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“The Rubicon, now called Rugone, was a small river, rising in the Appenines, and falling into the Adriatic ; it divided Italy from Gaul,
: and bounded Cæsar's command. This river was considered by the Romans as the limit of their domestic empire ; and an edict had been long before made by the senate, which is still to be seen engraven in the road near Rimini, by which they considered any person a parricide, and devoted him to the infernal gods, who should dare to pass this river with troops. When Cæsar reached its banks, be stopped for a few moments, as if to consider what he should do. 'If I pass this river,' he exclaimed to one of his generals, 'what misery I shall bring upon my country; if I stop, I am ruined. He then plunged in, saying, “The die is cast;' and his soldiers followed him.”
“Well now, Anne," said Philip, “you understand why commencing an enterprise from which you cannot draw back, is compared to passing the Rubicon, and the expression commonly used."
“I see why it is used, certainly, Philip, and I shall understand the meaning of the expression; but I think there are very few circumstances or events in which it is fair to use a speech made
under such very peculiar circumstances. But I hope, dear mamma, you do not mean to leave me in suspense, as to what took place after Cæsar was followed by his soldiers across this interesting river."
“For the present I do, my love ; for I shall be much engaged for some time to come, and unable to attend to you at this hour as usual. Hereafter I
you still continue to wish it, complete this Sketch of Roman History; but I think it very possible that you may have the pleasure of reading a more detailed account shortly, when you will cease to desire mine."
122, 124, 127