Everyone was incensed by these charges, except the young man himself. He, on the contrary, was vexed to be the cause of additional dislike and accusation of his father;
and that all gods and men might know that he had rather help his father than his father's enemies, he conceived a plan, in keeping to be sure with his rude and uncouth spirit, which, though it set no pattern of civic conduct, was yet [p. 371]
praiseworthy for its filial piety.
knowledge, he girded himself with a knife in the early morning, and coming to the City, made his way at once from the gate to the house of Marcus Pomponius, the tribune. There he told the porter that he must see his master instantly, and bade him say that it was Titus Manlius, the son of Lucius.
Being presently admitted —for it seemed likely that he was moved with wrath against his father, or was bringing some fresh charge or plan of action —he received and returned the salutation of his host, and then announced that there were matters of which he wished to speak to him without witnesses.
When they had all been sent away, he drew his knife, and standing over the tribune's couch with his weapon ready, he threatened that unless the man should swear, in the terms he himself should dictate, never to hold a council of the plebs for the purpose of accusing his father, he would immediately stab him.
The frightened tribune, seeing the blade flash in his face, and perceiving himself to be alone and unarmed, and the other to be a stalwart youth, and, what was no less terrifying, foolhardy by reason of his strength, took the oath that was required of him, and afterwards publicly declared that he had been compelled by force to relinquish his undertaking.
And the plebs, however much they would have liked to be given the opportunity to cast their votes in the case of so cruel and insolent a defendant, were yet not displeased that a son had dared such a deed in defence of his parent; and they praised it all the more, because the father's shocking harshness had made no difference in the son's filial devotion.
And so not only was the arraignment of the father [p. 373]
dismissed, but the youth himself gained distinction from2
for in the election of military tribunes for the legions, which had that year for the first time been resolved upon —until then the generals themselves had nominated them, as they do to-day those who are known as Rufuli3
—he was chosen second of the six, though neither at home nor in the field had he done aught to merit popularity, and no wonder, since his youth had been passed in the country, remote from the gatherings of men.