The Baldwm Lbrary
STORY OF POMPEII.
WITH COLOURED FRONTISPIECE.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
AKew York: SCRIBNER, WELFORD, AND ARMSTRONG.
DALZIEL BROTHERS, CAMDEK PRESS, N.W.
UA POMPILIUS 20
TULLUS HOSTILIUS 27
ACU MATIUS 40
TARQUINIUS PRISCUS 43
SERVIUS TULLIUS 3.
TARQUINIUS SUPERB 69
IHE STORY OF POMPEII 88
IN former times the Roman people ruled over a large
portion of Europe and Asia, and a small part of
Africa. They were at first confined to one city, but
gradually conquering the surrounding nations, the
whole of Italy was subjected to their power; and
afterwards they extended their conquests to other
and distant countries. The city from which they
thus spread was in their own language, the Latin,
called Roma, which name it preserves to this day.
In English it is called Rome.
The city was founded about 2,600 years ago;
and the founder as well as the first king was Romu-
lus, from whom the city derived its name. Who
Romulus was, and what led to the building of the
city, we cannot say with certainty: for no written
accounts of that period have been preserved to us,
and the narratives of writers of a later period contain
so much fiction as to make it difficult to separate on
all occasions the credible history from the incredible
2 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Romulus, and his twin brother, Remus, were sup-
posed to be the grandsons of Numitor, the eldest son
of a king, who reigned over Alba, in that part of
Italy near which Rome was afterwards built. This
Numitor did not succeed his father in the kingdom
as he ought to have done, according to the custom of
the time, having been dispossessed by his younger
brother Amulius. When Romulus and Remus were
born, Amulius fearing lest they should one day
avenge the injustice of which he had been guilty
towards their grandfather, gave orders that they
should be destroyed.
In obedience to this command, a wooden trough was
prepared, in which the infants were laid. They were
then carried to the foot of Mount Palatine, and there
turned adrift upon the Tiber, which at that time
overflowed its banks and washed the bottom of the
mount. The little trough floated to some distance
down the river without accident; but, at length,
being carried against a stone, it was overset, and the
two brothers turned out on the strand.
Thus far, if the account be improbable, there is
nothing, at all events, impossible in it. The won-
derful part of the story comes next. The cries of
the infants drew towards them a she-wolf, by which
one would expect to learn that they had been soon
devoured. But, no! The wolf suckled them with
all the fondness and tenderness of a mother, and
thus preserved them from perishing by hunger and
cold, till they were picked up by Faustulus, the
chief of the king's shepherds, who brought them up
as his own.
When Romulus and Remus had grown up to
manhood, they became acquainted with the story of
their birth, exposure, and fortunate preservation,
which had hitherto been concealed from them. In-
dignant at the treatment which both they and their
grandfather had received, with the assistance of
their friends and neighbours, they attacked Amulius,
and putting him to death, placed Numitor upon the
throne of which he had been unjustly deprived.
Romulus and Remus were courageous and enter-
prising, and had great influence among the people of
their neighbourhood. When advised, therefore, by
their grandfather Numitor to build a city for them-
selves, they willingly consented; and they found no
difficulty in persuading a number of companions
sufficient for their purpose to join in the enterprise.
The land which they selected, and which was granted
to them by Numitor, was upon the banks of the Tiber.
The very spot where they had been carried by the
water, and the place where they had been afterwards
brought up, formed part of the grant.
The two brothers, however, could not even begin
their work without quarrelling. Romulus wished to
build upon Mount Palatine, and Remus upon Mount
4 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Aventine. Each had his followers. To settle their
dispute without fighting, for neither seemed inclined
to yield to the other, they agreed to have recourse to
The Greeks and Romans, and other ancient people,
thought that they could learn the will of their Gods,
and foretel future events, by the flights, cries, and
motions of birds, and by the appearance of the en-
trails of beasts: and the learning the will of their
Gods in this way is what they called Augury.
When the day appointed for the trial by augury
arrived, each brother, surrounded by a number of
witnesses, placed himself on his chosen hill, Remus
on Aventine, and Romulus on Palatine. Vultures
were the birds which it was agreed should decide the
affair. Whichever of the brothers should first see
any of these birds, or should see the greater number
of them, was to have the preference of choice. The
notion was, that vultures being very rare birds in
those parts, were sent by the Gods from foreign
countries to make known extraordinary events.
It is said that, when the two brothers had been
gazing for some time in the hope of seeing a favour-
able augury, Romulus, impatient at his want of
success, sent off a messenger to his brother, fraudu-
lently pretending that he had seen a flight. While
the messenger was on his way, Remus actually saw
six vultures. He ran, therefore, to Mount Palatine,
for the double purpose of announcing his own augury
and examining into the truth of his brother's story.
He had no sooner reached the Palatine hill, than
twelve vultures made their appearance to Romulus.
Hence arose another dispute. Remus was the first
to see a flight, but Romulus saw the more numerous
flight. Remus, besides, was enraged at his brother's
attempt to impose upon him. From words the two
parties proceeded to blows, and a general battle en-
sued. Romulus's party was victorious, and Remus
was among the slain.
According to some writers, Remus was not killed
on this occasion, but met his death at a later period,
while the new settlers were busily engaged in build-
ing the walls of their city. Romulus was superin-
tending the work, when Remus, in ridicule of the
performance, leaped backwards and forwards over
the walls; which so roused the anger of Romulus,
that he slew his brother on the spot.
Whichever of these accounts may be true, it seems
to be generally understood that Romulus had the
entire direction and control of the building of the
city; and the Palatine hill, as he had first intended,
was fixed upon as the spot. The ceremonies to be
performed were numerous. First, sacrifices were
offered to the Gods, each person according to his
means; and it was agreed that the eagle, a bird con-
sidered as sacred to Jupiter, should be the standard
6 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
of the city. They then kindled large fires before
their tents, through the flames of which they leaped,
in order to purify themselves. Next they dug a
trench round the place where they proposed to hold
the assemblies of the people; and into this trench
everybody flung a handful of earth, brought either
from the place of his birth, or from some place ad-
joining. After this, Romulus yoked a bull and a
cow to a plough, and marked out by a deep furrow
the whole compass of the city. These two animals
were afterwards sacrificed to the Gods. All the
people followed the plough, throwing inwards the
clods of earth which the ploughshare sometimes
turned outwards; and when they came to those
places where they intended to make the gates, they
took up the plough and carried it. The Latin word
for "gate" is "porta," from portare, to carry.
It was considered by the ancients that all the
ground through which the ploughshare passed when
they were marking out the walls of a city, was
sacred; and that it was the duty of all the citizens to
sacrifice everything, even their lives, in defence of
their walls. For the same reason, it was a crime to
break through the walls. But as the ploughshare
did not pass through the ground where the gates
were built, these were not sacred; so that people
were at liberty to go in and out for provisions and
The city, at first, consisted of aoout a thousand
poor huts, which had no upper stories, nor any kind
of ornament. The walls even of Romulus's house
were made of rushes, and it was covered with thatch.
There was no order; every man having built as
quickly as possible, and according to his own fancy,
so that the streets, if streets they could be called,
were narrow and crooked. The only rule that was
observed was to build within the walls, in order to
be protected from the incursions of warlike neigh-
bours. The land which had been granted by
Numitor to his grandsons and their followers was
not more than five or six miles in extent.
Although Rome, with its five or six miles of
territory, may appear to us very insignificant as an
independent community, we must bear in mind that
it was surrounded by other cities, also independent,
with territories attached to them of very little greater
extent. Europe in those days was not distributed,
as it is at present, into large communities, such as
France, Spain, Austria, Russia, &c. One city, or a
small number of cities, with a very limited quantity
of land attached, generally formed a separate and
independent community. Italy, in this way, at the
time when Rome was founded, contained a great
number of independent communities, and Rome was
like the rest of them, only somewhat smaller at the
8 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Having provided for their more pressing wants,
and secured themselves against enemies from without,
they proceeded to establish a government within, so
that they might live peaceably and orderly among
themselves. As Romulus was much respected for
his skill, industry and courage, he was fixed upon as
their chief or king. They also appointed a senate,
consisting of one hundred of the most aged and
experienced of their number. These one hundred
men were called Senators, from senex," the Latin
word for old." The principal business of the
senate was to advise with, and assist the king in
making laws, and in taking measures on all occasions
of difficulty. It was to be the office also of one of
their number to preside over the government when-
ever war, or any other business, should lead the
king away from the city.
The Romans had not been long in their newly-built
city when they were attacked by Acron, the king of
Coenina, one of the neighboring cities. This king
was very fond of war, and had signalised himself in
many battles. He began by laying waste the lands
of Rome. He came towards the city without much
precaution, thinking that it would be an easy matter
to conquer a handful of men in a half-fortified city.
He soon found, however, that he had a more for-
midable enemy to deal with than he had imagined.
The Romans did not shut themselves up within
their walls-they marched boldly forth, with Romu-
lus at their head, to defend their lands from this
aggression of the Caninenses.
When the two armies were close to one another,
the commanders, Romulus and Acron, according
to the frequent practice of those days, challenged
one another to single combat. Romulus, though
much younger and less experienced, slew his oppo-
nent, and stripped him of his armour. The death
of Acron was followed by the rout of the Ceninenses.
The Romans pursued them to their town, and
entering it with the runaways, took it without
In those days of violence and blood it would not
have been considered an act of extraordinary cruelty,
if Romulus had put his conquered enemy to the
sword; seeing that they had made a most unprovoked
attack upon his city. But he turned his victory to a
more judicious use. He spared their lives, and made
them his friends. He knew, besides, that Rome was
in want of inhabitants, and he thought that this
would be a favourable opportunity for supplying that
want. He destroyed Ccenina, therefore, and trans-
ported the inhabitants with all their moveable
property to Rome, where he placed them at once
on a footing of equality with the other citizens.
His return to Rome after this victory was, as may
be supposed, an occasion of great joy. It was cele-
Io THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
brated with a kind of pomp called a triumph. He
entered Rome on foot, with his troops marching, some
before and some behind him. His long hair flowed
upon his shoulders, and his head was crowned with
laurel. In his right hand he carried the trunk of a
small oak covered with the armour which he had
stripped from Acron. All the people came forth
from the city to meet the conqueror, singing his
praises. When he entered the city, he found tables
with wine and other refreshments spread in the
streets before the houses for him and his army. In
the same order in which he entered the city, he
proceeded to the hill Saturnius, where, after the
ceremony was over, he built a small temple; and
here the triumphant, victor deposited his trophy,
consecrating it and the temple to Jupiter.
Not long after this Romulus subdued the Antem-
nates and the Crustumini, who were preparing to
attack the city. He transplanted the inhabitants of
these two cities to Rome, where they were admitted
to all the privileges of Roman citizenship. Colonies
of Romans were sent to Antemnce and Crustuminum
to supply their place. This conduct of Romulus in
sparing the lives of his vanquished enemies gained
for him such a reputation for clemency, that several
cities of Etruria voluntarily submitted to his autho-
rity, wishing to be admitted as a part of the Roman
community. Coelius, one of the principal men of
Etruria, actually came to Rome with a large number
of followers, and settled near the city on a hill,
which from him took the name of Mount Ccelius.
Rome was now spreading far beyond the hill
Palatinus, to which it had been originally confined.
The Romans built a citadel upon the hill Saturnius,
or, as it was afterwards called, the Capitol; and they
likewise built a wall from this hill to the river Tiber,
with a gate in it, which they called the Carmentalis.
The next contest in which the Romans engaged
was more formidable than any of the preceding.
A dispute occurred between them and the Sabines,
concerning the origin of which ancient writers do not
exactly agree. It is generally supposed to have been
caused by an act of violence on the part of the
Romans, who, having appointed a grand festival with
all kinds of games, invited the Sabines to attend
them. The design of the Romans, in instituting
these games, was merely to draw the Sabines together
into their city, that they might have an opportunity
of carrying off the young women, who would of
course form part of the company. The Sabines
attended the festival, as was expected, and the
Romans, in the midst of the sports, rushing in
upon them with their drawn swords, put the men
to flight and seized upon their daughters.
Whether to revenge this, or some other act of
violence or injustice, the Sabines, commanded by
12 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
their king Tatius, marched against Rome, and en-
camped at the foot of the hill Saturnius, in that
plain which was afterwards called the Campus
Romulus posted his army on the hills Esquilinus
and Quirinalis. Tatius seeing the Romans so well
on their guard, was long uncertain what course to
pursue, his enemy having greatly the advantage of
position. In this uncertainty he had the good
fortune to gain possession of the citadel by the
treachery of Tarpeia, the daughter of the governor.
