When the dictator ordered him to lay aside evasion, and urged him to prove the truth of his information, or to own the guilt of having advanced a false accusation against the senate, and of having exposed them to the odium of a lying charge of concealment; when he refused to speak, to meet the wishes of his enemies, he ordered him to be carried off to prison.
When arrested by the sergeant, he said, “O Jupiter, supremely great and good, imperial Juno, and Minerva, and ye other gods and goddesses, who inhabit the Capitol and citadel, do ye suffer your soldier and defender to be thus harassed by his enemies?
Shall this right hand, by which I beat off the Gauls from your temples, be now in bonds and [p. 411]
chains?” Neither the eyes nor ears of any one could well endure the indignity [thus offered him], but the state, most patient of legitimate authority, had rendered certain offices absolute to themselves; nor did either the tribunes of the commons, nor the commons themselves, dare to raise their eyes or utter a sentence in opposition to the dictatorial power.
On Manlius being thrown into prison, it appears that a great part of the commons put on mourning, that a great many persons had let their hair and beard grow, and that a dejected crowd presented itself at the entrance of the prison.
The dictator triumphed over the Volscians; and that triumph was the occasion rather of ill-will than of glory. For they murmured that “it had been acquired at home, not abroad, and that it was celebrated over a citizen, not over an enemy; that only one thing was wanting to his arrogance, that Manlius was not led before his car.”
And now the affair fell little short of sedition, for the purpose of appeasing which, the senate, without the solicitation of any one, suddenly becoming bountiful of their own free-will, decreed that a colony of two thousand Roman citizens should be conducted to Satricum; two acres and half of land were assigned to each.
And when they considered this, both as scanty in itself, conferred on a few, and as a bribe for betraying Marcus Manlius, the sedition was irritated by the remedy.
And now the crowd of Manlius' partisans was become more remarkable, both by their squalid attire and by the appearance of persons under prosecutions, and terror being removed by the resignation of the dictatorship, after the triumph had set both the tongues and thoughts of men at liberty.