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Of the city of Rome, as I understand,1 the founders and earliest inhabitants were the Trojans, who, under the conduct of Æneas, were wandering about as exiles from their country, without any settled abode; and with these were joined the Aborigines,2 a savage race of men, without laws or government, free, and owning no control. How easily these two tribes, though of different origin, dissimilar language, and opposite habits of life, formed a union when they met within the same walls, is almost incredible.3 But when their state, from an accession of population and territory, and an improved condition of morals, showed itself tolerably flourishing and powerful, envy, as is generally the case in human affairs, was the consequence of its prosperity. The neighboring kings and people, accordingly, began to assail them in war, while a few only of their friends came to their support; for the rest, struck with alarm, shrunk from sharing their dangers. But the Romans, active at home and in the field, prepared with alacrity for their defense.4 They encouraged one another, and hurried to meet the enemy. They protected, with their arms, their liberty, their country, and their homes. And when they had at length repelled danger by valor, they lent assistance to their allies and supporters, and procured friendships rather by bestowing5 favors than by receiving them.

They had a government regulated by laws. The denomination of their government was monarchy. Chosen men, whose bodies might be enfeebled by years, but whose minds were vigorous in understanding, formed the council of the state; and these, whether from their age, or from the similarity of their duty, were called FATHERS.6 But afterward, when the monarchical power, which had been originally established for the protection of liberty, and for the promotion of the public interest, had degenerated into tyranny and oppression, they changed their plan, and appointed two magistrates,7 with power only annual; for they conceived that, by this method, the human mind would be least likely to grow overbearing for want of control.

1 VI. As I understand] “Sicut ego accepi.” "By these words he plainly shows that nothing certain was known about the origin of Rome. The reader may consult Livy, lib. i.; Justin, lib. xliii.; and Dionys. Halicar., lib. i. ; all of whom attribute its rise to the Trojans." Bernouf.

2 Aborigines] Aborigines. The original inhabitants of Italy; the same as indigenæ, or the Greek Ἀυτόχθονες.

3 Almost incredible] “Incredibile memoratu."Non credi potest, si memoratur; superat omnem fidem." Pappaur. Yet that which actually happened, can not be absolutely incredible; and I have, therefore, inserted almost.

4 Prepared with alacrity for their defense] “Festinare, parare.” "Made haste, prepared." " Intenti ut festinanter pararent ea, quæ defensioni aut bello usui essent." Pappaur.

5 Procured friendships rather by bestowing, etc.] “Magisque dandis, quam accipundis beneficiis amicitias parabant.” Thucyd. ii., 40: οὐ πάσχοντες εὖ, ἀλλὰ δρῶντες, κτώμεθα τοὺς φίλους.

6 FATHERS] “PATRES.” "(Romulus) appointed that the direction of the state should be in the hands of the old men, who, from their authority, were called Fathers from their age, Senatus." Florus, i. 1. Senatus from. senex. " Patres ab honore--appellati." Livy.

7 Two magistrates “Binos imperatores.” The two consuls. They were more properly called “imperatores” at first, when the law, which settled their power, said "Regio imperio duo sunto" (Cic. de Legg. iii. 4), than afterward, when the people and tribunes had made encroachments on their authority.

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