Page:Historical characteristics of the Celtic race.djvu/23

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were a conquered people, we may conjecture that their waste lands had been seized by the Roman State, and were covered with the flocks of Romans, who paid to the Roman treasury a small sum for the right of pasture. P. Quinctius, for whom Cicero made a speech which is still extant, had a good business in Gallia as a flockmaster ("Pecuaria res satis ampla," pro P. Quinctio, c. 3). A Roman named Umbrenus, who had been a "negotiator" in Gallia, undertook to open the conspiracy of Catiline to the Allobroges, and he promised them great things if their nation would join in the rising. From fear, however, or some other cause, the Allobroges betrayed the conspirators to the consul Cicero. (Sallust Cat. 40; Appian B. Civ. ii, 4.) It does not appear that the ambassadors got anything for their pains, though they well deserved it. There were signs of insurrection in Southern Italy as well as in Gallia, citerior and ulterior, and the revelations of the ambassadors saved Rome at least from a civil war." (Smith's Dict. of Geo.: in Gallia.

In reading the above, and comparing it with what we hear around us, we feel as if History were now well-nigh repeating itself, and the wheel of Time coming round full circle, with the same social difficulties and dilemmas recurring after two thousand years.

But we must hasten on to the consummation which overtook the Gallic race in ancient times. Julius Cæsar appeared, and the Celt was absorbed in the Empire of Rome. How that warrior entered Gaul, and crushed tribe after tribe in one cruel but resistless progress, is known to every schoolboy—belongs to the tragedies of ancient history. The clemency of Caesar, of which we hear much, has no existence toward Gauls: and the name of Vercingetorix may be coupled with that of our own Wallace as the type of the brave and unselfish, but ill-fated, patriot. Yet it was no easy task to subdue the warlike Gauls; this foremost man of all time, as some style him, Julius Caesar, took eight years to do it, and it remains his biggest achievement.

There is no lack of evidence in his own pages as to the prowess of his foe; but it may be well to notice one or two of his testimonies as to their talents and ingenuity. In one place he compliments them on their sollertia or ingenious inventiveness,