Great alarm seized the patricians, and the countenances of the tribunes were now the same as those of the decemvirs had been, when Marcus Duilius, tribune of the people, having put a salutary check to their immoderate power, says, "There has been both enough of liberty on our own part, and of vengeance on our enemies;
wherefore for this year I will neither suffer a day of trial to be appointed for any one, nor any person to be thrown into prison.
For it is neither pleasing to me that old crimes now forgotten should be again brought forward, seeing that the recent ones have been atoned for by the punishment of the decemvirs; and the unremitting care of both the consuls in defending your liberties, is ample security that nothing will be committed which will call for tribunitian interference.
This moderation of the tribune first relieved the patricians from their fears, and at the same time increased their ill-will towards the consuls; for they had been so devoted to the commons, that even a ple- [p. 232]
beian magistrate took an earlier interest in the safety and liberty of the patricians, than one of patrician rank; and their enemies would have been surfeited with inflicting punishments on them, before the consuls, to all appearance, would have resisted their licentious career.
And there were many who said that a want of firmness was shown, inasmuch as the fathers had given their approbation to the laws proposed; nor was there a doubt, but that in this troubled state of public affairs they had yielded to the times.