Harangues of this kind, listened to with approbation, induced some persons to stand for the military tribuneship, each avowing that if in office he would propose something to the advantage of the commons.
Hopes were held cut of a distribution of the public land, of colonies to be planted, and of money to be raised for the pay of the soldiers, by a tax imposed on the proprietors of estates.
Then an opportunity [p. 292]
was laid hold of by the military tribunes, so that during the absence of most persons from the city, when the patricians who were to be recalled by a private intimation were to attend on a certain day, a decree of the senate might be passed in the absence of the tribunes of the commons;
that a report existed that the Volscians had gone forth into the lands of Hernici to commit depredations, the military tribunes were to set out to examine into the matter, and that an assembly should be held for the election of consuls.
Having set out, they leave Appius Claudius, son of the decemvir, as prefect of the city, a young man of great energy, and one who had ever from his cradle imbibed a hatred of the tribunes and the commons. The tribunes of the commons had nothing for which they should contend, either with those persons now absent, who had procured the decree of the senate, nor with Appius, the matter being now all over.