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officers were for encamping, in order to refresh the soldiers; but their leader again permitting himself to be deceived, or yielding to the ardour of his own son, only suffered them to snatch a meal as they stood in their ranks, and then pushed on against the enemy.

Surenas had concealed most of his men, and caused the rest to cover their armour, so that his force at first seemed very small; but no sooner did he observe that the Romans had fallen into the snare, than he gave the signal, when the Parthians, starting up, as it were, out of the ground, appeared, horse and man, shining from head to foot in complete steel. Nor had the former time to recover from their astonishment before they found themselves charged by young Surenas, who, pike in hand, strove to break through the hostile ranks. But habitual fortitude and discipline counteracted the effect of surprise. The assailants, being repulsed, retreated to a safe distance; whence they darted on the foe a shower of sharp and heavy arrows. The light-armed foot and archers advanced to drive them away, but were themselves soon compelled to seek shelter behind the heavy troops; while the enemy, approaching still nearer, directed a deadly flight of missiles into the densely-compacted legions, where not a shaft failed to inflict a wound. The wings next deploying, advanced to the charge, but all in vain. The Parthian horsemen shot with as much effect while retiring as advancing; so that, whether the Romans kept their ground or gave way, they were equally the butt of those dreadful shafts.

In vain, too, did the latter expect that those weapons would be exhausted, and their foes compelled to retreat, for there were multitudes of camels in the rear, loaded with arrows, from which the mounted archers ever and anon replenished their quivers. Hence the bravest began to despair of saving themselves from an enemy whom they could neither reach nor avoid. At length the proconsul sent his son with some chosen troops to attack the enemy, and procure at least a short rest for the legionaries. The

tes at the upper Zeugma or Roumkalah, which is scarcely forty miles from Orfa, and quite out of the way of the Belejick, and that he must either have crossed at Beles or the lower Zeugma (Thapsacus), from whence, as a matter of course, he must have crossed the Belejick in his way to the plains where he was defeated.

young Crassus advanced, and, seeing the Parthians wheel and retreat as he proceeded onward, called aloud, "They flee before us," and pressed on with the utmost ardour. But, when they had drawn him to a sufficient distance from the main body, they returned furiously to the charge, upon which he halted to meet the shock. But they, opposing their heavy-armed horse to his front, surrounded him on all sides with their light troops, who raised so thick a dust that none of the Romans could distinguish friend from foe; while from the dense cloud issued showers of arrows, that soon covered with dead bodies the ground where they had stood. In vain did their young commander exhort his men to march up to the assailants. In reply, they showed him their bodies transfixed with missiles, their hands riveted to their bucklers and their feet to the earth, and asked how, in such a condition, they could attempt to overtake the enemy. He then charged their heavy cavalry; and a thousand Gauls whom he had brought from the West acquitted themselves with dauntless courage. They closed with the enemy, and sometimes pulled them from their horses; or, dismounting, pierced the bellies of the steeds from beneath. But at length, harassed with heat and thirst, and having lost most of their horses, the Gauls fell back upon the infantry, who, as well as themselves, were immediately surrounded again by the Parthians, and stood as a mark for their shafts.

Retiring, thus assailed, to a rising ground, the younger Crassus, while his men fell thick around him, indignantly refused an offer of two Greeks to conduct him safely to Ischines, provided he would leave his troops; and at length, frantic with grief at seeing the bravest of his friends thus uselessly sacrificed, and unable any longer to use his arm, which was transpierced by a barbed shaft, he desired one of his companions to put an end to his life, that he might not fall alive into the enemy's hands. This example was followed by most of the surviving nobility who were with him; while of the remainder, five hundred were made prisoners, and the rest were cut to pieces.

The unfortunate proconsul, who had retired to a height in the rear to wait for his son's return or to mark his progress, was roused from his dream of hope by a messenger, who told him that the youth would certainly be lost unless immediate aid were sent to him. Prudence gave way to

paternal solicitude and the desire of saving the brave combatants; but, before he had advanced far, he was met by the victorious Parthians, whose shouts of triumph told a tale which was dismally confirmed to the unhappy father by the sight of the young leader's head fixed upon a spear. It was no time for the indulgence of sorrow. "This misfortune is entirely mine," said he to his dismayed troops; "the loss of one person cannot affect the victory. Let us charge-let us fight like Romans: if you feel for a father who has just lost a son whose valour you admired, let it appear in your rage and resentment against those insulting barbarians!"

But it was too late. The faintness of their shout gave proof that their physical strength and courage were alike exhausted. Again was the air darkened with clouds of arrows from an enemy whom they could not approach; and many of the men, in desperation, threw themselves among the heavy-armed horse to seek a speedier death. And thus did the fierce attack continue unceasingly till nightfall, when the assailants retired.

