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274
BATTLE OF CHALONS.

not put his brother to death in accident, or in hasty quarrel, but that

"He slew his gallant twin
With inexpiable sin,"

deliberately, and in compliance with the warnings of supernatural powers. The shedding of a brother's blood was believed to have been the price, at which the founder of Rome had purchased from destiny her twelve centuries of existence.[1]

We may imagine, therefore, with what terror in this, the twelve-hundredth year after the foundation of Rome, the inhabitants of the Roman Empire must have heard the tidings, that the royal brethren, Attila and Bleda, had founded a new capitol on the Danube, which was designed to rule over the ancient capitol on the Tiber; and that Attila, like Romulus, had consecrated the foundations of his new city by murdering his brother; so that for the new cycle of centuries then about to commence, dominion had been bought from the gloomy spirits of destiny in favour of the Hun, by a sacrifice of equal awe and value with that which had formerly obtained it for the Roman.

  1. See a curious justification of Attila for murdering his brother, by a zealous Hungarian advocate, in the note to Pray's "Annales Hunnorum," p. 117. The example of Romulus is the main authority quoted.