did not wait for the permission of the senate to execute his project; but informed them that he was already on his march to join Livius against Hasdrubal. He advised them to send the two legions which formed the home garrison, on to Narnia, so as to defend that pass of the Flaminian road against Hasdrubal, in case he should march upon Rome before the consular armies could attack him. They were to supply the place of these two legions at Rome by a levy en masse in the city, and by ordering up the reserve legion from Capua. These were his communications to the senate. He also sent horsemen forward along his line of march, with orders to the local authorities to bring stores of provisions and refreshment of every kind to the road side, and to have relays of carriages ready for the conveyance of the wearied soldiers. Such were the precautions which he took for accelerating his march; and when he had advanced some little distance from his camp, he briefly informed his soldiers of the real object of their expedition. He told them that never was there a design more seemingly audacious, and more really safe. He said he was leading them to a certain victory, for his colleague had an army large enough to balance the enemy already, so that their swords would decisively turn the scale. The very rumour that a fresh consul
Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/202
This page has been validated.
BATTLE OF THE METAURUS.