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and a level country invited his attempts. The poor, naked, illarmed Britons, we may well suppose, were but an unequal match for the disciplined Romans, who had before conquered Gaul, and afterwards became the conquerors of the world. However, they made a brave opposition against the veteran army; the conflicts between them were fierce, the losses mutual, and the success various. The Britons had chosen Cassibelaunus for their commander-inchief; but the petty princes under his command, either desiring his station, or suspecting his fidelity, threw off their allegiance. Some of them fled with their forces into the internal parts of the kingdom ; others submitted to Cæsar: till at length Cassibelaunus himself, weakened by so many desertions, resolved upon making what terms he was able, while he yet had power to keep the field. The conditions offered by Cæsar, and accepted by him, were, that he should send to the continent double the number of hostages at first demanded, and that he should acknowledge subjection to the Romans.

The Romans were pleased with the name of this new and remote conquest, and the senate decreed a supplication of twenty days in consequence of their general's success. Having, therefore, in this manner rather discovered than subdued the southern parts of the island, Cæsar returned into Gaul with his forces, and left the Britons to enjoy their customs, religion, and laws. But the inhabitants, thus relieved from the terror of his arms, neglected the performance of their stipulations; and only two of their states sent over hostages according to the treaty. Cæsar, it is likely, was not much displeased at the omission, as it furnished him with a pretext of visiting the island once more, and completing a conquest which he had only begun.

Accordingly, the ensuing spring he set sail for Britain with eight hundred ships; and, arriving at the place of his former descent, he landed without opposition. The islanders, being apprized of his invasion, had assembled an army, and marched down to the sea-side to oppose him ; but, seeing the number of his forces, and the whole sea, as it were, covered with his shipping, they were struck with consternation, and retired to their places of security. The Romans, however, pursued them to their retreats, until at last common danger induced these poor barbarians to forget their former dissensions, and to unite their whole strength for the mutual defence of their liberty and possessions. Cassibelaunus was chosen to conduct the common cause : and for some time he harassed the Romans in their march, and revived the desponding hopes of his countrymen. But no opposition that undisciplined strength could make was able to repress the vigour and intrepidity of Cæsar. He discomfited the Britons in every action; he advanced into the country, passed the Thames in the face of the enemy, took and burned the capital city of Cassibelaunus, established his ally Mandubratius as sovereign of the Trinobantes; and, having obliged the inhabitants to make new submissions, he again returned with his army into Gaul, having made himself rather the nominal than the real possessor of the island.

Whatever the stipulated tribute might have been, it is more than probable, as there was no authority left to exact it, that it was but indifferently paid. Upon the accession of Augustus, that emperor had formed a design of visiting Britain, but was diverted from it by an unexpected revolt of the Pannonians. Some years after he resumed his design ;, but being met in his way by the British ambassadors, who promised the accustomed tribute, and made the usual submissions, he desisted from his intention. The year following, finding them remiss in their supplies, and untrue to their former professions, he once more prepared for the invasion of the country; but a well-timed embassy again averted his indignation, and the submissions he received seemed to satisfy his resentment: upon his death-bed he appeared sensible of the overgrown extent of the Roman empire, and recommended it to his successors never to enlarge their territories.

Tiberius followed the maxims of Augustus, and, wisely judging the empire already too extensive, made no attempt upon Britain. Some Roman soldiers having been wrecked on the British coast, the inhabitants not only assisted them with the greatest humanity, but sent them back in safety to their general. În consequence of these friendly dispositions, a constant intercourse of good offices subsisted between the two nations; the principal British nobility resorted to Rome, and many received their education there.

From that time the Britons began to improve in all the arts which contribute to the advancement of human nature. The first art which a savage people is generally taught by politer neighbours, is that of war. The Britons thenceforward, though not wholly addicted to the Roman method of fighting, nevertheless adopted several of their improvements, as well in their arms as in their arrangement in the field. Their ferocity to strangers, for which they had been always remarkable, was mitigated; and they began to permit an intercourse of commerce, even in the internal parts of the country. They still, however, continued to live as herdsmen and hunters; a manifest proof that the country was yet but thinly inhabited. A nation of hunters can never be populous, as their subsistence is necessarily diffused over a large tract of country, while the husbandman converts every part of nature to human use, and flourishes most by the vicinity of those whom he is to support.

