On the next day, having stationed proper guards, when he had gone down to the forum, and the attention of the commons was attracted to him by the strangeness and extraordinary nature of the thing, and Maelius's friends and himself their leader perceived that the power of such high authority was directly aimed at them;
when, moreover, those who were not aware of the designs on regal power, went on asking, “what tumult, what sudden war, had called for either the [p. 267]
dictatorial authority, or Quintius, after his eightieth year, administrator of affairs,” Servilius, master of the horse, being sent by the dictator to Maelius, says, “The dictator summons you.”
When he, being alarmed, asked what he meant and Servilius stated that “he must stand a trial,” and answer the charge brought against him before the senate by Minucius, Maelius drew back into the band of his adherents, and at first, looking around him, he began to skulk off:
at length when the beadle, by order of the master of the horse, was bringing him off, being rescued by those present, and running away, he implored the protection of the Roman people, and alleged that he was persecuted by a conspiracy of the patricians because he had acted kindly towards the people:
he besought them that they would assist him in this critical emergency, and not suffer him to be butchered before their eyes.
Ahala Servilius overtook and slew him whilst exclaiming in this manner; and smeared with the blood of the person so slain, and surrounded by a body of young nobles, he carries back word to the dictator that Maelius having been summoned to him, and commencing to excite the multitude after he had repulsed the beadle, had received condign punishment.
“Thou hast acted nobly, Caius Servilius,” said the dictator, “in having saved the republic.”