Parthagica Directory 08
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During Scipio's absence in Africa a formidable insurrection had broken out in Spain; but on his return it was speedily put down, and terrible vengeance was inflicted upon the town of Illiturgis, which had taken the principal share in the revolt. Scarcely had this danger passed away when Scipio was seized with a dangerous illness. Eight thousand of the Roman soldiers, discontented with not having received their usual pay, availed themselves of this opportunity to break out into open mutiny; but Scipio quelled it with his usual promptitude and energy. He crushed the last remains of the insurrection in Spain; and to crown his other successes, Gades at last surrendered to the Romans. Mago had quitted Spain, and crossed over into Liguria, to effect a diversion in favor of his brother Hannibal, and there was therefore now no longer any enemy left in Spain.

Others, as the rabbits, field-mice, and squirrels, are more or less active and forage freely on whatever they can find, eating many things which in summer they would spurn with scorn. To this class belongs that intelligent but injurious animal the musquash or muskrat. Those which inhabit the rivers and larger streams live in burrows dug deep beneath the banks, but those inhabiting sluggish streams and ponds usually construct a conical winter house about three feet in diameter and from two to three feet in height. These houses are made of coarse grasses, rushes, branches of shrubs, and small pieces of driftwood, closely cemented together with stiff, clayey mud. The top of the house usually projects two feet or more above the water, and when sun-dried is so strong as to easily sustain the weight of a man. The walls are generally about six inches in thickness and are very difficult to pull to pieces. Within is a single circular chamber with a shelf or floor of mud, sticks, leaves and grass, ingeniously supported on coarse sticks stuck endwise into the mud after the manner of piles. In the centre of this floor is an opening, from which six or eight diverging paths lead to the open water without, so that the little artisan has many avenues of escape in case of danger. These houses are often repaired and used for several winters in succession, but are vacated on the approach of spring. During the summer the muskrat is, in the main, a herbivorous animal, but in winter necessity develops its carnivorous propensities and it feeds then mainly upon the mussels and crayfish which it can dig from the bottom of the pond or stream in which its house is built.

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