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Law, was only to have their Causes heard over again ; and when you afterwards consented to the Creation of the Tribunes, neither you, nor even the People themselves, intended any thing more in the Establifhment of those new Magistrates, than that this Law might have Protectors, and the Poor be provided with Advocates, who might prevent their being oppressed by the Great. "What Relation is there, between such a Law, and the Case of a Senator, a Man of an Order superior to the People, and who is accountable for his Conduct to none but the Senate? To shew that the Lex Valeria relates only to Plebeians ; for about seventeen Years that it has been made, let Decius give me one single Instance of a Patrician called in Judgment before the People by that Law, and our Dispute will be at an End. And indeed what Justice would there be in delivering up a Senator to the Fury of the Tribunes, and to suffer the People to be Judges in their own Cause; as if their tumultuous Assemblies, directed by such feditious Magistrates, could be without Prejudice, without Hatred, without Passion ? Thus, O Fathers, it is my Advice, that before you come to any Determination, you maturely consider, that in this Affair your Interests are inseparable from those of Coriolanus. As to the rest, I am not for your revoking the Favours you have granted the People, by whatever means they obtained them ; but I cannot forbear exhorting you to refuse boldly for the future whatever they shall endeavour to obtain of you contrary to your own Authority, and the Form of our Government.
It appears from these two Speeches of Decius and Appius, that
the Business of Coriolanus was only used as a Colour to Affairs of greater Importance. The true Cause of the Dispute and Animosity of the two Parties was this, That the Nobles. and Patricians preended a Right of Succession to the Regal Authority, upon the Expulsion of Tarquin, and that the Government ought to be purely Aristocratic ; whereas the Iribunes, by new La s, endeavoured to turn it into a Democracy, and to bring the whole Authority into the Hands of the People. M. Valerius, in oid experienced Senator, and a true Republican, displeafed to see those of his own Order constantly af
fecting a Distinction and Power, ever odious in a free State, Tpoke as followi.
TITE are made to fear, that the public Liberty will be
V in Danger, if we grant so much Power to the People, and allow them to try those of our Order who shall be accused by the Tribunes. I am persuaded on the contrary, that nothing is more likely to preserve it. The Republic confifts of two Orders, Pairi:ians and Plebeians; the Question is, Which of those two Orders may more safely be trusted with the Guardianship of that sacred Depositum, our Liberty? I maintain, that it will be more secure in the Hands of the People, who desire only not to be oppressed, than in those of the Nobles, who all have a violent Thirst of Dominion. The Nobles, invested with the prime Magistrácies, distinguished by their Birth, their Wealth, and their Honours, will always be powerful enough to hold the People to their Duty; and the People, when they have the Authority of the Laws, being naturally Haters and jealous of all exalted Power, will watch over the Actions of the Great, and, by the Dread of a popular Enquiry and Judgment, keep a Check upon the Ambition of such Patricians as might be tempted to aspire to the Tyranny. You abolished the Royalty, Conscript Fathers, because the Authority of a single Man grew exorbitant. Not satisfied with dividing the sovereign Power between two annual Magistrates, you gave them a Counsel of three hundred Senators, to be Inspectors over their Conduct, and Moderators of their Authority. But this Senate, so formidable to the Kings and to the Consuls, has nothing in the Republic to balance its Power. I know very well, that hitherto there is all the Reason in the World to applaud its Moderation : But who can say whether we are not obliged for this to our fear of Enemies abroad, and to those continual Wars which we have been forced to maintain ? Who will be answerable that our Succesfors, growing more haughty and more potent by a long Peace, shall not make Attempts upon the Liberty of our Country, and that in the Senate there shall not arise some strong Faction, whose Leader will find means to become the Tyrant of his Country, if there be not at the same time some other Power, out of the Senate, to withstand such ambitious Enterprizes, by impeaching the Authors and Abettors of them before the People?
Perhaps the Question will be asked me, Whether the same Inconvenience is not to be apprehended from the People, and whether it is possible to make sufficient Provision, that there
shall not at some time arise among the Plebeians, a Head of a Party, who will abuse his Influence over the Minds of the Multitude, and under the old Pretence of defending the People's Interests, in the end invade both their Liberty and that of the Senate ? But you well know, that upon the least Danger which the Republic may seem to be in on that Side, our Consuls have Power to name a Dictator, whom they will never chuse but from among your own Body; that this supreme Magistrate, absolute Master of the Lives of his Fellow-Citizens, is able by his sole Authority to diffipate a popular Faction; and the Wisdom of our Laws has allowed him that formidable Power but for fix Months, for fear he should abuse it, and employ in the Establishment of his own Tyranny, an Authority entrusted with him only to destroy that of any other ambitious Men.
Thus with a mutual Inspection the Senate will be watchful over the Behaviour of the Consuls, the People over that of the Senate ; and the Dictator, when the State of Affairs requires the Intervention of such a Magistrate, will curb the Arnbition of all. The more Eyes there are upon the Conduct of every Branch of our Legislature, the more secure will be our Liberty, and the more perfect our Conftitution.
The Issue of this Debate was, that Coriolanus was given up to be tried by the Tribunes of the People; by whom he was condemned to perpetual Banishment.
