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fea with all expedition; and having levied in Africa fome Maurusian horse, and collected together on the coaft of Hetruria a confiderable number of flaves and country-people, who at the name of Marius came flocking to him, he in a short time got together an army that filled forty fhips.
When Marius came to confider which party he should declare for, he reflected that Octavius was an honeft man, and one that was for governing according to law; and that, on the contrary, Cinna was in open war, and at the fame time was a person suspected by his rival in power, Sylla; from thofe confiderations he concluded that Cinna would be the most proper man to unite himfelf to, and he accordingly joined him with all his forces.
Having, in confequence of this determination, fent a meffage to Cinna, to let him know, that he fubmitted himself to him as conful, in whatsoever he should command him; Cinna received him with open arms, declared him proconful, and fent him the fafces, together with the other enfigns of authority.
But Marius declined them, alledging that
those marks of grandeur did not fuit with his prefent diftrefs. So that he continued to wear a poor ordinary habit, and to let his hair grow, as it had done from the first day of his exile, walking flowly and heavily, like a man ftricken in years, being then above feventy. All this was done merely to excite compaffion; for, under this mark of fubmiffion and humility, there ftill appeared that air of fierceness which was so natural to him, and it was evident that his mind was not fo much dejected, as exafperated, by the change of his condition.
As foon as he had paid his refpects to Cinna, and harangued the foldiers, he immediately prepared for war; and it was not long before he made a confiderable alteration in the posture of affairs. Having feized upon all the fea-port towns, and cut off the enemy's fupplies, he threw a bridge over the Tiber at Oftia, and then marched with his army towards the city.
Octavius, who gave himself too much up to the directions of foothfayers and fortunetellers, and being befides too rigid in the obfervance of the laws, fo that he would not emancipate any of the flaves for the defence
of the city, though advised fo to do, was able to make but a weak refiftance. Before Marius entered Rome, he fent fome of his body guard, who feized on Octavius, forced him off the tribunal, and killed him upon the fpot.
While affairs remained in this posture, the fenate affembled, and fent ambaffadors to Cinna and Marius, requefting them to come into the city peaceably, and fpare the citizens. Cinna, as conful, received the embaffy fitting on the tribunal, and returned a gracious answer by the meffengers. Marius ftood by, and faid nothing; but gave fufficient teftimony, by the fournefs of his countenance, and the fternnefs of his looks, that he would in a fhort time fill the city with maffacres.
And this he failed not to do. He entered the city, furrounded by his guards, chofen from among the flaves that had flocked to him, and which he called his Bardiaans, who inftantly murdered, without diftinction, all thofe he had doomed to deftruction. The leaft word or fign given them by Marius, was fufficient for this purpofe. If any one of the fenators faluted him, and he did not return
the falute, or deign to look upon them, they were flain without any more ado, before his face: fo that his very friends could not approach him without dreadful forebodings and apprehenfions.
Maimed and headlefs carcafes were frequently thrown about and trampled upon in the streets, and viewed by the citizens with horror and confternation. But the greatest grievances of all were, the outrages committed by the Bardiæans, who, after they had murdered their late mafters, proceeded to abufe their wives and children. Nor could any bounds be fet to the diffolutenefs, cruelty, and avarice of thefe infamous wretches, till at laft Cinna and Sentorius furprised them one night as they lay afleep in the camp, and killed every one of them.
At length news arrived, that Sylla, having put an end to the war with Mithridates, and taken poffeffion of the provinces, was returning into Italy with a great army. The apprehenfion of a war hanging over his head gave fome intermiflion to the cruelties of Marius, and he was chofen conful for the feventh time.
His new honour was not, however, of long continuance. Sinking under the burden of his cares, and particularly of his apprehenfions from Sylla, he fell into great troubles, nocturnal frights, and broken flumbers, which he endeavoured to quiet by hard drinking; till at length, according to Poffidonius, he fell into a pleurify, which foon put an end to his life.
But Caius Pifo, another hiftorian, tells us, that Marius walking one night after fupper with fome of his friends, entertained them with a recital of all his adventures; and after having obferved to them the inconftancy and viciffitude of fortune, he concluded with faying, that it did not become a wife man any longer to trust to so fluctuating a deity: then, having embraced and taken leave of them, he went home, took to his bed, lay fick feven days, and expired about the time that he had attained the age of feventy.
Thus died Marius, on the feventeenth day of his seventh confulfhip, to the great joy and content of the whole people of Rome. He was the firft man that had ever been chofen feven times conful, and was poffeffed of fuch a palace, and of riches fo immense,