ost numerous forces, were

insufficient to protect the long-extended coast of Italy from the

depredations of a naval war. The public opinion had imposed a

nobler and more arduous task on the genius of Majorian. Rome

expected from him alone the restitution of Africa; and the

design, which he formed, of attacking the Vandals in their new

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settlements, was the result of bold and judicious policy. If the

intrepid emperor could have infused his own spirit into the youth

of Italy; if he could have revived in the field of Mars, the

manly exercises in which he had always surpassed his equals; he

might have marched against Genseric at the head of a Roman army.

Such a reformation of national manners might be embraced by the

rising generation; but it is the misfortune of those princes who

laboriously sustain a declining monarchy, that, to obtain some

immediate advantage, or to avert some impending danger, they are

forced to countenance, and even to multiply, the most pernicious

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abuses. Majorian, like the weakest of his predecessors, was

reduced to the disgraceful expedient of substituting Barbarian

auxiliaries in the place of his unwarlike subjects: and his

superior abilities could only be displayed in the vigor and

dexterity with which he wielded a dangerous instrument, so apt to

recoil on the hand that used it. Besides the confederates, who

were already engaged in the service of the empire, the fame of

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his liberality and valor attracted the nations of the Danube, the

Borysthenes, and perhaps of the Tanais. Many thousands of the

bravest subjects of Attila, the Gepidae, the Ostrogoths, the

Rugians, the Burgundians, the Suevi, the Alani, assembled in the

plains of Liguria; and their formidable strength was balanced by

their mutual animosities. ^46 They passed the Alps in a severe

winter. The

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