Valerius, accordingly, vexed that his desire to do his utmost for his country should be doubted, merely because he had received no private injury at the hands of the tyrants, withdrew from the senate, gave up his practice as an advocate, and abandoned entirely his public activities. This caused anxious remark among the multitude. They feared lest, in his wrath, he should attach himself to the royal exiles, and subvert the established order of the city, which was in a dangerous pass.
But when Brutus, who had his suspicions of certain others also, desired the senators to take a sacrificial oath, and set a day for the ceremony, Valerius went down with a glad countenance into the forum, and was the first to take oath that he would make no submission or concession to the Tarquins, but would fight with all his might in defence of freedom. This pleased the senate and inspired the consuls with courage. And his actions speedily confirmed his oath.
For envoys came from Tarquin bringing letters calculated to seduce the people, and specious words by which they thought the multitude were most likely to be corrupted, coming as they did from a king who seemed to have humbled himself, and to ask only moderate terms. These envoys the consuls thought should be brought before the assembled people, but Valerius would not suffer it. He was unalterably opposed to giving poor men, who considered war a greater burden than tyranny, occasions and excuses for revolution.