All these measures were executed with great despatch: and Caius Julius the consul being left to guard the city, and Lucius Julius master of the horse, for the sudden exigencies of the war, lest any thing which they might want in the camp should cause delay, the dictator, repeating the words after Aulus Cornelius the chief pontiff, vowed the great games on account of the sudden war;
and having set out from the city, after dividing his army with the consul Quintius, he came up with the enemy.
As they had observed two separate camps of the enemy at a small distance one from the other, they in like manner encamped separately about a mile from them, the dictator towards Tusculum, the consul towards Lanuvium.
Thus they had their four armies, as many fortified posts, having between them a plain sufficiently extended not only for excursions to skirmish, but even for drawing up the armies on both sides in battle-array.
From the time camp was brought close to camp, they ceased not from light skirmishing, the dictator readily allowing his soldiers, by comparing strength, to entertain beforehand the hope of a general vic- tory, after they had gradually essayed the result of slight skirmishes.
Wherefore the enemy, no hope being now left in a regular engagement, attacked the consuls' camp in the night, and bring the matter to the chance of a doubtful result. The shout which arose suddenly awoke not only the consuls' sentinels and then all the army, but the dictator also.
When circumstances required instant exertion, the consul evinced no deficiency either in spirit or in judgment. One part of the troops reinforce the guards at the gates, another man the rampart around.
In the other camp with the dictator, inasmuch as there is less of confusion, so much the more readily is it observed, what is required to be done. Despatching then forthwith a reinforcement to the consuls' camp, to which Spurius Postumius Albus is appointed lieutenant-general, he himself with a part of his forces, making a small circuit, proceeds to a place entirely sequestered from the bustle, whence he might suddenly attack the enemy's rear.
Quintus Sulpicius, his lieutenant-general, he appoints to take charge of the camp; to Marcus Fabius as lieutenant he assigns the cavalry, and orders that those troops, which it would be difficult to manage amid a nightly conflict, should not stir before day-light.
All the measures which any other prudent and active general could order and execute at such a juncture, he orders and executes with regularity; that was an extraordinary specimen of judgment and intrepidity, and one deserving of no ordinary praise, that he despatched Marcus Geganius with some chosen troops to attack the enemy's camp, whence it had been ascertained that they had departed with the greater part of their troops.
When he fell on these men, wholly intent o the result of the danger of their friends, and incautious with respect to themselves, the watches and advanced guards being even neglected, he took their camp almost before the enemy were perfectly sure that it was attacked.
Then when the signal given with smoke, as had been agreed on, was perceived [p. 282]
by the dictator, he exclaims that the enemy's camp was taken, and orders it to be announced in every direction.