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under pretence of being defrauded of their just claims, the most brutal outrages.
Boadicea, having assembled the Britons, reminded them, in a strain of pathetic eloquence, of the perfidy of the Romans, who, under fair promises, in exchanging for their own the laws and customs of the country, had exposed its natives to every species of calamity. Not satisfied with injustice and extortion, these barbarous oppressors, adding insult to cruelty, had dared to inflict on their queen (the chastity of whose daughters they had brutally violated), the indignity of corporeal punishment. If it must be confessed, that the Britons had been the authors of their own misery; in permitting these foreign robbers to form a settlement on their island, they had suffered but too severely the consequences of their facility, it remained now but to choose between liberty and death. While standing on a rising ground, her loose robes and long dishevelled hair floating in the wind, a spear in her hand, her features animated, and her eyes sparkling with vengeance, Boadicea reminded the people of their wrongs, she drew from her bosom a hare, which she had concealed, and which she suffered to escape among the crowd. The Britons, exulting, hailed the omen; the spirit of
revolt spread through their ranks; revenge glowed in every heart, while they shouted to be led against
Private and individual injury swelled the tide of public hatred. The Roman veterans, newly planted in the colony of Camalodunum, had driven from their houses its inhabitants, seized their lands, and treated them as vassals and captives; while, in a temple erected in honour of the emperor, a lasting tyranny appeared to menace them.
In proportion as the spirit of the Britons rose, the confidence of the enemy declined. The statue of Victory, in the colony of Camalodunum, fell without an apparent cause; strange sounds murmured through the court and theatre; the sea assumed a crimson hue; while female fanatics foretold the subversion of the colony.
Boadicea, at the head of a numerous army, attacked Camalodunum, and, with unrelenting fury, slaughtered the Roman troops, to whom no quarter was given : in the destruction of its victims, savage vengeance refined upon cruelty, Suetonius Paulinus, with ten thousand men, marching to the aid of his countrymen, a dreadfal conflict ensued. The Britons, to animate their courage, or share in their triumphs and spoils, brought to the field, in waggons, their wives and
children. The queen, her daughters seated by her side, rode in her chariot from rank to rank, exhorting and encouraging the troops, reminding them of their former victories under her banner, of the indignities suffered by her and her family, of their own peculiar wrongs, of the barbarities and oppressions of the enemy, while she exulted in the protection of Heaven, already manifested in the discomfiture of the Romans, whose vanquished legions had spread terror through their army. She entreated her soldiers to press their advantage, to confide in their own strength, and in the justice of their cause : proposing to them her own example, who, though a woman, had determined on victory or death— Let the men who prefer life,' added she, in a raised and dignified tone, live dishonoured and slaves.'
While their heroic queen thus roused the spirit and animated the courage of the Britons, Paulinus, confiding in his veteran troops, encouraged them to despise the shouts and menaces of barbarians, ill-armed and undiciplined, feeble and easily discomfited, encumbered by their numbers and baggage, and ready to flee on the first attack. The event of a battle, he observed, depended less on numbers, than on the skill and valour of the few, whose glory their apparent inferiority would enhance. He enjoined them to keep their ranks close, and, having hurled their javelins, to have secourse, to their swords; cautioned them lest they should yield to the temptation to plunder, and thus suffer themselves to be separated, or thrown off their guard. The troops, having signified their approbation by loud acclamations, the charge was, by the order of their general, sounded to battle..
i The Britons, at a distance from the enemy, triumphed in the hope of appalling them with numbers; but as the legions, with a dauntless aspect, sword in hand, advanced to meet them, they fell into disorder and precipitately fled: the baggage and waggons, in which their families were stationed, obstructing their flight, a total defeat and a dreadful carnage ensued. Eighty thousand Britons were left on the field, while their merciless oppressors reaped, with an inconsiderable loss, a complete victory. The battle was fought in the eighth year of the reign of Nero, A.D. 611 The scene of action is supposed to have been on Salisbury plain. Boadicea perished, either volun: tarily by poison, or from the effects of her despair, a short time after.
She is described by Dion Cassius as large in stature, her aspect full of dignity, her complexion
fair, her hair yellow, spreading over her shoulders in luxuriant profusion, and reaching below her waist; her eyes fierce and piercing, her voice strong and sonorous.
Stonehenge, it is conjectured by some, might have been erected to the memory of this heroic and unfortunate British queen. In proof of this opinion the rudeness of the structure is alleged; human bones occasionally dug up, prove it to have been a sepulchre; while, contrary to the customs of the Romans on these occasions, it bears no inscription. Others have believed it to be a monument in commemoration of the British lords, perfidiously murdered by the Saxons, on an interview near the place. In contradiction to this notion, may be alleged, the armour, of large and antique fashion, against which the spade and pick-axe have sometimes struck. The Britons slain by pagan Hengist, unconscious of treachery, were unarmed. These stones are fabulously represented by Geoffrey Arthur of Monmouth, as possessing medicinal qualities, and as having been brought from Ireland, by force of arms, for the purpose of a memoria, at the instigation of Merlin. Camden speaks of the discovery near Stonehenge, eighty years ago, of a plate of mixed metal, inscribed with characters, which the learned of those times