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Historical Tales, Vol 5 (Of 15) The Romance Of Reality, German

User: silviya
Historical Tales,  Vol 5 (Of 15) The Romance Of Reality,  German

In The Days Of Augustus, The Emperor Of Rome In Its Golden Age Of
Prosperity, An Earnest Effort Was Made To Subdue And Civilize Barbarian
Germany. Drusus, The Step-Son Of The Emperor, Led The First Army Of
Invasion Into This Forest-Clad Land Of The North, Penetrating Deeply
Into The Country And Building Numerous Forts To Guard His Conquests. His
Last Invasion Took Him As Far As The Elbe. Here, As We Are Told, He
Found Himself Confronted By A Supernatural Figure, In The Form Of A
Woman, Who Waved Him Back With Lofty And Threatening Air, Saying, "How
Much Farther Wilt Thou Advance, Insatiable Drusus? It Is Not Thy Lot To
Behold All These Countries. Depart Hence! The Term Of Thy Deeds And Of
Thy Life Is At Hand." Drusus Retreated, And Died On His Return.

Tiberius, His Brother, Succeeded Him, And Went Far To Complete The
Conquest He Had Begun. Germany Seemed Destined To Become A Roman
Province. The Work Of Conquest Was Followed By Efforts To Civilize The
Free-Spirited Barbarians, Which, Had They Been Conducted Wisely, Might
Have Led To Success. One Of The Roman Governors, Sentius, Prefect Of The
Rhine, Treated The People So Humanely That Many Of Them Adopted The Arts
And Customs Of Rome, And The Work Of Overcoming Their Barbarism Was
Well Begun. He Was Succeeded In This Office By Varus, A Friend And
Confidant Of The Emperor, But A Man Of Very Different Character, And One
Who Not Only Lacked Military Experience And Mental Ability, But Utterly
Misunderstood The Character Of The People He Was Dealing With. They
Might Be Led, They Could Not Be Driven Into Civilization, As The New
Prefect Was To Learn.

All Went Well As Long As Varus Remained Peacefully In His Head-Quarters,
Erecting Markets, Making The Natives Familiar With The Attractive Wares
Of Rome, Instructing Them In Civilized Arts, And Taking Their Sons Into
The Imperial Army. All Went Ill When He Sought To Hasten His Work By
Acts Of Oppression, Leading His Forces Across The Weser Into The Land Of
The Cherusci, Enforcing There The Rigid Roman Laws, And Chastising And
Executing Free-Born Germans For Deeds Which In Their Creed Were Not
Crimes. Varus, Who Had At First Made Himself Loved By His Kindness, Now
Made Himself Hated By His Severity. The Germans Brooded Over Their
Wrongs, Awed By The Roman Army, Which Consisted Of Thirty Thousand
Picked Men, Strongly Intrenched, Their Camps Being Impregnable To Their
Undisciplined Foes. Yet The High-Spirited Barbarians Felt That This Army
Was But An Entering Wedge, And That, If Not Driven Out, Their Whole
Country Would Gradually Be Subdued.

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