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Then far to North Ebutius,
To feed the Porcian kites.
Next under those red horse-hoofs
And tossed his golden crest,
And towards the Master of the Knights
So fiercely on the shield,
With a good aim and true,
Just where the neck and shoulder join, And pierced him through and through; And brave Ebutius Elva
Fell swooning to the ground: But a thick wall of bucklers Encompassed him around. His clients from the battle
Bare him some little space;
And filled a helm from the dark lake,
His swimming eyes to light,
But meanwhile in the centre
Great deeds of arms were wrought; There Aulus the Dictator,
And there Valerius fought.
To where, amidst the thickest foes,
He dropped the lance: he dropped the reins:
Fast down to earth they spring;
A death wound in the face;
Of the brave Fabian race: Aulus slew Rex of Gabii,
The priest of Juno's shrine: Valerius smote down Julius,
Of Rome's great Julian line;
And through all turns of weal and wo
And Titus groaned with rage and grief,
Valerius struck at Titus,
And lopped off half his crest;
A span deep in the breast.
Ah! wo is me for the good house
And with one rush they bore
But fiercer grew the fighting
Around Valerius dead;
For Titus dragged him by the foot,
For aye Valerius loathed the wrong,
In the front rank he fell.
Now play the men for the good house That loves the people well!"
Then tenfold round the body
The roar of battle rose,
When a strong northwind blows.
And none wist where he lay.
And snorting purple foam: Right well did such a couch befit A Consular of Rome.
But north looked the Dictator;
Thou hast the keenest sight;
Say, what through yonder storm of dust Comes from the Latian right?"
Then answered Caius Cossus:
I see the dark-gray charger,
[ see the golden helmet
That shines far off like flame; 80 ever rides Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name."
"Now, hearken, Caius Cossus; Spring on thy horse's back; Ride as the wolves of Apennine Were all upon thy track! Haste to our southward battle, And never draw thy rein Until thou find Herminius,
And bid him come amain."
So Aulus spake, and turned him
And rode for death and life.
Where fought the Roman host
"Herminius! Aulus greets thee; He bids thee come with speed To help our central battle,
For sore is there our need: There wars the youngest Tarquin, And there the Crest of Flame,
The Tusculan Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name.
And Aulus of the seventy fields
Herminius beat his bosom,
But never a word he spake:
He clapped his hands on Auster's mane; He gave the reins a shake.
Away, away went Auster
Like an arrow from the bow;
Black Auster was the fleetest steed
Right glad were all the Romans
Who, in that hour of dread, Against great odds bare up the war Around Valerius dead, When from the south the cheering Rose with a mighty swell,"Herminius comes, Herminius, Who kept the bridge so well!"
Mamilius spied Herminius, And dashed across the way, YOL IV.-70·
Fast, fast, with heels wild spurning,
His flanks all blood and foam,
The wolves they howled and whined; But he ran like a whirlwind up the pass And he left the wolves behind. Through many a startled hamlet Thundered his flying feet:
He rushed through the gate of Tusculum,
And paused not from his race
Till he stood before his master's door
For their great prince's fall:
But, like a graven image,
Black Auster kept his place,
With pats and fond caresses,
The young Herminia washed and comed,
And decked with coloured ribands
And seized black Auster's rein,
"The furies of thy brother
From heaven comes down the flame,
Full on the neck of Titus
The blade of Aulus came:
In a wide arch and tall,
Of some rich Capuan's hall.
Were loosened with dismay
And Aulus the Dictator
Stroked Auster's raven mane, With heed he looked unto the girths, With heed unto the rein.
"Now bear me well, black Auster,
And thou and I will have revenge
So spake he; and was buckling
Tighter black Auster's band,
When he was aware of a princely pair
Might one from other know:
Did such rare armour gleam;
And all who saw them trembled,
Scarce gathered voice to speak.
And wherefore ride ye in such guise
And Ardea wavered on the left,
And Cora on the right.
"Rome to the charge!" cried Aulus;
Then the fierce trumpet-flourish
The kites know well the long stern swe
Then the good sword of Aulus
So comes the Po in flood-time
So comes the squall, blacker than night,
It was a goodly sight
To see the thirty standards
Swept down the tide of flight.
When the black squall doth blow;
And fast Circeium fled.
Threw shield and spear away.
Amidst the mud and gore,
And Tullus of Arpinum,
Chief of the Volscian aids,
The great Arician seer
The hunter of the deer
Felt the good Roman steel,
Were mingled in a mass;
Sate in the Eastern Gate.
Each in his chair of state;
Was no such Pontiff found.
And all around the portal,
And high above the wall,
And maids with faces pale.
Of horse-hoofs from the east. The mist of eve was rising,
The sun was hastening down,
When he was aware of a princely pair
Saw twins so like before;
"Hail to the great Asylum! Hail to the hill-tops seven!
Hail to the fire that burns for aye,
And the shield that fell from heaven!