She opened one of the gates during the night, and
allowed the Sabine soldiers to enter.
After this act of treachery the hill Saturnius was
called Tarpeius, which name it retained till it got
that of Capitolinus, from the head (caput) of one
Tolus which was found there when some workmen
were digging to lay the foundations of a temple to
The contest between the Romans and Sabines was
long carried on with doubtful success, each admiring
the bravery of the other, and each despairing of
being able to conquer. At last they agreed to a
treaty of peace, according to which both Tatius and
Romulus were to reside at Rome, with equal power,
and such of the Sabines as chose were to be at liberty
to settle there also. As many of the Sabines availed
themselves of this liberty, the Roman power was
greatly increased. It was also agreed that one
hundred senators, chosen from the Sabines, should
form part of the senate of Rome, thus making the
total number of senators two hundred. The name
of the city, Roma, was preserved, but henceforward
the citizens were called Quirites, from Cures, the
principal city of the Sabines, as well as Romanz.
For five years the two kings lived together in
surprising harmony; Romulus residing on the hill
Palatinus, and Tatius on the hill Tarpeius. The
space between these two hills became a common
market-place for the united nations; and they gave
it the name of Forum, which it retained ever after-
wards, and there they also held their assemblies for
The union of the two nations soon produced a
mixture of manners, customs, and religion. The
Romans adopted the Sabine gods, and Tatius built
temples to the Sun, the Moon, Saturn, Rhea, Vesta,
Vulcan, Diana, and Mars.
An act of gross partiality and injustice on the part
of Tatius at last disturbed this happy state of har-
mony, and cost him his life. Some of the Sabines
who had lately become citizens of Rome made an
inroad into the territory of the Lavinians, a neigh-
bouring people, and committed great depredations.
The Lavinians sent to Rome to demand satisfaction.
Romulus wished to give up the aggressors to the
14 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
injured party; but Tatius interposed, and the mes-
sengers were dismissed unsatisfied. Something yet
worse than this followed; for the messengers were
waylaid on their return, and murdered by the very
robbers of whom they had come to complain. When
the Lavinians renewed their complaints, Romulus, of
his own authority, gave up the murderers to them.
Tatius, looking upon this as an affront, put him-
self at the head of some armed men, pursued the
Lavinians, and rescued the murderers out of their
The Lavinians, not having sufficient strength to
resist so powerful a king, were obliged to submit
to this injustice for the time; but they determined to
avail themselves of the first opportunity that offered
to punish Tatius. They had not to wait long; for,
shortly afterwards, Tatius, heedless of the wrongs
which he had inflicted, and unsuspicious of danger,
went to Lavinium with Romulus, according to the
custom of the time, to offer sacrifices to particular
On this occasion, the friends and relations of the
messengers who had been murdered fell upon him,
and put him to death with the priests' knives and
the spits used for roasting the victims. To Romulus
they did no violence, but conducted him out of the
city with shouts of praise.
Thus Romulus was once more sole king of Rome.
The jealousies of neighboring nations and his own
desire to extend the territory and power of the city
over which he ruled, led him into three more con-
siderable wars, from all of which, with his usual
good fortune, he returned victorious. The first was
with the Camerini, whose city Camerium he took.
The battle with them was very bloody, 6,000 of the
enemy being left dead on the field of battle. For
the victory over them Romulus had the honour of a
triumph. The second was with the Fidenates, whose
city he also took. The third was with the Veientes,
a more powerful people. Even they, after they had
been twice defeated in battle, were glad to sue for
peace. The last victory over the Veientes occasioned
much rejoicing in Rome; and Romulus was again
honoured with a triumph.
During the remainder of Romulus's life, the
Romans carried on no more wars with their neigh-
bours. While at peace they did not, it is true, add
to their territory by robbing others; but they did
what was much better, they cultivated the territory
which they had already acquired, making it fertile
by their labour. For what advantage is there in
the greatest extent of territory, if it be left desert
and untilled? And what inducement have men to
plough and sow, if the inroad of a neighboring
nation is to rob them of the crop when ripe for the
sickle? They employed themselves, also, in orna-
16 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
meeting and improving the city, and in adding to
the comforts and conveniences of their houses.
In the midst of this peace and happiness, disputes
arose between Romulus and the senate. The senators
accused Romulus of disregarding their opinions, and
of governing the city by his own authority. There
is reason to suppose, however, that the senators,
who were chosen from among the rich and powerful
families, were dissatisfied at not being able to have
everything so much their own way as they wanted.
What leads to this suspicion is, that the senators, in
addition to their other complaints, accused Romulus
of dividing some of the conquered lands among his
soldiers without consulting them. There must have
been something more than the mere displeasure at
the slight put upon them, to induce them to conspire,
as they did, to destroy him. They were probably
covetous, rich as they were, of the lands that had
been allotted by Romulus to the soldiers as a reward
for their valour.
Be this as it may, they soon found an opportunity
for putting him to death. Different accounts have
been given as to the means by which this act of
violence was accomplished. The following appears
to be the most probable among them:-
There was a review of the troops outside the city,
at which Romulus and also the senators attended.
On a sudden, a severe storm of hail and thunder
came upon them. The soldiers dispersed; and the
senators being thus left alone with Romulus, thought
this a favourable opportunity to execute their design.
Accordingly, they fell upon him, and, having put
him to death, conveyed his dead body out of the
way without delay. It is even said that, the better
to conceal the crime which they had committed, they
cut him to pieces; and each senator conveyed away
a piece under his robe.
But what was to be said to the people and sol-
diers with whom Romulus was so great a favourite?
They would naturally make inquiry concerning him.
This difficulty had not been overlooked by the
senators. To cover a crime of violence, they fol-
lowed it up by one of fraud. They pretended to the
people that, in the midst of the storm, Romulus had
been surrounded with flame, and snatched up in it
from earth to heaven.
Most of the people were credulous enough to be
imposed upon by this story, which made the founder
of their city a god. But there were some with more
penetration, who entertained suspicions which were
not quieted by this impudent fabrication. To these
people the senators became quite odious. For the
purpose of appeasing their wrath, which might have
proved dangerous, the senators determined to follow
up their first piece of invention by a second, which
should confirm it beyond all doubt.
r8 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Julius Proculus, one of their own body, a man
much considered among the people for his supposed
probity, and who besides had always been believed
to be a friend to Romulus, was prevailed upon by
his brother senators to act the principal part in this
second piece of delusion.
One day, when the people were assembled in the
Forum, he made his appearance there, and told them
the following story, which he declared to be strictly
true:-That as he was travelling along, Romulus
suddenly appeared to him-similar in countenance
to what he had known him, but taller in stature;
taller, indeed, than any man, and his armour cast a
dazzling brightness. The apparition filled him with
religious awe, and he addressed himself to it in
Wherefore, O king, and for what crime of ours,
have you thus exposed us to the most unjust and
grievous suspicions? Why have you so suddenly
forsaken a city which by your absence is plunged
into the deepest sorrow?"
To which Romulus answered:
It pleased the Gods, 0 Proculus, that I should
continue among mortals till I had put Rome into a
condition of rising to the highest pitch of power
and glory, and that I should then return to heaven
from which I originally came. Go, therefore, and
admonish my Romans to love temperance and war-
like exercises; for it is by them that they will one
day become masters of the world."
This fable, averred for truth by a man believed
to be sincere and honest, while it flattered their
vanity, removed also their suspicions. At least, if
tnere were any persons among them capable of see-
ing through the delusion, they considered it prudent
to conceal their incredulity. The people were
transported with joy. Divine honours were decreed
to the new deity; and the senate consented to make
a god of him whom they could not endure for a king.
Such was the end of Romulus in the thirty-
seventh year from the building of Rome. He pre-
sided at the foundation. It was at first but a
miserable village. He left it a populous and
powerful city. It attained its importance princi-
pally through his able management-his industry
and perseverance in the internal business of the
city-his prudence and good judgment in council-
and his skill and valour in the field of battle.
UPON the death of Romulus, Rome remained for
some time without a king. The cause of this delay
in appointing a successor to him cannot be stated
with certainty. The newly-united Romans and
Sabines, it is said, could not agree out of which
of the two people a king should be chosen. The
Romans claimed the preference, as being the
founders of the city. The Sabines, on the other
hand, demanded that as they had submitted to the
sole government of Romulus, so the Romans should
now, in their turn, submit to a Sabine king.
Until another king could be agreed upon, the
duties of the office were performed by the senators;
each enjoying the distinction regularly one after the
other. When we couple this circumstance with the
manner of Romulus' death, the suspicion is forced
upon us, that the delay in naming a king may have
been caused by the senators, in their eagerness to
retain the supreme authority in their own hands.
This sort of government, which was called inter-
regnum, lasted about a year. By that time the
dislike of both Romans and Sabines to the govern-
ment of the senate was at least as great as the dis-
like of either of these two nations to the dictation
of the other. They became clamorous for a king,
and the senators wisely judged it expedient to yield
to their demands. The people were summoned to
assemble, and were thus addressed by the Interrex,
for that is the name by which the senator in com-
mand was designated,
Romans, elect yourselves a king; the senate
give their consent; and if you choose a prince
worthy to succeed Romulus, the senate will confirm
The people, pleased with this conciliatory conduct
on the part of the senate, acted also with great for-
bearance; agreeing to elect the king that should be
recommended to them by the senate. The dispute
between the two nations was settled in an equally
amicable manner; the right of choice being given
to the Romans, while the king was to be chosen
from among the Sabines.
There appears to have been at this time among
the Sabines a man in universal esteem, by name
Numa Pompilius; and as the choice fell upon him,
all parties were satisfied. Numa was at first reluc-
tant to quit his retirement, and take upon himself
the task of government; but he at length yielded
to the united entreaties of Sabines and Romans,
22 TIE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
After he had consented, and when the robes of office
were brought to him, he would not clothe himself in
them, however, till he had consulted the will of the
gods by augury.
He was conducted in great state to the top of the
hill Tarpeius: there he seated himself upon a stone,
with his face to the south, and his head covered with
a veil. The chief priest or augur stood behind him;
and stretching his right hand over the king's head,
turned himself to the east, and prayed. Then gazing
around to discover a favourable omen, he saw some
birds which were presumed to be fortunate; and
this was sufficient.
During Numa's reign, the Romans remained at
peace with all their neighbours. He thought it both
more wise, and more just to gain the affections, than
to subdue the cities of those who were not so power-
ful as himself.
The Temple of Janus was ordered by him always
to be kept shut in time of peace, and open in time of
war. As long as he reigned, therefore, in obedience
to this regulation, it remained closed. The God Janus
was supposed to have two faces; and the image of
him in his temple was fashioned accordingly. Having
two faces, he was able, of course, to look backwards
and forwards at the same time. Numa paid parti-
cular respect to this god, and wished the Romans to
do the same; advising them to follow the example of
NUMA POMPILIUS. 23
the God, and to look backwards and forwards, and
consider well the consequences of war, before they
engaged in acts of hostility with their neighbours.
The peaceableness of Numa's disposition, if there
were nothing else to recommend him, would be quite
sufficient to raise him in our estimation far above the
war-loving men of those times. His regulations for
the worship of the gods, strange and fantastical as
they were, must be excused, as being the result of
the ignorance and superstition then prevalent, and in
which he participated. But even in these he intro-
duced some improvements. He prohibited all bloody
sacrifices, and directed that in future the sacrifices to
the gods should consist of bread and meal, wine and
He added, it must be allowed, very largely to the
number of superstitious observances. In the eighth
year of his reign there was a pestilence throughout
Italy, which was severely felt in Rome. Fear in-
creasing the superstition of the people, Numa took
advantage of it to promote his views with regard
to religion. He either pretended, or believed him-
self to be in perpetual communication with the gods,
more particularly with the goddess Egeria. On
the occasion of this pestilence, he made the people
believe that a shield of extraordinary shape had
fallen down from heaven to him, and that the god-
dess Egeria had made her appearance to him, and
24 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
said, "Preserve this shield with the utmost care, for
upon it depend the health and prosperity of Rome."
He also made them believe that the goddess Egeria
had advised hirm to order eleven more shields, to be
made by a skilful workman, resembling in all re-
spects the one sent from heaven. "Do this," she
was reported to have said, "for by increasing the
number, there is less risk of your losing the actual
present from the gods, and with it, the health and
prosperity of Rome."
