on the arrival of the Latins in Rome, they were given audience of the senate in the Capitol. there, after Titus Manlius the consul had pleaded with them, as directed by the senate, to make no war upon the Samnites,
united as they were by treaty with the Romans, Annius held forth like some conqueror who had taken the Capitol by storm, not like an envoy protected by the law of nations.
“it was high time, Titus Manlius,” he said, “and you, Conscript Fathers, that you should cease at length to deal with us as in any sort our rulers, perceiving, as you have, that Latium, by Heaven's blessing, is flourishing exceedingly in arms and men, after vanquishing the Samnites in war and receiving as allies the Sidicini and Campanians, and now even the Volsci besides, and that your own colonies as well have preferred the Latin to the Roman sway.
but, since you cannot make up your minds to bring your impotent sovereignty to a close, we —though able by force of arms to give Latium her freedom —will
nevertheless concede so much to kinship as to offer terms of peace fair and equal to both sides, since the immortal gods have willed that we should be of equal strength.
one consul should be chosen from Rome, the other from Latium, the senate should be drawn in equal proportions from both nations, there should be one people and one state; and that we may have the same seat of empire and the same name for all, by all means let this rather be our city, since one side must make concessions, —and may good come of it to both peoples!
—and let us all be known as Romans.” [p. 19]
it so happened that the Romans had, in their consul1
Titus Manlius, a man who was a match for Annius in boldness. so far was he from controlling his indignation, that he openly declared that if the Fathers were so demented as to receive terms from a Setine, he would gird on his sword, and entering the senate would slay with his own hand any Latin he might see within the Curia.
and turning to the statue of the god, “hear, Jupiter,” he cried, “these wicked words! hear ye, Law and Right!
shalt thou behold, O Jupiter, alien consuls and an alien senate in thy consecrated temple, thyself overpowered and taken captive?
are these the covenants, Latins, that Tullus, the Roman king, made with your Alban forefathers, that Lucius Tarquinius afterwards made with you?2
remember you not the battle at Lake Regillus? have you so forgot your old disasters. and our goodness to you?”