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at first, perhaps, delighted with the overthrow of the institutions which Servius had raised against their will; but when Tarquin began to use them even more tyrannically than the Plebeians, despoiling some, exiling others, and even slaying, as is told, the chief amongst them, it was too bold a trial of men long accustomed to feel that their kings belonged to them as much as they did to their kings. Still the Patricians delayed the revenge which it would have been more natural for the tradition to represent as instantly sought and as instantly executed. The Senate seemed to meet only to quail at their own diminished numbers and broken spirits; * and the younger men avoided one another, or else'came together to bewail their fate, rather than to resolve its alleviation. Such, at least, is to be gathered from the narrative, whose exaggerations are too palpable to require contradiction; but it may not be irrelevant to repeat the surmise, that these details might have belonged to a broken legend of conquest under which the Romans suffered for some bitter years. The story of Lucretia is scarcely worth repetition, not only because it is too well known, but because it forms too lame a conclusion to the tyranny of which it purports to relate the overthrow. The eldest of the king's sons, Sextus, already stained with blood and cruelty, excited by the virtue rather than by the beauty of his own kinswomam, the wife of his cousin Tarquinius Collatinus, came to the simple dwelling at Collatia, where Lucretia lived, in the midst of her handmaids, and forced her compliance with his lusts.” She summoned her husband and her father, Lucretius, as soon as the ravisher departed; and when they, with their companions, Valerius and Brutus, had heard her dishonor from her own lips, she stabbed herself dead before them; the first, too many have repeated,” as if her deed were praiseworthy, to strike a blow for the liberty of Rome. One of those who beheld Lucretia fall was a kinsman of the husband, and a nephew of the king. This was Brutus, a severe” and, as sometimes described, a stolid man, who had lived impatient of his uncle's tyranny, yet in high office himself, as the Tribune of the Celeres. The first to draw the knife from its fatal wound, he held it up, and swore, by the blood upon its blade, to pursue Tarquin and his race from Rome, where “none,” he cried, “shall reign henceforward "" The three who listened to the vow repeated it at Brutus's dictation, and straightway followed him to Rome. It was easy to fulfil the designs with which they were inspired; for the king was absent with his army, and Brutus, as the Tribune
* Dion Cass., Fragm. Peiresc., some time after A. D. 230, being at 23. least seventy-five years old. A third
Dion Cassius, a native of Bi- part of this long life was spent in thynia, but a magistrate and a sena- preparing and completing his Rotor of Rome, died at his birthplace man history.
of the Celeres, nor only he, but Lucretius, then the Prince of the Senate,” could do what either pleased, without exciting unnecessary alarm. The people” were forthwith called, and the proposal made them, that Tarquin and his family should be expelled for ever, was adopted in a spirit becoming men and Romans.”
The reigns of the seven kings are recorded to have filled the space of two hundred and forty-four years; but of their chronology little remained besides the day when Rome was founded, the time when Servius Tullius was born, and the king's flight,”— the last day of the Monarchy, the first of the Commonwealth of Rome.
121 Tac., Ann., VI. 11. Liv., 123 “Quod viros, quod Romanos I. 59. deceret.” Liv., I. 59.
12 In which assembly is uncer- 124 “Regifugium.” Festus. Ovid,
tain, but probably in the Curies. Fast., II. 685. Dion. Hal., IV. 75. Cf. 84.
“Since kings cannot pretend to any right to do mischief, the right of the people must be acknowledged, according to the law of nature, to be superior to that of princes.”— MILTon, Def. Peop. Engl., Ch. 5. IF the preceding account of the kings appear to have been constructed of too traditionary materials, there is yet some security in the prominence they give to the better points of the Monarchy. The dif. ference in the stories of Romulus and of Servius Tullius is the difference between a people of ruffians and one of improving men; and though it be true that at the beginning of the Commonwealth, as during the Monarchy, there stands a single class superior to the rest of the people, the rise of the Patricians upon the downfall of the kings is to be explained only by the changes they had undergone in point both of numbers and of ideas, since the day when they received their name; this expansion within themselves having made them the first to resist tyranny and the first to profit by its overthrow. Nor is the well-spiced legend of the latter Tarquin to overpower the simpler and the juster memories which belong to the infancy of Rome beneath her kings." They had been boisterous warriors, and perhaps, in spite of traditions, but unskilful legislators; yet the part they bore in supplying the resolution then wanted above all things possible was, whether they chose or not to have it so, both the protection and the direction of their countrymen. Our interest, however, is more warmly aroused by the struggle and the vigor of the restless years which begin with the Commonwealth; nor need it be shaken because the first uses of the increased freedom were mistaken and barbarous. The time had long passed since the wolf could seek a covert or the shepherd find a home on the seven hills; though there were still large open spaces upon which the wood yet stood, or where the grain might yet grow in the unencumbered soil. In the portion occupied by buildings, each temple and many of the dwellings were surrounded by vacant land, some ways alone about the Forum being crowded thick with houses, which the poor occupied almost promiscuously. The temple, the circus, and the subterranean Cloaca, rather an avenue than a drain beneath the Forum, bore witness to the necessities and the comparative refinements of the people; but no work since Romulus marked his wall so indicated the character and the employment of its authors as the long line of ramparts, stretching even beyond the Tiber, ascending, descending, and clamping hill to hill. The changes without the wall were as striking as those within. It was not merely that the territory of the city was enlarged, but that the vestiges of states, with which, as well as towns, the country had been overspread three
* “Quasi infantia sub regibus septem.” Flor., I. 8.