Twelve young men chosen from rich families were
appointed to be the keepers of these shields, which
were hung up in the temple of Mars. The keepers
were called Salii, from "salire," the Latin word for
"to dance;" it being part of their office to celebrate
annually, by public dancing, the descent of the mira-
But this thriving city of Rome was not to be
preserved by the mere keeping of a shield; it was
necessary, besides, to keep a fire constantly burning in
the temple of one of their many goddesses, by name
Vesta. It was made the especial duty of four young
women to keep up this fire day and night, without
intermission. Approaching ruin, it was supposed,
would be the necessary consequence of allowing this
fire to go out; and the young women who kept it
knew well that they would be severely punished,
should an accident so much dreaded be occasioned
by their negligence. The fire was never to be re
lighted from any other fire, but only from the rays
of the sun, or the rubbing together of two pieces
Fortunate was it for the Romans, that they did
not altogether rely for their preservation upon these
superstitious observances and practices. They pos-
sessed industry, courage, and perseverance; and by
these virtues, not by keeping a shield, or watching a
fire, did they gradually advance in wealth, know-
ledge, and power.
We must not suppose, however, that Numa did
no more than establish vain rites and ceremonies
among the citizens; he really conferred substantial
benefits upon them. Jealousy still existed between
the Romans and Sabines when he began his reign;
but by his management, at once kind and judicious,
and strict and impartial, he gradually accustomed
them to forget their differences, and thus really to
become in all respects one people.
His reputation for justice was so firmly esta-
blished, that his advice and assistance were frequently
applied for by neighboring nations. Confiding in
his impartiality, they preferred to submit their dis-
putes, like rational beings, to his judgment, rather
than to settle them, like beasts of prey, by a trial of
Thus Numa lived surrounded by friends, having
26 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
never mixed himself with deeds of injustice or vio-
lence. There was no necessity to make any mystery
of his death, as had been done with that of Romulus.
He died at an advanced age, after having reigned
forty-three years. He had made a regulation, with
a view to the health of the citizens, that no dead
body should be buried within the city; and, in com-
pliance with this rule, his body was transported to
the foot of the Janiculum, across the Tiber. Senators
were proud of the honour of carrying the body, and
it was followed by a crowd of people, who bewailed
their loss with tears.
THE third king of Rome was Tullus Hostilius. He
succeeded to Numa Pompilius, eighty-two years after
the foundation of the city, having been unanimously
chosen by people and senate.
The temple of Janus did not long continue shut
after he had begun his reign. He is represented to
have been of a very warlike disposition. A man of
the name of Cluilius had at this time the direction
of affairs in Alba, and he also was fond of war.
The citizens of both states soon felt the ill effects of
this mischievous propensity in their rulers.
It is not always an easy matter to make out which
of two quarrelsome or warlike people is in the wrong;
nor can we say, at this distance of time, whether the
Romans or the Albans were the aggressors. It is not
improbable that, had Numa been alive, the Romans
would have continued at peace with their neighbours.
But quarrelsome people soon find somebody to quarrel
with. And thus it was with the quarrelsome Tullus
The war appears to have begun in this way. About
the same time the Alban lands were ravaged by some
28 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
of the Romans, and the Roman lands by some of the
Albans. The rulers of both countries, although in-
dulgent enough to the robberies and destruction per-
petrated by their own citizens in their neighbours'
country, were vastly indignant at the very same
offences committed by their neighbours against them-
Cluilius prevailed upon his countrymen to send an
embassy to the Romans to demand satisfaction; and, in
case they should refuse it, to declare war against
them. As Tullus Hostilius was determined not to
give satisfaction, but was desirous also that the
Albans should appear to be in the wrong, he had
recourse to a stratagem. When the Alban ambas-
sadors arrived at Rome, Tullus, guessing at the
purpose of their coming, resolved so to contrive
things that he should be the first to demand satis-
faction, not doubting that the Albans would refuse,
and thus make themselves appear to be the aggres-
It will be remembered that the original inhabitants
of Rome came from Alba. On this account Alba was
considered as the mother state; and the prevailing
feeling among the inhabitants of both states was to
live peaceably with one another. The two rulers
felt differently. They longed to be at war. Their
only anxiety was, while preparing for war, to appear
desirous of remaining at peace.
TULLUS HOSTILIUS. 29
An agreement between the two nations had sub-
sisted from the beginning, that they should never
make war with one another, till satisfaction for the
wrong sustained on either side had been demanded
in a friendly manner, and refused. It was in com-
pliance with this agreement that Cluilius had hastened
the departure of his ambassadors. But Tullus was
as artful as he, and on various pretences deferred
giving them an audience. He contrived to have them
so agreeably entertained in the house where they
lodged, that they were not particularly eager to
press forward the business upon which they had
In the meantime, Tullus sent an embassy to the
Albans with orders to require satisfaction on the part
of the Roman people, and to press forward the con-
clusion of the affair without delay. A Fecialis, an
officer of religion among the Romans, was at the
head of their ambassadors, who, setting off before
sunrise, reached Alba the same morning.
They found Cluilius in the forum, and there exe-
cuted their commission, reminding him of the old-
established agreement. Cluilius answered indig-
It is you alone who violate the treaty; my part
has been already performed; I have sent ambas-
sadors to your king, but to no effect; and I, there-
fore, declare war against you."
30 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
The Fecialis then asked him, whether that king of
the two who first refused to hear the other's com-
plaints, ought not to be deemed guilty of the first act
of hostility? And upon Cluilius answering, "'With-
out doubt," the other invoked the gods to attest that
the Alban king was the first violator of it. After
which he and the ambassadors instantly took their
leave, and set out for Rome.
Upon their arrival, Tullus, pleased with the suc-
cess of his scheming, sent for the Alban ambassadors,
and, receiving them in an obliging manner, listened
patiently to their demand for satisfaction. He then
dismissed them, saying, Go, tell your king that
the King of Rome calls the gods to witness which
of the two nations did first refuse satisfaction to the
The Roman Fecialis had given Cluilius thirty days
to consider of the means to prevent hostilities. Tais
time was employed on both sides in making prepara-
tions for war. At length both armies took the field.
Cluilius pitched his camp five miles from Rome, and
fortified it with a deep ditch. The ditch remained
long afterwards, and was called fossa Cluilia (fossa
being the Latin for ditch). Tullus posted his army
on an advantageous ground, within view of the
The two armies, when in sight of one another,
showed no great eagerness to fight. They both kept
TULLUS HOSTILIUS. 31
within their entrenchments. The Albans began to
murmur against their commander, thinking, perhaps,
that he had needlessly brought them into danger and
difficulty. And one morning Cluilius was found dead
in his tent, but how he came by his death is not posi-
Upon the death of Cluilius, the Albans made
Metius Suffetius their general. He endeavoured
to bring about a reconciliation between the con-
tending nations, and Tullus did not refuse to
listen to his overtures. We must not be surprised
that the two generals were thus amicably disposed;
for advice had been received that the Fidenates and
Veientes were looking on, and only waited an oppor-
tunity of falling upon both armies to destroy them,
so soon as they had weakened one another suffi-
ciently. The reconciliation, however, was not
effected, the two generals not being able to agree
upon terms. Tullus, in despair, offered to decide
the dispute by single combat with Suffetius. To
this Suffetius would not consent. At last it was
arranged that three warriors should be chosen on
each side, and that the result of the conflict between
these six warriors should determine which of the two
nations should submit to the other.
When the conditions of the agreement between
the generals were made known to the two armies,
all the young men on both sides were eager for
32 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
the honour of being chosen to fight their country's
battle. The conduct of Suffetius must strike every
body as highly disgraceful. He was too much of a
coward to risk his own life, but could propose that
the lives of three should be risked; and what is still
worse, he actually contrived that these three should
fight against their own near relatives.
An Alban named Curiatius, and a Roman named
Horatius, had married two sisters; and they each
had three sons of exactly the same age. It so hap-
pened that the three Horatii were in the Roman
army, and the three Curiatii in the Alban army;
and previous to this war the young cousins had been
very intimate, and much attached to one another.
They were all remarkable for their strength and
dexterity in fighting. Suffetius fixed upon the
three Curiatii, and he exhorted Tullus to fix upon
their cousins the Horatii, pretending that the Gods
evidently pointed them out as the proper persons to
settle the dispute between the two nations. Tullus
proposed the matter to Horatius, the father of the
three young Romans, and he gave his sons permission
to follow their own inclination. "Act," said he to
them, as if I were not living."
"Father," said they to him in reply, "we will
follow the example of the Curiatii. We prefer a
glorious death or an important victory to an in-
glorious life." Horatius, on hearing this answer,
lifted up his eyes to heaven, and embracing his
sons, cried out, "I am a happy father."
When the day appointed for the combat came,
Tullus led the Horatii, and Suffetius the Curiatii,
into the plain between the camps; where the two
kings, attended by their Feciales, concluded the
treaty in form.
The Feciales on each side chose one of their own
body to act the principal part in the ceremony. It
was a rule that the Fecialis so appointed should
be the father of a family, and that his father should
also be living. From this circumstance he was
named "Pater patratus," that is, "father having a
On this occasion the Pater patratus of the Romans,
having read the treaty in a loud voice, concluded as
follows: "Hear, 0 Jupiter hear, O Pater patratus
of the Alban people! hear, O Alban people! of these
articles, as I have just now read them out of these
waxed tablets, without fraud or deceit, and as they
have been from one end to the other clearly under-
stood, the Roman people will never be the first
violators. If they should violate them by public
authority and by fraud, may Jupiter at that instant
strike them, as I shall now strike this hog! May
thy stroke, great Jupiter, be as much heavier as
thy power is greater!" At these words he killed
the hog by a blow on the head with a flint. The
34 TUE SEVEN KINGS OF ROMIE.
Pater patratus of the Albans then took a similar
oath, and offered up a similar sacrifice.
With this barbarous and foolish ceremonial was
introduced the cruel and atrocious performance of
which we must now give an account.
No sooner were the ceremonies ended, than the
Roman and Alban champions advanced with a slow
pace, each to meet his adversary. But instead of
engaging, as was expected, in a fierce encounter,
they threw down their arms, and with tears in their
eyes flew to embrace each other. The spectators,
moved at this sight, began to murmur at their
kings, who had engaged friends so warmly attached
to one another in so cruel a combat. The scene,
however, was quickly changed. The cousins re-
sumed their arms, and the triple combat began.
For a long time the battle was carried on with
equal success. The two armies, watching with
breathless anxiety, could discern no superiority on
either side. At length one of the Horatii received
a mortal wound, and fell. A second of the Roman
champions had the same fate. The Alban army,
hereupon, gave a loud shout, while consternation
and despair spread through the Roman camp. The
Roman cause, however, was not yet lost; for while
all the Curiatii were wounded, the remaining
Horatius was unhurt and undaunted. But what
added to the despair of the Romans, was the sight
of their remaining champion flying from the three
Curiatii. They were not aware that this was a
stratagem on his part to separate his antagonists.
The Curiatii pursued him as quickly as their
strength would admit; and the least hurt among
them was soon far in advance of his brothers. Upon
him Horatius turned suddenly, and slew him. He
then flew to the next and at one stroke cut off his
arms, and afterwards ran him through the body.
The third, grievously wounded, was by this time
quite worn out. He could scarcely support himself.
Horatius struck him on the throat, crying out, To
the glory of Rome I sacrifice thee !" and, elated with
victory, he seized the spoils of the vanquished.
Glory of Rome, indeed! Disgrace of Rome!
infamy of Rome! would be more appropriate ex-
pressions for so outrageous a deed! No sensible
person can read any portion of the history of this
contest with feelings of satisfaction. The origin of
the war, the nature of the combat, the relationship
of the combatants, the religious ceremony, the shout,
or more properly the yell, of the Albans at their
supposed victory, and the outrageous cruelty of the
surviving Horatius in the inhuman butchery of his
unresisting enemy, are alike proofs of the ignorance,
the superstition, and the barbarousness, of the people
among whom such acts could be tolerated.
But, in the opinion of these barbarous people, the
36 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
superiority of Rome over her mother Alba was thus
To add to our horror of the conduct of Horatius,
a still greater act of atrocity was committed by him
almost immediately after the combat. One of his
sisters had been engaged in marriage to one of the
Curiatii, to whom she was much attached. No
sooner had she heard of the intended battle, than,
anxious to learn the fate of one so dear to her, she
ran from the city to make inquiry.
On her way she met her brother Horatius, loaded
with the spoils of his vanquished relative; and, among
other things, with a robe that she had wrought with
her own hands for her intended husband. In an
agony of grief at this distressing sight, and forget-
ting for the moment all other considerations, she
reproached her brother with the bitterest expressions
for his inhuman conduct. Instead of excusing, as he
ought, this burst of passion, and pitying his sister's
distracted condition, his rage exceeded all bounds;
he stabbed her with his sword on the spot, and,
without a moment's delay, proceeded to their com-
mon father's house. Horrible to relate, the father
approved of the deed, and the people sympathized
with the murderer !
