But he ceased not to urge the senate to oppose the law; “that when the day for proposing the law had arrived they should go down to the forum with no other feeling than as men who remembered that they had to contend for their altars and homes, and the temples of the gods, and the soil in which they had been born.
For that as far as he himself individually was concerned, if during this contest [to be sustained] by his country it were allowable for him to think of his own glory, it would even reflect honour on himself, that a city captured by him should be densely inhabited, that he would daily enjoy the monument of his glory, and that he would have before his eyes a city borne by him in his triumph, that all would tread in the footsteps of his renown.
But that he deemed it an impiety that a city deserted and forsaken by the immortal gods should be inhabited; that the Roman people should reside in a captive soil, and that a vanquished should be taken in exchange for a victorious country.”
Stimulated by these exhortations of their leader, the patricians, both young and old, entered the forum in a body, when the law was about to be proposed:
and dispersing the selves through the tribes, each earnestly appealing to the members of their own tribe, began to entreat them with tears “not to desert that country for which they themselves and their fathers had fought most valiantly and successfully,” pointing to the Capitol, the temple of Vesta, and the other temples of the gods around;
“not to drive the Roman people, exiles and outcasts, from their native soil and household gods into the city of the enemy; and not to bring matters to such a state, that it was better that Veii were not taken, lest Rome should be [p. 362]
Because they proceeded not by violence, but by entreaties, and in the midst of these entreaties frequent mention was [made] of the gods, the greatest part [of the people] were influenced by religious scruples: and more tribes by one rejected the law than voted for it.
And so gratifying was this victory to the patricians, that on the following day, on a motion made by the consuls, a decree of the senate was passed, that seven acres a man of Veientian territory should be distributed to the commons; and not only to the fathers of families, but so that all persons in their house in a state of freedom should be considered, and that they might be willing to rear up their children with that prospect.