Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

utriroue

U.C. 536. vulnerati? adeo consternabantur, ut stragem ingentem simul
A. C. 218. hominum ac sarcinarum omnis generis facerent: multosque

turba, quum præcipites deruptæque utriumque angustiæ
essent, in immensum altitudinis dejecit; quosdam et arma-
tos: sed ruinæ maximæ modo 8 jumenta cum oneribus de-
volvebantur. Quæ quanquam foeda visu erant, stetit
parumper tamen Hannibal, ac suos continuit, ne tumultum
ac trepidationem augeret. Deinde, postquam interrumpi
agmen vidit, periculumque esse, ne exutum impedimentis
exercitum nequicquam incolumem traduxisset, decurrit ex
superiore loco; et, quum impetu ipso fudisset hostem, suis
quoque

tumultum auxit. Sed is tumultus momento temporis, postquam liberata itinera fuga montanorum erant, sedatur: nec per otium modo, sed prope silentio, mox omnes traducti. Castellum inde, quod caput ejus regionis erat, viculosque circumjectos capit, et captivo cibo ac pecoribus per triduum exercitum aluit. Et quia nec montanis

primo perculsis, nec loco magnopere impediebantur', ali34. quantum eo triduo viæ confecit.

Perventum inde ad frequentem cultoribus alium, ut inter montana?, populum. Ibi non bello aperto, sed suis artibus,

? Icti forte aut vulnerati.] “When leaving jumenta to be governed by they happened to be struck or dejecit. wounded.”

9 Quum impetu ipso fudisset &c.] 8 Ruinæ maximæ modo.] The “ And, although he dispersed the cattle that suffered most on this occa- enemy by the mere violence of the sion must have been the elephants; charge, he aggravated, at the same those animals being unsuited, by the time, the confusion,” &c. formation of their bind legs, to moving i Impediebantur-confecit. In or exerting their immense strength order to remove the anomaly in upon inclined planes. We read that, Syntax between these verbs, Groon a subsequent occasion,

the Consul nov.reads montani prælio (for primo) Marcius, when invading Macedonia, perculsi, nec loca magn. impediebant, facilitated the descent of his ele- which is a considerable improvephants down the side of a mountain, ment. by means of bridges or galleries, 2 Ut inter montana &c.] “Conwhich, as soon as the animals pro- sidering that it was on the mounceeded some distance upon them, tains." The meeting with the nasank at one end, and sent them tives described here, is copied from sliding down gently to the plane of Polybius, who seems to represent those next in elevation.

them as having been Centrones (inAlii elephanti pedibus insistentes, habitants of the Tarantaise); for, alii clunibus subsidentes, prolabeban- if we adopt his account of the march, tur. Ubi planities altera pontis ex- we must suppose Hannibal to have cepisset eos, rursus simili ruiná now passed through the Allobroges, pontis inferioris deferebantur, donec and entered the territory of another ad æquiorem vallem perventum est. people, whose frontier was at a place (Livy xliv. 5.) It does not appear subsequently called ad publicanos, that Hannibal adopted any precau- (i. e. the provincial toll-house,) now tion to save the life of either man or known as L'Hôpital. Polybius debeast; except that of procuring some scribes the envoys as coming to meet warm clothing from the Gallic prince. the army θαλλους έχοντες και στεφάIn one Ms. devolvebantur is omitted, The wealth and numbers of

1

Vous.

[ocr errors]

