As they journeyed on in an almost unbroken line, Tullius, who had gone ahead, arrived before them at the source of the Ferentina. There, when any of their chief men arrived, he met them with words of complaint and [p. 343]
indignation. These leaders, eagerly drinking in the1
words with which he ministered to their anger, he conducted and, thanks to their influence, the rest of the throng also, to a field which lay below the road.
There he launched out upon a speech like a general's harangue. “Though you should forget all else,” he cried, “the ancient wrongs done by the Roman People and the disasters that have overtaken the Volscian race, with what feelings, pray, can you bear the insult which this day has brought to us, making our humiliation serve as the opening of their festival?
Or did you not feel that they were triumphing over you to-day? That you furnished a spectacle to everybody when you departed —to the citizens, to the strangers, to all the neighbouring nations?
That your wives and children were made a mock in the eyes of the world? What of those who heard the words of the herald? What of those who saw us going away? What of those who have met this ignominious procession? What think you they all supposed, but that we were certainly attainted of some sin; that because, were we to be present at the spectacle, we should pollute the games and incur the god's displeasure —for that reason we were being expelled from the seat of the righteous and from their gathering and their council?
Moreover, does it not occur to you that we are alive because we hastened to depart? —if, indeed, this is a departure and not rather a flight. And this City —do you not regard it as a city of enemies, when if you had delayed there a single day, you would all have had to die?
War has been declared upon you, and greatly shall they rue it who have been responsible, if you are men.” So, their spontaneous anger fanned to a [p. 345]
flame, they dispersed to their several homes, and,2
every man arousing his own people, they brought about a revolt of the entire Volscian name.