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furnished the Patricians that some of their own obstinacy had been imbibed, and deeply, by the Plebeians. The time, meanwhile, approached, at which new Consuls were to take the place of those whose administration had been thus singularly unfortunate; and though the election was held by the Curies, in the impossibility of calling the Centuries together, the Patricians gave their votes to two of their number, to all appearances, both moderate and capable” in character, — Postumius Cominius and Spurius Cassius. It was now the autumn,” when, the heat of the year having passed, there would be a fairer opportunity for rapid and successful invasion of the territory that lay exposed to enemies on all sides, so long as its defenders were at swords' points among themselves. One of the first cares of the lately chosen Consuls appears to have been the formation of a league with the Latins,” partly, perhaps, to shake the determination of the seceders by the appearance of new forces against them, but rather, if we may be allowed the conjecture, to keep off the incursions which were dreaded from the nations on the Latin side of Rome. Before the treaty was concluded, the Senate had been convoked to decide anew upon means to promote the reconciliation between the two estates, of which the necessity could scarcely have been more strikingly illustrated than by the earnestness evinced amongst the Patricians to strengthen themselves by an alliance that, under other circumstances, they would rather have refused than solicited. The Senate, however, was still agitated by different counsels,” so much so, that the Curies were obliged to be called before the other body could be persuaded to adopt more reasonable measures; it being at length decreed, that ten of the principal Senators should be sent to treat of peace with the seceders. Valerius and Servilius were both among the number,” with others of the same party, of whom Menenius Agrippa is especially mentioned” as a man whom the Plebeians liked for his ready wit and Plebeian origin." The seceders were quite as anxious as the Patricians to be reconciled with their countrymen. The league with the Latins showed them the uselessness of counting upon invasions in their behalf; while the narrow quarters upon the hill, and the scanty means of subsistence, after the harvest round them had been gathered in, were cogent reasons against keeping up their secession any longer than seemed indispensable to secure themselves an honorable return; and similar considerations would produce the same temper in their brethren at Rome or upon the Aventine. The commissioners, accordingly, were followed and received in their mission with sincere desires that they might succeed. As they drew nigh to the Anio, the whole throng descended from the hill to their encounter. At the head of the seceders were Sicinius
35 Both had held the office before. 36 Of the year A. C. 494. Liv., II. 17, 18. 37 Dion. Hal., WI. 95.
38 Of which there is a wearisome 41. He was, of course, a Patrician; report in Dion. Hal., WI. 49-64. but his family had apparently been
39 Dion. Hal., WI. 69. among those raised at one time or
40 Plut., Coriol., 6. Liv., II. 32. another from the Plebeians.
and his fellow-leaders, one of whom, Lucius Junius, had taken the name of Brutus, and made himself, by bustling quick-wittedness, a very important personage.” On the other hand, Menenius Agrippa advanced at the head of the commissioners, deputed by the rest, to use his off-hand eloquence” in bringing the multitude, with whom, as previously remarked, he was a great favorite, to reason. It is not difficult to imagine the interview between the seceders and the envoys. The old Patrician, with his companions and their attendants, seems again to be standing beneath the hill in the midst of the Campagna, while face to face appears the younger Plebeian surrounded by an excited crowd. The message from the Senate is delivered: and, as if in reply, the demands of the seceders are preferred. Junius Brutus speaks with vehemence upon the grievances with which his comrades have been too long afflicted; and though he claims redress and proposes some means of future justice, he is so much inflamed as to end with invectives and threats of complete secession. The seceders forget their own desires in shouts of defiance and excitement; but Menenius is calmer, and addresses himself to the agitated multitude in so composed a manner and with so pleasant a mien, that they are hushed again to hear him. Setting aside all questions of rights, and waiving sober arguments as powerless over the passions he had to oppose, Menenius tells a
* Tis rapaxóðms kai oraortaorros, considerable disdain: —“Prisco illo Dion. Hal., WI. 70. dicendi et horrido modo.” II. 32. * Which Livy describes with