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Of the Banishment of Coriolanus. they fent for the Ædiles to apprehend him, and bring him before the people,but the officers were repulsed by the young Patricians, who were gathered round Coriolanus. On this commotion, the whole city. was in a tumult, and the tribunes summoned Coriolanus to appear before the people. The senate and patricians took the part of Coriolanus, and he refused at first to obey the summons; but a day was fixed for his trial, when, notwithstanding all his public services, he was condemned to perpetual banishment, by a majority of the tribunes.
The illustrious exile retired to his own house, in the neighbourhood of Rome, and there spent a few days in considering what he should do. Thirst of revenge prevailed; and he determined to go over to the Volsci, a little republic, then governed by their general Attius Tullus, whom he had often encountered, and always conquered, in the late wars between them and the Romans *. Coriolanus thought he could not trust his life more fafely than with a brave man, who, like himself, would be glad to humble the pride of the Romans. His resolution being taken, he left his retreat in disguise, and, in the evening, entering Antium, the chief city of the Volfci, he went directly to Tullus's house, with his face covered, and sat down by the hearth of the domestic gods, a place sacred in all the houses of the ancient Pagans. Tullus was at fupper in an inner apartment, when word was brought him, that a stranger, of a very majestic air, was, without speaking to any body, come into his house, and had placed himfelf by the hearth of his lares. Tullus immediately came out, and asked him who he was, and what he wanted. Coriolanus then discovering himself; “ If thou dost not know “ me,” said he, “ I am Caius Marcus; my surname is « Coriolanus, the only reward left me for my services. I am " banished from Rome by the hatred of the people, and the “ pufillanimity of the great. I seek revenge. It lies in your
power to employ my sword against my foes and those of
your country. If your republic will not accept my services, “ I give my life into your hands. Put an end to an old
may else come to do more mischiefs to your country.” Tullus, amazed at the greatness of his soul, gave him his hand. “ Fear nothing, Marcus,” said he, «thy confidence is the pledge of thy security. By bringing “ us thyself, thou givest us more than ever thou tookelt “ from us; and we thall take care to acknowledge thy services
k better than thy fellow citizens have done.” He then led him into his apartment, where they conferred about the means of renewing the war.
A pretence was soon found to break the yet unexpired truce between the two nations. The Volsci fent ambasfadors to Rome, to demand the restoration of the land and cities taken from them in the late war, which, as they expected, was refused. Upon this, they appointed Tullus and Coriolanus to command their troops; and to bind the latter more strictly to them, conferredon him the dignity of a senator. The two generals immediately raised a numerous army, which they divided into two bodies. Tullus, with the one, staid in the country, to defend it on the side of Latium; whilft Coriolanus, with the other, entered the territory of the Romans before the consuls had taken any measures to oppose him; made himself master of several of their cities; destroyed their houses, and laid waste their lands; politically sparing only those of the Patricians, So great was the success of this banished general, that he soon encamped within five miles of Rome. In the city there was nothing but confusion, and the utmost despair. The Patricians upbraided the Plebeians with ingratitude, and the latter charged the former with treachery, saying, that it was by their perfuafion that he invaded the country. In this perplexity the tribunes fent ambassadors to Coriolanus, with an offer to repeal his banishment, and that all his demands should be granted; but he received and dismifled the ambassadors with the sternness and resolution of an injured person, and drew his army nearer to Rome. They then deputed the pontifices, augurs, and all the ministers of the gods to go to him in a solemn procession, and humbly intreat for an accommodation. Not moved, however, by all this pomp and ceremony, he insisted, that all the territories taken from the Volsci should be restored, otherwise they must expect the utmost severity of war. His resentment was now carried to the utmost, and ready to be executed on the city, when Vetruria, his mother, Volumnia, his wife, with his children in her arms, accompanied by a great number of Roman ladies, of the first families, went out to meet him, and intercede for their country. The approach of this illuftrious train, seconded by the rhetoric and endearments of his mother and wife, at last prevailed over his great fpirit, and yielding to their tears and pressing solicitations, he said aloud, « Ah! my mother, you disarm me, Rome is saved, but your ♡ son is loft;" well foreseeing that the Volsci would never forgive the regard he was going to pay to her entreatics. He
Of the Banisiment of Coriolanus. then took her in private with his wife, and agreed with them, that he would endeavour to obtain the consent of the princi, pal officers of his army, for raising, the blockade; that he would use his utmost endeavours to bring the Volsci to terms of accommodation; and that if he could not prevail, he would lay down his command, and retire to some neutral city,
The next day he called a council of war, and often represented to them the difficulty of forming the fiege of a city which had a formidable army for its garrison, and in which there were as many soldiers as there were inhabitants, and concluded for a retreat. Nobody contradicted his opinion. immediately began its march; and the Volsci, more affected with the filial respect he had shewn his mother, than with their own interest, retired back to their native country, where Coriolanus, divided all the fpoil among them, without reserving any thing for himself.