The hostile intentions of the Fidenates during this
war with the Albans were not forgotten by Tullus,
and he determined tc punish them. First, however,
he called upon them to answer for their conduct.
This they refused to do, but joined themselves to the
Veientes, and took the field. Suffetius, in obedience
to the commands of Tullus, brought his troops, it is
true, to the assistance of the Romans, but he secretly
meditated to desert them as soon as he could do so
with safety; and he made known his design to the
officers of his army, by whom it was approved.
Accordingly, just before the battle began, he retired
with the Albans to a neighboring hill, there to
watch on which side victory should declare itself,
and then to assist the conqueror. When Tullus had
notice of this desertion, he was greatly distressed,
but lie preserved his presence of mind; and, in order
to keep up the courage of his men, he pretended
that Suffetius had moved to the hill by his orders.
He then attacked the Fidenates with great vigour,
and put them to the rout. No sooner did Suffetius
perceive the favourable turn that the battle was
taking for the Romans, than he joined in the pursuit
of the runaways.
Tullus's vengeance for this piece of treachery was
signal. Feigning not to be aware of it, he went
privately during the night to Rome to consult with
the senate, and returned to the camp before the
break of day. He instantly despatched a chosen
band to go and demolish Alba, and, during their
absence, he ordered the troops, both Roman and
38 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME,
Alban, to attend him unarmed, but with secret in-
structions to the Romans to bring their swords under
their garments. When they were all assembled, he
made a speech to them, in which he made known
to them the perfidious conduct of Suffetius; and,
at the conclusion of it, ordered that he should be
fastened to two chariots, and torn asunder by driving
the horses different ways. Such of the Albans as
were accomplices were put to the sword, and the
remaining Albans were transplanted to Rome, and
placed on a footing with the other citizens.
This increase of inhabitants made it necessary to
enlarge the bounds of the city. For this purpose
Tullus took in Mount Coelius, and most of the new
citizens built themselves houses upon it, as did also
Tullus afterwards completed the subjugation of
the Fidenates, and was honoured with a triumph.
His reign was a succession of wars. He fought with
the Sabines and Latins; but his victories over these
nations offer nothing remarkable.
His death was by fire. He and his whole family
perished together in his palace. Some supposed that
he was engaged in the performance of a magical
sacrifice in order to raise Jupiter Elicius; and that,
omitting some parts of the sacred ceremonies, the
god, in a rage, set his palace on fire by lightning.
To understand this supposition, a little explanation
TULLUS HOSTILIUS. 39
is necessary. Among other strange fancies or super-
stitions that prevailed with the Romans, was that of
the possibility of forcing this pretended god, Jupiter,
to appear before them. If certain ceremonies were
performed, the god was compelled to obey; but, if
they were neglected, he became outrageous in his
revenge. In one case he was a docile slave, in the
other an implacable tyrant. In the latter character
it was that he dealt with Tullus.
Others, less influenced by superstition, were of
opinion that he and his family, when met together
to sacrifice, were murdered by Ancus Marcius, his
successor, who afterwards set fire to the palace to
conceal the crime.
Tullus Hostilius died in the 33rd year of his
reign, 114 years' after the foundation of Rome.
SHORTLY after the death of Tullus Hostilius, Ancus
Martius, the grandson of Numa Pompilius, was
One of the first events of his reign was a war with
the Latins, which he conducted with success. He
began by marching upon Politorium, and took it by
surprise. He neither shed blood nor destroyed the
city, but transplanted the inhabitants to Rome. He
acted in a similar way with two other cities of Latium,
Tellena and Ficana. Their citizens he settled on
the hill Aventinus.
After this the war became more destructive, for
the Latins came and repeopled their empty cities;
and then Ancus besieged and totally destroyed them.
The siege of Medulia, another Latin city, was a
more arduous task. He returned to the attack for
four years in succession. Having at length taken the
city, he gave it up to be plundered by his troops.
The Latins, in no way discouraged, appeared in
the field; but, having been defeated in one pitched
battle, they were afraid to hazard another. They
adopted a new plan. Dividing their army into
numerous small parties, they made incursions from
time to time into the Roman territories. Ancus,
to protect the Romans, distributed his army in a
similar manner; and, entrusting the command of it
to Tarquinius, a stranger lately arrived from Etruria,
he returned to Rome.
Here he employed himself in a different kind of
work, for under his direction Rome was considerably
enlarged and improved. The hill Aventinus was sur-
rounded by a wall, and a similar defence was carried
round the Janiculum on the other side of the river.
This was the beginning of the buildings on the north-
west side of the Tiber. Ancus resolved to form on
this hill a kind of citadel; and he built a bridge
over the river to unite this citadel with the other
part of the city. This bridge, which he called Sub-
licius, is the first in Italy of which we find any
mention to be made by ancient writers.
Another defence was also provided for the city by
his direction. He had observed that Rome lay open
to surprises from an enemy, in those places where
the ground was low and flat; and he caused a ditch,
both wide and deep, to be dug there. All the people
were employed in making this ditch, for which reason
it was ever after called Fossa Quiritium (ditch of
the Quirites or Romans.)
When these works had been completed, Ancus
again engaged in war with his neighbours. He be-
42 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
sieged Fidena, and took it by sap. As far as we
can learn, he appears to be the first Roman general
that made use of this means of attack. Ancus was
probably led to think of this contrivance by the dif-
ficulties which he had met with in the siege of
Medulia, to which he had been obliged to return for
four years in succession. When the weaker of two
armies retired behind the walls of a city, it was very
difficult for the stronger army to conquer the other
by storming the city. But as the weaker army
would not dare to venture outside their walls, it was
a safe, although a laborious undertaking, for the
stronger or besieging army to dig a communication
from without, under the walls, and so penetrate into
the city. When cities were taken in this way, they
were said to be taken by sap.
The numerous other wars in which Ancus was
engaged are not deserving of any particular notice.
During some of the short intervals which occurred
between them, he founded Ostia, at the mouth of the
Tiber; and he dug salt pits on the sea-shore, that the
inhabitants of Rome might be abundantly supplied
with salt. His reign lasted twenty-four years. How
he met with his death, whether by violence or other-
wise, cannot be stated with certainty. It took place
in the 130th year of Rome.
A MERCHANT of Corinth, by name Damaratus, had
retired from his native city to Tarquinii, one of the
most considerable cities of Etruria. When lie died,
his son Lucumo succeeded to his property. Lucumo
married a woman of the name of Tanaquil; and,
disliking the seclusion of Tarquinii, he came to settle
at Rome, where he changed his name to Lucius Tar-
quinius. He is the stranger mentioned in the pre-
ceding reign, to whom the command of the Roman
army was entrusted by Ancus; and he was soon
distinguished among the other citizens by his military
exploits and his obliging manners.
He was so general a favourite that, upon the death
of Ancus Martius, he was chosen king.
His first employment, after succeeding to the
throne, was to carry on war. No sooner was Ancus
dead, than the people in alliance with Rome fancied
all their treaties and engagements at an end. The
Latins more particularly, jealous of the growing
greatness of Rome, thought this a favourable oppor-
tunity to struggle for superiority. After repeated
battles, however, the Romans, under the command of
- -i In I a
44 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Tarquin, conquered all their enemies, who were glad
to sue for a renewal of the treaties that they had
chosen to forfeit.
Tarquin was honoured with a triumph for guiding
the Roman State successfully through such difficulties
and dangers. At this time he commenced the build-
ing of the Circus, wishing to provide the Romans
with a place conveniently adapted for the celebration
of their games. The site which he selected for it,
was the valley between the Palatine and Aventine
hills. Its extent was such that one hundred and fifty
thousand men could sit in it with ease. He also
engaged in other works for the improvement of the
The period of peace, during which he had leisure
to occupy himself in these useful pursuits, was of
short duration. He was soon engaged in war once
more, first with the Etrurians, and afterwards with
the Sabines; and they were enemies sufficiently
powerful to make it a matter of doubt whether
they or the Romans would in the end be masters.
From the building of Rome up to this time, the
Romans had never had more than three troops of
cavalry. But Tarquin became sensible, in the course
of his battles with the Etrurians and Sabines, that he
stood greatly in need of some increase to this kind of
force. Owing to his want of cavalry, he had fre-
quently lost the advantage of a victory, from not
TARQUINIUS PRISCUS. 45
being able to pursue his vanquished enemy. He
determined, therefore, to form some new troops of
knights, in addition to the three that he had already.
This intention to raise a larger force of cavalry
appears to have occasioned a dispute between Tar-
quin and the augurs, and gave rise to a story which,
by many people, was long believed to be true. The
only effect that such stories can have upon better in-
formed persons must be to make them cautious in
placing reliance upon any part of the narratives of
writers who can countenance such monstrous fictions.
The story is as follows:
When Tarquin found that the augurs were ear-
nestly bent upon opposing his designs, he summoned
Attius Navius, the chief of the augurs, into his pre-
sence, resolved to shame and expose him before all
As soon as Navius appeared in the forum, and in
the midst of the people, Tarquin said to him:
" Augur, canst thou discover by thy art whether
what I am thinking of can be done or not? Go and
consult thy birds."
The augur went, as the king directed him; and as
soon as he had observed a flight of birds, he returned
to the forum, and said: "Yes, Tarquin, my art tells
me that what you are thinking of may be done." Upon
this, Tarquin pulled out a razor from under his robe,
and taking a flint in his hand, thus replied to the
46 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
augur with a contemptuous smile: I was thinking
whether it were possible to cut this flint with this
razor. I have taken thee in thy own craft; endea-
vouring to conceal thy cheat and imposture, by pre-
tending that the gods guide thee in thy decisions.
If thou canst perform what is impossible, do; for I
At these words the people laughed, and shouted;
but Navius, unmoved, addressed himself with confi-
dence to the king, saying: "Put the razor to the
flint; I willingly submit to any punishment, if what
you thought of be not done."
Tarquin pressed the razor to the flint, little expect-
ing to make any impression; but it passed through
the flint so easily, and so suddenly, that before he
could stop it, his hand was cut, and the blood flowed
from the wound.
Hereupon the people's contempt was turned into
reverence for the augur; and the king also acknow-
ledged the error of which he had been guilty in
doubting his power and disputing his authority.
After this, the augurs were in greater credit than
ever at Rome. Tarquin erected a statue of brass to
the memory of Navius, in the place called Comitium,
where the public assemblies were held; and there it
continued till the time of Augustus. The razor and
flint, kept as monuments of the miracle, were depo-
sited near the statue.
This is the story, which, during many years, was
repeated and believed by the ignorant and credulous
among the Romans; but we have proof that here and
there people were to be found wise enough to discre-
dit such evident impostures. "Look with contempt,"
says Cicero, one of the wisest men that Rome ever
produced, to his brother Quintus; "look with con-
tempt on the razor and flint of the famous Attius;
when we reason as sensible men, we ought to lay no
stress upon fables."
It is believed by some persons that the cunning
augur, having obtained private information of Tar-
quin's design, had prepared a flint by calcination,
that is, by burning it, so as to make it break easily,
and that he adroitly substituted this flint for Tarquin's.
In this, or in some other way, the pretended miracle
can be explained quite as readily as many of the
tricks daily exhibited by modern conjurors for general
Tarquin, of course, laid aside his project of in-
creasing the number of the troops of cavalry after
this triumph of the augur; but he added to the num-
ber of knights in each troop, making the Roman
cavalry amount in all to one thousand eight hundred
men. One would think that it could be hardly worth
disputing, whether a force of one thousand eight
hundred cavalry should consist of three troops of six
hundred knights each, or five troops of three hundred
48 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
and sixty knights each. So frivolous a subject of
dispute might, at all events, have been decided by
some less wonderful means than the cutting of a flint
with a razor.
Tarquin, when he had thus increased the number
of his knights, marched out to renew the war with
the Sabines and Etrurians. He found the combined
armies near the place here the Anio falls into the
Tiber. The Etrurians were posted on one bank of
the Tiber, and the Sabines on the other; and they
had a bridge of boats to keep up their communi-
cations. Tarquin pitched his camp on the Anio at a
little distance from the enemies; and he soon thought
of a scheme by which he might defeat them. He
built some flat-bottomed boats like rafts, and loaded
them with dry wood, sulphur, and rosin. In the night,
when the wind was favourable, he sent these fire-
ships down the Anio, and they were carried by the
wind and current against 'the bridge, which was
quickly in a blaze. The Sabines ran instantly to
extinguish the flames, leaving their camp unguarded.
