Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/52

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sent some of their comrades to exhort him by trustworthy and sure promises to remain there relying upon them, since they were posted in great force among the neighbouring stations; but those about him watched him with such diligent care that he could get no opportunity of seeing them, or of hearing their message.

16. Then, as letter after letter from the emperor urged, him to quit that city, he took ten public carriages, as he was desired to do, and leaving behind him all his retinue, except a few of his chamberlains and domestic officers, whom he had brought with him, he was in this poor manner compelled to hasten his journey, his guards forcing him to use all speed; while he from time to time, with many regrets, bewailed the rashness which had placed him in a mean and despised condition at the mercy of men of the lowest class.

17. And amid all these circumstances, in moments when exhausted nature sought repose in sleep, his senses were kept in a state of agitation by dreadful spectres making unseemly noises about him; and crowds of those whom he had slain, led on by Domitianus and Montius, seemed to seize and torture him with all the torments of the Furies.

18. For the mind, when freed by sleep from its connection with the body, is nevertheless active, and being full of the thoughts, and anxieties of mortal pursuits, engenders mighty visions which we call phantoms.

19. Therefore his melancholy fate, by which it was destined he should be deprived of empire and life, leading the way, he proceodod on his journey by continual relays of horses, till he arrived at Petobio, a town in Noricum. Here all disguise was thrown off, and the Count Barbatio suddenly made his appearance, with Apodemius, the secretary for the provinces, and an escort of soldiers whom the emperor had picked out as men bound to him by especial favours, feeling sure that they could not be turned from their obedience either by bribes or pity.

20. And now the affair was conducted to its conclusion without further disguise or deceit, and the whole portion of the palace which is outside the walls was surrounded by armed