Tullus, the Volscian general, had no share in the honours of this campaign, and envious of Coriolanus's glory, represented this act to the .Volsci as the highest treason against the ftate, and Coriolanus in an assembly of the people was affaffinated. The Volscians buried him with every military honour, as a great general and warrior, and the Roman women were admitted to mourn for him ten months.
The retreat of Coriolanus raised the Romans from the lowest state of despondency; great rejoicings were made at Rome, and the senate erected a temple to the Fortune of Women *, on the spot where the mother had so happily prevailed on the son. Into this temple none but matrons were permitted to enter, and offer sacrifice to the goddess.
The Agrarian Law-Decemvirs-Tyranny of Appius-,
Death of Virginiam-Abolition of the Decemvirate-Fate of the Decemvirs.
PON the settlement of affairs abroad, commotions arose
at home concerning the Agrarian Law, or division of the late conquered lands, and also the public lands, which, by the neglect of the magistrates, had been seized on by the rich. The contoft between the fenate and tribunes was carried to a great height. In this dispute, the consul Claudius, the younger, severely reprimanded the people for their rude and factious behaviour. The tribunes, upon this,' commanded the conful to leave the assembly, and on his refusal, ordered him to be sent to prison. This bold act of the tribunes raised a general tumult, which might have been productive of the worst consequences, had it not been checked by the intreaty and mild behaviour of Quintius, the other confül. Appius, however, still opposing the Agrarian Law, and being likewise unsuccessful in his
expedition against the Volsci
, the tribunes appointed him a day of trial before the people, which he prevented by destroying himself.
The struggle for power still continued, and the tribunes now asserted, That all the citizens ought to have equal power in the
government, and that ten men should be chosen to collect and publish the laws. Quinctius Cueso, a son of Quinctius Cincinnatus, was most forward to oppose this new demand of the tribunes. His inconsiderate heat exposed him to a profecution by the tribunes, in consequence of which he banished himself, before the day appointed for his trial. His father, Cincinnatus, who, with ten other fureties, had been bound for his appearance, in the penalty of three thousand afles of brass, that is, about nine guineas of our money, (a vast sum among the Romans in those days), was obliged to sell the best part of his estate on that account, and retire to a cottage on the other side of the Tiber, where he cultivated, with his own hands, five or fix acres of land, for the support of himIf and family*
This Quinctius Cincinnatus was afterwards thought the most proper person to appease the disorders of the govern
y pre were
* Dionyfius Halicarnaffus..
Of the Decemvirs. ment, and was, therefore, elected conful.
The deputies sent by the senate to acquaint him with his promotion, found him driving his plough, and, when they faluted him by the name of consul, he was for some time doubtful, whether he should accept the high dignity. The love of his country, however, prevailing over his private satisfaction, he took leave of his wife, and, recommending to her the care of domestic affairs, “ I fear,” said he, “ my dear Racilia, that « our fields will be but ill manured this year, and we shall « be in danger of want.”
The Æqui and Volsci foon after revolted from their alliance with Rome, and the Roman army, under Marcus Minutius, was in great danger. The senate, being greatly alarmed, agreed to appoint a dictator. Quinctius Cincinnatus was immediately resolved upon, and again called from his retirement. When the deputies arrived with this second appointment, they found him, as before, at the plough. He departed with great concern, saying, “ This year's crop must also be loft, « and my poor family must be ftarved.”
The dictator immediately put himself at the head of the armies, marched to the relief of the consul, arrived atthe enemy's camp in the night, and surrounded it in such a manner, that at break of day the Æqui found themselves in the same fituation that they had put Minutius. The Æqui, attacked on one fide by the dictator, and on the other by the conful, submitted to Quinctius's terms, which were, that they should retire without baggage, arms, or cloaths, and every man pass under the yoke. Two javelins were accordingly fixed in the ground, and a third laid over them, and all the foldiers pafled, naked and unarmed, under this kind of gate. Their generals and officers were delivered up to the Romans, and reserved to grace the dictator's triumph. He would not allow the consul's troops to have any share in the spoil; but, turning to Minutius, “ As for you," said he, “ you must “ learn the art of war in an inferior rank, before you pretend « to be commander in chief.” He then obliged him to lay down his office, which the modest consul was so far from resenting, that he and his troops presented the dictator with a crown of gold of a pound weight, for having saved the lives and honour of his fellow citizens. Quinctius returned to Rome, and entered the city in pompous triumph; after which he refigned the dictatorship, and retired to his little farm.
The Romans, for a long time, had no written or fixed statutes. While monarchy subsifted, the will of their kings