Overcome therefore by the submissive demeanour of the enemy, he ordered their senate to be called. “Tusculans,” he says, “ye are the only persons who have yet found the true arms and the true strength, by which to protect your possessions from the resentment of the Romans.
Proceed to Rome to the senate. The fathers will consider, whether you have merited more punishment for your former conduct, or forgiveness for your present. I shall not anticipate your gratitude for a favour to be conferred by the state. From me ye shall have the power of seeking pardon.
The senate will grant to your entreaties such a result, as they shall consider meet.” When the Tusculans came to Rome, and the senate [of a people], who were till a little before faithful allies, were seen with sorrowful countenances in the porch of the senate-house, the fathers, immediately moved [at the sight,] even then ordered them to be called in rather in a friendly than a hostile manner.
The Tusculan dictator spoke as follows: “Conscript fathers, we against whom ye proclaimed and made war, just as you see us now standing in the porch of your house, so armed and so attired did we go forth to meet your generals and your legions.
This was our habit, this the habit of our commons; and ever shall be, unless whenever we shall receive arms from you and defence of you. We return thanks to your generals and your troops for having trusted their eyes more than their ears; and for having committed nothing hostile, where none subsisted.
The peace, which we observed, the same we solicit at your hands: we pray you, avert war to that quarter where, if any where, it subsists. What your arms may be able to effect on us, if after our submission we are to experience it, we will experience unarmed. This is our determination. May the immortal gods grant that it be as successful as it is dutiful!
With respect to the charges, by which you were induced to declare war against us, though it is needless to refute by words what has been contradicted by facts; yet, admitting they were true, we think it safe for us to confess [p. 425]
them, after having shown such evident marks of repentance. Admit then that we have offended against you, since ye deserve that such satisfaction be made to you.”
These were nearly the words used by the Tusculans. They obtained peace at the present, and not long after the freedom of the state also. The legions were withdrawn from Tusculum.