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It was almost eleven o'clock, when a horseman arrived at full speed with the news, that the enemy were approaching, that a small body was moving in front, but that the stir and noise could be heard far and wide. While Antonius was deliberating as to what was to be done, Arrius Varus, eager to do his best, charged with the bravest of the cavalry, and drove back the Vitellianists, inflicting upon them some slight loss; as more came up, the fortune of the day changed, and those who had been most eager in the pursuit found themselves last in the flight. This rash act did not originate with Antonius; he anticipated in fact what actually happened. He now urged his soldiers to enter on the battle with a good heart; he then drew off the squadrons of his cavalry to the two flanks, leaving in the midst an open space in which to receive Varus and his troopers; the legions were ordered to arm themselves, signals were made over the country that every man should leave plundering, and join the battle at the nearest point. Meanwhile the terror-stricken Varus plunged into the disordered ranks of his friends, and brought a panic with him. The fresh troops were driven back along with the wounded fugitives, confused by their own alarm and by the difficulties of the road.

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