But the popular leaders, Sicinius and Brutus, with their following, at once rose up in opposition, crying out that the consuls were disguising a most cruel deed under that most inoffensive name, a colony, and were really pushing poor men into a pit of death, as it were, by sending them forth into a city which was full of deadly air and unburied corpses, to be associated with a strange and abominable deity;
and then, as if not satisfied with destroying some of their fellow-citizens by famine, and exposing others to pestilence, they proceeded further to bring on a war of their own choosing, that no evil might spare the city, which had but refused to continue in servitude to the rich. With their ears full of such speeches as these, the people would neither answer the consular summons for enlistment, nor look with any favour on the colony.1
The senate was in perplexity. But Marcius, who was now full of importance, and had grown lofty in spirit, and was looked upon with admiration by the most powerful men of the city, openly took the lead in resisting the popular leaders. The colony was sent out, those that were chosen for it by lot being compelled to go forth under severe penalties; and when the people utterly refused military service, Marcius himself mustered his clients and as many others as he could persuade, and made an incursion into the territory of Antium.
There he found much corn, and secured large booty in cattle and captives, no part of which did he take out for himself; but brought his followers back to Rome laden with large spoils of every sort. The rest of the citizens therefore repented themselves, envied their more fortunate fellows, and were filled with hostility to Marcius, not being able to endure the reputation and power of the man, which was growing, as they thought, to be detrimental to the people.2