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related, with divine assistance to the exertions of the Patricians and the Knights, decided the superiority of Rome above her neighbours, and procured her some repose. The last hopes of the Tarquins had been staked upon the same battle-field; and the only further notice preserved of the exiled monarch is his death, occurring a few years afterwards. Meanwhile, sufferings following revolution and warfare were crowding into Rome. The higher classes, foremost in all the gallant deeds to which the Commonwealth had owed its safety, were fast becoming its oppressors; and their countrymen, who had at first rejoiced in the flight of the king, were now lamenting their subjection to a multitude of tyrants, instead of one, or a single family. Some faces, could they be seen as they were then marked deep with care, would make a dismal spectacle; and one as dismal would be presented in other countenances, frowning with pride and uncharitableness. The cause and the character of discords, thus keeping pace with wars and changes, amongst the Romans, have been partially described.” But there were complaints on both sides. The Plebeian grumbled of exactions, services, and debts, let slip, as he thought, on purpose to do him an injury; yet the Patrician could have retorted concerning insolence, bankruptcy, and idleness, by which he, in his turn, was wantonly aggrieved.” One of the foreigners who wrote the history of Rome, in after times, observed that the creditors of the earlier period were resolved to show no pity, but that the debtors were equally obstinate to do no justice." The kindness becoming the higher orders, and the respect or confidence necessary to the lower, had vanished, if they had ever appeared. Several circumstances, however, incline our sympathies to the Plebeians, apart from the fact that they were the inferior class, and therefore sure, in such an age, to be abused. They were far the most numerous. The Third Estate, at the beginning of the French Revolution, was not more truly the whole nation less the nobility,” than the Plebeian estate, at the issue of the Roman revolution, was composed of all the citizens less the Patricians amongst them." The Plebeians, moreover, were every way as noble by descent, though no longer so exalted in spirit, as the Patricians. Both came from the same races; and the only difference between them, as Romans, was the settlement of one order as shepherds or warriors, under the first, and of the other as aliens, under the following reigns.” Another reason to prepossess us in favor of the Plebeians is the course that the Patricians would naturally pursue towards them in times of embarrassment and affliction; of which too much has been already said to leave room for any other remark than this, – that, in proportion as the poor become enfeebled in any state, the rich become more arrogant, and, as has often happened, more inhuman.” The time of sacrifice, on one side or the other, which none could hope would be fulfilled without bitterness and peril, was coming fast when Appius Claudius and Publius Servilius were elected Consuls, thirteen years after the beginning of the Commonwealth.” The one was the Sabine, the stranger turned into the Patrician, and so bitter an adversary to the Plebeians, that his name is continually taken by the historians to represent the animosity of the higher against the lower estate. The other, Servilius, a man apparently of humaner disposition, was weak and irresolute, as if he scarce knew whether it were right to show any favor to the Plebeians. Between the two together, the Patricians were likely yet to have their way. A short campaign against the enemies, growing more numerous since the troubles in Rome were known, introduced the year of the new consulship; and was hardly-over, when the Senate met to appoint 8 Sallust (iii. Frag., Lib. I.) 9. In September of the year A. C. tells the whole story : — “Dein 496. The year is the more uncerservili imperio patres plebem exer- tain date of the two.
* See the close of Book I. ch. 3 See Dion. Hal., VI. 22, 24, 3. 28, 36.
4 'Aétodorov 8 o're rôv 8aveworrów what might have been said amongst the Plebeians of Rome.
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xpeopsiAeróv oë8év troueiv 8tratov.
6 “Plebis appellatione sine patriciis ceteri cives significantur.” Gaii Instit., I. sect. 3. “Plebs autem,” says Isidorus (Orig., IX. 4), “reliquum vulgus sine senioribus civitatis.” “Plebes autem est praeter patricios.” Festus, s. v. Scitum.
7 “ Pastorum convenarumque plebs.” Liv., II. 1.
fresh levies for another, which may have been thought necessary or politic, according as the disorders within or the hostilities without the walls were most alarming. While the consultation in the Senate was going on in the usual spirit, that is to say, with little reference to the needs or the desires of the people, a crowd stood waiting and murmuring in the Forum. It was composed, in great part, of men who knew by sad experience the burden not only of defeat, but of victory; and many a melancholy tale would be repeated of personal sufferings, or another still more mournful would be told concerning the neighbour in imprisonment for debt or the family separated in wretchedness. Suddenly an old man, shouting for assistance, appeared in the midst of the throng. Of pallid countenance and sunken eye, his face half hid in matted hair, while only torn and filthy clothes hung on his limbs, he seemed too miserable to be believed a Roman. But some of the by-standers, pressing round him, recognized a Centurion of good descent and better fame. In turn, they shouted to know the cause of the change befallen him since he had been seen at the head of his company, a gallant leader in many a campaign. He bared his breast to show the scars it bore; then fixed his haggard eyes on those who stood nearest, and, with frantic air, related a story that could have been told only amongst men whose liberties were much abused. He was well born, he said, and had possessed a decent property, as they who knew him would attest; while his wounds were sufficient proofs of service and suffering in behalf of his counWOL. I. 47
try. But times, as all men were aware, became hard; armies had been marching through his field; his little stores had been swept away or else expended; and, at last, his patrimony followed, sold to give his children food and to pay the taxes of the Commonwealth. But as he grew poorer, the taxes seemed to grow heavier and his children hungrier; until, after all was sold, and all that could be had been borrowed, the day of payment came, and he had nothing to pay or to restore. He and his two sons, he cried, were then declared to have forfeited their freedom; and all three were dragged into the dungeon or slave-house of their creditor: what he had since undergone would never be believed, unless he showed the marks he would rather hide for shame." The multitude heard his broken voice and beheld his premature infirmities with the compassion easily stirred amongst a crowd; but when he drew from his back the rags which scarcely covered it, to show the wounds the lash had inflicted, it was a sight too piteous to wake sympathy alone. It flashed upon the minds of those who stood there in the Forum, that the misery they witnessed in the old Centurion, and which they, too, were enduring or about to endure, was not for the sake of their country so much as for the gratification of their masters, the Patricians; or if they had, many of them, already made this discovery, they then more bitterly perceived that liberty, not of citizenship, but of life, was no
10 The story is from Liv., II. 23; Dion. Hal., VI. 26.