Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/185

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
171
BATTLE OF THE METAURUS.

nature, have been dead, and consider how the isolated Phœnician city of Carthage was fitted to receive and to consolidate the civilization of Greece, or by its laws and institutions to bind together barbarians of every race and language into an organized empire, and prepare them for becoming, when that empire was dissolved, the free members of the commonwealth of Christian Europe."[1]

It was in the spring of 207 B.C., that Hasdrubal,after skilfully disentangling himself from the Roman forces in Spain, and, after a march conducted with great judgment and little loss, through the interior of Gaul and the passes of the Alps, appeared in the country that now is the north of Lombardy, at the head of troops which he had partly brought out of Spain, and partly levied among the Gauls and Ligurians on his way. At this time Hannibal, with his unconquered and seemingly unconquerable army, had been eight years in Italy, executing with strenuous ferocity the vow of hatred to Rome, which had been sworn by him while yet a child at the bidding of his father

  1. Arnold, vol. iii. p. 61. The above is one of the numerous bursts of eloquence that adorn Arnold's last volume, and cause such deep regret that that volume should have been the last, and its great and good author have been cut off with his work thus incomplete.