at last ordered the water-carriers to attend him to the shore, which was not three hundred paces distant, and there to dig holes in several places, not far from each other. The great height of the mountains gave him reason to suppose that they contained hidden springs of water, the veins of which flowing through to the sea, mingled with its waves; and the more so, as they discharged no streams above ground.
Scarcely was the surface of the sand removed, when springs began to boil up, small at first, and muddy, but in a little time they threw out clear water in great plenty, as if through the favourable interference of the gods.
This circumstance added greatly to the reputation and influence of the general in the minds of the soldiers. He then ordered them to get ready their arms; and went himself, with the tribunes and first centurions, to examine the fords, in hopes of finding a passage, where the descent would be easy for the troops, and where the ascending the other bank would be least difficult.
After taking a sufficient view of these matters, he made it his first care to provide, that, in the movements of the army, every thing should be done regularly, and without noise, at the first order and beck of the general.
When notice was proclaimed of what was to be done to all at the same time, every one did not distinctly hear; and as the orders received were not clear, some making additions for themselves, did more than was ordered, while others did less; while dissonant shouts were raised in every quarter, insomuch that the enemy knew sooner than the soldiers themselves what was intended.
He therefore directed, that the military tribune should communicate, secretly, to the first centurion of the legion, then he to the next, and that so on, in order that each should tell the next to him in rank what was requisite to be done, whether the instructions were to be conveyed from front to rear, or from rear to front.
He likewise, by a new arrangement, forbade the sentinels to carry their shields when on duty; for as a sentinel did not go to fight, but to watch, he had no occasion for arms; it was his duty, when he perceived an enemy approaching, to retire, and [p. 2095]
to rouse the rest to arms.
They used to stand with their hel- mets on, and their shields erected on the ground before them; when tired, they leaned on their spears; or laying their heads on the edge of their shields, stood dozing in such a manner, that from the glittering of their arms they could be seen afar off by the enemy, while themselves could see nothing. He likewise altered the practice of the advanced guards.
Formerly, the guards were kept on duty through the whole day, all under arms, the horsemen with their horses bridled; and when this happened in summer, under a continual scorching sun, both men and horses were so much exhausted by the heat and the languor contracted in so many hours, that very often, when attacked by fresh troops, a few could get the better of a greater number.
He therefore ordered, that they should retire from the morning-watch at noon, and that others should succeed to the duty for the rest of the day; by which means the enemy could never come fresh upon them when they were wearied.