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pendence. This opportunity of revolt and of revenge was given to the enemies of Rome by Porsena, the Lars or prince of the Etruscan Clusium, who undertook, it was said, to restore his brother monarch, by invading the territory and storming the city from which Tarquin had been expelled. The day of trial was unclouded in the traditions of later years. A single Patrician, with two companions, was able to keep back the “long array of spears,” as it pressed down from the Janiculum to the bridge leading into the very heart of Rome; nor did “the hero of the river-side” turn from the foe until the bridge had fallen and his countrymen stood safe on the other shore, to welcome him as he swam the waves unharmed.” But the bravery of Horatius Cocles, however much it was rewarded and extolled, could not foil the host which Porsena commanded; nor was the resolution of Mucius or the virgin Cloelia" sufficient to avert the humiliating terms which the Romans, worn and deserted, accepted from their conqueror." Nevertheless, Tarquin was not restored; and the Etruscans, defeated in the South, were obliged to evacuate Rome, which they left a city of but twenty instead of thirty Tribes. The loss of territory in consequence of Porsena's invasion was a trifling evil compared with losses in industry and individual independence. Peace failed; then labor; then bread; then hope. Warfare continued without intermission,” not only with the Etruscans, but with the Sabines, the Auruncians, the Latins, – with all, in short, who had been provoked
Pueblo las voces, que aclamando grita:
38 'Aptorre's mapatrorápuos. Plut., De Fort. Rom., ed. Reisk., Tom. VII. p. 259.
39 Every one knows Mr. Macaulay's gallant Lay of Horatius; but the following lines, from a sonnet by Arguijo, are not so familiar: —
“Oigo del roto puente el son fragoso,
Armado, y sale de él con nueva gloria;
Wiva Horacio ! de Horacio es la victoria!”
See Liv., II. 10, and Polyb., Rel.,
in the time of prosperity. Every week brought the
beginning or the end of a campaign, the exultations of victory or the lamentations of defeat; and it seems as if there were no other sight to see but triumphs or corpses, no other sound to hear but shouts and the clang of arms. It was fit, indeed, that these things should constitute the training of the Romans to the service required at their hands; but the truth has been allowed to remain clear, that the circumstances which make a people warlike to their enemies bring hate and wretchedness amongst themselves. There were sorrows in Rome for the loss of friends; passions for the loss of lands or fortunes; sufferings for the loss of harvests and actual necessities: and for the gains to be had, other sufferings, other passions, and other sorrows were indispensable. Conquests, we may be sure, were not so easy, nor were defeats so rare, as the old historians, to whom the history they wrote was all a blaze of glory, most piously believed.” The longer, too, the wars continued, the heavier were the taxes on the Tribes, while most men were daily in greater need of means to keep themselves and their families alive. For a little time, the poor could borrow from the rich; but the rich, likewise, were soon reduced, and when they sought for payment of their loans, they could only lay hold on the bodies which had been pledged to them by their debtors.” It was then a poor satisfaction to the creditor to have a hungry and an angry bondman where he wanted goods or money; but it was an evil to be felt throughout every order in the Commonwealth, that the debtor should lose his freedom and his patriotism. Most of the poor and all the bonded were of the Plebeians; for the Patricians were protected by law from any servitude,” and the class of clients, fewer in number than of old, was defended by its Patrician patrons. There is no necessity of looking into the prison or the workhouse to understand the terrible nature of the slavery to which the debtor was dragged when he could not pay for his freedom. Nor would it be truthful to paint these scenes with altogether sombre colors. The tide of successful battle would sweep in spoils and riches to those who took it at its flood; while many, sunk in poverty, would be impelled, by the very depth of their despair, to activity and recovery, — this latter spirit being of all others the most necessary to the destiny of Rome.” Nor could things be altogether bad where the Sabine Attus Clausus, with five thousand followers, preferred, at this identical period, to make his home. He was received, as a Patrician, into the Senate, under the name of Appius Claudius, and they who came with him were enrolled in a new Tribe, called, after their chief, the Claudian.” The migration and the reception are both characteristic of a nation capable of bearing the brunt of worse disasters than had yet befallen Rome. The Sabine, however, as will be observed, may have been tempted to Rome by the offer of being made a Patrician; he would scarcely have come to be a Plebeian. It was not long after, that the efforts of the lower estate to rid themselves of some of the afflictions they were obliged to bear provoked still more decided oppression. Some conduct in which the Plebeians were forward to show their reliance on the Valerian law of appeal, rather than any increasing danger from abroad, determined the Patricians to appoint a Dictator from amongst those of their own order who had been Consuls, whose authority should defy alike all laws and all appeals. Or if the motive to establish so singular a magistracy were actually the peril in which the Commonwealth was involved, and from which it could not or would not be extricated by the existing Consuls, the terror excited in the Plebeians, on the appearance of the Dictator with the twenty-four axes borne before him, explains the relations between them and the Patricians to be such as connect the feeble and the powerful.” One of the highest men, though his name is now uncertain, was first nominated by the Senate, and next appointed by either of the Consuls, — his Imperium, or absolute authority, being then conferred upon him by the Curies. The title he and many of his successors assumed was the Master-Patrician; * while another, selected by himself to serve as his lieutenant, was called the Master-Knight.” Certain restrictions, indeed, were placed upon both these offices; but the only real limitation to their use or their abuse was the will of the mighty order from which they emanated. The enemy abroad, as well as the seditious at home, grew pale, it was related, and yielded to the majesty which
* “Assidui vero et anniversarii 43 The narrative, in Livy (II. hostes.” Flor., I. 12. “ Tumul- 16, 17), of the campaign against tus enim fuit verius quam bellum.” Pometia, a Latin town, but partly Liv., II. 26. colonized from Rome, betrays the
difficulties with which the armies of
WOL. I. 43
dictus when actually handed over
* “Effecturi,” as Seneca says Senate is stated to have been made (Epist. 87), “ut populus Romanus by ; Bovo kai 6.8%uos, i.e. “Senapaupertatem, fundamentum et cau tus populusque Romanus.” The sam imperii sui requiratac laudet.” elections to the Senate were, as Livy
*7 Plut., Publ., 21. Liv., II, 16. (IV. 4) says, “post reges exactos Dion. Hal., W. 40; where the man- jussu populi.” ner of Clausus's election to the
48 “Magnus plebem metus inces- 3. sit.” Liv., II. 18. The two differ
He was called Dictator, says Varro (De Ling. Lat., W. 14), “quod
ent versions may be read in Liv., loc. cit.; Dion. Hal., W. 63 et seq.
49. Or, more exactly, the Magister Populi; populus meaning the Patrician estate. Cic., De Legg., III.
a Consule dicebatur, cui dicto audientes omnes essent.” See Festus, s. v. Opt. Lex.
50 “Magister Equitum.” II. 18.