The wild extravagances of Caligula, by which he threatened Britain with an invasion, served rather to expose him to ridicule, than the island to danger. The Britons, therefore, for almost a century, enjoyed their liberty unmolested, till at length the Romans, in the reign of Claudius, began to think seriously of reducing them under their dominion. The expedition for this purpose was conducted in the beginning by Plautius and other commanders, with that success which usually attended the Roman arms.

Claudius himself, finding affairs sufficiently prepared for his re

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It is true,

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ception, made a journey thither, and received the submission of such states as, living by commerce, were willing to

43. purchase tranquillity at the expense of freedom. that many of the inland provinces preferred their native simplicity to imported elegance, and, rather than bow their necks to the Roman yoke, offered their bosoms to the sword. But the southern coast, with all the adjacent inland country, was seized by the conquerors, who secured the possession by fortifying camps, building fortresses, and planting colonies. The other parts of the country either thought themselves in no danger, or continued patient spectators of the approaching devastation.

Caractacus was the first who seemed willing, by a vigorous effort, to rescue his country, and repel its insulting and rapacious conquerors. The venality and corruption of the Roman prætors and officers, who were appointed to levy the contributions in Britain, served to excite the indignation of the natives, and give spirit to his attempts. This rude soldier, though with inferior forces, continued, for about the space of nine years, to oppose and harass the

' Romans; so that at length Ostorius Scapula was sent over to command their armies. He was more successful than his predecessors. He advanced the Roman conquests over Britain, pierced the country of the Silures, a warlike nation along the banks of the Severn, and at length came up with Caractacus, who had

51. taken possession of a very advantageous post upon an inaccessible mountain, washed by a deep and rapid stream. The aufortunate British general, when he saw the enemy approaching, drew up his army, composed of different tribes, and, going from rank to rank, exhorted them to strike the last blow for liberty, safety, and life. To these exhortations his soldiers replied with shouts of determined valour. But what could undisciplined bravery avail against the attack of an army skilled in all the arts of war, and inspired by a long train of conquests? The Britons were, after an obstinate resistance, totally routed; and a few days after Caractacus himself was delivered up to the conquerors by Cartismandua, queen of the Brigantes, with whom he had taken refuge. The capture of this general was received with such joy at Rome, that Claudius commanded that he should be brought from Britain, in order to be exhibited as a spectacle to the Roman people. Accordingly, on the day appointed for that purpose, the emperor, ascending his throne, ordered the captives, and Caractacus among the number, to be brought into his presence. The vassals of the British king, with the spoils taken in war, were first brought forward; these were followed by his family, who, with abject lamentations, were seen to implore for mercy. Last of all came Caractacus, with an undaunted air and a dignified aspect. He appeared no way dejected at the amazing concourse of spectators that were gathered upon this occasion, but casting his eyes on the splendours that surrounded him, “ Alas!" cried he, “how is it possible that a people possessed of such magnificence at home, could envy me an humble cottage in

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Britain ?" When brought into the emperor's presence, he is said to have addressed him in the following inanner : “ Had my moderation been equal to my birth and fortune, I had arrived in this city not as a captive but as a friend. But my present misfortunes redound as much to your honour as to my disgrace; and the obstinacy of my opposition serves to increase the splendour of your victory. Had I surrendered myself in the beginning of the contest, neither my disgrace nor your glory would have attracted the attention of the world, and my fate would have been buried in general oblivion. I am now at your mercy; but if my life be spared, I shall remain an eternal monument of your clemency and moderation.” The emperor was affected with the British hero's misfortunes, and won by his address. He ordered him to be unchained upon the spot, with the rest of the captives; and the first use they made of their liberty was to go and prostrate themselves before the empress Agrippina, who, as some suppose, had been an intercessor for their freedom.