Tarquin was master of their camp by break of day;
for he had marched out while it was yet dark in order
to be ready to make the attack. On the other bank
of the Tiber, a detachment of the Roman army,
which by his order had passed the river in the night,
fell upon the camp of the Etrurians at the instant
that the bridge of boats took fire. The enemy was
TARQ UINIUS PRISC US.
completely routed upon both sides of the river. Some
perished by the flames, some by the sword, and
others, leaping into the river to save themselves, were
The Sabines were not yet daunted by this defeat.
In the two succeeding years they continued the war
with great spirit. On one occasion they were blocked
up in their camp and reduced to great distress; but,
taking advantage of a dark stormy night, they con-
trived to make their escape through the Roman
forces: and this successful retreat pleased and en-
couraged them almost as much as a victory. The
last battle was so long doubtful, that Tarquin, in
order to inspire his men with fresh courage, made
a vow that he would build magnificent temples to
Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. At length the Sabines
were totally defeated; and they sued for peace, offer-
ing to give up their fortified places. Tarquin treated
them leniently, as he had done the Etrurians, and
returned in triumph to Rome.
The victorious king did not forget the vow made
in the hour of danger, to build temples to Jupiter,
Juno, and Minerva. He levelled the top of the hill
Tarpeius (formerly Saturninus), marked out the
plans, and laid the foundations. Navius, the augur,
by whose magical power the flint had been cut
through by a razor, having been consulted about
what part of Rome Jupiter would like best to be
53 THE SE VEN KINGS OF ROME.
placed in, had declared for the hill Tarpelus; but
then a difficulty arose about removing the gods, who
had already got possession of this hill, without giving
them offence. By the help of augury, it was dis-
covered that they were all willing to be removed,
except the god Terminus and the goddess Youth,
who, having no mind to go, were inclosed within the
walls of the new temple.
The sons of Ancus Martius had all along been
jealous of Tarquin's power. They thought that
because their father had been king of Rome, they
were entitled to reign after him. They longed to
destroy Tarquin, and at the same time gratify their
feelings of revenge, and seize upon the vacant throne.
Tarquin was now eighty years of age, and in the
thirty-seventh year of his reign. His strength and
vigour were gone, and it was plain that his life was
drawing to its close. It was at this time that the
sons of Ancus Martius resolved to execute their
bloody purpose. There were no feelings of com-
passion either for weakness or old age, to curb the
ferocity of their dispositions. To make the crime
still more atrocious, they employed stratagem to
entrap the aged king, and hired others to inflict the
The two men who were hired to do this deed of
death dressed themselves as peasants, with hatchets
on their shoulders, as if they were wood cleavers;
TARQUINIUS PRISCUS. 5r
and going near the king's palace, they pretended to
have a quarrel about some goats. The noise which
they made soon brought out some of the lictors or
officers about the palace, who took them before the
king. The two wood cleavers, for such they were
supposed to be, at first began to bawl and call at
each other, till they were restrained by a lictor, who
ordered them to speak by turns. Then one of them
began to tell his story, and while the king was listen-
ing attentively to it, the other lifting up his hatchet,
gave him a great cut on the head, and instantly ran
out of doors with his fellow. But while some of the
company hastened to assist the wounded king, others
pursued the ruffians, and seized them. They soon
confessed by whom they had been employed.
Tanaquil, the wife of. Tarquin, did not lose her
presence of mind in the midst of this scene of blood
and confusion. She took immediate steps to prevent
the sons of Ancus from profiting by their crime.
She cleared the palace from the crowd, and pressed
Servius Tullius to ascend the throne, and take the
two infant grandsons of Tarquin under his pro-
tection. Having succeeded with him, she throw
open the window which looked upon the street, and
bade the people be of no concern, telling them that
the wound was not deep, that the king had been
stunned with the blow, but was come to himself
again. She said she expected that they would see
52 THE SEVEN KLVGS OF ROME.
him shortly, and that in the meantime he had ordered
them to obey Servius Tullius, who would administer
justice to them, and perform all the other duties of
king. Her plans succeeded. The report that the
king would soon be well again, and appear in public,
being spread and believed, so terrified the sons of
Ancus, that they went of their own accord into
banishment to Suessa Pometia.
The second day after the murder of Tarquin,
Servius Tullius, attended by the lictors, sat on the
throne, and administered justice to the Romans.
Some of their disputes he settled, and upon others
he pretended he would consult the king. He also
cited the sons of Ancus before him, and as they did
not appear, they were declared infamous, and their
property was sold for the benefit of the State. At
length, when his authority was supposed to be suffi-
ciently established, Tarquin's death was made known
with much lamentation to the people; and he was
buried with great pomp.
The death of Tarquin occurred in the 175th year
of Rome. By the Romans, in the Latin tongue, he
was called Tarquinius, and afterwards, to distinguish
him from another king of the same name, he was
also called "Priscus," being the Latin for "ancient,"
SERVIUS TULLIUS was the sixth king of Rome. Who
his father and mother were it is difficult to deter-
mine. The only thing about his origin that we can
speak of with certainty is that he-was a captive, or
the son of a captive. In those times it was the cus-
tom to make slaves of the captives taken in war.
His name, Servius, is supposed to have been given
him on this account; Servus being the Latin word
for slave." While yet a child he was received into
Queen Tanaquil's household; and by her he was
brought up with as much care and tenderness as if
he had been her own child.
He early distinguished himself in the field of battle,
even before he had reached the age of manhood; and
his general good conduct made him a favourite both
with the king and people. He married Tarquinia,
one of the king's daughters; and, after this, the king
reposed unlimited confidence in him for the manage-
ment not only of his domestic concerns, but of the
affairs of the public. In the latter of these, Servius
acquitted himself so well that the people were quite
indifferent whether they were governed by him or
by Tarquin. This it was, also, that made it so easy
54 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
for him to seat himself on the throne, upon the death
of his father-in-law.
As Servius, notwithstanding his great merit, looked
upon himself as being wholly indebted to Fortune for
his grandeur, he paid particular respect to this god-
dess, erecting temples and altars to her in all direc-
tions. He resolved to make the peaceful Numa his
pattern, and, like him, pretended to have private
conversations with a goddess; his goddess being
Fortune, instead of Egeria.
Servius's goddess, unluckily for him, could not
altogether protect him from annoyance. The patri-
cians, or rich men, were dissatisfied with his dis-
regard for their ancient usages. He had ascended
the throne without being elected to it, and there had
been no interregnum, as formerly. Complaints were
first dropped in private assemblies, but soon ripened
into a general conspiracy; and at last the senators
actually agreed among themselves to force the king,
the first time they met, to lay aside the royalty.
Servius, in this emergency, determined to apply to
the people, and to support himself by their power
against that of the patricians. For this purpose, he
called a general assembly of the people, and, appear-
ing before them with the two grandsons of Tarquin,
one in each hand, he spoke to them as follows:-
Behold here, Romans, the tender offspring of one
of your greatest kings. The bare sight of them will
bring to your remembrance the virtue and victories of
their grandfather. A melancholy and cruel death
robbed you of him, and left his posterity exposed to
the artifices and fury of his assassins. I alone re-
ceived a charge from the dying king, to protect these
helpless children in their infancy: and to this I found
myself engaged, both by the alliance I had made in
Tarquin's family, and by the favours heaped on me
by that generous prince. Be you, Romans, their
joint guardians with me; and whatever gratitude you
owe me for the services I have formerly done you,
which I need not remind you of, let it all be trans-
ferred to these my pupils. But why should I employ
many words with you in their favour ? You know
what is fit to be done, and will do it. I shall now
only tell you the benefits I have resolved to procure
for you; and it was for this reason I called you toge-
ther. You shall no longer be the slaves of your
creditors, nor bear the chief burden of the public
taxes. I will provide remedies for both these evils.
It is not just that the lands which are conquered at
the expense of your toil and blood, should be dis-
tributed only amongst the most audacious of the
great; whilst you contin;:. without a foot of land of
your own, and are obliged to cultivate the estates of
others for hire. You have long enough borne the
contemptuous usage of the patricians, who despise
you because you are poor."
56 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Nor did Servius confine himself to mere words:
for, a few days afterwards, he desired all the debtors
who had not means to pay their debts, to send him
an account of what they owed; and he paid the
whole with his own money. He likewise commanded
such of the patricians as had taken possession of
lands belonging to the .public to quit them, so that
they might be distributed among the citizens who
had no land of their own.
But although the inclination of Servius Tullius
led him rather to works of peace than to warlike
exploits, he found himself obliged, contrary to his
wishes, to engage in war. To this he was forced by the
Veientes, who refused to keep to the treaty of peace
which they had entered into with Tarquin. We
entered," said they, into no treaty with the son of a
slave; nor will we ever submit to Servius's dominion.
Tarquin is dead, and our obligations to be subject to
the Romans are dead with him." But Servius by his
activity and courage soon made them repent of their
folly; and as they had been the aggressors, he deprived
them of their lands, which he transferred to such of
the citizens of Rome as were destitute. Upon his
return to the city after this victory, he obtained his
first triumph, in defiance of the wishes of the senate.
He was now in high favour with the plebeians, (for
that was the name given to the great body of the
people,) but the patricians continued as hostile to
him as ever; and they still disputed his right to the
throne. He once more, therefore, called an assembly
of the people, and, in a speech which drew tears
from their eyes, he complained of the design of the
patricians to take away his life, and to bring back
the sons of Ancus. "And this," said he, "for no
other reason, but the kindness I have shown to the
plebeians. Take, then, my power from me, if you
think fit, and give it to the patricians. I will trouble
you no longer with my presence." At these words
he was preparing to leave the assembly, but the
people called to him to stay, entreated him to be their
king, and even used violence to stop him.
The senators still continued obstinate in their op-
position, and would not give their consent to the
choice of the people; and Servius almost doubted
whether he would keep possession of the throne, dis-
liking to be the cause of internal discord in the city.
The will of the people, however, prevailed against that
of the senate, and Servius continued to rule as king.
The Etrurians soon gave Servius another oppor-
tunity to increase his favour with the people. They
engaged in hostilities against the Romans; and the
successful termination of the war against them, ob-
tained for Servius the honour of a second triumph.
The interval of peace he devoted to improving and
enlarging the city. Romulus had enclosed at first
only the hill Palatinus, and afterwards added the hill
58 iHE SEVEN AIiVGS OP ROME.
Tarpeius or Capitolinus. To these Numa joined the
Quirinalis. Tullus Hostilius took in the hill Coelius.
Ancus Martins enclosed Mount Aventinus, and joined
the Janiculus to the city by a wooden bridge. Tar-
quinius Priscus only built the walls of Rome of
hewn stone, without enlarging its bounds. But Ser.-
vius enclosed within its limits the hills Esquilinus
and Viminalis, on the first of which he fixed his own
palace, in order to draw inhabitants thither.
The ceremony of the Lustrum was instituted by
this king. It was performed in the Campus Martius,
a large plain, outside the city, near the Tiber, which
had been consecrated by Romulus to the god Mars.
Here, by the king's order, was made a solemn lus-
tration or sacrifice, in the name of all the people, to
appease the anger of the gods, or to propitiate their
favour. The sacrifice consisted of a sow (sus), a
sheep oviss), and a bull (taurus); whence it took the
name of Suovetaurilia. A census was taken at the
same time, and it was ordered that the ceremony
should be repeated every five years. Hence it was
that the word lustrum came to signify a period
of five years." It is supposed that the first coined
money known in Rome was coined at this time.
The sacrifices of the lustrum most probably induced
Servius to stamp the figures of the animals then
slain, on pieces of brass of a certain weight.
"Pecunia" is the Latin word for "money;" and
everybody may see how much it resembles "pecus,"
the Latin word for "cattle."
The last years of the reign of Servius were ren-
dered miserable by the conduct of some of his own
family. He had two daughters; and also two pupils,
Tarquinius and Ancus, the sons of Tarquinius
Priscus, whom he had educated and considered as
his own children. Tarquin and the younger Tullia
were of violent and haughty tempers; but Ancus
and Ihe elder Tullia were mild and affectionate in
their dispositions. Servius thought that by marry-
ing Tarquin to his elder daughter, and Ancus to the
younger, the bad qualities of his unruly ward and
unruly daughter would be corrected by the example
and influence of the amiable companions to whom
he should unite them. The two families were united in
this way; but the marriages unfortunately terminated
very differently to what he had fondly expected.
Tarquin's wife endeavoured by all the ways of
sweetness and persuasion to moderate and soften the
haughty fierceness of her husband, and to dissuade
him from all criminal enterprises: while her younger
sister, a very fury of a woman, was ever urging the
quiet and good-natured Ancus to the most vil-
lanous attempts, in order to obtain possession of the
throne. She loudly lamented her fate in being tied
to such an indolent and dronish husband. By de-
grees a great intimacy arose between her and Tar-
60 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
quin. Their tempers and manners and designs were
the same. At length she proposed nothing less than
murdering her father, sister, and husband, that they
two might meet, and ascend the throne together.
