“We have not forgotten, censors, that a little while ago you were placed, by the entire Roman people, in control of our manners, and that we should be both admonished and governed by you, not you by us.
Nevertheless, it should be pointed out what it is in you two that offends all good men or at least what they would prefer to see modified.
When we look at you singly, Marcus Aemilius and Marcus Fulvius, we find no one in the state to-day whom, [p. 145]
if we should be recalled to vote, we should wish to1
have preferred to you.
When we look at both of you together, we cannot but fear that you may prove to have been badly mated and that less good may come to the state because you are so eminently pleasing to all of us than harm because each of you displeases the other.
For many years you have been keeping alive a feud, a serious and dreadful thing for you yourselves, and there is danger that from this day it may become more harmful to us and to the state than to you. As to the reasons why we fear this, many occur to me which might be mentioned were it not that passions perhaps not to be appeased beset your minds.2
We one and all beg you to-day that in this consecrated spot you will end this quarrel,
and that you will permit those men whom the Roman people by their votes has associated together, to be associated by us in this restoration of good feeling also; that with one mind and one policy you may choose the senate, review the equites,
hold the census and close the lustrum
that what you will say in almost every prayer you make, 'that this
may turn out well and successfully for me and for my colleague in office,' you will truly and with all your hearts desire to be fulfilled, and that you will so act that we men may believe that you also desire that for which you have prayed to the gods. Titus Tatius and Romulus, in whose city they had clashed as enemies in battle in the middle of the Forum, reigned there in harmony.
Not merely feuds but even wars draw to an end; many times from bitter foes men become faithful allies, sometimes even fellow [p. 147]
The Albans when Alba was destroyed were3
transferred to Rome, the Latins and the Sabines were received into citizenship. There was a common saying which had passed into a proverb because it was true, that our friendships should be immortal, but mortal our enmities.”
A roar of applause burst out, and then the speech was broken off by the voices of the whole crowd, demanding the same thing and merging into one sound.
Then Aemilius complained both of other things and particularly because he had twice been kept by Marcus Fulvius from the consulship which was assured him; Fulvius on his side complained that he had always been harassed by Aemilius and that the sponsio
had been proposed to his shame.4
Nevertheless each stated that if the other was willing he was ready to put himself in the hands of all the leading men of the state. At the instance of all who were present, they sincerely exchanged hand-clasps and pledges, forgave one another, and ended their feud.
After that, followed by the applause of all, they were escorted to the Capitoline. Both the interest of the leaders in such a situation and the readiness of the censors to yield were notably approved and lauded by the senate.
Then, on the demand of the censors that the sum of money which they were to use on public works be assigned them, one year's revenue was decreed to them.5