Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/280

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I did think would be beneficial to our common interests. So now that you may the better understand what is the object of convoking this assembly, listen, I pray you, with impartiality and kindness.

11. "At the time when Magnentius, whom your bravery overcome, was obstinately labouring to throw all things into confusion, I sent Gallus my cousin, who had been lately raised to the rank of Caesar, to guard the East. But he, having by many wicked and shameful arts departed from justice, was punished by a legal sentence.

12. "Would that Envy had then been contented, that most bitter exciter of troubles! And that we had nothing to grieve us but the single recollection of past sorrows, unaccompanied by any idea of present danger! But now a new circumstance, more grievous than any former one I will venture to say, has taken place, which the gods who aid us will put an end to by means of your innate valour.

13. "Julian, whom, while you were combating the nations which threaten Illyricum on all sides, I appointed to protect Gaul, presuming on the issue of some trifling battles which he has fought against the half-armed Germans, and full of silly elation, has taken a few auxiliary battalions into his noble alliance, men from their natural ferocity and the desperateness of their situation ready for acts of the most mischievous audacity, and has conspired against the public safety, trampling down justice, the parent and nurse of the Roman world. That power I believe, both because I myself have experienced it, and because all antiquity assures me of its might, will, as an avenger of wickedness, soon trample down their pride like so many ashes.

14. "What then remains, except to hasten to encounter the whirlwind thus raised against us? so as by promptitude to crush the fury of this rising war before it comes to maturity and strength? Nor can it be questioned that, with the favour of the supreme deity, by whose everlasting sentence ungrateful men are condemned, the sword which they have wickedly drawn will be turned to their own destruction. Since never having received any provocation, but rather after having been loaded with benefits, they have risen up to threaten innocent men with danger.