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17. With many such words as these Marcius was beyond measure successful in filling the younger senators, and almost all the wealthy ones, with his own fierce enthusiasm, and they cried out that he was the only man in the city who disdained submission and flattery. But some of the older senators opposed him, suspecting the outcome. And the outcome was wholly bad. For the tribunes were present, and when they saw that the proposal of Marcius was likely to prevail, they ran out among the crowd with loud cries, calling upon the plebeians to rally to their help. [2] Then there was a stormy session of the assembly, and when the speech of Marcius was reported to it, the people were carried away with fury and almost burst in upon the senate. But the tribunes made their formal denunciation of Marcius, and summoned him by messenger to come before them and make his defence. And when he insolently drove away the officers who brought their message, they went themselves, attended by the aediles, to bring him by force, and tried to lay hands upon his person. But the patricians, banding together, drove the tribunes away, and actually beat the aediles.

[3] By this time, then, evening had fallen, which put an end to the tumult; but as soon as it was day, the exasperated people came running together from all quarters into the forum. When the consuls saw this, they were alarmed for the city, and convening the senate, urged them to consider how, by reasonable proposals and suitable resolutions, they might soothe and pacify the multitude, since it was not a time for ambitious rivalry, nor would they be wise in contending for their dignity, but the crisis was severe and critical, and demanded measures that were considerate and humane. [4] The majority of the senate acceding to these views, the consuls went out and reasoned with the people as well as they could, and tried to mollify them, answering their accusations in a reasonable manner, and making only a moderate use of admonition and rebuke; as regarded the price of provisions and market supplies, they declared there should be no difference between them.

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