Shortly afterwards, they contrived the poisoning,
he of his wife, she of her husband; and then impu-
dently asked the king's consent to their marriage,
which, although he would not sanction, he took no
steps to prevent.
Not only was this atrocious and double murder
unpunished, but the murderer was actually counte-
nanced by many of the most powerful men in Rome:
by which we learn that the state of society there was
improved but little since the time of Horatius, who
murdered his sister with impunity.
The patricians, possessed of much power and
wealth, but greedy of more, were jealous of Servius's
exertions in favour of the poorer classes, and were
many of them easily brought over to favour the pre-
tensions of Tarquin, who now actively employed
himself to supplant his father-in-law on the throne.
Servius, informed of what was doing, remonstrated
with his son-in-law and daughter in private, and
tried to persuade them by reason, to desist from their
proceedings, and to wait for the kingdom till his death;
but Tarquin and Tullia loved violent measures, and
tumults. They despised the counsels of the king, and
resolved to lay their pretensions before the senate.
The senate was summoned accordingly, to decide
whether the man who had just murdered his wife, and
the woman who had murdered her husband, should
be placed upon the throne.
When the senate was assembled, Tarquin appeared
before them, and reproached his father-in-law for
having placed himself upon the throne without suf-
fering a previous interregnum ; and with having
cajoled the people, and despised the power of the
senate. He then urged his own claims to the throne,
and complained of the injustice of Servius (who, he
said, was only his tutor), in keeping possession of it.
To this Servius answered, that he had been elected
to the throne by the people, because they preferred
him to anybody else. As to Tarquin's claim, it was
too ridiculous to be attended to for a moment. But
if any title to a throne could be derived from a father
rather than from the people, the sons of Ancus would
have the better claim. Take your choice, there-
fore," said he, turning to Tarquin, either to lay
aside all hopes of reigning till after I am dead, or to
submit from this instant to obey the murderers of
your grandfather. But I am surprised," continued
he, addressing himself to the senators, that there
should be any among you, fathers, who would join
with this man in endeavouring to dethrone me.
What injustice have I done you ? Is there any vio-.
lence, any oppression, any one tyrannical act you can
62 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
accuse me of? No. But perhaps I am too proud
and arrogant. Which of your former kings ever
showed that moderation in the exercise of power
which I have done ? Have I not treated the citizens
as a tender father his children? You have nothing
to accuse me of but my kindness to the people. This
is my only crime, and it needs no justification. But
I shall say no more. If this Tarquin seems to you
better qualified to govern, I will not envy the state
a better ruler than I am. I received the kingdom
from the people; to them I will restore it; and will
endeavour to show, when reduced to the condition of
a private man, that as I knew how to govern, so I
know how to obey."
When Servius had thus spoken, he dismissed the
senate, and called an assembly of the people. The
Roman forum was soon filled with citizens, and Ser-
vius spoke to them in such a manner as gained all
their affections. He reminded them how they had
chosen him for their king, and what he had done for
them. But," said he, a new competitor for the
throne offers himself to you, and comes to dispute
with me the remains of a reign which I have dedi-
cated to the happiness of the public. He pretends
that his dying grandfather left the kingdom to him,
and that you had no power to dispose of the property
of another. Can you hear this without indignation?
Will you suffer your power to be called in question?
As for me, if my bad conduct has made you weary
of me, or if the virtues of Tarquin have made him
more worthy to reign, I consent that you resume the
sceptre which I received from you: but I do not
think myself at liberty to resign it into any hands
but yours; and to you therefore I restore it." As he
ended these words, he would have immediately quit-
ted the forum, but the people stopped him; they all
cried out to him not to yield the throne to another.
And amidst their confused noise, these words were
likewise heard, "Let Tarquin perish! let him die!
let us kill him!" This language terrified the proud
prince, and he hastened to his house; while Servius
was conducted to the palace amid acclamations.
Tarquin finding that he had gained nothing by his
violence, tried once more to regain the king's favour
and confidence. Peace seemed for some time to be
restored in the family; but Tullia again succeeded
in putting an end to it. She fancied her husband
had grown stupid and insensible; she reproached him
with cowardice, and excited him to acts of violence.
" I thought," said she, to have found in thee a man
of spirit, a true Tarquin, one who would rather have
than hope for a kingdom. If thou art the man whom
I thought I married, I must call thee king as well as
husband. Rouse thyself. Thou hast no need, like
thy grandfather, to come from Corinth or Tarquinii
to seek a kingdom. But if thou art unmoved by all
64 THE SEVEN KIVGS OF ROME.
this, why dost thou deceive the expectations of thy
friends ? Go, coward! get thee home to Tarquin or
Corinth; thou hast more in thee of thy brother than
of thy grandfather."
Tarquin, urged on by these reproaches of his wife,
renewed his attempts among the senators. He went
from house to house to beg votes, and made his own
house a place of entertainment for the young patri-
cians. Having formed his party, he chose the time
of harvest, when most of the principal citizens were
in the country, to put in practice a stratagem which
surprised the people by its novelty, and succeeded by
its boldness. Clothed in royal robes, preceded by
some of his servants bearing fasces, and followed by a
great number of his party who had swords under
their robes, he came to the gate of the temple where
the senators usually assembled. He then advanced
with a grave pace, and seated himself on the royal
throne. Those of the senators who were of his party
he found already in their places, having given them
notice to be there early; and he now exhorted them
resolutely to pursue the intention of their meeting.
In the meantime, the rest of the senators whom he
had sent for made all the haste they could. The
greater part of them thought Servius dead, since
Tarquin assumed the title of king; and no one durst
keep away from the assembly, for fear his absence, in
the beginning of a reign, should be treated as a crime.
When the senators were all assembled, Tarquin re-
peated the reproaches which they had so often heard
him utter against his father-in-law:-" That, being a
slave, and the son of a slave, he had, after the cruel
murder of Tarquin, the late king, possessed himself
of the kingdom, having neither the free voices of the
people, nor the approbation of the senate; that he
had ever been a favourer of mean wretches like him-
self, and, out of hatred to the patricians for their
noble birth, had stripped them of their estates to
give them to the vilest of the people; and that the
taxes which were before common to all, he had heaped
upon the nobles alone."
While he was yet speaking, Servius Tullius ap-
peared. He had been informed of the part his son-
in-law was acting in the senate, and immediately
hastened thither with but few attendants. As soon
as he beheld Tarquin on the throne, he cried out at a
distance, and with a loud voice, What is it, thou
most wicked of men, that has made thee thus auda-
cious to convene the senate and take possession of the
throne, while I am alive? "
It is thy impudence, Servius," replied Tarquin;
it is thy wickedness. I fill the place of my grand-
father, which thy vileness was not ashamed to usurp.
Is a king's grandson or his slave the more worthy to
inherit his kingdom?"
These words threw Servius into a violent rage
66 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
and forgetting his age and want of strength, he drew
near the throne to pull Tarquin down from it. This
raised a great shout in the assembly, and the people
crowded into the temple; but nobody ventured to
interfere. The conflict was soon ended: for Tarquin,
being the stronger and more vigorous of the two,
seized the old man by the waist, and hurrying him
through the temple, threw him down from the top
of the steps into the forum. Servius, grievously
hurt, and covered with blood, raised himself up with
some difficulty. He was deserted by his friends.
But two or three of the people, touched with com-
passion, lent him their arms to lead him to his pa-
lace. As they were slowly trailing him along, the
cruel Tullia appeared in the forum. She had come
hastily in her chariot upon the first news of what
was passing in the senate. She found her husband
on the top of the steps of the temple, and being trans-
ported with joy, was the first who saluted him king;
and her example was immediately followed by the
senators of Tarquin's party. She then took her hus-
band aside, and recommended him not to leave his
work unfinished; upon which he instantly despatched
some of his servants to overtake the old king, and
deprive him of his small remains of life.
Tullia, having heard these orders given, mounted
her chariot again in triumph to return home. The
way to her house was through a narrow street called
"the good street," or in the old language of the
Sabines, Vicus Cyprius. Stretched across it lay the
king's body, which was still panting. Tullia's coach-
man or charioteer perceived it, and being struck with
horror, checked his horses, and made a stop. Why
don't you go on?' cried Tullia to him. What is it
that stops you?" The charioteer turned round to
her, Alas !" said he, it is the body of the king
your father." At these words, Tullia catching up a
stool which was in the chariot, and throwing it at
his head, Go on, villain !" she cried, are you
afraid of driving over a dead body ?" The charioteer
obeyed; and the blood of the father is said to have
dyed the chariot-wheels, and even the clothes of the
inhuman daughter. From this time the street was
ever after called "Vicus Sceleratus" (the wicked
Such was the deplorable end of Servius in the
seventy-fifth year of his age, and after having reigned
forty-four years. Thus closed the two hundred and
nineteenth year from the foundation of Rome.
Servius was much beloved by the people; and
Tarquin would not allow his burial to take place
with the usual ceremonies, lest it should occasion
a dangerous commotion in the city. Tarquinia,
therefore, conveyed the body of her husband pri-
vately by night to his tomb; and the night following
she died herself, but whether of grief, or by her own
68 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
hands, or by the wickedness of Tullia, is uncertain.
The veneration which the people felt for the memory
of Servius made them place him among the gods.
The slaves annually celebrated his festival in the tem-
ple of Diana Aventina, on the day he lost his life.
S.Jtici~ i .
.. -. *...
'& ..2 ... "
.. -, '_
THE seventh and last king of Rome was Tarquinius
the Second, who began his reign in the two hundred
and twentieth year from the building of the city. He
succeeded to the throne through a crime-the murder
of his father-in-law; and his subsequent conduct was
what might have been expected from such a begin-
ning. His haughty behaviour early obtained for
him the surname of Superbus, or proud. He refused
to allow either the senate or the people to share in
his authority. He acted as if a king or chief of
the state had no occasion to trouble himself about
what might be for the good of the people; making
use of his power for the purpose of mere selfish gra-
tification to the injury of those who, by their sub-
mission, had conferred that power upon him.
But why, it may be asked, did not the people,
when they saw how he abused the power with which
he was intrusted, immediately refuse to obey him,
and so reduce him again to the state of a private
citizen, or even punish him severely for his out-
rageous conduct? They were deterred from doing
this by two reasons.
70 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
First, Tarquin, knowing that he could not rely
upon the affections of the people, took care to sur-
round himself with a large force of hired soldiers,
mostly strangers, who were willing, for pay, to
assist him in any act of villany that he might
Secondly, the people of all countries are, mostly,
so much occupied with their own private concerns,
as to have little leisure or inclination to interfere
with their rulers. The people of a country, it must
be remembered, are farmers, millers, bakers, brick-
layers, carpenters, and labourers of every descrip-
tion; and it is only when their sufferings are so
severe and unceasing, as to be no longer endurable,
that they consent to neglect for a time their usual
employment, and unite to put a stop, if possible, to
the cruel treatment of their rulers. Thus it was
with the people of Rome.
As Tarquin aimed at unlimited power, every
family or individual that enjoyed distinction, either
for judgment, courage, or property, became an object
of jealousy. Some he deprived of their property,
some he banished from the city, and others he mur-
dered. The family of Junius, among others, suffered
dreadfully from his persecutions. The father and
his elder son were assassinated, and the younger
son was allowed to escape, only because he was
thought to be an idiot,
TARQUUINIUS SUP]LI Ui: 71
Many of the senators quitted the cit in order to
be out of the way of his cruelty and avarice.
When Tarquin had, by his conduct, made himself
universally hated, he began to fear lest the very
people whom he oppressed should, at last, of one
accord, turn against himself, and endeavour to de-
prive him of his power. To secure himself against
any such attempt, he did not pursue the wisest course
-he did not make any alteration in his conduct-
he did not strive to gain the affections of those whom
he governed: no-his endeavour was still further to
strengthen himself, by an alliance with foreigners,
so that he might persevere in the work of oppression.
For this purpose he married his daughter to Octavius
Mamilius, a man of bravery and experience in
war, and of great influence among the Latins.
