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them. They listened to the entreaties of the inhabitants, who implored them not to destroy a city that was almost the fairest in Gaul. The place was strong by nature, and well fortified. The inhabitants pledged themselves to defend it to the utmost. It was proposed, in the council of war, to spare Avaricum from the general doom, and to garrison it against the Romans. Wercingetorix reluctantly yielded, against his better judgment; and Avaricum was manned with picked troops from the Gallic army. Caesar 500n appeared before its walls, and commenced the siege, while Vercingetorix took up a position at a little distance, whence his cavalry harassed the besiegers, intercepted their convoys, cut off stragglers and small detachments, and inflicted severe loss and o with almost total impunity to them. Selwes. The besieged defended their walls bravely; but the disciplined courage and the engineering skill and the patient industry of the Romans at last prevailed. The town was stormed with frightful carnage, neither sex norage being spared. Out of forty thousand human beings who were in Avaricum, when the siege commenced, only eight hundred escaped; the rest perished beneath the Roman sword; and Caesar gained a town, which not only abounded in provisions and stores of every description, but which served him as a secure basis for his subsequent operations, Afflicted, but not disheartend at this calamity, Wercingetorix reminded his followers that the defence of Avaricum had been undertaken against his opinion, and exhorted them not to be cast down by a blow which was caused, not by any superior valor of the enemy, but by their superior skill in carrying on sieges; an art with which the Gauls were little familiar. He assured them of the successful efforts which he was making to bring other Gallic states into their league; and he skilfully availed himself of the humbled condition in which he saw his troops, to persuade them thenceforth to fortify their Samps; a military toil, for which the Gauls had always previously been too proud or too idle. So different were the men, whom Wercingetorix led, to those whom he had to encounter—the laborious legionaries of Rome, to whom the toils of the pioneer, the sapper, and the miner were daily tasks; and who won Caesar's victories for him, more even by their spades than by their swords. Wercingetorix was pre-eminent in the quality, which is the peculiar attribute of
genius, the power of swaying multitudes by the impulse of his single will, add inspiring them with his own enthusiasm. It is the
quality which Malebranche has expressively
called “the contagiousness of a great mind.” At his exhortations the Gaulish soldiery resumed their courage and their patriotic zeal; nor were the assertions which he made to them of his success in acquiring fresh members of the national league, deceptions or exaggerated boasts. Choosing his emissaries with marvellous discernment of character, and infusing into them his own persuasive eloquence, he had won over many more valuable adherents, and had even made the AEdui, those inveterate partisans of Rome, waver in their anti-national policy. The loss which the disaster at Avaricum had made in his ranks was soon repaired; and when Caesar moved southwards to chastise the Arverni in their own territory with six of his legions from Avaricum, (having sent Labienus with the other four, to put down the risings of the Gauls in the north,) he found no signs of submission or despair. The passage of the Elaver was guarded against him, and when he had succeeded, by an able manoeuvre, in crossing it, and advanced through Auvergne to its capital, Gergovia, he found Vercingetorix, with a numerous and efficient army, skilfully posted so as to cover the easiest approaches to the town; and with intrenchments formed round his camp, in which the Roman engineers recognized how well their own lessons had at last been learned. Caesar proceeded to besiege both the city and the Gaulish camp; but in the narrative which he himself has given us of the operations before Gergovia it is palpable that he has concealed much, and colored much, in order to disguise the defeat which Vercinge. torix undoubtedly gave him. According to his own version, the indiscreet zeal of some of his soldiers, in following too far an advantage which they had gained in an assault upon the enemy's camp, led to their being driven back, with the loss of forty-six centu. rions, and seven hundred rank and file. But it is clear from the statements of other writers, that his loss was far greater; and he was obliged to raise the siege, and retreat towards the territory of the AEdui. There is no Celtic Livy of the Gallic war. No one has recorded the rapturous joy that must have pealed through Gergovia, when Wercingetorix entered it as its deliverer, and when the previously invincible Caesar was seen retiring with his beaten legions from their expected prey. The glad intelligence soon afterwards arrived that the rich and powerful AEdui had renounced the Roman alliance, and were in arms for the inde
pendence of Gaul. This seemed to secure.