fraude, deinde insidiis est prope circumventus. Magno U.C. 636. natu principes castellorum oratores ad Pænum veniunt: A.C. 218. • alienis malis, utili exemplo, doctos,' memorantes, 'amicitiam malle, quam vim experiri Ponorum. Itaque obedienter imperata facturos: commeatum itinerisque duces, et ad fidem promissorum obsides acciperet.' Hannibal nec temere credendo, nec aspernando, ne repudiati aperte hostes fierent, benigne quum respondisset; obsidibus, quos dabant, acceptis, et commeatu, quem in viam ipsi detulerant, usus, nequaquam, ut inter pacatos, incomposito agmine duces eorum sequitur. Primum agmen elephanti et equites erant: ipse post cum robore peditum, circumspectans sollicitusque omnia', incedebat. Ubi in angustiorem viam ex parte altera subjectam jugo insuper imminenti ventum est, undique ex insidiis barbari a fronte, ab tergo coorti, cominus eminus petunt: saxa ingentia in agmen devolvunt: maxima ab tergo* vis hominum urgebat. In eos versa peditum acies haud dubium fecit, quin, nisi firmata extrema agminis fuissent, ingens in eo saltu accipienda clades fuerit. Tunc quoque ad extremum periculi ac prope perniciem ventum est: nam, dum cunctatur Hannibal demittere agmen in angustias ; quia non, ut ipse equitibus præsidio erat, ita peditibus quicquam ab tergo auxilii reliquerat; occursantes per obliqua montani, perrupto medio agmine, viam insedere: noxque una Hannibali sine equitibus atque impedimentis acta est. Postero die, jam segnius intercursantibus barbaris, 35. junctæ copiæ, saltusque haud sine clade, majore tamen jumentorum, quam hominum, pernicie, superatus. Inde montani pauciores jam, et latrocinii magis quam belli more, concursabant; modo in primum, modo in novissimum agmen, utcunque aut locus opportunitatem daret, aut progressi morative aliquam occasionem fecissent. Elephanti

, sicut per artas præcipites viass magna mora agebantur, ita tutum ab hostibus, quacunque incederent, quia insuetis adeundi propius metus erat, agmen præbebant.

Nono die in jugum Alpium perventum est, per invia pleraque et errores, quos aut ducentium fraus?, aut, ubi fides

this tribe form another argument in the rear.”
favour of Polybius; because, on any 5 Per artas præcipites vias.] Cre-
other part of the Alps but the Graian, vier proposes per arctas et præcipites
the Carthaginian army must have vias. But the text, as it stands,
perished of starvation.

requires no alteration.
3 Circumspectans sollicitusque om- 6 Nono die &c.] See note on
nia.] It will be perceived that omnia chap. xxiii. above.
is governed by circumspectans alone; ** Ducentium fraus.] Polybius
thus,

watching every thing and mentions no deception on the part of anxiously.”

the guides, who appear, according to - Maxima ab tergo.] Observe the his statement, to have led the army emphasis, “It was principally on faithfully from Carthagena to their

U. C. 536. iis non esset, temere initæ valles a conjectantibus iter, A.C. 218. faciebant. Biduum in jugo stativa habita: fessisque labore

ac pugnando quies data militibus; jumentaque aliquot, quæ prolapsa in rupibus erant, sequendo vestigia agminis in castra pervenere. Fessis tædio 8 tot malorum nivis etiam casus, occidente jam sidere Vergiliarum', ingentem terrorem adjecit. Per omnia nive oppleta quum, signis prima luce motis, segniter agmen incederet, pigritiaque et desperatio? in omnium vultu emineret; prægressus signa Hannibal in promontorio quodam, unde longe ac late prospectus erat, consistere jussis militibus Italiam ostentat, subjectosque

2

own country. It may be necessary, they had been sitting. Many might however, to the probability of Livy's have been seen, whose reason was account, to suppose the Carthagi- deranged, walking over the embers nians to have spent some time in of the fires: while some, with an losing and recovering their way, insane and convulsive laugh, flung and thus making up the nine days." themselves

upon the flames, and met 8 Fessis tædio s Of these cases their death with frightful screams the former is evidently governed by and horrible contortions." adjecit; and the latter is an abl. 2 Italiam ostentat subjectosque &c.] The commentators who take tædio Of all passages through the Alps, after adjecit, lose sight of the Latin ancient and modern, it must be reidiom.

membered, that they run through 9 Occidente jam sidere Vergilia- defiles, and not over the heights; rum.] This was about the 26th of and that, consequently, no extensive October.

view can be obtained from any. 1 Pigritiaque et desperatio.] “And Nothing of the plain country below when apathy and despair were the is visible from the Mont Cenis, the expression of every countenance.” Simplon, Mont Genevre, or either

The effects of long-suffering and St. Bernard. Though such a view privation are well described by Gene- might be commanded from some of ral Labaume in his narrative of the the higher summits overbanging any retreat from Moscow. The following of the roads, it would be impossiblefor is a translation. “The line of march an army to march over, and still was covered with soldiers who no

more so to encamp in, any such polonger retained the human form, and sition; we cannot therefore underwhom the enemy disdained even to stand the assertion of Polybius to make prisoners.

