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Up to this time everything had been quiet in Germany, from the temper of the generals, who, now that triumphal decorations had been vulgarised, hoped for greater glory by the maintenance of peace. Paulinus Pompeius and Lucius Vetus were then in command of the army. Still, to avoid keeping the soldiers in idleness, the first completed the embankment begun sixty-three years before by Drusus to confine the waters of the Rhine, while Vetus prepared to connect the Moselle and the Arar by a canal, so that troops crossing the sea and then conveyed on the Rhone and Arar might sail by this canal into the Moselle and the Rhine, and thence to the ocean. Thus the difficulties of the route being removed, there would be communication for ships between the shores of the west and of the north.

Ælius Gracilis, the governor of Belgica, discouraged the work by seeking to deter Vetus from bringing his legions into another man's province, and so drawing to himself the attachment of Gaul. This result he repeatedly said would excite the fears of the emperor, an assertion by which meritorious undertakings are often hindered.

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