Disarmed by the submissive demeanour of the enemy he gave orders for the senate to be summoned. He then addressed them in the following terms: ‘Men of Tusculum, you are the only people who have discovered the true weapons, the true strength, with which to protect yourselves from the wrath of Rome.
Go to the senate at Rome; they will decide aright whether your past offence deserves punishment most or your present submission, pardon. I will not anticipate the grace and favour which the State may show you; you shall receive from me the permission to plead for forgiveness; the senate will vouchsafe to your supplication the answer which shall seem good to them.’
After the arrival of the Tusculan senators in Rome, when the mournful countenances of those who a few weeks before had been staunch allies were seen in the vestibule of the Senate-house, the Roman senate were touched with pity and at once ordered them to be called in as guest-friends rather than as enemies.
The Dictator of Tusculum was the spokesman. ‘Senators,’ he said, ‘we against whom you have declared and commenced hostilities, went out to meet your generals and your legions armed and equipped just as you see us now standing in the vestibule of your House.
This civilian dress has always been the dress of our order and of our plebs and ever will be, unless at any time we receive from you arms for your defence. We are grateful to your generals and to your armies because they trusted their eyes rather than their ears, and did not make enemies where none existed.
We ask of you the peace which we have ourselves observed, and pray you to turn the tide of war where a state of war exists; if we are to learn by painful experience the power which your arms can exert against us, we will learn it without using arms ourselves. This is our determination — may the gods make it as fortunate as it is dutiful!
As for the accusations which induced you to declare war, although it is unnecessary to refute in words what has been disproved by facts, still, even supposing them to be true, we believe that it would have been safe to admit them, since we should have given such evident proofs of repentance.
Let us acknowledge that we havo wronged you, if only you are worthy to receive such satisfaction.’ This was practically what the Tusculans said. They obtained peace at the time and not long after full citizonship. The legions were marched back from Tusculum.