This day, by Lake Regillus,
Under the Porcian height, All in the lands of Tusculum
Was fought a glorious fight. To-morrow your Dictator
Shall bring in triumph home The spoils of thirty cities
To deck the shrines of Rome!"
Then burst from that great concourse
And some ran north, and some ran south,
But on rode these strange horsemen,
And none who saw their bearing
While laurel-boughs and flowers,
And all the people trembled,
Alone found voice to speak: "The Gods who live forever
Have fought for Rome to-day!
Hath seen the Great Twin Brethren
Through billows and through gales
Wherefore they rode to Vesta's door,
Be hung with garlands all,
Before the sacred dome,
Where dwell the Great Twin Brethren Who fought so well for Rome."
of the Patrician money-lenders. Children often became slaves in consequence of the misfor tunes of their parents. The debtor was impri impartial public functionaries, but in a private workhouse belonging to the creditor. Frightful stories were told respecting these dungeons, It was said that torture and brutal violation were common; that tight stocks, heavy chains, scanty measures of food, were used to punish wretches guilty of nothing but poverty; and that brave soldiers, whose breasts were covered with honourable scars, were often mark
A COLLECTION Consisting exclusively of warsongs would give an imperfect, or rather an erroneous notion of the spirit of the old Latin ballads. The Patricians, during about a cen-soned, not in a public jail under the care of tury and a half after the expulsion of the kings, held all the high military commands. A Plebeian, even though, like Lucius Siccius, he were distinguished by his valour and knowledge of war, could serve only in subordinate posts. A minstrel, therefore, who wished to celebrate the early triumphs of his country, could hardly take any but Patricians for his heroes. The warriors who are mentioned in the two preceding lays, Horatius, Lartius, Her-ed still more deeply on the back by the scourges minius, Aulus Posthumius, Ebutius Elva, Sempronius Atratinus, Valerius Poplicola, were all members of the dominant order; and a poet who was singing their praises, whatever his own political opinions might be, would naturally abstain from insulting the class to which they belonged, and from reflecting on the sys-able though not proportioned to their numerical tem which had placed such men at the head of the legions of the commonwealth.
of high-born usurers.
The Plebeians were, however, not wholly without constitutional rights. From an early period they had been admitted to some share of political power. They were enrolled in the centuries, and were allowed a share, consider
strength, in the disposal of those high dignities from which they were themselves excluded. Thus their position bore some resemblance to that of the Irish Catholics during the interval between the year 1792 and the year 1829. The Plebeians had also the privilege of annually appointing officers, named Tribunes, who had no active share in the government of the Com. monwealth, but who, by degrees, acquired a power which made them formidable even to the ablest and most resolute Consuls and Dicta tors. The person of the Tribune was inviola ble; and, though he could directly effect little,
But there was a class of compositions in which the great families were by no means so courteously treated. No parts of early Roman history are richer with poetical colouring than those which relate to the long contest between the privileged houses and the commonalty. The population of Rome was, from a very early period, divided into hereditary castes, which, indeed, readily united to repel foreign enemies, but which regarded each other, during many years, with bitter animosity. Between those castes there was a barrier hardly less strong he could obstruct every thing. than that which, at Venice, parted the mem- During more than a century after the institubers of the Great Council from their country-tion of the Tribuneship, the Commons strug men. In some respects indeed, the line which gled manfully for the removal of grievances separated an Icilius or a Duilius from a Post-under which they laboured; and, in spite of humius or a Fabius was even more deeply many checks and reverses, succeeded in marked than that which separated the rower wringing concession after concession from the of a gondola from a Contarini or a Morosini. stubborn aristocracy. At length, in the year At Venice the distinction was merely civil. At Rome it was both civil and religious. Among the grievances under which the Plebeians suffered three were felt as peculiarly severe. They were excluded from the highest magistracies; they were excluded from all share in the public lands; and they were ground down to the dust by partial and barbarous legislation touching pecuniary contracts. The ruling class in Rome was a moneyed class; and it made and administered the laws with a view solely to its own interest. Thus the relation between lender and borrower was mixed up with the relation between sovereign and sub ject. The great men held a large portion of the community in dependence by means of advances at enormous usury. The law of debt, framed by creditors, and for the protection of cr.uitors, was the most horrible that has ever been known among men. The liberty, and even the life, of the insoivent were at the mercy
of the city 378, both parties mustered their whole strength for their last and most desperate conflict. The popular and active Tribune, Caius Licinius, proposed the three memorable laws which are called by his name, and which were intended to redress the three great evils of which the Plebeians complained. He was supported, with eminent ability and firmness, by his colleague, Lucius Sextius. The strug gle appears to have been the fiercest that ever in any community terminated without an appeal to arms. If such a contest had raged in any Greek city, the streets would have run with blood. But, even in the paroxysms of faction, the Roman retained his gravity, his respect for law, and his tenderness for the lives of his fellow-citizens. Year after year Licinius and Sextius were re-elected Tribunes. Year after year, if the narrative which has come down to us is to be trusted, they continued to exert, to the full extent, their power of stopping