It was the custom among the Faliscians to employ the same person as preceptor and private tutor for their children; and, as continues the usage to this day in Greece, several youths were intrusted to the care of one man.
The person [p. 357]
who appeared to excel in knowledge, instructed, as t is natural to suppose, the children of the leading men. A he had established it as a custom during peace to carry the boys out beyond the city for the sake of play and of exercise; that custom not having been discontinued during the existence of the war;
then drawing them away from the gate, sometimes in shorter, sometimes in longer excursions, advancing farther than usual, when an opportunity offered, by varying their play and conversation, he led them on between the enemy's guards, and thence to the Roman camp into his tent to Camillus.
There to the atrocious act he added a still more atrocious speech: that “he had delivered Falerii into the hands of the Romans, when he put into their power those children; whose parents are there at the head of affairs.”
When Camillus heard this, he says, “Wicked as thou art, thou hast come with thy villanous offering neither to a people nor a commander like thyself.
Between us and the Faliscians there exists rot that form of society which is established by human compact; but between both there does exist, and ever will exist, that which nature has implanted.
There are laws of war as well of peace; and we have learned to wage them justly not less than bravely. We carry arms not against that age which is spared even when towns are taken, but against men who are themselves armed, and who, not having been injured or provoked by us, attacked the Roman camp at Veii.
Those thou hast surpassed, as far as lay in you, by an unprecedented act of villany: I shall conquer them, as I did Veii, by Roman arts, by bravery, labour, and by arms.”
Then having stripped him naked, and tied his hands behind his back, he delivered him up to the boys to be brought back to Falerii; and supplied them with rods to scourge the traitor and drive him into the city.
At which spectacle, a crowd of people being assembled, afterwards the senate being convened by the magistrates on the extraordinary circumstance, so great a change was produced in their sentiments, that the entire state earnestly demanded peace at the hands of those, who lately, outrageous by hatred and anger, almost preferred the fate of the Veientians to the peace of the Capenatians.
The Roman faith, the justice of the commander, are cried up in the forum and in the senate-house; and by universal consent ambassadors set out to the camp to Camillus, and thence by permission of Camillus to Rome to [p. 358]
the senate, in order to deliver up Falerii.
When introduced before the senate, they are represented as having spoken thus: “Conscript fathers, overcome by you and your commander by a victory at which neither god nor man can feel displeasure, we surrender ourselves to you, considering that we shall live more happily under your rule than under our own law, than which nothing can be more glorious for a conqueror.
In the result of this war two salutary examples have been exhibited to mankind. You preferred faith in war to present victory: we, challenged by your good faith, have voluntarily given up to you the victory.
We are under your sovereignty. Send men to receive our arms, our hostages, our city with its gates thrown open.
You shall never have to repent of our fidelity, nor we of your dominion.” Thanks were returned to Camillus both by the enemy and by his own countrymen. Money was required of the Faliscians to pay off the soldiers for that year, that the Roman people might be relieved from the tribute. Peace being granted, the army was led back to Rome.