success. Caesar had been principally dependent on the AEdui for his supplies; and the best part of his cavalry had been composed of their auxiliary squadrons. All these resources were now given to the already victorious patriots; and the speedy destruction of the invaders appeared inevitable. The accession, however, of the AEdui to the national cause was not unattended by disadvantages. The chiefs of that wealthy and strong people thought themselves entitled to the principal command of the national armies; but the Arverni naturally refused to let their young hero be deposed from the dignity which he had filled so well. A general assembly of the warriors of all Gaul was then convened at Bibracte, (the modern Autun :) and of all the Gallic states only three neglected the summons. When the great national army was fully collected, the question whether the AEduan princes or Wercingetorix should have the supreme command was left to the general suffrage of the soldiery. To a man they voted for Vercingetorix. The AEduans submitted to the decision, and professed obedience to the commander-in-chief; but it was with reluctance and secret discontent. They repented at heart of having abandoned the Romans, who had always treated them as the first in rank among the Gallic states. And it is more than probable that the national cause must have suffered during the subsequent military operations through the disaffection and divisions which were thus introduced in the Gaulish army. During these delays and deliberations of the Gauls, Caesar gained time, which to him was invaluable, and had marched northwards, and reunited his legions with those of Labienus. He also employ the interval thus given him, for the purpose of calling new allies to his aid from the right bank of the Rhine. During his campaigns against the Germans, he had learned to appreciate the valor of that nation, far more enduring than the fiery but transient energy of the Gauls; and he had especially observed and experienced the excellence of the German cavalry. This was the arm in which he had always been weakest, and in which the defection of the AEdui had now left him almost helpless. Employing his treasures, and the influence of his name and renown among the adventurous warriors of the German tribes, he succeeded in bringing
a large force of their best and bravest youth across the Rhine, to fight under his eagles against their old enemies, the Gauls. He does not specify the number of the German auxiliaries whom he thus obtained; probably he was unwilling to let it appear how much Rome was indebted to German valor for her victory. But they were evidently many thousands in number, and their superiority, as cavalry, to the Romans, is evident from the fact, that Caesar not only made his officers give up their chargers, in order to mount the Germans as well as possible, but he compelled the Roman cavalry to take the slight and inferior horses which the Germans had brought with them, and give up their own superior and better trained steeds to the new allies, who were the fittest to use them. Besides the German cavalry, he also obtained a considerable force of German light infantry; of youths, who were trained to keep up with the horsemen in the march or in action, to fight in the intervals of the ranks and squad. rons, and whose long javelins, whether hurl: ed, or grasped as pikes, were used with serious effect against both riders and horses in the enemy's troops. With this important accession to his . Caesar began his southward march towards Provence. He seems to have collected all his stores and treasures from his various dépôts, and to have completely abandoned his hold on northern and central Gaul. His army was encumbered with an unusually large amount of baggage; and the difficulty was great of conducting it without serious loss through a hostile territory, and in face of a numerous and spirited foe. Vercingetorix thought that complete ven: geance now was secured. He led his army near that of Caesar, and though he still avoided bringing his infantry into close action with the Roman legionaries, he thought that the magnificent body of cavalry, which was under his command, gave him the means of crushing that of the enemy, and then seiz: ing favorable opportunities for charging the legions while on the march. He watched till the Romans had reached some open ground near the sources of the Seine, and then called his captains of horse around him, and told them that the hour of victory was come. He urged them to ride in at once upon the long, encumbered Roman line. The Gallic cavaliers shouted eager con: currence with their general's address. In their excitement a solemn oath was propose and taken, by which each of them bound himself never to know the shelter of a roof
