Speeches of this sort, being listened to with approval, incited certain men to stand for the military tribuneship, with the promise that they would propose in their term of office such and such measures of advantage to the plebs.
Hopes were held out of dividing up the public domain and planting colonies, and of levying a tax on the occupants of the land and distributing the money as pay for the soldiers.1
The military tribunes then watched for an opportunity when people were out of town, and recalling the senators by a secret notification, got the senate to pass a resolution, in the absence of the tribunes of the plebs, that
since the Volsci were rumoured to have made a plundering expedition into the country of the Hernici, the tribunes of the soldiers should go and investigate [p. 377]
the affair, and that a consular election should be2
The tribunes set out, leaving Appius Claudius, the decemvir's son, as prefect of the City. He was an energetic young man and imbued from his very cradle with hatred of the tribunes and the plebs. The plebeian tribunes had no ground of contention either with the absent officials who had obtained the resolution of the senate, or with Appius, now that the thing was done.