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[37] The planks having been thrown upon the walls at some places, the struggle became very hazardous, for the forces of Lucius fighting on bridges were exposed to missiles and javelins on every side. They forced their way, nevertheless, and a few leaped over the wall. Others followed, and they would speedily have accomplished something important in their desperation had not the fact become known to Octavius that they had not many such machines, and had not the best of his reserves been brought to the assistance of the tired men. These fresh troops flung the assailants down from the walls, broke their machines in pieces, and hurled missiles upon them contemptuously from above. Their enemy, although their shields and bodies were pierced and even their voices had failed, held their ground bravely. When the corpses of those who had been killed on the wall were stripped and thrown down among them, they could not bear the indignity, but turned away from the spectacle and stood for a moment undecided, like athletes taking a breathing-spell in the gymnastic games. Lucius had pity on them in this condition and sounded a retreat. Then the troops of Octavius joyfully clashed their arms as for a victory, whereupon those of Lucius were roused to anger and again seized their ladders (although they had no more towers), and carried them to the walls with desperation. Yet they did not do any harm to the enemy, for they could not. Lucius ran among them and besought them to sacrifice their lives no longer, and led them back groaning and reluctant.

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