Notwithstanding these misfortunes, the Britons were not subdued, and this island was regarded by the ambitious Romans as a field in which military honour might still be acquired. The Britons made one expiring effort to recover their liberty in the time of Nero, tak

ing advantage of the absence of Paulinus, the Roman general, who was employed in subduing the Isle of Anglesey. That

small island, separated from Britain by a narrow channel, still continued the chief seat of the Druidical superstition, and constantly afforded a retreat to their defeated forces. It was thought necessary therefore to subdue that place, in order to extirpate a religion that disdained submission to foreign laws or leaders; and Paulinus, the greatest general of his age, undertook the task. The Britons endeavoured to obstruct his landing on that last retreat of their superstitions and liberties, both by the force of their arms and the terrors of their religion. The priests and islanders were drawn up in order of battle upon the shore, to oppose his landing. The women, dressed like Furies, with dishevelled hair, and torches in their hands, poured forth the most terrible execrations. Such a sight at first confounded the Romans, and fixed them motionless on the spot; so that they received the first assault without opposition. But Paulinus, exhorting his troops to despise the menaces of an absurd superstition, impelled them to the attack, drove the Britons off the field, burned the Druids in the same fires they had prepared for their captive enemies, and destroyed all their consecrated groves and altars.

In the mean time the Britons, taking advantage of his absence, resolved, by a general insurrection, to free themselves from that state of abject servitude to which they were reduced by the Romans. They had many motives to aggravate their resentment; the greatness of their taxes, which were levied with unremitting severity; the cruel insolence of their conquerors, who reproached that very poverty which they had caused; but particularly the cruel treat

ment of Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, drove them at last into open rebellion. Prasatagus, king of the Iceni, at his death, had bequeathed one half of bis dominions to the Romans, and the other to his daughters; thus hoping, by the sacrifice of a part, to secure the rest in his family; but it had a different effect; for the Roman procurator immediately took possession of the whole; and when Boadicea, the widow of the deceased, attempted to remonstrate, he ordered her to be scourged like a slave, and violated the chastity of her daughters. These outrages were sufficient to produce a revolt through the whole island. The Iceni, being the most deeply interested in the quarrel, were the first to take arms; all the other states soon followed the example: and Boadicea, a woman of great beauty and masculine spirit, was appointed to head the common forces, which amounted to two hundred and thirty thousand fighting men. These, exasperated by their wrongs, attacked several of the Roman settlements and colonies with success. Paulinus hastened to relieve London, which was already a flourishing colony ; but found on his arrival that it would be requisite, for the general safety, to abandon that place to the merciless fury of the enemy. London was therefore soon reduced to ashes; such of the inhabitants as remained in it were massacred ; and the Romans, with all other strangers, to the number of seventy thousand, were cruelly put to the sword. Flushed with these successes, the Britons no longer sought to avoid the enemy, but boldly came to the place where Paulinus awaited their arrival, posted in a very advantageous manner with a body of ten thousand men. The battle was obstinate and bloody. Boadicea herself appeared in a chariot with her two daughters, and haraugued her army with masculine firmness; but the irregular and undisciplined bravery of her troops was unable to resist the cool intrepidity of the Romans. They were routed with great slaughter ; eighty thousand perished in the field, and an infinite number were made prisoners; while Boadicea herself, fearing to fall into the hands of the enraged victor, put an end to her life by poison. Nero soon after recalled Paulinus from a government, where, by suffering and inflicting so many severities, he was judged improper to compose the angry and alarmed minds of the natives.

After an interval, Cerealis received the command from Vespasian, and, by his bravery, propagated the terror of the Roman arms. Julius Frontinus succeeded Cerealis, both in authority and reputation. The general who finally established the dominion of the Romans in this island, was Julius Agricola, who governed it during the reigns of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, and distinguished himself as well by bis courage as humanity.

Agricola, who is considered as one of the greatest characters in history, formed a regular plan for subduing and civilizing the island, and thus rendering the acquisition useful to the conquerors. As the northern part of the country was least tractable, he carried his victorious arms thither, and defeated the undisciplined enemy in every encounter. He pierced into the formerly inaccessible for.

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