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the haruspices. Attila already exulted in the confidence of victory, when the valiant Torismond descended from the hills, and verified the remainder of the prediction. The Visigoths, who had been thrown into confusion by the flight or defection of the Alani, gradually restored their order of battle; and the Huns were undoubtedly vanquished, since Attila was compelled to retreat. He had exposed his person with the rashness of a private soldier; but the intrepid troops of the centre had pushed forwards beyond the rest of the line; their attack was faintly supported ; their flanks were unguarded ; and the conquerors of Scythia and Germany were saved by the approach of the night from a total defeat. They retired within the circle of wagons that fortified their camp; and the dismounted squadrons prepared themselves for a defence, to which neither their arms, nor their temper, were adapted. The event was doubtful: but Attila had secured a last and honorable resource. The saddles and rich furniture of the cavalry were collected, by his order, into a funeral pile; and the magnanimous Barbarian had resolved, if his intrenchments should be forced, to rush headlong into the flames, and to deprive his enemies of the glory which they might have acquired, by the death or captivity of Attila.” But his enemies had passed the night in equal disorder and anxiety. The inconsiderate courage of Torismond was tempted to urge the pursuit, till he unexpectedly found himself, with a few followers, in the midst of the Scythian wagons. In the confusion of a nocturnal combat, he was. thrown from his horse; and the Gothic prince must have perished like his father, if his youthful strength, and the intrepid zeal of his companions, had not rescued him from this dangerous situation. In the same manner, but on the left of the line, Aëtius himself, separated from his allies, ignorant of their victory, and anxious for their fate, encountered and escaped the hostile troops that were scattered over the plains of Châlons; and at length reached the camp of the Goths, which he could only fortify with a slight rampart of shields, till the dawn of day. The Imperial general was soon satisfied of the defeat of Attila, who still remained inactive within his intrenchments; and when he contemplated the bloody scene, he observed, with secret satisfaction, that the loss had principally fallen on the Barbarians. The body of Theodoric, pierced with honorable wounds, was discovered under a heap of the slain ; his subjects bewailed the death of their king and father; but their tears were mingled with songs and acclamations, and his funeral rites were performed in the face of a vanquished enemy. The Goths, clashing their arms, elevated on a buckler his eldest son Torismond, to whom they justly ascribed the glory of their success; and the new king accepted the obligation of revenge as a sacred portion of his paternal inheritance. Yet the Goths themselves were astonished by the fierce and undaunted aspect of their formidable antagonist; and their historian has compared Attila to a lion encompassed in his den, and threatening his hunters with redoubled fury. The kings and nations who might have deserted his standard in the hour of distress, were made sensible that the displeasure of their monarch was the most imminent and inevitable danger. All his instruments of martial music incessantly sounded a loud and animating strain of defiance; and the foremost troops who advanced to the assault were checked or destroyed by showers of arrows from every side of the intrenchments. It was determined, in a general council of war, to besiege the king of the Huns in his camp, to intercept his provisions, and to reduce him to the alter. native of a disgraceful treaty or an unequal combat. But the impatience of the Barbarians soon disdained these cautious and dilatory measures; and the mature policy of Aëtius was apprehensive that, after the extirpation of the Huns, the republic would be oppressed by the pride and power of the Gothic nation. The patrician exerted the superior ascendant of authority and reason to calm the passions, which the son of Theodoric considered as a duty; represented, with seeming affection and real truth, the dangers of absence and delay; and persuaded Torismond to "disappoint, by his speedy return, the ambitious designs of his brothers, who might occupy the throne and treasures of Toulouse.” After the departure of the Goths, and the separation of the allied army, Attila was surprised at the vast silence that reigned over the plains of Châlons: the 46 Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 41, p. 671. The policy of Aëtius, and the behavior of Torismond, are extremely natural ; and the patrician, according to Gregory of Tours (i. ii. c. 7, p. 163), dismissed the prince of the Franks, by suggesting to him a similar apprehension. The false Idatius ridiculously pretends that Aëtius paid a clandestine nocturnal visit to the kings of the Huns and of the
* The count de Buat (Hist. des Peuples, &c., tom. vii. pp. 554–573), still depending on the false, and again rejecting the true, Idatius, has divided the defeat, of Ato tila into two great battles ; the former near Orleans, the latter in Champagne : in the one, Theodoric was slain ; in the other, he was revenged.
