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never yet attained the use, or even the idea, the stranger took them, as it were, by storm; becoming, first, the friend and chosen counsellor of the king, and then, through liberality—for he was rich as well as learned—and kindly intelligence, securing the favor of every class amongst his new countrymen.” Ancus left his children in Tarquin's care; nor was it any violation of the trust he had received, that the guardian became the successor of their father; for, as we have already read, the Curies elected whom they pleased to the throne, and Tarquin, if the tale be true, obtained their votes unasked, – so much had his cultivation and his affability predisposed them in his behalf.” So runs the legend; but there can be no hesitation in declaring that it covers some series of greater events of which the history is gone. If Tarquin came as an immigrant, he must have brought with him a host of followers; if as a conqueror,” it must have been at the head of an army which, like their leader, preferred the country they vanquished to that they had left behind them. These are only suppositions; but they rest upon the fact, impossible to be concealed, that the reign of Tarquin was distinguished by great changes in the early civilization. The city was new-furnished with works of utility and ornament; a forum was built, and a great temple founded on the Capitoline; while the old leaven in the services of religion was restored by the renewal of bloody sacrifices, and the erection of images in places where they could be worshipped. It may be that these were the natural steps for the Romans to have taken, had they been left alone, or brought under the convenient influence at the convenient time; for it seems irrational to suppose that any solitary Tarquin could have persuaded or obliged his people to take them in such a way as characterizes the whole history of a nation who never seemed to seek or to welcome their civilization, but to receive it simply because it came to them at suitable seasons, to minister to their pride, or their material rather than intellectual power. It need scarcely be said, that this coldness on the part of the Romans arose from no perception of the fatal errors which lurked in all the knowledge of ancient days; but any warmth towards civilization into which they were apparently betrayed was for a long time the result of policy or of actual necessity. A few words may now complete the legend which makes Tarquin, for evident reasons, and notwithstanding the memories of Numa, the author of the Roman civilization. He came with numerous dependents, or he would have done nothing, who either set the example, or else obliged the Romans to obey them without example, of working upon the new temple, offering the horrid sacrifice, and laboring where they were bid, instead of warring where they willed; it being apparently no matter of choice, but one of compulsion, that the proposals of the stranger should be fulfilled. The mention, in the tradition, of the places whence the knowledge of Tarquin was derived, scarcely needs a commentary. Etruria, the great nation of Italy, was as superior in civilization as in her dominion, which, north and south, on land and sea, surrounded Rome; and it was, as it is, generally supposed that her torch was lit with Grecian fire, and her sword welded from Grecian steel. It was therefore but a line from history twisted in the legend, that told how Tarquin's father was an artist of Greece, and Tarquin's wife a prophetess of Etruria. Our narrative must be propped yet a little longer by conjecture; for the policy which Tarquin pursued as king is even more susceptible of various interpretation than his career as a conqueror or an adventurer. Yet no part of the monarchy, could it be cleared of its obscurities, would have more to contribute to our history of liberty. The reader will have observed that the Luceres, the third Tribe of the three supposed to have been gathered in Rome, had not yet obtained an equal footing with the other two. The number of Vestal virgins devoted to the service of the goddess whom we have supposed to be the chosen patroness of Rome was only four; two, that is, for each of the first two Tribes. So the Senate was composed of but two hundred members, – half from the Ramnes, and the other half from the Tities; none, therefore, were taken from the Luceres. If the Luceres were, as is most probable, of Etruscan origin, WOL. I. 39
81 Dion. Hal., IV. 1. Liv., I. 34. ker, Introd., Cap. II. sect. 16;
Cic., Rep., II. 20. where an ingenious commentary will * “Regnum accipit ob industriam be found concerning both the Taratdue elegantiam.” Flor., I. 5. quins and Servius Tullius.
& As Müller says, in his Etrus
and Tarquin, as is equally probable, of the same race, it follows, as a matter of course, that he would have desired and secured their elevation. Two more Vestal virgins were accordingly elected in their name, and a hundred new Senators appointed to be their representatives in the highest assembly of the state.” But the inroads of Tarquin upon the old Patrician exclusiveness did not stop here. He doubled the number of the Celeres, already increased from three hundred under Romulus to six hundred under Tullus; and, what is far more extraordinary, he appears to have made up the fresh six hundred of some Plebeians, as well as of Patricians, whom he enrolled together in three new Centuries. The story of the king's consultation with Attus Navius, a famous Augur, is in all the ancient histories; but the manner of repeating it may be varied.” “Come, tell me,” said Tarquin, “if what I think of can be done.” The Augur took his auspices, and answered that it could be. “I was thinking,” returned the king, “that a whetstone could be cut with a razor.” And in the presence of the king, and of all the people, the whetstone yielded to the cut of the razor in the Augur's hands. It was in consequence that Tarquin succeeded in his purpose of completing the number of the Celeres from the Plebeians; and, as was said, long after, there was no cause for the Romans to repent the choice of a stranger to be their king.” The arms of Tarquin were as fortunate abroad as his policy at home. His new Centuries were filled with valor; and he had no more reason to regret their elevation than they to regret his rule. Common report ascribed the death of Tarquin to the vengeance of the sons of Ancus, for his having occupied the throne; a tradition which, arising, perhaps, from some attempt of the Romans to throw off the yoke of the stranger, is every way congenial to the still disturbed condition in which they lived. But the murderers seem to have failed in any other object they may have had beyond the assassination. One of Tarquin's household, concerning whose birth and estate there was, or, at any rate, is, an inextricable confusion in the legends, but who distinctly appears” to have been early renowned in war, obtained, though not without considerable intrigue,” possession of the royal power. His election, instead of being conducted according to the usual forms, was held without the appointment or the approbation of the Curies;” and the reign of Servius Tullius begins as if with the premonitions of a revolution.
84 Fest., s. v. Sex Vesta, Sac. appellati.” Liv., I. 35. Dionysius
The name of the new Senators,
(III. 67) represents Tarquin as hav-
86 Val. Max., III. 4. 2. navit.” Liv., I. 41. “Se injussu
87 Distinctly, because both by the Etruscan and by the Roman version of his story.
88 “Quasi precario.” Ill., Cap. VII.
89 “Primus injussu populi (Curies) voluntate Patrum (Senate) reg
populi regnare, conciliata prius voluntate Plebis.” Ibid., I. 46. Cf. Dion. Hal., IV. 12; and Cic., De Rep., II. 21 ; where the Curies are described as having invested him afterwards with the Imperium.