Some had lost this effect in the actual acceptation their hearing; some the speech; of the words; much less, the still and many, by excessive cold and

more picturesque account of Livy. bunger, were reduced to a state of Hannibal might, certainly, have exdelirious feeling, in which they ac- plained to his soldiers, that they had tually roasted and prepared to eat now reached the highest point of the dead bodies of their comrades, their march, and demonstrated the and gnawed the flesh even from fact by showing them the streams their own hands and arms. Some flowing downward on both sides ;

so exhausted, that, unable but this would be all. It is true, either to bring wood or to move a that the Col of Mont Viso (Vesustone, they seated themselves on the lus) does command a very extensive bodies of their brother soldiers, and view of the Milanese; and some gazed with fixed and distorted fea. French authors have founded on this tures upon the burning embers. circumstance a theory, which is, Presently, when these were reduced however, borne out in no other parto ashes, these livid spectres, unable ticular. to rise, fell beside those on whom

were

Alpinis montibus Circumpadanos campos: maniaque eos U. C. 536. 'tum transcendere non Italiæ modo, sed etiam urbis Ro- A.C. 218. 'manæ. Cetera plana, proclivia fore: uno, aut summum 'altero prælio arcem et caput Italiæ in manu ac potestate

habituros.' Procedere inde agmen cæpit; jam nihil ne hostibus quidem”, præter parva furta per occasionem, tentantibus. Ceterum iter multo, quam in ascensu fuerat, (ut pleraque Alpium ab Italia* sicut breviora, ita arrectiora sunt) difficilius fuit. Omnis enim ferme via præceps, angusta, lubrica erat: ut neque sustinere se a lapsu possent; nec, qui paullulum titubassent, hærere afflicti vestigio suos; aliique super alios, et jumenta et homines, occiderent.

Ventum deinde ad multo angustiorem rupem, atque ita 36. rectis saxis, ut ægre expeditus miles tentabundus“, manibusque retinens virgulta ac stirpes circa eminentes, demittere sese posset. Natura locus jam ante præceps", recenti lapsu terræ in pedum mille admodum altitudinem abruptus erat. Ibi quum, velut ad finem viæ, equites constitissent, miranti Hannibali, quæ res moraretur agmen, nuntiatur, rupem inviam esse.

Digressus deinde ipse ad locum visendum.

[ocr errors]

3 Jam nihil ne hostibus quidem &c.) stance; so much so that the troops Polybius and Livy both agree in felt their courage droop, and restating, that from the commence- signed themselves to dejection and ment of his descent, Hannibal ex- despair. Hannibal sought at first perienced no further molestation. to avoid this obstacle by taking a

Ut pleraque Alpium ab Italiâ circuitous route; but a fresh falì of &c.] Though the Alps are for the snow having rendered that movemost part lower on the Italian side, ment impossible, he abandoned it.” still they are more precipitous.” (Polyb. iii. 54.). There are on re

5 Hærere afflicti vestigio suo.] cord some fatally memorable acci“Keep their unsteady footing.” dents of this nature. Towards the