Visigoths; from each of whom he obtained a bribe of ten thousand pieces of gold, asthe price of an undisturbed retreat.
suspicion of some hostile stratagem detained him several days within the circle of his wagons, and his retreat beyond the Rhine confessed the last victory which was achieved in the name of the Western empire. Meroveus and his Franks, observing a prudent distance, and magnifying the opinion of their strength by the numerous fires which they kindled every night, continued to follow the rear of the Huns, till they reached the confines of Thuringia. The Thuringians served in the army of Attila: they traversed, both in their march and in their return, the territories of the Franks; and it was perhaps in this war that they exercised the cruelties which, about fourscore years afterwards, were revenged by the son of Clovis. They massacred their hostages, as well as their captives: two hundred young maidens were tortured with exquisite and unrelenting rage; their bodies were torn asunder by wild horses, or their bones were crushed under the weight of rolling wagons; and their unburied limbs were abandoned on the public roads, as a prey to dogs and vultures. Such were those savage ancestors, whose imaginary virtues have sometimes excited the praise and envy of civilized ages!” . Neither the spirit, nor the forces, nor the reputation, of Attila, were impaired by the failure of the Gallic expedition. In the ensuing spring he repeated his demand of the princess Honoria, and her patrimonial treasures. The demand was again rejected, or eluded; and the indignant lover immediately took the field, passed the Alps, invaded Italy, and besieged Aquileia with an innumerable host of Barbarians. Those Barbarians were unskilled in the methods of conducting a regular siege, which, even among the ancients, required some knowledge, or at least some practice, of the mechanic arts. But the labor of many thousand provincials and captives, whose lives were sacrificed without pity, might execute the most painful and dangerous work. The skill of the Roman artists might be corrupted to the destruc-‘ tion of their country. The walls of Aquileia were assaulted by a formidable train of battering rams, movable turrets, and engines, that threw stones, darts, and fire; * and the
47 These cruelties, which are passionately deplored by Theodoric, the son of Clovis (Gregory of Tours, l, iii. c. 10, p. 190), suit the time and circumstances of the invasion of Attila. His residence in Thuringia was lo; attested by popular tradition; and he is supposed to have assembled a couroustai, or diet, in the territory of Eisenach. See Mascou, ix. 30, who settles with nice accuracy the extent of ancient Thuringie, and derives its name from the Gothic tribe of the Therwingi. * Machinis constructis, omnibusque tormentorum generibus adhibitis. Jor
monarch of the Huns employed the forcible impulse of hope, fear, emulation, and interest, to subvert the only barrier which delayed the conquest of Italy. Aquileia was at that period one of the richest, the most populous, and the strongest of the maritime cities of the Adriatic coast. The Gothic auxiliaries, who appeared to have served under their native princes, Alaric and Antala, communicated their intrepid spirit; and the citizens still remembered the glorious and successful resistance which their ancestors had opposed to a fierce, inexorable Barbarian, who disgraced the majesty of the Roman purple. Three months were consumed without effect in the siege of Aquileia; till the want of provisions, and the clamors of his army, compelled Attila to relinquish the enterprise; and reluctantly to issue his orders, that the troops should strike their tents the next morning, and begin their retreat. But as he rode round the walls, pensive, angry, and disappointed, he observed a stork preparing to leave her nest, in one of the towers, and to fly with her infant family towards the country. He seized, with the ready penetration of a statesman, this trifling incident, which chance had offered to superstition; and exclaimed, in a loud and cheerful tone, that such a domestic bird, so constantly attached to human society, would never have abandoned her ancient seats, unless those towers had been devoted to impending ruin and solitude.” The favorable omen inspired an assurance of victory; the siege was renewed and prosecuted with fresh vigor; a large breach was made in the part of the wall from whence the stork had taken her flight; the Huns mounted to the assault with irresistible fury; and the succeeding generation could scarcely discover the ruins of Aquileia.” After this dreadful chas
