A few days after the departure of
CREMONA RESTORED; VITELLIUS SLOTHFUL
Fabius Valens to the seat of war, and was now seeking to hide his
apprehensions from himself by indulgence. He made no military preparation;
he did not seek to invigorate the soldiers by encouraging speeches or
warlike exercises; he did not keep himself before the eyes of the people.
Buried in the shades of his gardens, like those sluggish animals which, if
you supply them with food, lie motionless and torpid, he had dismissed with
the same forgetfulness the past, the present, and the future. While he thus
lay wasting his powers in sloth among the woods of Aricia, he was startled by the treachery of Lucilius
Bassus and the defection of the fleet at Ravenna.
Then came the news about Cæcina, and he heard with a satisfaction
mingled with distress, first, that he had revolted, and then, that he had
been put in irons by the army. In that dull soul joy was more powerful than