The Arician withdrew from the meeting, uttering these reflections against the Roman king. Tarquin, feeling the matter much more acutely than he appeared to do, immediately sets about planning the death of Turnus, in order that he might inspire into the Latins the same terror with which he had crushed the spirits of his own subjects at home;
and because he could not be put to death openly, by virtue of his authority, he accomplished the ruin of this innocent man by bringing a false accusation against him. By means of some Aricians of the opposite faction, he bribed a servant of Turnus with gold, to suffer a great number of swords to be introduced privately into his lodging.
When this had been completed in the course of one night, Tarquin, having summoned the chiefs of the Latins to him a little before day, as if alarmed by some strange occurrence, says, “that his delay of yesterday, having been occasioned as it were by some providential care of the gods, had been the means of preservation to him and them;
that it was told to him that destruction was prepared by Turnus for him and the chiefs of the Latins, that he alone might obtain the government of the Latins. That he was to have made the attempt yesterday at the meeting; that the matter was deferred, because the person who summoned the meeting was absent, whom he chiefly aimed at.
That thence arose that abuse of him for being absent, because he disappointed his hopes by delaying. That he had no doubt, but that if the truth were told him, he would come at the break of day, when the assembly met, attended with a band of conspirators, and with arms in his hands.
That it was said that a great number of swords had been conveyed to his house. Whether that be true or not, might be known immediately.
He requested that they would accompany him thence to Turnus.” Both the daring temper of Turnus, and his harangue of yesterday, and the delay of Tarquin, rendered the matter suspicious, because it seemed possible that the murder might [p. 68]
have been put off in consequence of it. They proceed then with minds inclined indeed to believe, yet determined to consider every thing false, unless the swords were detected.
When they arrived there, Turnus is aroused from sleep, and guards are placed around him; and the servants, who, from affection to their master, were preparing to use force, being secured, when the swords, which had been concealed, were drawn out from all parts of the lodging, then indeed the whole matter appeared manifest, and chains were placed on Turnus; and forthwith a meeting of the Latins was summoned amid great confusion.
There, on the swords being brought forward in the midst, such violent hatred arose against him, that without being allowed a defence, by a novel mode of death, being thrown into the reservoir of the. water of Ferentina, a hurdle1
being placed over him, and stones being thrown into that, he was drowned.