The following year had as military tribunes with consular power Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, Lucius Furius Medullinus, Lucius Horatius Barbatus.
To the Veientians a truce for twenty years was granted, and one for three years to the Aequans, though they had solicited one for a longer term. There was quiet also from city riots.
The year following, though not distinguished either by war abroad or by disturbance at home, was rendered celebrated by the games which had been vowed during the war, both through the magnificence displayed in them by the military tribunes, and also through the concourse of the neighbouring states.
The tribunes with consular power were Appius Claudius Crassus, Spurius Nautilus Rutilus, Lucius Sergius Fidenas, Sextus Julius Iulus. The exhibition, besides that they had come with the public concurrence of their states, was rendered still more grateful to the strangers by the courtesy of their hosts.
After the games seditious harangues were delivered by the tribunes of the commons upbraiding the multitude; “that stupified with admiration of those persons whom they hated, they kept themselves in a state of eternal bondage;
and they not only had not the cou- [p. 291]
rage to aspire to the recovery of their hopes of a share in the consulship, but even in the electing of military tribunes, which elections lay open to both patricians and commons, they neither thought of themselves nor of their party.
That they must therefore cease feeling surprised why no one busied himself about the interests of the commons: that labour and danger would be expended on objects whence emolument and honour might be expected. That there was nothing men would not attempt if great rewards were proposed for those who make great attempts.
That any tribune of the commons should rush blindly at great risk and with no advantage into contentions, in consequence of which he may rest satisfied that the patricians against whom he should strive, will persecute him with inexpiable war, whilst with the commons in whose behalf he may have contended he will not be one whit the more honoured, was a thing neither to be expected nor required. That by great honours minds became great.
That no plebeian would think meanly of himself, when they ceased to be despised by others. That the experiment should be at length made in the case of one or two, whether there were any plebeian capable of sustaining a high dignity, or whether it were next to a miracle and a prodigy that any one sprung from the commons should be a brave and industrious man.
That by the utmost energy the point had been gained, that military tribunes with consular power might be chosen from among the commons also. That men well approved both in the civil and military line had stood as candidates That during the first years they were hooted at, rejected, and ridi- culed by the patricians: that at length they had cease to expose themselves to insult.
Nor did he for his part see why the law itself might not be repealed; by which that was made lawful which never could take place; for that there would be less cause for blushing at the injustice of the law, than if they were to be passed over through their own want of merit.”