and never to look on parent,wife,or child, until he had twice ridden through the Roman ranks. Thus inspirited and devoted, the nobles of Gaul rode forth in three large squadrons to the fight. Two were to assail the Romans in flank, the third was to charge the marching column in front. Caesar also divided his cavalry into three divisions to meet the enemy. But Caesar also arranged his legions so as both to protect the baggage, and to afford a shelter hehind their brigades, whither any squadron of his horse, that was severely pressed, might retreat, and reorganize itself for a fresh charge. Wercingetorix could not trust his Gaulish infantry so near the foe, as to give any similar support to his horsemen. But his cavaliers charged desperately on each of the three points against which he had marshalled them; and the combat was long and desperate. At first the Gauls had the advantage. Caesar was obliged to rally his squadrons, and lead them on in person : he himself was, at one time, nearly captured, and his sword was wrested from him during the close hand-to-hand fight, in which he was engaged. At last the obstinate valor of the German horsemen, aided by the skilful manoeuvres of the supporting legions, preValled, and the remains of the Gaulish cavalry fled in confusion to where their infantry was posted. This also caught the panic ; and the whole Gaulish army was driven by the conquering Romans and Germans in ruinous flight to the walls of Alesia, where Wercingetorix at last succeeded in rallying his dispirited and disorganized host. He might easily have made his own estape; for some time elapsed before the Romans were able to occupy all the approaches to the city, and he actually, in this interval, sent away all his cavalry. But he was resolved to maintain the struggle for his ountry as long as a spark of hope survived. His infantry, though ill suited for manoeuvres or battles, was excellent in the defence of fortified posts; and at the head of the eighty thousand foot soldiers, whom he had rallied at Alesia, he resolved to defend the city, and the sortified camp which he formed beneath its walls, against Caesar, while a fresh army of his countrymen could be assembled, and brought to his assistance. The victorious desence of Gergovia was remembered, and a similar success was justly hoped for now. Caesar, however, instead of wasting the lives of his legionaries in assaults upon the Gaulish camp or city, formed the astonishing project of carrying fortified lines all round Alesia, and the hill on which it stood, and of
reducing his enemy by blockade. As the speedy approach of a new army of Gauls to the relief of Wercingetorix was certain, the Roman general required also an outer line of contravallation to be formed. The patient discipline and the indomitable industry of his veterans accomplished this miracle of military engineering in five weeks. During these weeks the messengers of Vercingetorix were stirring up all Gaul to the rescue of her chosen chief; and at length Vercingetorix and his comrades saw from their ramparts an apparently innumerable and irresistible host of their fellow-countrymen marching down from the neighboring mountains, and preparing to besiege the Roman besiegers. A series of battles followed, in which Vercingetorix and the garrison of Alesia sallied desperately against the inner line of the Roman works, while the external line was assailed by the myriads of the outer Gaulish army. But nothing could drive the steady legionaries from their posts; and at the close of each day's engagement the Gauls recoiled with diminished numbers and downcast hopes from either ambit of the bloodstained redoubts. At last Caesar, by a skilful manoeuvre, launched his German cavalry against the outer army of the Gauls, and the intended deliverers of Alesia fled in irretrievable disorder, never to rally again. The doom of Alesia and its garrison was now inevitable. Their stores of provisions were almost utterly exhausted, and their own numbers increased the horror of their position. Wercingetorix alone was calm and undismayed. He thought that the lives of his countrymen might yet be saved by the sacrifice of his own. He reminded them that the war had not been undertaken for his private aggrandizement, but for the common interests of all; yet, inasmuch as the Romans represented it as a war made through his schemes only, and for his purposes only, he was willing to be given up to them either alive