The Capitol, or temple of Jupiter Capitoli’nus.
* * * * *
FROM THE BANISHMENT OF TARQUIN TO THE APPOINTMENT OF THE DICTATOR—U.C. 245.
The great republic seek that glowed, sublime,
With the mixt freedom of a thousand states.—Thomson.
1. The regal power being overthrown, a republican form of government was substituted in its room. The senate, however, reserved by far the greatest share of the authority to themselves, and decorated their own body with all the spoils of deposed monarchy. The centuries of the people chose from among the senators, instead of a king, two annual magistrates, whom they called CONSULS, with power equal to that of the regal, and with the same privileges and the same ensigns of authority.
2. Brutus, the deliverer of his country, and Collati’nus, the husband of Lucre’tia, were chosen the first consuls in Rome.
3. But this new republic, however, which seemed so grateful to the people, had like to have been destroyed in its very commencement. A party was formed in favour of Tarquin. Some young men of the principal families in the state, who had been educated about the king, and had shared in all the luxuries and pleasures of the court, undertook to re-establish monarchy. 4. This party secretly increased every day; and what may create surprise, the sons of Bru’tus himself, and the Aqui’lii, the nephews of Collati’nus, were among the number, 5. Tarquin, who was informed of these intrigues in his favour, sent ambassadors from Etru’ria to Rome, under a pretence of reclaiming the estates of the exiles; but, in reality, with a design to give spirit to his faction. 6. The conspiracy was discovered by a slave who had accidentally hid himself in the room where the conspirators used to assemble. 7. Few situations could have been more terribly affecting than that of Bru’tus: a father placed as a judge upon the life and death of his own children, impelled by justice to condemn, and by nature to spare them. 8. The young men pleaded nothing for themselves; but, with conscious guilt, awaited their sentence in silence and agony. 9. The other judges who were present felt all the pangs of nature; Collati’nus wept, and Vale’rius could not repress his sentiments of pity. Brutus, alone, seemed to have lost all the softness of humanity; and, with a stern countenance and a tone of voice that marked his gloomy resolution, demanded of his sons if they could make any defence, to the crimes with which they had been charged. This demand he made three several times; but receiving no answer, he at length turned himself to the executioner: “Now,” cried he, “it is your part to perform the rest.” 10. Thus saying, he again resumed his seat with an air of determined majesty; nor could all the sentiments of paternal pity, the