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After this, certain letters from Antonius to Civilis were read in full assembly, and provoked the suspicions of the soldiery, as they seemed to be addressed to a partisan of the cause and to be unfriendly to the army of Germany. Soon the news reached the camp at Gelduba, and the same language and the same acts were repeated. Montanus was sent with a message to Civilis, bidding him desist from hostilities, and not seek to conceal the designs of an enemy by fighting under false colours, and telling him that, if he had been attempting to assist Vespasian, his purpose had been fully accomplished. Civilis at first replied in artful language, but soon perceiving that Montanus was a man of singularly high spirit and was himself disposed for change, he began with lamenting the perils through which he had struggled for five-and-twenty years in the camps of Rome. "It is," he said, "a noble reward that I have received for my toils; my brother murdered, myself imprisoned, and the savage clamour of this army, a clamour which demanded my execution, and for which by the law of nations I demand vengeance. You, Treveri, and other enslaved creatures, what reward do you expect for the blood which you have shed so often? What but a hateful service, perpetual tribute, the
CIVILIS PERSISTS
rod, the axe, and the passions of a ruling race? See how I, the prefect of a single cohort, with the Batavians and the Canninefates, a mere fraction of Gaul, have destroyed their vast but useless camps, or are pressing them with the close blockade of famine and the sword. In a word, either freedom will follow on our efforts, or, if we are vanquished, we shall but be what we were before." Having thus fired the man's ambition, Civilis dismissed him, but bade him carry back a milder answer. He returned, pretending to have failed in his mission, but not revealing the other facts; these indeed soon came to light.

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