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PLUTARCH. From the translation by G. Long, Esq. Sulla, encouraging his soldiers, who were thirty-five thousand men well armed, led them to Rome. The soldiers fell on the tribunes whom Marius had sent, and murdered them. Marius also put to death
many of the friends of Sulla in Rome, and proclaimed freedom to the slaves if they would join him; but it is said that only three slaves accepted the offer. He made but a feeble resistance to Sulla on his entering the city, and was soon compelled to fly. On quitting Rome he was separated from his partisans, owing to its being dark, and he fled to Solonium, one of his farms. He sent his son Marius to get provisions from the estates of his father-in-law Mucius, which were not far off, and himself went to Ostia, where Numerius, one of his friends, had provided a vessel for him, and without waiting for his son he set sail with his step-son Granius. The young man arrived at the estates of Mucius, but he was surprised by the approach of day while he was getting something together and packing it up, and thus did not altogether escape the vigilance of his enemies, for some cavalry came to the spot, suspecting that Marius might be there. The overseer of the farm, seeing them approach, hid Marius in a waggon loaded with beans, and, yoking the oxen to it, he met the horsemen on his road to the city with the waggon. Marius was thus conveyed to the house of his wife, where he got what he wanted, and by night made his
way to the sea, and, embarking in a vessel bound for Libya, arrived there in safety.
The elder Marius was carried along the coast of Italy by a favourable wind, but as he was afraid of one Geminius, a powerful man in Terracina, and an enemy of his, he ordered the sailors to keep clear of that place. The sailors were willing to do as as he wished, but, the wind veering round and blowing from the sea with a great swell, they were afraid that the vessel could not stand the beating of the waves, and, as Marius also was much troubled with sickness, they made for land, and with great difficulty got to the coast near Circeii. As the storm in. creased and they wanted provisions, they landed from the vessel and wandered about without any definite object, but, as happens in cases of great difficulty, seeking merely to escape from the present evil as worst of all, and putting their hopes on the chances of fortune ; for the land was their enemy, and the sea also, and they feared to fall in with men, and feared also not to fall in with men, because they were in want of provisions. After some time they met with a few herdsmen, who had nothing to give them in their need, but they recognised Marius, and advised him to get out of the way as quick as he could, for a number of horsemen had just been seen there riding about in quest of him. Thus surrounded by every difficulty, and his attendants fainting for want of food, he turned from the road, and, plunging into a deep forest, passed the night in great suffering. The next day, compelled by hunger, and wishing to make use of his remaining strength before he was com pletely exhausted, he went along the shore, encouraging his followers, and entreating them not to abandon the last hope, for which he reserved himself on the faith of an old prediction. For when he was quite a youth, and living in the country, he caught in his garment an eagle's nest as it was falling down, with seven young ones in it; which his parents, wondering at, consulted the soothsayers, who told them that their son would become the most illustrious of men, and that it was the will of fate that he should receive the supreme command and magistracy seven times. Some affirm that this really happened to Marius; but others say that those who were with Marius at this time and in the rest of his flight heard the story from him, and, believing it, recorded an event which is altogether fabulous. For an eagle has not more than two young ones at a time, and they say that Musæus was mistaken when he wrote of the eagle thus :
Lays three, two hatches, and one tends with care. But that Marius frequently during his flight, and when he was in the extremest difficulties, said that he should survive to enjoy a seventh consulship, is universally admitted.
They were now about twenty stadia from Minturnæ, an Italian city, when they saw at a distance a troop of horse riding towards them, and as it chanced two merchant vessels sailing along the coast. Running down to the sea as fast as they could and as their strength would allow, and throwing themselves into the water, they swam to the vessels. Granius, having got into one of the vessels, passed over to the island of Ænaria, which is off that coast. But Marius, who was heavy
and unwieldy, was with difficulty held above the water by two slaves, and, placed in the other vessel, the horsemen being now close to them and calling from the shore to the sailors either to bring the vessel to land or to throw Marius overboard, and to set sail wherever they pleased. But as Marius entreated them with tears in his eyes,
those who had the command of the vessel, after changing their minds as to what they should do as often as was possible in so short a time, at last told the horsemen that they would not surrender Marius. The horsemen rode off in anger, and the sailors, again changing their minds, came to land, and casting anchor at the mouth of the Liris, which spreads out like a lake, they advised Marius to disembark, and take some food on land, and to rest himself from his fatigues till a wind should rise: they added, that it was the usual time for the sea-breeze to decline, and for a fresh breeze to spring up from the marshes. Marius did as they advised, and the sailors carried him out of the vessel and laid him on the grass, little expecting what was to follow. The sailors, immediately embarking again and raising the anchor, sailed off as fast as they could, not thinking it honourable to surrender Marius or safe to protect him. In this situation, deserted by every body, he lay for some time silent on the shore, and at last, recovering himself with difficulty, he walked on with much pain on account of there being no path. After passing through deep swamps and ditches full of water and mud, he came to the hut of an old man who worked in the marshes, and, falling down at his feet, he entreated him to save and help a man who, if he escaped from the present dangers, would reward him beyond all his hopes. The man, who either knew Marius of old or saw something in the expression of his countenance which indicated superior rank, said that his hut was sufficient to shelter him if that was all he wanted, but, if he was wandering about to avoid his enemies, he could conceal him in a place which was more retired.