nandes, c.42, p. 673. In the thirteenth century, the Moguls battered the cities of China with large engines, constructed by the Mahonetans or Christians in their service, which threw stones from 150 to 300 pounds weight. In the defence of their country the Chinese used gunpowder, and even bombs, above a hundred years before they were known in Europe; yet even those celestial, Or infernal arms, were insufficient to protect a pusillanimous nation. See Gaubil. Hist. des Mongous, pp. 70, 71, 155, 157, &c. *The same story is told by Jornandes, and by Procopius (de Bell. Vandal. 1. i., c. 4, pp. 187, 188) : nor is it easy to decide which is the original. But the Greek historian is guilty of an inexcusable mistake, in placing the siege of Aquileia after the death of Aëtius. to Jornandes, about a hundred years afterwards, affirms, that Aquileia was so completely ruined, ita ut vix ejus vestigia, ut appareant, reliquerint. See Jornandes de Reb. Geticis, c. 42, p. 673. Paul. Diacon. l. ii. c. 14, p. 785. Liutprand, Hist. l. iii. c. 2. The name of Aquileia was sometimes applied to Forum Julii (Cividad del Friuli), the more recent capital of the Venetian province.*
* Compare the curious Latin poems on the destruction of Aquilea, published
tisement, Attila pursued his march; and as he passed, the cities of Altinum, Concordia, and Padua, were reduced into heaps of stones and ashes. The inland towns, Vicenza, Verona, and Bergamo, were exposed to the rapacious cruelty of the Huns. Milan and Pavia submitted, without resistance, to the loss of their wealth; and applauded the unusual clemency which preserved from the flames the public, as well as private, buildings, and spared the lives of the captive multitude. The popular traditions of Comum, Turin, or Modena, may justly be suspected; yet they concur with more authentic evidence to prove, that Attila spread his ravages over the rich plains of modern Lombardy; which are divided by the Po, and bounded by the Alps and Apenmine.” When he took possession of the royal palace of Milan, he was surprised and offended at the sight of a picture which represented the Caesars seated on their throne, and the princes of Scythia prostrate at their feet. The revenge which Attila inflicted on this monument of Roman vanity, was harmless and ingenious. He commanded a painter to reverse the figures and the attitudes; and the emperors were delineated on the same canvas approaching in a suppliant posture to empty their bags of tributary gold before the throne of the Scythian monarch.” The spectators must have confessed the truth and propriety of the alteration; and were perhaps tempted to apply, on this singular occasion, the well-known fable of the dispute between the lion and the man.” It is a saying worthy of the ferocious pride of Attila, * In describing this war of Attila, a war so famous, but so imperfectly known, I have taken for my guides two learned Italians, who considered the subject with some peculiar advantages; Sigonius, de Imperio. Occidentali, l. xiii. in his works, #. i. pp. 495-502; and Muratori, Annali d’Italia, tom. iv. pp. 229-236, 8vo. edi
* This anecdote may be found under two different articles (ueðváAavov and kópukos) of the miscellaneous compilation of Suidas. 53 Leo respondit, humama hoc pictum manā : Wideres hominem dejectum, si pingere Leones scirent. Appendix ad Phaedrum, Fab. xxv. The lion in Phaedrus very foolishly appeals from pictures to the amphitheatre; and I am glad to observe that the native taste of La Fontaine (l. iii. fable x.) has omitted this most lame and impotent conclusion. o: oucher in his valuable catalogue of Latin MSS. in the library of Vienna, p. 298, &c. Repleta quondam domibus sublimibus, ornatis, mire, niveis, marmoreis, Nunc ferax frugum metiris funiculo ruricolarum. The monkish poet has his consolation in Attila's sufferings in soul and body.
Windictam tamen non evasit impius destructor tuus Attila sevissimus,
Nunc igui simul gehennae et vermilibus excruciatur.—P. 290.-M. ->