LESSON VII. In all the struggles between the Patricians and the People, the
latter generally carried their Points; infomuch, that in Procefs of Time the greatest Part of the Power of the Commonwealth of Rome came into the Hinds of the Tribunes. They called Assemblies of the Prople when they pleased, and in those
Assemblies frequently annulled the Decrees of the Senate. Nothing could be concluded without their Consent, which they expressed by subscribing the Letter T at the Bottom of the Decree. They had it in their power to prevent the Execution of any Decree, without giving any Reafon for it, and merely by subscribing VETO. They sometimes called before the People evin the Confuls and Diciators to account for their Conduit. About forty years after the Affair of Coriolanus, during the Consulship of Quinctius Capitolinus and Agrippa Furius, the Jame Dilentions are again reviv'd, infomuch that tho the Aqui and Volsci, taking Advantage of these Disorders, ravage the Country to the very Gates of Rome, the Tribunes forbad the necessary Levies of Troops to oppose them. Quinctius however, a Senator of great Reputation, well belov'd, and now in his fourth Consulate, gets the better of this Opposition, by the following Speech.
for the Titas Quintility will known in your Alich the uto
THOUGH I am not conscious, O Rimans, of any
| Crime by 'me committed, it is yet with the utmost Shame and Confusion that I appear in your Assembly. You have seen it-Posterity will know it- In the fourth Consulship of Titas Quinctius, the Æqui and Volsci (scarce a Match for the Hernici alone) cane in Arms to the very Gates of Rome, and went away again unchastised! The Course of our Manners indeed, and the State of our Affairs, have long been such, that I had no reason to presage much Good; but could I have imagined, that so great an Ignominy, would have befallen me this Year, I would by Death or Banishment (if all other Means had failed) have avoided the Station I am now in. What ! might Rome then have been taken, if those Men who were at our Gates had not wanted Courage for the Attempt ? - Rome taken, while I was Consul!- Of Honours I had sufficient-of Life enough — more than enough-I should have died in my third Consulate. But who are they that our dastardly Enemies thus despise ? the Consuls ? or you, Romans? If we are in fault, depose us, punith us yet more feverely. If you are to blame-may neither Gods nor Men punish your Faults ! only may you repent. No, . Romans, the Confidence of our Enemies is not owing to their Courage, or to their Belief of your Cowardice : They have been too often vanquished not to know both themselves and you. Discord, Discord, is the Ruin of this City. The eternal Disputes between the Senate and the People, are the sole Cause of our Misfortunes. While we will set no Bounds to our Domination, nor you to your Liberty ; while you impatiently endure Patrician Magistrates, and we Plebeian, our Enemies take Heart, grow elated and presumptuous. In the Name of the immortal Gods, what is it, Romans, you would have ? You desired Tribunes ; for the Sake of Peace we granted them. You were eager to have Decemvirs; we consented to their Creation. You grew weary of these De'cemvirs; we obliged them to abdicate. Your Hatred pursued them when reduced to be private Men; and we suffered
you to put to Death or banish Patricians of the firft Rank in the Republic. You infifted upon the Restoration of the Tribuneship, we yielded : we quietly saw Consuls of your own Faction elected. You have the Protection of your Tribunes, and the Privilege of Appeal; the Pairicians are subjected to the Decrees of the Commons. Under Pretence of equal and impartial Laws, you have invaded our Rights, and we have fuffered it, and we still suffer it. When shall we see an End of Discord ? When shall we have one Interest, and one common Country? Victorious and triumphant, you shew less Temper than we under our Defeat. When you are to contend with us, you can feize the Aventine Hill, you can possess yourselves of the Mons Sacer. The Enemy is at our Gates, the Æsquiline is near being taken, and no body ftirs to hinder it. But against us you are valiant, against us you can arm with all Diligence. Come on then, beliege the Senate-House, make a Camp of the Frum, fill the Jails with our chief Nobles, and when you have atchieved these glorious Exploits, then at least sally out at the Æsquiline Gate with the fame fierce Spirits against the Enemy. Does your Resolution fail you for this? Go then, and behold from our Walls your Lands ravaged, your Houses plunder'd and in Flames, the whole Country laid waste with Fire and Sword. Have you any thing here to repair these Damages ? will the
Tribunes make up your Losses to you? They'll give you Words as many as you please ; bring Impeachments in abundance against the prime Men in the State; heap Laws upon Laws; Allemblies you shall have without End : But will any of you return the Richer from those Assemblies ? Extinguish, O Romans, these fatal Divisions; generously break this cursed Inchantment, which keeps you buried in a scandalous Inaction, Open your Eyes, and consider the Management of those ambitious Men, who to make themselves powerful in their Party, study nothing but how they may foment Divifions in the Commonwealth. If you can but summon up your former Courage, if you will now march out of Rome with your Consuls, there is no Punishment you can inflict which I will not fubmit to, if I do not in a few Days drive those Pillagers out of our Territory. This Terror of War (with which you seem so grievously struck) shall quickly be removed from Rome to their own Cities.
tons in the Eudy nothing buto make themfet Manageme