britons, whose formidable appearance he did not at all like; and then hasted back with as much ostentation, as if he had atchieved some great action.
To make himself more ridiculous, he ordered the army to be drawn up in battle array, as soon as he landed; and, having made a curious harangue to all the soldiers, to their utter astonishment, gave directions that they should disperse themselves about the sea-coast, to gather up all the shells they could find! The troops naturally thought that the emperor's head was turned, but, at the same* time, obeyed.
A prodigious quantity of shells being collected, Caligula commanded that they should be carefully paizked up; and sent them with the most pompous parade to Rome, as the spoils of the British ocean; demandiog, at the same time, that the senate should decree him a triumph, for the important services he had done the empire. .Absurd as this request may appear, the senate was civil enough to comply with it; and put themselves to immense expence, to render the emperor magnificently ridiculous in the face of the whole world, by his cockle-shell conquest.
Plautius's Invasion.—Thus, from the continued failure of intended invasions, the Britons remained unassailed by the Romans, from Julius Casar till the reign of Claudius; and then rather fell victims to their own intestine broils, than to the power of that empire.—Jealousy did \vhat their enemies swords could not effect; and while some kings had the virtue to oppose the Romans, others joined them, and were solicitors for their own destruction. Beric, a discontented British prince, •was the chief enemy to his own country, and the principal person who persuaded the emperor to undertake the expedition.
Plaujius, the praetor, tfas placed at the head of the army, and ordered
•to pass into Britain. But the troops mutinied, and declared, " They would not make war out of the compass of the world;" for the com* inon people thought, that all places, beyond the ocean, were out of the limits of the world to which they belonged. At length, threats, present* and promises prevailed; harmony was restored; the troops reconciled to the expedition, and they landed in Britain without opposition. Their not meeting with the resistance they expected, was owing to the Britons .having been informed, by some merchants, that the Homan troops had mutinied, and the invasion was laid aside. This fatal intelligence soothed them into security, and occasioned them to disband their forces, when there was more necessity than ever to employ them.
Plauthis penetrated as far as Oxfordshire, without any opposition, except being a little harassed by small skirmishing parties. He now advanced toward the. principal forces that the Britons had been able to collect, which were very impolitically divided into two bodies, th« one commanded by Caractacus, and the other by Togodumuus, his brother. Plnutius attacked them separately, and defeated both parties.
Tlautius, however, found that his own army was considerably diminished, by repeated engagements; and that the Britons, not discouraged by their ill successes, were still determined to struggle for their liberties. Doubtful of his own security, he sent to the continent for reinforcements, and strongly solicited the emperor to come in person, in order to complete the conquest.
Claudius's Invasion.—Claudius accordingly landed in Britain in the month of August, A.Dl 43, with a powerful army, and immediately ioarched to join Plautius, whose troops were encamped on the south side of the Thames. The forces, bv their junction, formed a more considerable army than the Romans had ever before brought into the island. Claudius toolf the sole command upon himself, marched expeditiously up to the Britons, and before they had time to reflect, brought them to a general engagement, in which they received a total overthrow.
The Bomans having secured a footing in the island, all their future efforts to subdue it completely, may be rather termed expeditions than invasions. JJut, during the whole period of their dominion in this country, they never entirely subjugated it to their yoke. For the northern parts of it still remained free. As for the incursions of Agricola and Severus, they were rather temporary inroads, than decisive conquests. All the high-spirited Britons, who disdained yielding to the lioman sway, fled thither, and preserved their liberty iu the mountains of the north.
Invasions Of The Saxons —The Homan Empire, in the reigns of Arcadius and Honorius, was torn to pieces within by intestine quarrel; and was powerfully attacked without by barbarous nations, that made horrible ravages upon the frontiers. The period was_ now arrived, when that enormous fabric, which had dillused slavery and oppression., together with civility and peace, over so considerable a part of-the globe, was approaching towards its final dissolution, by an ioundation of barbarians from the north, like the modern French;"who not only over-run the exterior provinces, but threatened the destruc-» tion of the central provinces, and even Rome itself.—In this dilemr-the emperors, instead of arming the people in their own defence, L _ 15 3 '.
called all the distant legions. All the Roman troops, in Britain, were consequently carried over to the protection of Gaul and Italy.—The Britons, though secured by the sea against the invasion of the greatest tribes of barbarians, found enemies on its frontiers, -who took advantage of its present defenceless situation. For, however much the Romans had polished them by letters, by science, and by manners, they were, at the same time, rendered so dispirited and submissive, by being disarmedas well as enslaved, that they had lost all desire, and even idea, of their former liberty and iodependence!