6 Tentabundus.] " With desperate end of the fourth century, the town (strenuous efforts.

of Velleia, under the Apennines, 7 Naturá locus jam antè præceps was overwhelmed by the fall of the &c.] “ The ground, already natu- adjacent mountain, so suddenly, that rally steep, had been broken away all the inhabitants with all their by a recent land-slip to the depth property, were buried by one crash. of,” &c. In the account of this Another Roman town named Inland-slip, Livy is believed to be dustria, at the foot of the Alps, is guilty of another error: it would also said to have been destroyed by appear, according to Polybius, that a similar visitation, at some more the length of the land-slip, and not remote and uncertain period. The its depth, should be the subject of encroachment on the road, in this the statement. “At length," says instance, must have been caused by the Greek historian, “ they arrived the weight of an avalanche. The at a place which neither elephants present road down the Italian side nor baggage-horses could pass, in of the St. Bernard, lies along the consequence of the narrowness of river formed by the junction of the the road, which had been carried Doria and the Baltea, crossing and away to the length of a stadium and recrossing the stream at two points, a half. Though this had not been between which the ancient road appreviously an unusual occurrence, pears to have been rendered danthe present was an aggravated in- gerous by avalanches.

U.C. 536. Haud dubia res visa, quin per invia circa nec trita antea,

quamvis longo ambitu, circumduceret agmen. Ea vero via insuperabilis fuit.

Nam quum super veterem nivem intactam nova modicæ altitudinis esset, molli nec præaltæ nivi facile pedes ingredientium insistebant'. Ut vero tot hominum jumentorumque incessu dilapsa est, per nudam infra glaciem fluentemque tabem liquescentis nivis ingredie

[ocr errors]

8 Haud dubia res visa, quin &c.] gloomy horrors, the soldiers, over“ There seemed no doubt that he whelmed by the snow and wind must bring round the army, however falling upon them in a whirling long the deviation, through the sur- storm, were no longer able to disrounding pathless and previously tinguish the high road from the untrodden waste.”

dykes; and often fell into the latter, 9 Pedes insistebant.] “Their steps which became their graves. Some, rested firmly.”

anxious to advance, dragging them| Per nudam infra glaciem.] selves on with difficulty, badly clothed “They advanced upon the exposed and bare-footed, having neither food ice beneath it, and the liquid 'slime nor drink, groaning and shivering, of the dissolving snow. The strug- afforded peither help nor sympathy gle there was desperate; as, in con- to those who had fallen through sequence of the slippery ice not exhaustion, and were expiring all holding their footsteps, and frustrat- around them. How frightfully did ing their feet more readily on the some of these wretched beings strugdeclivity, and, whether they helped gle against the agonies of death! themselves to rise with hands or Some might be heard bidding a knees, if they slipped with these tender farewell to brothers and comsupports and fell again, there were rades; others, as they heaved their no stems or roots around them, on last sigh, murmuring the names of which an effort could be made with their mothers and the land of their hand or foot: so that they merely birth. Stretched upon

the roads, rolled themselves on the smooth they were distinguishable only by ice and thawing suow. The cattle the ridges of snow that formed their indented it, &c.” This passage is winding-sheets, and presented, all liierally translated by Livy from along the march, as it were, the Polybius.

furiows of a graveyard. Lastly, The condition of the French army, clouds of ravens, flying for refuge when overtaken by the snow on the to the woods, uttered ill-boding cries, retreat from Moscow, is thus de- as they passed above our heads; scribed by M. Labaume. “We and troops of dogs, coming from were within twenty leagues of Smo- Moscow to prey upon our bleeding lensko, and the prospect of arriving limbs, came howling round us, as if there in three days awakened a sort to hasten the moment when we of intoxication in our hearts; when should become their food." all on a sudden, the atmosphere, It is remarkable, that the state. until then so clear, was shrouded in ment respecting the previous year's dark and chilly vapours. The sun, snow having remained unmelted, obscured by dense clouds, disap- is borne out by the experience of peared from our eyes: the snow, tourists who have crossed the partidescending in large flakes, shut out cular pass in question, (i. e. supthe daylight, and confounded earth posing the account to be taken from and sky; and the wind, blowing Polybius, and to relate to the Little furiously, filled the woods with its St. Bernard.) It appears, that frightful roar, and bent to the ground from the narrowness of the bed the dark fir-trees laden with icicles. of the river, and the beight of The whole plain became one white the precipitous rocks on both sides, and desolate surface. Amid these which intercept the rays of the

« IndietroContinua »