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THE ROMAN LEGIONS UNDER VARUS.

formed here, so as to add to the natural difficulties of the passage. Fatigue and discouragement now began to betray themselves in the Roman ranks. Their line became less steady; baggage-waggons were abandoned from the impossibility of forcing them along; and, as this happened, many soldiers left their ranks and crowded round the waggons to secure the most valuable portions of their property: each was busy about his own affairs, and purposely slow in hearing the word of command from his officers. Arminius now gave the signal for a general attack. The fierce shouts of the Germans pealed through the gloom of the forests, and in thronging multitudes they assailed the flanks of the invaders, pouring in clouds of darts on the encumbered legionaries, as they struggled up the glens or floundered in the morasses, and watching every opportunity of charging through the intervals of the disjointed column, and so cutting off the communication between its several brigades. Arminius, with a chosen band of personal retainers round him, cheered on his countrymen by voice and example. He and his men aimed their weapons particularly at the horses of the Roman cavalry. The wounded animals, slipping about in the mire and their own blood, threw their riders and plunged among the ranks of the legions, disordering all round them. Varus now ordered the troops to