The Picts and Scots, who dwelt in the northern parts of the island, seized upon this favourable opportunity of the absence of the Roman troops, to make incursions upon their peaceable and effeminate neighbours. Besides the temporary depredations they committed, these combined nations threatened the whole south with subjection; or, what the'inhabitants more dreaded, with plunder and devastation. The Britons, accustomed toihave recourse to the Roman Emperors for defence, as well as government, made supplications to Rome, and one legion was sent over tor their protection. This small force was an over-match for the barbarous invaders, who were routed in every engagement; and having chased them into their ancient limits, returned in triuhiph to the defence of the southern provinces of the empire.
The retreat of the Romans, however, only served to bring on a new invasion of the enemy. Again the Britons made an application to Rome, and again obtained the assistance of a legion, which proved effectual for their relief. But the Romans, reduced to extremities at home, informed the Britons that they must no longer look to them for succour; and exhorted them to arm in their own defence. They besides urged, that, as they were now their own masters,~it became them to protect, by their valour, that independence which their ancient Lords had conferred upon-them. After naving assisted them in fortifying the frontiers, they bade a final adieu to Britain, having been masters of the more considerable part of it during the course of near four centuries.
What an abject state were the Britons then thrown into, from effeminacy and want of discipline! They had no-t even the spirit to ami themselves! For, regarding this present of liberty as fatal, they were in no condition to put in practice the prudent counsel given them by the Romans, " To arm in their own defence!" Unaccustomed, both to • the perils of war, and to the cares of civil government, tliey found themselves incapable of forming or executing any measures for resisting the incursions of their barbarous neighbours. The Picts anc! Scots, fmding that the Romans had now totally abandoned Britain, regarded the whole as their prey; and carried, everywhere, devastation and ruin. They «xerted, to their utmost, their native ferocity;- which was by no means mitigated by the hopeless condition and submissive behaviour of the wretched inhabitants.
Notwithstanding the resolution of the Romans, to abandon them for "ver, the Britons had recourse, a third time, to their protection. They note, upon this occasion, such a degrading letter to iEtius, the-Rpman ;eneral, then in Gaul, as cannot be perused without indignation and ontempt. The tenor of this dastardly epistle was:
"THE GROANS-OF THE BRITONS!
"We know not which way to turn us. The Barbarians drive us to the sea; the sea drives us back to the Barbarians; and we have only the hard choice left us, either to be butchered by the sword, or swallowed up by the waves!"
It is almost incredible to think, that such a numerous people at the Britons, could be so far enfeebled by the Romans, as not to be able to defend themselves against such a contemptible enemy; for contemptible must that enemy be, when a Roman legion, consisting of less tna» 4000 men, could defeat and expel them, however fierce and brave those two invading nations have been represented to posterity. The only reason that can be assigned for such unaccountable imbecility, is, that the Romans, every year, drained their British provinces of the youths fit to bear arms, and sent them to recruit their armies on the continent, so that between the enfeebling of the minds of the Britons, and the depriving them of all the vigorous aid of the flower of their jouth, by the policy of their Roman masters, they may be said to have been a nation without men, as well as 'a people without courage. The Romans cherished those shoots which they transplanted; they benumbed those which they permitted to remain.
When we reflect, that their whole military establishment here, was not 20,000 foot, and ^000 cavalry, it seems wonderful that their utmosc skill and rigour was able, for near four centuries, to keep such a populous nation in subjection as the Britons. This historical lesson, therefore, shews us the absolute necessity of keeping up the martial spirit of the British empire, that, upon every urgent occasion of defence, like the present, we may be " A powerful armed nation," as well as " A great commercial state."
jK! ins having to contend with Atilla, who had entered Gaul with an, immense army, consisting of no less than 800,000 men, sent the Britons for answer, that the affairs of the empire would by no means permit him to comply with their request. The abject, wretched Britons, were thunder-struck at this, and reduced to despair. After several severe conflicts, and being on the precipice of ruin, their provincial kings agreed to chuse a supreme monarch, from among themselves, to guide them in this dreadful moment. Their, choice fell on Vortigern, king of the western counties of Devonshire and Cornwall. Instead of following the advice of the Romans, by arming and discipling themselves, he fatally advised them to call in the aid of the Saxons!
That race'of men had been, for some time, regarded as one of the most warlike tribes of the fierce Germans, and had become the terror of the neighbouring nations. They had taken possession of all the seacoast from the mouth of the Rhine to Jutland; whence they had long infested, by their piracies, all the eastern and southern parts of Btitain, and the northern parts of Gaul. The Saxons gladly accepted this invitation of the Britons, and an aid of 9000 men-was granted them, on. condition that the Saxons were put in possession of the isle of Thanet, and their troops allowed a certain pay. They did not think proper, however, to send over at once the stipulated number of troops, to a co-try of which they were but imperfectly acquainted. About 1500,