A melancholy night it was to the Romans. Stretched on the ground, at a distance from his soldiers and his tent, and shrouded only by his military cloak, their wretched commander lay writhing under the weight of his shame and sorrow, insensible to all consolation, and equally prostrated in mind and body. One of his lieutenants, Octavius, after making vain efforts to rouse him to exertion, now summoned a council of war, in which it was resolved that the remains of the army should retire in silence, under the cover of darkness, to the city of Charræ, which was held by a Roman garrison; a dreadful alternative, as it left the wounded to the mercy of a savage foe. No sooner did the movement commence, than the ears of the retreating soldiers were assailed by the cries and reproaches of their wretched companions. Three hundred light-horse deserted, and pursued their way to Zeugma, where they crossed the Euphrates without halting, except to tell at Charræ that Crassus had fought a battle with the Parthians.

The governor, suspecting from their manner that all was not right, ordered his men under arms, and, marching out, met the proconsul, whom, with his broken forces, he conducted into the city; the wounded and fugitives meanwhile being put to the sword by the enemy, and several smaller

detachments destroyed. Nor did the walls of Charræ long prove a protection to Crassus. Surenas, learning that he had taken refuge in it, sent to inform the garrison, that if they expected to obtain any terms from him, both the general and Cassius the quæstor must be delivered up to him in chains. A council of war, which assembled to hear this report, resolved that it was expedient to remove from the city that very night, and to seek some other asylum; and secrecy was especially enjoined on all the commanders. Yet the infatuated Crassus himself betrayed the secret to Andromachus, whom he had pitched upon as a guide, and who happened to be a creature of Surenas. Having given due information of the intended movement to the Parthian chief, he led the devoted Romans by devious ways into a tract of marshy land, till Cassius, suspecting treachery, refused to proceed, and, taking his own way, succeeded in reaching Syria with 500 horse. Octavius, having been more fortunate in his guides, pursued his march to the mountains of Sinnaca with 5000 men, and there intrenched himself.

The unfortunate proconsul remained entangled in the marshes into which he had been misled till morning, when the rising sun saw him surrounded by the Parthian cavalry. In spite of opposition, however, he gained a hill not far from his lieutenant, who, seeing his danger, flew to his assistance, and charging the enemy, rescued his forlorn commander, whom the troops bore safely off in a hollow square, covered by their bucklers. This check appears to have in some measure disconcerted the pursuers; and Surenas, observing them reluctant to attack their antagonists in position, resolved to compass his ends by treachery. Feigning a desire to negotiate, and to put an end to a war which he said would be rendered more bitter and deadly should a Roman general be made its victim, he invited Crassus to an interview, advancing with unbended bow and open arms.

This time it was not the rashness of the leader, but the turbulence and fears of the legionaries, rendered outrageous by their sufferings and situation, that led to a fatal result; for they compelled him, against his better judgment, to hold a conference with Surenas. Accompanied by Octavius and Petronius, with a few soldiers, he accordingly descended the hill, where he was met by the Parthian in per

son, mounted on a superb horse. "What do I see!" he exclaimed, "a Roman general on foot, and we on horseback! Let a horse be brought for him immediately." "Be not surprised," said Crassus; "each comes to the conference after the manner of his country." "It is well," said Surenas; "but the articles of peace must be signed on the bank of the Euphrates, for you Romans do not always remember your conventions." A gallant steed, with rich caparison and bit of gold, was then brought and offered to the proconsul as on the part of King Orodes; upon which some of the Parthian officers placed him upon the animal, and began to scourge it forward with great violence. Octavius resented the insult by seizing the bridle. His men flocked around him; a scuffle ensued; when, drawing his sword, he killed one of Surenas's grooms, and was instantly struck down himself by a blow from behind. The fight soon became general, and ended in the death of most of the Romans, and of Crassus himself, who thus fell a victim to an inordinate desire of power or of wealth, which appears to have utterly blinded his better judgment, and led him into acts more like those of a madman than of an experienced leader.

The rest of his army either surrendered to the enemy, or, dispersing in the night, were pursued and cut to pieces. To Rome, the misfortune was not restricted to the loss of 30,000 brave soldiers and valuable officers, but involved a severe shock to her military reputation, which that haughty nation felt so deeply, that the greatest efforts were subsequently made to efface the stain, and revenge the insult offered to her name and arms.

In pondering over this catastrophe and the fate of Crassus, the mind, unavoidably reverting to the very different fortunes of Xenophon and his Ten Thousand Greeks, is led to contrast the prudence, the intrepid perseverance, and admirable conduct of the one commander, with the blind infatuation and obstinate presumption of the other. Both alike environed with fierce enemies, in a hostile country, far from aid, had to depend entirely on their own resources. In fact, the situation of the Greeks was worse than that of the Romans, inasmuch as their numbers were smaller, their foes infinitely more numerous, their distance from home incomparably greater, and the moral effect, of course, correspondingly more depressing. It is true that the Per

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