But after he had taken Bola, a city not more than twelve miles away from Rome, where he got much treasure and put almost all the adults to the sword; and after the Volscians even who had been ordered to remain in their cities grew impatient, and came trooping in arms to Marcius, declaring that he was the sole and only general whom they would recognize as their leader, then his name was great throughout all Italy, and men thought with amazement how the valour of a single man, upon his changing sides, had effected such a marvellous turn in affairs.
At Rome, however, all was disorder; its citizens refused to fight, and spent their whole time in cabals and factious disputes with one another, until tidings came that the enemy had laid close siege to Lavinium, where the sacred symbols of the ancestral gods of the Romans were stored up, and from which their nation took its origin, since that was the first city which Aeneas founded.
This produced an astonishing and universal change of opinion in the commons, as well as one which was altogether strange and unexpected in the patricians. For the commons were eager to repeal the sentence against Marcius and invite him back to the city; whereas the senate, on assembling and considering the proposition, rejected and vetoed it; either because they were angrily bent on opposing all the people's desires;
or else because they were unwilling that Marcius should owe his restoration to the kindness of the people; or because they were now angry at Marcius himself; seeing that he was injuring all alike, although he had not been ill-treated by all, and showed himself an enemy of his whole country, although he knew that the most influential and powerful men in it sympathised with him and shared in his wrongs. When this decision of the senate was made public, the people was powerless; it could not by its vote enact a law, without a previous decree of the senate.