or dead, as an expiatory offering to their wrath. The other Gaulish commanders then sent to Caesar to treat for the terms of capitulation. The answer was, that they must instantly give up their chief, and their arms, and surrender at discretion. Caesar forthwith caused his tribunal to be set up in the space between his lines and the Gaulish camp, and took his seat there to receive the submission of the conquered, and to pronounce their fate. Vercingetorix waited not for the Roman lictors to drag him to the proconsul's feet. The high-minded Celt arrayed himself for the last time in his choicest armor, mounted for the last time his favorite war-horse, and then galloped down to where sat the Roman general, surrounded by his vengeful troops. Vercingetorix did not halt at the instant; but obeying the warrior-impulse that led him to taste once more the excitement of feeling his own good steed bound freely beneath him on his native soil, he wheeled at full speed round the tribunal, and then, suddenly curbing his horse right before Caesar, he sprang on the ground, laid his helm, his spear, and his sword at the victor's feet, and, bending his knee, awaited in mute majesty his doom. Even Caesar was startled at the sudden apparition; and a thrill of admiration and § ran through the ranks of the stern, loody-handed soldiers of Rome, when they gazed on the stately person* and martial
demeanor of their foe, and thought from what dignity he had fallen. But Caesar's emotion was only transient. After some harsh and ungenerous invectives against his brave enemy, he bade the lictors fetter him, and hale him away. For six years, while Caesar completed the conquest of Gaul, and fought the campaigns of his civil wars, Wercingetorix languished in a Roman dungeon; and he was only taken thence to be led in triumph behind the Dictator's chariot-wheels, and to be then slaughtered in cold blood, while Caesar, in the pride of his heart, was feasting high in the Capitol. There is, however, a tribunal before which the decrees of Fortune are often reversed; and no one, who studies history in the right spirit, can fail in awarding the superior palm of true greatness to the victim over the oppressor, to the captive Vereingetorix over the triumphant Julius.
Of the Haymarket Opera my account, in fine, is this: Lustres, candelabras, painting, gilding at discretion; a hall as of the Caliph Alraschid, or him that commanded the slaves of the Lamp; a hall as if fitted up by the genies, regardless of expense, Upholstery and the outlay of human capital could do no more. Artists, too, as they are called, have been got together from the ends of the world, regardless likewise of expense, to do dancing and singing, some of them even geniuses in their craft. One singer in particular, called Coletti or some such name, seemed to me, by the cast of his face, by the tones of his voice, by his general bearing, so far as I could read it, to be a man of deep and ardent sensibilities, of delicate intuitions, just sympathies; originally an almost poetic soul, or man of genius as we term it; stamped by Nature as capable of far other work than squalling here, like a blind Samson to make the Philistines sport!
Nay, all of them had aptitudes, perhaps
of a distinguished kind; and must, by their own and other people's labor, have got a training equal or superior in toilsomeness, earnest assiduity, and patient travail, to what breeds men to the most arduous trades. I speak not of kings' grandees, or, the like show-figures; but few soldiers, judges, men of letters, can have had such pains taken with them. The very ballet girls, with their muslin saucers round them, were perhaps lik tle short of miraculous; whirling and spinning there in strange mad vortexes, and then suddenly fixing themselves motionless, each upon her left or right great-toe, with the other leg stretched out at an angle of ninety degrees– as if you had suddenly pricked into the floor, by one of their points, a pair, or rather a mul. titudinous cohort, of mad restlessly jumping and clipping scissors, and so bidden them rest, with opened blades, and stand still, in the Devil's name! A truly notable motion; mar: vellous, almost miraculous, were not the peo" ple there so used to it. Motion peculiar to
