History of Julius Caesar eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 187 pages of information about History of Julius Caesar.

[Sidenote:  Embarkation of the troops.]

At length a suitable day for the embarkation arrived; the troops were put on board the ships, and orders were given to sail.  The day could not be fixed beforehand, as the time for attempting to make the passage must necessarily depend upon the state of the wind and weather.  Accordingly, when the favorable opportunity arrived, and the main body of the army began to embark it took some time to send the orders to the port where the cavalry had rendezvoused; and there were, besides, other causes of delay which occurred to detain this corps, so that it turned out, as we shall presently see, that the foot soldiers had to act alone in the first attempt at landing on the British shore.

[Sidenote:  Sailing of the fleet.] [Sidenote:  Preparations of the Britons.]

It was one o’clock in the morning when the fleet set sail.  The Britons had, in the mean time, obtained intelligence of Caesar’s threatened invasion, and they had assembled in great force, with troops, and horsemen, and carriages of war, and were all ready to guard the shore.  The coast, at the point where Caesar was approaching, consists of a line of chalky cliffs, with valley-like openings here and there between them, communicating with the shore, and sometimes narrow beaches below.  When the Roman fleet approached the land, Caesar found the cliffs every where lined with troops of Britons, and every accessible point below carefully guarded.  It was now about ten o’clock in the morning, and Caesar, finding the prospect so unfavorable in respect to the practicability of effecting a landing here, brought his fleet to anchor near the shore, but far enough from it to be safe from the missiles of the enemy.

[Sidenote:  Caesar calls a council of officers.]

Here he remained for several hours, to give time for all the vessels to join him.  Some of them had been delayed in the embarkation, or had made slower progress than the rest in crossing the Channel.  He called a council, too, of the superior officers of the army on board his own galley, and explained to them the plan which he now adopted for the landing.  About three o’clock in the afternoon he sent these officers back to their respective ships, and gave orders to make sail along the shore.  The anchors were raised and the fleet moved on, borne by the united impulse of the wind and the tide.  The Britons, perceiving this movement, put themselves in motion on the land, following the motions of the fleet so as to be ready to meet their enemy wherever they might ultimately undertake to land.  Their horsemen and carriages went on in advance, and the foot soldiers followed, all pressing eagerly forward to keep up with the motion of the fleet, and to prevent Caesar’s army from having time to land before they should arrive at the spot and be ready to oppose them.


[Sidenote:  The landing.] [Sidenote:  The battle.] [Sidenote:  Defeat of the Britons.]

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History of Julius Caesar from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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