CHAPTER X. MARIUS AND CINNA.

[Flight of Marius.] Meanwhile what had become of Marius? Already a halo of legend was gathering round his name, and all Italy was ringing with his adventures. When he had fled from Rome (not sorry now, we may be sure, that he had gone through his late exhibitions in the Campus Martius), he had sent his son to some of his father-in-law's farms to get necessary provisions. Young Marius was overtaken by daylight, before he could get to his father-in-law's farm, and pack the things up, and was nearly caught by those on his track. But the farm-bailiff saw them in time, and, hiding him in a cart full of beans, yoked the teams, and drove him to Rome. [Ostia.] There young Marius went to his wife's house, and, getting what he wanted, set out at nightfall for Ostia, and finding a ship starting for Africa, went aboard. His father had not waited for his return. He too had embarked at Ostia for Africa with his son-in-law. But now in his old age the sea was not so kind to him as when, in his bold and confident youth, he had sailed to sue for his first consulship from the very land to which he was now flying. A storm came on, and the ship was blown southwards along the coast. Marius begged the captain to keep clear of Tarracina, because Geminius, a leading man there, was his bitter foe. [Sidenote: Circeii.] But the storm increased; Marius was sea-sick, and they were forced to go ashore at Circeii (Monte Circello). Some herdsmen told them that horsemen had just been there in pursuit; so they spent the night in a thick wood, hungry, and tortured by anxiety. Next day they went to the coast again, and Marius implored the men to stand by him, telling them that when he was a child an eagle's nest fell into his lap, with seven young ones in it, and the soothsayers had said that it meant that he should attain to the highest honours seven times. [Minturnae.] About two miles and a half from Minturnae they spied some horsemen making towards them; and, plunging into the sea, they swam towards some merchantmen near the shore. Two slaves swam with Marius, keeping him up, and he got into one ship, and his son-in-law into the other, while the horsemen shouted to the crew to put ashore, or throw Marius overboard. The captains consulted together, and a terrible moment it must have been for the fugitives. But the spell of the Cimbric victories was potent still, and the captains replied that they would not give up Marius. So the soldiers rode off in a rage. But the sailors, having so far acted generously, were anxious to get rid of their dangerous guest, and, landing at the mouth of the Liris, on pretence of waiting for a fair wind, told Marius to go ashore and get some rest, and, while he was lying down, sailed away. Half stupified, he scrambled through bogs, and dykes, and mud, till he came to an old man's cottage, and begged the owner to shelter a man who, if he escaped, would reward him beyond his hopes. The man told him that he could hide him in a safer place than his cottage; and, showing him a hole by the riverside, covered him up in it with some rushes. But he was soon rudely disturbed. Geminius was on his trail, and Marius heard some of his emissaries loudly threatening the old man for hiding an outlaw. In his terror Marius stripped and plunged into the river, and so betrayed himself to the pursuers, who hauled him out naked and covered with mud, and gave him up to the magistrates of Minturnae. By these he was placed under a strong guard in the house of a woman named Fannia. She, like Geminius, had a personal grudge against him, for in his sixth consulship he had fined her four drachmas for ill-conduct. But now when she saw his misery she forgot her resentment, and did her best to cheer him. Nor was this difficult, for the stout heart of Marius had never failed him. He told Fannia that, as he was coming to her house, an ass had come out to drink at a neighbouring fountain, and, fixing its eyes steadily on him, had brayed aloud and frisked vivaciously, whence he augured that he would find safety by sea. The magistrates, however, had resolved to kill him, and sent a Cimbrian to do the deed, for no citizen would do it. The man went armed with a sword into the gloomy room where Marius lay. But soon he ran out crying, 'I cannot slay Marius.' He had seen eyes glaring in the darkness, and had heard a terrible voice say, 'Darest thou slay Caius Marius?' His heart had failed him; he had thrown down the sword and fled. Either the magistrates now changed their minds, or the people forced them to let Marius go, or perhaps Fannia connived at his escape. Plutarch says that the people escorted him to the coast, and, when they came to a sacred grove, called the Marician Grove, which no man might enter, but which it would take a long time to go round, an old man had led the way into it, saying that no place was so sacred but that it might be entered to save Marius. [Aenaria.] In some way he reached the coast where a friend had secured a vessel, and being driven by the wind to Aenaria (Ischia), he there found his son-in-law and sailed for Africa.

[Eryx.] Want of water forced them to put in at Eryx on the N.W. of Sicily; but the Roman quaestor there was on the look-out, and killing sixteen of the crew nearly took Marius. Landing at Meninx (Jerbah), the fugitive heard that his son was in Africa too, and had gone to Hiempsal, King of Numidia, to ask for aid, upon which he set sail again and landed at Carthage. [Carthage.] The Roman governor there sent to warn him off from Africa. Marius was dumb with indignation, but on being asked what answer he had to send, replied, so ran the story, 'Go and say you have seen Caius Marius sitting on the ruins of Carthage.'