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quence of this proposal, were so violent, that, for five years
no supreme magistrate was chosen; and Rome was in a state
pf anarchy. Camillus, being called a fifth time to the di&ta-
torship, composed the diffentions, and prevailed upon the pa-
tricians to admit a Plebeian consul into the senate.

This was brought about in the following manner. While
Camillus was dispatching public affairs, the tribunes ordered
that the votes of the people should be taken upon their fa-
vourite measure. The di&tator opposing this attempt, they
fent a lictor to arrest and conduct him to prifon. Such a
mark of indignity offered to a magistrate, who had been hitherto
held facred, raised a greater commotion than had yet been
seen in Rome. The patricians, who stood round the dicta-
tor, boldly repulsed the lictors, while the people who stood
below, with equal fury cried out, « Down with him, down
$ with him.”

In this universal uproar, Camillus was the only person that leemed unmoved. He intreated that the tribunes would give a moment's pause to their attempts. He called the senators round him, and conducting them to a neighbouring temple, he requested them to give peace to the city by their compli

Then turning his face towards the capitol, as if to take a last farewel of all future endeavours to serve; his country, he vowed to build a temple to Cancord, in case he saw peace restored to the people. In consequence of his advice, therefore, a law was made, that one of the consuls, for the future, should be chosen from the Plebeians. Sextus, who had long been a turbulent tribune of the people, was the first Plebeian consul that was chosen.

From this epocha, all the offices in the state became common to both orders. Nobility of birth gave place to dignity of office. The patricians mixed with the people, and the Plebeians belonged to the order of the fenate. This revolution, which brought the Roman republic to its perfect form, was introduced in the 454th year from the building of the city, and the 300th before the Christian æra.

The constitution was now settled, and the Romans, delivered from internal commotions, proceeded from one conquest to another. The time was approaching when their ambition was to extend its boundaries; and when the fire, ftruck from the collifion of oppofing bodies, and long compressed within a narrow sphere, was to blaze over the world.

Camillus, having spent a long life in the service of his country, and built a temple to Concord, according to his vow,

died

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The War with the Samnites.

died of the plague in the 82d year of his age. He is said nc ver to have fought a battle without gaining a complete vic.tory; never to have besieged a city without taking it; and never to have led an army into the field, which he did not bring back loaded with glory and booty. He was a zealous patriot, and though persecuted by his ungrateful country, would never listen to his just resentments. The necessities of the public no sooner obliged the people to have recourse to him, than, forgetting the affronts he had received, he took . upon him the conduct of the most difficult and laborious affairs. Though he was a patrician by descent, he was not actuated by party zeal, his love for the public being the only rule of his conduct. He favoured the Plebeians, when the interest of the public required him so to do, but without flattery or self interest. He had nothing in view, but to do every one justice, and put an end to the dissentions which weakened the republic; so that he left his country in the enjoyment of a perfect tranquillity, by means of the equality he had wifely introduced, and the just balance he had settled between all orders of men in the republic *. Rome may be said to have furnished the world with many noble patterns of probity, but None perhaps more perfect than that of the incomparable Camillus.

CHA P. XXX.

The War with the Samnites-Manlius put to death for fight

ing against Orders-- Fabricius is sent to treat with Pyrrhus, and nobly discovers the intention of bis Physician to

poifon him.

T

HE Romans having now triumphed over the Sabines,

the Etrurians, the Latins, the Henrici, the Æqui, and the Volscians, began to look for greater conquests. They accordingly turned their arms against the Samnites, a people about an hundred miles east from Rome.

The Samnites were a hardy nation, descended from the Sabines, inhabiting a large tract of southern Italy, which at this day makes a considerable part of the kingdom of Naples, They were equally powerful in numbers and discipline with the Romans, and had, like them, confederated states to aflist them. Two such aspiring neighbours, equally fond of arms and living by war, could not long want a pretext for rupture. Universal History.

The

The pretended occasion was that the Samnites had oppressed the Sidicini, who, being too weak to manage the war alone, called in the Campanians to their assistance; and they also being overthrown, implored the aflistance of the Romans. The consuls Valerius and Cornelius commanded the Roman armies, and gained a signal victory over the Samnites.

The war with this people and the neighbouring states was carried on for some years, when a peace was concluded which feemed so offensive to the Latins and the Campanians, that it induced them to revolt. The former carried their dem mands so far as to infift, that one of the consuls, and half the senate, should be chosen out of their body, before they would submit to think of peace. The Romans at first tried by gentle means to turn them from their purpose; but they infifted upon it still more resolutely, ascribing the lenity of Rome to its fears. In order therefore to chastise them, the two confuls, Manlius Torquatus, and his colleague, Decius Mus, were sent by the senate to invade their country. The Latins were not remiss in their preparations for a defence; so that the two armies met with equal animosity, and a bloody and obstinate battle ensued. In this battle, the strict discipline of the Romans, and their amazing patriotism, were displayed in a manner that has excited rather the wonder, than the admiration of pofterity. As the Latins and Romans were a neighbouring people, and their habits, arms, and language, were the same, the most exact discipline was necessary, to prevent confusion in the engagement. Orders, therefore, were issued by Manlius the consul, that no soldier should leave his rank upon whatever provocation; and that he should be certainly put to heath, who should venture to do otherwise. With these injunctions both armies were drawn into array, and ready to begin, when Metius, the general of the enemy's cavalry, pushed forward from his lines, and challenged any knight in the Roman army to single combat. For some time there was a general pause, no soldier offering to disobey his orders, till Titus Manlius, the consul's son, burning with shame to see the whole body of the Romans intimnidated, boldly stepped forth against Metius. The soldiers on both fides, for some time, suspended the general engagement, to be spectators of this fierce encounter. The two champions drove their horses against each other with great violence. Metius wounded his adversary's horse in the neck; but Manlius, with better fortune, killed that of Metius. The Latin being thus fallen to the ground, for a while attempted to support himself upon his Thield; but the Roman followed his

