Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/233
21. When all before them seemed tranquil, the soldiers stood quietly awhile; and on being asked what was the cause of their sudden and precipitate movement, they at first hesitated, and then avowing their alarm for the safety of the emperor, declared they would not retire till they had been admitted into the council-chamber, and had seen him safe in his imperial robes.
1. When the news of these events reached the troops, whom we have spoken of as having already marched under the command of Sintula, they returned with him quietly to Paris. And an order having been issued that the next morning they should all assemble in the open space in front of the camp, Julian advanced among them, and ascended a tribunal more splendid than usual, surrounded with the eagles, standards, and banners, and guarded by a strong band of armed soldiers.
2. And after a moment's quiet, while he looked down from his height on the countenances of those before him, and saw them all full of joy and alacrity, he kindled their loyalty with a few simple words, as with a trumpet.
3. "The difficulty of my situation, O brave and faithful champions of myself and of the republic, who have often with me exposed your lives for the welfare of the provinces, requires that, since you have now by your resolute decision raised me, your Caesar, to the highest of all dignities, I should briefly set before you the state of affairs, in order that safe and prudent remedies for their new condition may be devised.
4. "While little more than a youth, as you well know, I was for form's sake invested with the purple, and by the decision of the emperor was intrusted to your protection. Since that time I have never forgotten my resolution of a virtuous life: I have been seen with you as the partner of all your labours, when, in consequence of the diminution of the confidence felt in us by the barbarians, terrible disasters fell upon the empire, our cities being stormed, and countless thousands of men being slain, and even the little that was left to us being in a very tottering condition. I think it superfluous to recapitulate how often, in the depth of