Soon after this, there being no hostilities, he ordered a few Germans of his guard to be carried over and placed in concealment on the other side of the Rhine, and word to be brought him after dinner, that an enemy was advancing with great impetuosity. This being accordingly done, he immediately threw himself, with his friends, and a party of the pretorian knights, into the adjoining wood, where lopping branches from the trees, and forming trophies of them, he returned by torch-light, upbraiding those who did not follow him, with timorousness and cowardice: but he presented the companions and sharers of his victory with crowns of a new form, and under a new name, having the sun, moon, and stars represented on them, which he called Exploratorie. Again, some hostages were by his order taken from the school, and privately sent off; upon notice of which he immediately rose from table, pursued them with the cavalry, as if they had run away, and coming up with them, brought them back in fetters; proceeding to an extravagant pitch of ostentation likewise in his military comedy. Upon his again sitting down to table, it being reported to him that the troops were all reassembled, he ordered them to sit down as they were, in their armour, animating them in the words of the well-known verse of Virgil:
“Bear up, and save yourselves for better days.
” In the meantime he reprimanded the senate and people of Rome in a very severe proclamation "For revelling and frequenting the diversions of the circus and the theatre, and enjoying themselves at their villas, whilst their emperor was fighting and exposing himself to the greatest dangers."