blows

156

The War with the Samnites, blows with so much force, that he laid him dead as he was endeavouring to rise; and then despoiling him of his armour returned in triumph to the consul, who was preparing for the engagement.

Whatever applause he might have had from his fellowsoldiers, being as yet doubtful of the reception he should find from his father, he came, with hesitation, to lay the eneiny's (poils at his feet, and with a modest air infinuated, that what he did was entirely from a spirit of hereditary virtue. But he was foon made dreadfully sensible of his error, when his father, turning away, ordered him to be led publicly forth before the army. There being brought forward, the consul, with a stern countenance, and yet with tears, spoke as follows: af Titus Manlius, as thou hast regarded neither the dignity 4 of the consulship, nor the commands of thy father; as thou

haft destroyed military discipline, and set a pattern of dilo, « obedience by thy example, thou haft reduced me to the de

plorable extremity of sacrificing my (on, or my country. " But let us not hesitate in this dreadful alternative. A thou. & fand lives were well loft in such a cause ; nor do I think 4 that thou thyself wilt refuse to die, when thy country is to u reap the advantage of thy sufferings. Go, líctor, bind him, 4 and let his death be our future example."

The whole army was ftruck with horror at this unnatural mandate. Fear, for a while, kept them in fufpence; but, when they saw their young champion's head struck off, and his blood' streaming upon the ground, they could no longer contain their execrations and their groans. His dead body was carried forth without the camp, and being adorned with the spoils of the vanquished enemy, was buried with all the pomp of military distress.

In the mean time, the battle joined with mutual fury; and as the two armies had often fought under the same leaders, they combated with all the animosity of a civil war. The Latins chiefly depended on their bodily strength, the Romans, on their invincible courage and conduet. Forces so nearly matched, seemed only to require the protection of their deities to turn the {cale of victory; and, in fact, the augurs had foretold, that whatever part of the Roman army should be distressed, the commander of that part should devote himself for his country, and die as a sacrifice to the immortal gods.

Manlius commanded the right wing, and Decius led on the left. Both sides fought, for some time, with doubtful success, as their courage was equal; but by degrees, the left

wing

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wing of the Roman army began to give ground. It was then that Decius, who commanded there, resolved to devote Himfelf for his country, and to offer his own life, as an atonesent to save his army. Thus determined, he called out to Manlius with a loud voice, and demanded his instructions, as he wa chief pontiff, how to devote himfelf, and the form of the words he fhould use. By his directions, therefore, being clothed in a long robe, his head covered, and his arms Aretched forward; ftanding upon a javelin, he devoted himkelf to the celestial and infernal gods, for the fafety of Rome. Then arming himself, and mounting on horseback, he drove Luriously into the midst of the enemies, carrying terror and consternation wherever he came, till he fell covered with wounds.

In the mean time the Roman army considered his devoting himself in this manner, aś an afsurance of success. Nor was the fuperftition of the Latins less powerfully influenced by his resolution: A total route began to ensue. The Romans pressed them on every fide; and so great was the carnage that fearce a fourth part of the enemy survived the defeat. This was the last battle of any consequence, thut the Latins had with the Romans. They were forced to beg a peace, and, obtained it upon hard conditions.

The Samnites, too, were at last conquered, and the whole country, from Gallia Cifpadana, to Apulia and Lucania, fubmitted to the Roman arms.

The Tarentines commenced hoftilities; but, dreading the Roman power, implored the aid of Pyrrhus, king of Epire. This famous commander was of a generous and ambitious difpofition. He promiled affiftance to the Tarentines, and palled over into Italy with an army of forty thousand horse and foot, and twenty armed elephants. He first offered to Lævinus, the Roman conful and general, to become mediator between the Romans and Tarentines; but Lævinus made answer, « That the Romans neither desired his mediation not “feared his power.” He then conducted the meffengers through the camp, and bade them tell their master what they had seen. The armies met on the plains of Heraclea, where a general engagement took place. Pyrrhus, behaved with great bravery and resolution. The Romans were routed ; and, besides a great slaughter, eighteen thousand were taken prisoners. He then directed his march towards Rome, advanced as far as Prænefte, and laid waste all before him.

Pyrrhus treated the Roman prisoners with great civility, but firiding that large recruits arrived in the army, he I

sent

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