Mamilius procured his father-in-law many friends
among the chief persons of Latium; but Tarquin
was near losing them again by his haughty
He had desired the Latins to call a national council
at Ferentinum, where he was to meet them on a day
appointed by himself. The Latin deputies came and
took their places in the sacred grove of the temple
of Flora. There they waited several hours, but
Tarquin did not appear. The assembly grew im-
patient, and Turnus Herdonius, an enterprising,
eloquent man, who hated Tarquin and was jealous
72 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME,
of Mamilius, seized this occasion to inveigh against
But Mamilius rose up and excused his father-in-
law, attributing his absence to some unforeseen and
urgent business, which hindered his coming; and he
prevailed to have the council adjourned to the next
day. Then Tarquin appeared; and being put in
mind by those who were near him, to make some
excuse to the Latins for having disappointed them
the day before:
"I was engaged," said he, very coldly, "in making
up a difference between a father and his son."
Of all differences," briskly answered Herdonius,
"there is none requires so little time and so few
words to compose it."
This beginning did not please Tarquin, but he con-
cealed his resentment, and proceeded to tell the
assembly, that his design in calling them together
was to claim the right of commanding the Latin
armies,-a right which he derived, by inheritance,
from his grandfather; but which he desired might be
confirmed tc him by them. These words were scarce
ended, when Herdonius, stepping forward into the
midst of the assembly, with great warmth renewed
his invectives against the king, and opposed his
Tarquin was much annoyed by the boldness of
Herdonius, and desired that the assembly might sit
again the following day, when he promised to give
a satisfactory answer. In the meantime, he bribed
some of Herdonius's servants to hide a great quantity
of arms in their master's '.1- -... The next morn-
ing, entering the assembly with an air of confidence,
he told them that one word was sufficient to destroy
all the calumnies of Herdonius.
In reality," he added, "my accuser has himself
acquitted me. Were I such a person as he represents
me, would he have sought an alliance with me? He
earnestly solicited me to give him my daughter in
marriage; but, for good reasons, I refused to accept
him for a son-in-law, and here is the source of his
malice. But this is no time to enter further into my
justification. Your own interests, your own safety,
your liberties and lives, demand, at present, all your
He then accused Herdonius of having laid a plot
to cut off all the deputies there present, and to make
himself ruler over all the Latin cities. As a proof
of this, lie informed them of the arms in Herdonius's
baggage. An accusation of such importance threw
all the assembly into a fright, except the accused,
who, knowing nothing of those arms, and believing
that his innocence would quickly appear, desired
that his baggage might be searched. Accordingly,
an examination was made, and the arms being found
and brought into the assembly, it put the deputies
74 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
into such a rage, that, without suffering Herdonius
to make his defence, they immediately sentenced him
to be thrown into a basin at the head of the spring
of Ferentinum; where, a hurdle being laid upon him,
and stones heaped upon the hurdle, he was pressed
down into the water and drowned.
But the death of an enemy was not the only
advantage Tarquin drew from his treachery; the
Latins looked upon him as a deliverer, renewed the
treaty made with his grandfather, and declared the
King of Rome general of the Latin armies.
Thus strengthened by his alliance with the Latins,
he engaged in several wars with his other neigh-
bours, in all of which he proved victorious. Upon
his return to Rome, he set the people to work to
finish the common sewers, and the great circus which
had been begun by his grandfather. Even these
useful works he made a source of annoyance to the
people. The workmen employed were not voluntary
labourers ; they were torn from their customary
business to assist in these works, however great the
pain might be to them in changing suddenly from
one employment to another of a totally different
kind; they were compelled to work by force, not
persuaded by wages, or some other reward beneficial
to themselves and their families.
In the meanwhile, a great number of discontented
citizens had fled finm Roime and taken refuge at
Gabii, a city of Latium, about one hundred furlongs
from Rome, on the road to Praeneste, and the inhabi-
tants, being touched with compassion to see so many
persons without a home, resolved to take a part in
the quarrel, and begin a war with the king of Rome.
Tarquin was informed of their preparations to take
the field, and, suspecting against whom they were
designed, raised a prodigious bulwark (much boasted
of in after ages) to cover the city on the side of
Gabii. This war, between the Romans and the
Gabini, lasted seven years, with various success;
and the inroads and devastations made on both sides
being a hindrance to all sowing and reaping, pro-
duced, at length, a scarcity of corn. It was chiefly
felt at Rome, where complaints were made by the
people that they suffered not by any hatred of their
neighbours to them, but to the king; and they
demanded either a peace or provisions. Tarquin
being much perplexed with the people's clamours,
which tended to a general revolt, his son, Sextus
Tarquinius, proposed, and, in concert with him, put
in practice a very artful expedient for reducing
Gabii. He pretended to be upon very ill terms with
his father, and openly complained of him as a tyrant,
who had no compassion even for his own children;
upon which the king caused him to be beaten pub-
licly in the forum, as a rebel. The discontent of
the son and the barbarity of the father were soon
76 Ti: .SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
reported at Gabii, to which city Sextus shortly
afterwards fled, and was gladly received by the
After his arrival at Gabii, his whole talk, both in
public and private, turned upon the tyranny of the
king of Rome; and he suited his actions to his dis-
course. No enemy of Rome was more active and
enterprising. He frequently made inroads on the
Roman lands, and came back loaded with spoil; his
father contriving to gain him honour, by always
sending against him weak parties, which he could
not fail to vanquish. By this means Sextus came to
such a high degree of credit among the Gabini, that
he was chosen general of their army, and was as
much master in Gabii as Tarquin was in Rome.
And now, finding his authority sufficiently esta-
blished, he sent a slave to his father, to inquire
what he should do. The king would not send an
answer either in writing or by word of mouth, fear-
ing lest by any accident his intentions should he
discovered by the Gabini. He took the slave into a
garden, and then, striking off the heads of all the
tallest poppies, sent him back to Gabii. Sextus
understood the hint. He assembled the Gabini, and
pretended to have discovered a plot to deliver him
up to his father. The people, in a rage, pressed him
to make known the conspirators; and, with much pre-
tended difficulty, he suffered them, as it were, to extort
TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS. 77
from him the name of Antistius Petro, a man whose
merit had made him the most considerable person in
his country. Antistius despised the accusation, but
Sextus had bribed his servants (in the same manner
as Tarquin had formerly done those of Herdonius)
to convey among his papers some letters from the
king of Rome; which being produced and read, the
populace, without further examination, immediately
stoned him ; and to Sextus was committed the care
of discovering his accomplices, and appointing their
punishments. Upon this, he ordered the gates of
the city to be shut, and sent officers into every
quarter of it, to cut off the heads of all the eminent
men; and in the midst of the desolation and confu-
sion caused by this dreadful massacre, he opened the
gates to his father, to whom he had given timely
notice of his design. Tarquin was satisfied with
gaining possession of the city. He spared the
lives of the citizens, and even entered into a treaty
with them. This treaty was written on a shield
made of the hide of an ox sacrificed on that occa-
sion, and was yet to be seen at Rome, in the time of
Augustus, in the temple of Jupiter Fidius.
Thus far in the account which has been left to
us of Tarquin's reign, there is nothing which it is
utterly impossible to believe, although some parts may
appear somewhat improbable. We now come to a
part of the narrative which not only mnkcs us feel
78 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
astonishment at the superstition of those who could
write it with seriousness, but actually throws a doubt
upon all those parts of the narrative, which, other-
wise, might be supposed to be true.
While Tarquin, it is said, was reposing in security
at Rome, having crushed his enemies and terrified
the Romans into submission, an unknown woman
made her appearance at his court, loaded with nine
volumes, which she offered to sell to him, but at a
very considerable price. Tarquin refusing to give
what she asked, she went away and burnt three of
the nine. Some time afterwards she returned to
court, and demanded the same price for the remain-
ing six. The woman must be mad," said he, and
he drove her away with scorn. Upon this, she
burnt the half of what were left, and then came a
third time, and demanded for the remaining three
the same price which she had asked for the whole
nine. Tarquin now became curious to have the
books examined; and, accordingly, they were put
into the hands of the augurs, who, finding them to
be the oracles of the Sybil of Cumce, declared them
to be a most valuable treasure. The price which
was asked by the woman was therefore paid to her,
and she soon afterwards disappeared, having first
exhorted the Romans to preserve her books with
The next most important event of this reign was
TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS. 70
a dreadful plague which destroyed great numbers of
the citizens of Rome. When a plague or any dan-
gerous illness attacks an enlightened and prudent
people, they endeavour to check it by medicine, by
an alteration in their diet, or by greater attention to
cleanliness and change of air. Tarquin's method of
proceeding was very different. He resolved to send
his sons, Titus and Aruns, to consult the oracle of
Delphi upon the cause and cure of the contagion.
We may suppose that he was too much frightened
to rely wholly upon the Sybilline books, for which
he paid so dearly.
This is the first time in the history of Rome, that
mention is made of any intercourse between Rome
Titus and Aruns prepared magnificent presents for
Apollo; and Lucius Junius (the counterfeit idiot),
who was to attend them for their amusement during
the journey, resolved to carry his offering too. The
present he chose for the gods was an elder-stick,
and this was matter of diversion to the whole court.
However, as he knew that the gods, or rather the
priests, were much influenced by valuable offerings,
he had the precaution to inclose, unknown to any-
body, a rod of gold in his stick. It is supposed that
the oracle told them, among other things, that there
would quickly be a new reign at Rome; for, when
they had performed their father's commission, they
0o THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
inquired which of them would succeed Tarquin;
and the god declared that the government of Rome
would devolve upon him who should first give a kiss
to his mother. The writers of this historical fable
tell us that the two brothers, when they had heard
this oracle, either drew lots which of them, at their
return to Rome, should first kiss his mother Tullia,
or agreed to do it both together, that they might
reign jointly; but that Brutus, imagining the oracle
to have another meaning, pretended to fall down by
chance, and kissed the earth, the common mother of
Upon their return to Rome, they found the city in
a commotion, on account of the war in which the
king was engaged with the Rutuli. In hopes of
obtaining money by plunder to supply his extrava-
gance, he had marched his army to Ardea, their
capital, about twenty miles from Rome, thinking to
take it without opposition. But finding himself,
contrary to his expectation, obliged to besiege it in
form, he was under the necessity of laying a heavy
tax upon the people. This tax greatly increased the
number of the discontented, and disposed them to
The siege being carried on very slowly, the officers
had a good deal of leisure for amusement. One day
when Sextus Tarquinius was entertaining his brothers,
their relative Collatinus being of the party, their con-
TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS. 81
versation happened to turn upon the merit of wives.
Every one extolled the good qualities of his own;
but Collatinus affirmed that his Lucretia excelled all
others. To settle their dispute, they determined at
once to mount their horses, and go and surprise their
wives; and it was agreed that she whom they found
employed in the manner most becoming her sex,
should have the preference. Away, therefore, they
galloped to Rome, where they surprised the daugh-
ters-in-law of the king all together in the midst of
feasting and diversions; and the ladies seemed much
disconcerted by the unexpected return of their hus-
bands. From Rome they wasted away to Collatia,
the place where Collatinus resided. Though the
night was far advanced when they arrived there,
they found Lucretia up, with her maids about her,
spinning and working in wool. The company her
husband brought her of a sudden did not discompose
her; and they were all pleased with the reception
she gave them.
Sextus, in particular, was so much delighted with
his first visit, that he soon found a pretence for pay-
ing a second to Collatia. Lucretia, in her husband's
absence, entertained him with great civility and re-
spect; and his return for this hospitality was to bring
disgrace upon her and her family.
Sextus made his appearance in the camp again
early the next morning.
82 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
Lucretia's happiness was gone. She could no
longer endure the thought of life. She dressed her-
self in mourning, took a dagger under her robe,
wrote to her husband at the camp to meet her at
her father Lucretius' house; and then, mounting
her chariot, came te Rome. People were surprised
to see her wearing all the marks of the deepest sor-
row; and often asked her, as she passed along, what
was the cause of her grief. She answered them only
by weeping. And when the same question was put
to her at her father's house, she still refused to dis-
cover the matter till there should be a full assembly
of her friends and relations, who she desired might
be called together. When the persons summoned
were arrived, she addressed herself to her husband,
Collatinus,-disclosed, in few words, the whole secret,
and the treacherous author of their dishonour; and
conjured them not to let the crime of Sextus Tar-
quinius go unpunished. All who were present gave
her-one by one-their solemn promise to revenge
the insult she had suffered. They also endeavoured
to console her. But nothing could divert her from
the resolution she had taken. No," said she; "no
woman shall hereafter survive her honour, and say
Lucretia was her example." And then, having em-
braced her father, and her husband, as one that bids
a last farewell, she plunged the concealed dagger into
her breast. Her fh!lhoe, and husband, starting, cried
TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS. 83
out as she fell at their feet. A mixture of compas-
sion and indignation seized the whole assembly.
And they were excited by Lucretia's blood to resist
the oppressor to whom they had so long submitted.