the Opera; perhaps the ugliest, and surely one of the most difficult, ever taught a female in this world. Nature abhors it; but Art does at least admit it to border on the impossible. One little Cerito, or Taglioni the Second, that night when I was there, went bounding from the floor as if she had been made of Indian-rubber, or filled with hydrogen gas, and inclined by positive levity to bolt through the ceiling; perhaps neither Semiramis nor Catherine the Second had bred herself so carefully. Such talent, and such martyrdom of training, gathered from the four winds, was now here, to do its feat and be paid for it. Regardless of expense, indeed! The purse of Fortunatus seemed to have opened itself, and the divine art of Musical Sound and Rhythmic Motion was welcomed with an explosion of all the magnificences which the other arts, fine and coarse, could achieve. For you are to think of some Rossini or Bellini in the rear of it, too; to say nothing of the Stanfields, and hosts of scene-painters, machinists, engineers, enterprisers—fit to have taken Gibraltar, written the History of England, or reduced Ireland into Industrial Regiments, had they so set their minds to it! Alas, and of all these notable or noticeable human talents and excellent perseverances and
energies, backed by mountains of wealth, and
led by the arts of Music and Rhythm vouchsafed by Heaven to them and us, what was to be the issue here this evening? An hour's amusement, not amusing either, but wearisome and dreary, to a high-dizened select Populaceof male and female persons, who seemed to me not worth much amusing! Could any one have pealed into their hearts once, one line thought, and glimpse of Self-vision: “High-dizened, most expensive persons, Aristocracy so called, or Best of the World, beware, beware what proofs you give of bettermess and bestness!” And then the salutary Pang of conscience in reply: “A select Populace, with money in its purse, and drilled a little by the posture-maker: good Heavens! is that were what, here and everywhere in God's Creation, I am? And a world all dying because I am, and show myself Wo be, and to have long been, even that? John, the carriage, the carriage: , swift' Let me go home in silence, to reflection, perhaps to sackcloth and ashes!” This, and not amusement, would have profited those high-dizened persons. Amusement, at any rate, they did not get from Euterpe and Melpomene. These two Muses, sent for, regardless of expense, I
could see, were but the vehicle of a kind of service which I judged to be Paphian rather. Young beauties of both sexes used their operaglasses, you could notice, not entirely for looking at the stage. And it must be owned the light, in this explosion of all the upholsteries, and the human fine arts and coarse, was magical; and made your fair one an Armida—if you liked her better so. Nay, certain old Improper-Females, (of quality,) in their rouge and jewels, even these looked some reminiscence of enchantment; and I saw this and the other lean domestic Dandy, with icy smile on his old worn face; this and the other Marquis Singedelomme, Prince Mahogany, or the like foreign Dignitary, tripping into the boxes of said females, grinning there awhile, with dyed moustachios and macassar-oil graciosity, and then tripping out again; and, in fact, I perceived that Coletti and Cerito and the Rhythmic Arts were a mere accompaniment here. Wonderful to see; and sad, if you had eyes! Do but think of it. Cleopatra threw pearls into her drink, in mere waste; which was reckoned foolish of her. But here had the Modern Aristocracy of men brought the divinest of its Arts, heavenly Music itself; and, piling all the upholsteries and ingenuities that other human art could do, had lighted them into a bonfire to illuminate an hour's flirtation of Singedelomme, Mahogany, and these improper persons ! Never in Nature had I seen such waste before. O Coletti, you whose inborn melody, once of kindred as I judged to “the Melodies eternal,” might have valiantly weeded out this and the other false thing from the ways of men, and made a bit of God's creation more melodious—they have purchased you away from that; chained you to the wheel of Prince Mahogany's chariot, and here you make sport for a macassar Singedelomme, and his improper-females past the prime of life! Wretched spiritual Nigger, oh, if you had some genius, and were not a born Nigger with mere appetite for pumpkin, should you have endured such a lot? I lament for you beyond all other expenses. Other expenses are light; you are the Cleopatra's pearl that should not have been flung into Mahogany's claret-cup. And Rossini too, and Mozart and Bellini—Oh, Heavens, when I think that Music too is condemned to be mad and to burn herself, to this end, on such a funeral pile—your celestial Operahouse grows dark and infernal to me. Behind its glitter stalks the shadow of Eternal Death; through it too I look not “up into the divine eye,” as Richter has it, “but