Upon Marius entreating him to do so, the old man took him to the marsh, and, bidding him lie down in a hole near the river, he covered Marius with reeds and other light things of the kind, which were well adapted to hide him without pressing too heavily.
After a short time a sound and noise from the hut reached the ears of Marius. Geminius of Terracina had sent a number of men in pursuit of him, some of whom had chanced to come there, and were terrifying the old man and rating him for having harboured and concealed
an enemy of the Romans. Marius, rising from his hiding-place and stripping off his clothes, threw himself into the thick and muddy water of the marsh; and this was the cause of his not escaping the search of his pursuers, who dragged him out covered with mud, and, leading him naked to Minturnæ, gave him to the magistrates. Now instructions had been already sent to every city, requiring the authori. ties to search for Marius, and to put him to death when he was taken. However, the magistrates thought it best to deliberate on the matter first, and in the meantime they lodged Marius in the house of a woman named Fannia, who was supposed not to be kindly disposed towards him on account of an old grudge. Fannia had a husband whose name was Tinnius, and on separating from him she claimed her portion, which was considerable. The husband charged her with adultery, and Marius, who was then in his sixth consulship, presided as judge. But on the trial it appeared that Fannia had been a loose woman, and that her husband, though he knew it, took her to wife, and lived with her a long time; accordingly, Marius, being disgusted with both of them, decreed that the man should return the woman's portion, but he imposed on the woman, as a mark of infamy, a penalty of four copper coins. Fannia, however, did not on this occasion exhibit the feeling of a woman who had been wronged, but when she saw Marius, far from showing any resentment for the past, she did all that she could for him under the circumstances, and encouraged him. Marius thanked her, and said that he had good hopes, for a favourable omen had occurred to him, which was something of this sort:When they were leading him along, and he was near the house of Fannia, the doors being opened, an ass ran out to drink from a spring which was flowing hard by: the ass, looking at Marius in the face with a bold and cheerful air, at first stood opposite him, and then, making a loud braying, sprung past him frisking with joy. From this Marius drew a conclusion, as he said, that the deity indicated that his safety would come through the sea rather than through the land, for the ass did not betake himself to dry food, but turned from him to the water. Having said this to Fannia, he went to rest alone, bidding her close the door of the apartment.
The magistrates and council of Minturnæ, after deliberating, resolved that there ought to be no delay, and that they should put Marius to death. As none of the citizens would undertake to do it, à
Gallic or Cimbrian horse-soldier (for the story is told both ways) took a sword and entered the apartment. Now that part of the room in which Marius happened to be lying was not very well lighted, but was in shade, and it is said that the eyes of Marius appeared to the soldier to dart a strong flame, and a loud voice issued from the gloom—“Man, do you dare to kill Caius Marius ?” The barbarian immediately took to flight, and, throwing the sword down, rushed through the door, calling out, “I cannot kill Caius Marius." This caused a general consternation, which was succeeded by compassion and change of opinion, and self-reproach for having come to so illegal and ungrateful a resolution concerning a man who had saved Italy, and whom it would be a disgrace not to assist. • Let him go then," it was said, “where he pleases, as an exile, and suffer in some other place whatever Fate has reserved for him. And let us pray that the gods visit us not with their anger for ejecting Marius from our city in poverty and rags." Moved by such considerations, all in a body entered the room where Marius was, and, getting round him, began to conduct him to the sea. Though every man was eager to furnish something or other, and all were busying themselves, there was a loss of time,
The grove of Marica, as it is called, obstructed the passage to the sea, for it was an object of great veneration, and it was a strict rule to carry nothing out of it that had ever been carried in ; and now, if they went all round it, there would of necessity be delay: but this difficulty was settled by one of the older men at last calling out, that no road was inaccessible or impassable by which Marius was saved; and he was the first to take some of the things that they were conveying to the ship and to pass through the place.
Everything was soon got ready through these zealous exertions, and a ship was supplied for Marius by one Belæus, who afterwards caused a painting to be made representing these events, and dedicated it in the temple. Marius, embarking, was carried along by the wind, and by chance was taken to the island Ænaria, where he found Granius and the rest of his friends, and set sail with them for Libya. As their water failed, they were compelled to touch at Erycina in Sicily. Now the Roman quæstor, who happened to be about these parts on the look: out, was very near taking Marius when he landed; and he killed about sixteen of the men who were sent to get water. Marius, hastily em