Among those assembled on this occasion was
Lucius Junius, who, on account of his supposed
idiotcy, had obtained the surname of Brutus. He
chose this opportunity to throw off the mask of
stupidity; for, going near to the dying lady, he
drew the dagger from her breast, and, showing it,
all bloody, to the assembly,-" Yes," said he, I
swear by this blood, which was so pure, and which
nothing but royal villany could have polluted, that
I will pursue Lucius Tarquinius the Proud, his
wicked wife, and their children, with fire and sword;
nor will ever suffer any of that family, or of any
other whatsoever, to be king in Rome. Ye gods! I
call you to witness this my oath!" This said, he
presented the dagger to Collatinus, Lucretius, Vale-
rius, and the rest of the company, and engaged them
to take the same oath. These noble Romans, struck
with amazement at the prodigious appearance of
wisdom in an idiot, looked on him as inspired, and
submitted entirely to his guidance. He then let
them know that his folly had been only feigned.
He exhorted them to defer lamenting the death of
Lucretia to another time; to behave themselves
now like men and Romans, and think only of re-
84 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
venging it. And he advised them to begin by
shutting the gates of Rome, and placing trusty
guards to secure them, that nobody might go out of
the city to give notice at the camp of what was
doing. This council being approved, was put in
execution without difficulty; for Lucretius had been
left governor of the city by Tarquin.
Then Brutus, causing the yet bleeding Lucretia
to be carried to the forum; and placing the corpse
where it might be seen by everybody, ordered the
people to be called together. When the multitude
were assembled, the imagined idiot, to their great
surprise, addressing himself to them, explained all
the mystery of his past conduct, and the necessity
he had been under, for more than twenty years to-
gether, of counterfeiting folly, as the only means to
preserve his life, after the murder of his father and
elder brother. He then proceeded to tell them the
resolution the friends and relations of Lucretia had
come to, of deposing the tyrant; and pressed them in
the strongest manner to concur in that design. He
reminded them of the crimes by which Tarquin, in
concert with the wicked Tullia, had made his way to
the throne;-of Aruns Tarquinius (the tyrant's
brother), and the elder Tullia, both persons of
amiable dispositions, and both treacherously poisoned
-he by his wife, the present queen, she by her
husband, the present king; and of Servius Tullius,
the justest, the mildest, the most beneficent of kings,
openly assassinated, and the cruel Tullia riding in
triumph over the body of her expiring father. 0
execrable fact!" he exclaimed: Ye gods, the
avengers of injured parents, ye beheld it. But why
should I dwell on these crimes committed by the
tyrant against his own family? The wrongs he has
done his country, his cruelties to every one of you,
are insufferable, and without end. With what an
utter contempt of all our laws did he usurp the
throne! And how has he maintained himself in his
illegal power ?-By murders, by banishments, by the
oppression of all the people. And are these miseries,
these indignities never to have an end? Or, if you
even propose to assert your freedom, how long will
you delay it? You wait, perhaps, for Tarquins
death. But what benefit would accrue to you from
that? He has three sons more wicked, if possible,
than himself. By what the eldest of them has just
now done, you may judge what is to be expected
from such a race. There, Romans! turn your eyes
to that sad spectacle-the daughter of Lucretius-
the wife of Collatinus;-she died by her own hand.
Lucretia would not survive the insult offered to her
by Sextus, her perfidious guest. Glorious woman!
once only treated as a slave, she thought life no
longer to be endured. Lucretia, a woman, disdained
a life that depended on a tyrant's will; and shall we,
86 THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME.
shall men, with such an example before our eyes,
and after five-and-twenty years of ignominious ser-
vitude,-shall we, through a fear of dying, defer one
single instant to assert our liberty?"
Brutus's harangue was often interrupted by the
acclamations of the people. Some wept at the re-
membrance of past sufferings; others out of joy, at
the hopes of a more happy government; and every
one called out for arms.
Tullia, now seeing that all was lost, and fearing
that she should no longer be safe in Rome, left it to
go to her husband. She was hooted at by the people
as she passed through the city, but no violence was
offered to her.
Tarquin, on his side, when he was informed by
some who had got out of Rome before the gates
were shut, that Brutus was raising commotions to
his prejudice, came in all haste to the city, attended
only by his sons and a few friends. But finding the
gates shut, the people in arms upon the walls, and
that Lucretius refused him entrance, he returned
with equal expedition to the camp. There, to his
great mortification, he found that the conspirators
had, during his short absence, gained over the army.
Not doubting but Tarquin would, upon the first
notice of the revolt, hasten to the city, they had
sent letters to the camp, giving an account of the
resolutions taken at Rome, and exhorting the troops
TAtRQUINIUS SUPERBUS. 87
to shake off the tyrant's yoke. These letters Titus
Herminius and Marcus Horatius had read in a full
assembly of the soldiers, and the matter being put
to the vote, it was unanimously agreed to adhere to
the decree passed in the city; so that Tarquin being
both driven from his capital, and rejected by the
troops, was forced, at the age of seventy-six, to seek
refuge, with his wife and three sons, among strangers.
Tarquin stirred up many wars against the Romans,
in the hopes of regaining his lost power, but in vain;
for as he was hated most cordially, so he was resisted
He lived to the advanced age of ninety years, the
fourteen last of which were passed in exile and dis-
grace; a just punishment for one who, having been
invested with power, which ought to have been
employed for the happiness and advantage of his
fellow-creatures, used it only for the purposes of
Owing to his misdeeds, the very name of king"
was ever afterwards held in detestation at Rome,
the form of tie government was changed; and the
supreme power was lodged with two officers, called
Consuls, who, instead of being elected, as the kings
had been, for life, were chosen for one year only,
and then were re-elected, or others were chosen in
their place, according to the pleasure of the people.
STORY OF POMPEII.
"FATHER, I want to speak to you," said Oliver. "Do
answer me one question. Is it true that whole cities
have been found buried under heaps of stones, thrown
out by Mount Vesuvius ?"
Yes, Oliver, quite true," replied his father; two
cities have been discovered buried in that manner."
Then, if you please, father, do tell me how it
happened, for I could hardly believe Gregory Jones,
When he showed me this morning, at the British
Museum, a piece of the lava, or stone, which, he said,
had been brought from Herculaneum, one of the
What Gregory told you is quite true, and as
I have an hour's leisure, I will tell you something of
THE STORY OF POMPEII.
the terrible event. You know where the volcano
called 'Vesuvius' is situated ?"
"Yes," said Richard; "in the south of Italy, about
six miles to the east of Naples."
Everybody knows now, that this volcano is
dangerous from the eruptions of fire,, burning stones,
melted lava, and cinders that it pours forth from time
to time. But at the time that Herculaneum and
Pompeii were destroyed, this same mountain had
never been known to have an eruption of fire. The
very first account of one that can be relied upon
as true is that of the eruption which, nearly eighteen
hundred years ago, suddenly arose and buried those
two cities full of inhabitants, who, as far as we can
judge, had no time to escape."
What?" said Arthur; were the people burned
m their houses ?"
No, not exactly burned," said his father; "rather,
I believe, suffocated by the sulphureous vapour that
came from the mountain. Several skeletons have
"What did you say were the names of these
unfortunate cities, father ?" asked Arthur.
Herculaneum and Pompeii," replied his father.
" They were both situated within five miles of the
volcano, and were so completely buried, that until
nearly a hundred years ago they remained undis-
covered. Herculaneum was buried the deepest;
THE STORY OF POMPEII.
being now about twenty-four feet under ground.
This city was covered by the liquid lava, which
ran down that side of the mountain towards which
Herculaneum was situated."
What ? can that hard, stony lava ever be liquid ?"
When it first bursts from the volcano it is liquid,
as thick as honey, and in appearance red hot," replied
"How dreadfully hot it must be!" exclaimed
"But when cold," continued his father, "it is solid
as stone; and it is as hard to dig as a quarry of stone.
The lava destroyed Herculaneum; but Pompeii was
buried under heaps of pumice-stones and cinders.
The ruins of Pompeii are not more than twelve feet,
and in some parts only two feet below the surface of
"That city, then, was easily uncovered," said Oliver.
"It is a curious fact," replied his father: "that
Herculaneum, the city which was buried the deepest,
and by the hardest material, should have been the
first discovered. Some men digging a well, after
having worked to a certain depth, found, to their
surprise, part of a town; and means were immediately
taken to remove more of the lava. A very small
part of the city, however, has been dug out, owing
to the hardness of the lava. Pompeii being covered
TRIE STORY VOF POMPEII.
with matter as soft as gravel, when once discovered,
was more easily unburied. A large part of that city
is now to be seen,-whole streets of houses without
their roofs, which in all cases have fallen in, but with
the interiors often highly ornamented by vases, statues,
and paintings on the walls. Furniture, glass vessels,
and other articles have been found, not at all injured,
in fact, just as the families used them eighteen hundred
years ago, previous to the destruction of the city."
"How curious!" said Richard; "I suppose the
things found have been taken care of."
Yes, and preserved as curiosities. You may
see some of them in the British Museum. But you
will be still more interested at the Crystal Palace,
where there is a Pompeian house complete in
every respect; it has been formed from the plans
of undestroyed parts of buildings in Pompeii. The
paintings and decorations, too, are copies of ori-
ginals found in the destroyed cities, often in a won-
derfully fresh state. You must pay a visit to it.
Among other rooms you will see the dining-room,
called the Triclinium. There you will find a table,
surrounded by three couches;-the Pompeians and
other Roman people did not sit at table as we do,
but reclined on couches, resting the left arm on a
cushion while they ate; and after dinner they lay.
on their backs for repose. Nine people could dine
at these three couches-three on each couch. The
THE STORY OF POMPEII.
right-hand couch was the seat of honour. Lend me
a pencil, and I will sketch a table and couches;
the figures 1, 2, 3, &c., represent the guests, No. 1
being the chief guest. The servants could pass be-
tween the guests and the table; and the dinner was
brought to the guests ready cut up.
6 5 4
8 TABLE. 2
"When the guests reclined on the couches they
took off their shoes; and both before they began
to eat and during the dinner-time water was poured
over their hands into basins of gold or silver."
"But, father, can you tell us how the storm
began ?" asked Richard; I wonder how any one
could live so near to such a terrible volcano !"
You must remember," said his father; that the
people who dwelt in those cities, fancied themselves
to be in perfect security,-they feared no danger.
For, as I have said, the eruption that destroyed them
proceeded from a mountain at that time not supposed
THE STORY OF POMPEII.
to be a volcano. The whole neighbourhood of this
mountain was much frequented, and thickly in-
habited, on account of its fertility, and the beauty of
the scenery. Country houses, with gardens, extended
even up the heights of the mountain. Strangers
from other parts of Italy were perpetually coming to
Campania, as this part of Italy was then called, for
health and pleasure. But, although the Romans,
who inhabited these cities, had never been alarmed
by eruptions from the neighboring mountain, they
had suffered from earthquakes. Sixteen years before
the great eruption which buried them, a large part
of Pompeii and Herculaneum had been thrown down
by the shock of an earthquake."
"And the people continued to live there!" ex-
claimed Arthur; how foolish!"
"Not only lived there," replied his father; "but
rebuilt the houses thrown down. The inhabitants of
these cities were living in peace and security, and
quite unprepared for so dreadful an event, when, on
the 24th day of August, 79, the eruption took place."
That must have been in the reign of the Emperor
Titus," said Richard.
"Yes," said his father; "and the celebrated Pliny
the Younger happened to be an eye-witness of the
eruption. He was then a lad of seventeen, living at
Misenum, in the bay of Naples, about six miles
from the city of Naples."
TIE STORY OF POMPEII.
How far was Pompeii from Naples ?" asked
Thirteen miles," replied his father. "Pliny was
living with his mother, and his uncle Pliny, and
was engaged in his studies. His uncle had the com-
mand of a fleet of galleys at that time stationed at
Misenum. Now, Richard, read this most interesting
account left to us by Pliny the Younger; read it
slowly, so that we may all understand it."
Richard took the book, and read the passage
pointed out to him by his father, as follows:-
On the 24th of August, about one in the after-
noon, my mother desired my uncle to observe a
cloud which appeared of a very unusual size and
shape. He immediately arose, and went to a rising
ground, from whence he might view more distinctly
this very uncommon appearance. I cannot give a
more exact description of its figure than by com-
paring it to that of a pine-tree; for it shot up a
great height, in form of a trunk, and extended itself
at the top into spreading branches. It appeared
sometimes bright, sometimes dark, and spotted, ac-
cording as it was more or less filled with earth and
"This extraordinary appearance excited my uncle's
curiosity, and he ordered a light vessel to be got
ready, and gave me the liberty, if I thought proper, to
go with him. I rather chose to continue my studies.