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When Metellus heard of what had happened at Vacca, he retired for a time, overpowered with sorrow, from the public gaze; but at length, as indignation mingled with his grief, he hastened, with the utmost spirit, to take vengeance for the outrage. He led forth, at sunset, the legion that was in winter quarters with him, and as many Numidian horse as he could, and arrived, about the third hour on the following day, at a certain plain surrounded by rising grounds. Here he acquainted the soldiers, who were now exhausted with the length of their march, and averse to further exertion,1 that the town of Vacca was not above a mile distant, and that it became them to bear patiently the toil that remained, with the hope of exacting revenge for their countrymen, the bravest and most unfortunate of men. He likewise generously promised them the whole of the plunder. Their courage being thus revived, he ordered them to resume their march, the cavalry maintaining an extended line in front, and the infantry, with their standards concealed, keeping the closest order behind.

1 LXVIII. Averse to further exertion] “Tum abnuentes omnia.” Most of the translators have understood by these words that the troops refused to obey orders; but Sallust's meaning is only that they expressed, by looks and gestures, their unwillingness to proceed.

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