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GRACCHUS.

given Caius for having procured the election of Fan-nius to the consulship, which he himself had coveted, now offered himself again as a candidate for that office; and it was generally reported that he was determined to abolish the laws of C. Gracchiis. The latter had endeavoured to obtain the tribune-ship for the third time, but in vain, either because he had really lost the popular favour through the intrigues of Drusus, or because his colleagues, whom he had offended by some arrangements during the public games in favour of the people, acted illegally and fraudulently in the proclamation and return of the votes. How much Caius had lost confi­dence in himself as well as in his supporters is clear from the following circumstance. By the command of the senate, and in pursuance of the above-mentioned edict, the consul Fannius drove out of the city all those who were not Roman citizens ; and Caius, although he had promised them his assistance, if they would defy the edict and remain at Rome, yet allowed persons of his own acquaintance to be dragged off before his eyes by the lictors of the consul, without venturing to help them. The object of Gracchus undoubtedly was to avoid violence and prevent civil bloodshed, in order that his enemies might not obtain any just ground for attacking him, which was, in fact, the very thing they were looking for. But the people, who were unable to appreciate such motives, looked upon his forbearance as an act of cowardice. The year of his second tribuneship, b. c. 122, thus came to its close. After Opimius had entered on his consulship, "the senate, which had hitherto acted rather on the defensive, and opposed Grao chus with intrigues, contrived to lead Caius into wrong steps, that he might thus prepare his own ruin. His enemies began to repeal several of his enactments. The subject of the colony of Carthage was discussed afresh merely to provoke Gracchus, who, in establishing the colony, had disregarded the curse pronounced by P. Scipio upon the site of Carthage, and had increased the number of colo­nists to 6000. This and various other annoyances, which still niore estranged the people.from him, he endured for a time with forbearance and without making any resistance, probably because he did not believe that his legislation could be really upset. But as the movements of the hostile faction became more and more threatening, he could no longer resist the entreaties of Fulvius Flaccus, and once more he resolved to rally his friends around him, and take an active part in the public assembly. A day was appointed to decide upon the colony of Carthage, or, according to Plutarch, to abolish the laws of Caius. A number of country people flocked to Rome to support Caius and his friends ; and it was said that they had been sent by his mother, Cor­nelia. Flaccus with his friends occupied the capitol early in the morning, and was 'already haranguing the people, when Gains arrived with his followers. But he was irresolute and desponding, and had a presentiment that blood would be shed. He took no part in the proceedings, and in silence he walked up and down under an arcade, watching the course of events. A common man of the name of Antyl-lius there approached him, touched his shoulder, and bade him spare his country. Caius, who was taken by surprise, gazed at the man as if he had suddenly been charged with a crime of which he could not, deny his guilt. Some one of Caius's friends took this look for a significant hint, and

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slew Antyllius on the spot. According to Plutarch, Antyllius was one of the attendants of the consul Opimius, and while carrying a sacrifice through the arcade, insolently provoked the anger of the bystanders by calling out, " Make way for honest men, you rascals ! " But however this may be, Gracchus took no part in the proceedings on that morning, and the murder of Antyllius was com­ mitted wholly against his wish. It produced the greatest alarm and consternation, and Caius was deeply grieved, for he saw at once thatxit injured his party, and served to promote the hostile schemes of his enemies. He therefore immediately descended to the forum, to allay the terror and explain the unfortunate occurrence ; but nobody would listen to him, and he was shunned by everybody as if he had been an accursed man. The assembly broke up, the people dispersed, and Gracchus and Fulvius Flaccus, lamenting the event, returned home, ac­ companied each by a number of friends. Opimius, on the other hand, who had now got the oppor­ tunity he wanted, triumphed and urged the people to avenge the murder. The next day he convoked the senate, while large crowds of the people were assembled in the forum. He garrisoned the capitol, and with his suite he* himself occupied the temple of Castor and Pollux, which commanded the view of the forum. At his command the body of Antyl­ lius was carried across the forum with loud wail- ings and lamentations, and was deposited in front of the senate-house. All this was only a tragic farce to excite the feelings of the people against the murderer and his party. When Opimius thought the minds of the people sufficiently excited, he himself entered the senate, and by a declamatory exposition of the fearful crime that had been com­ mitted, he prevailed upon the senate to confer on himself unlimited power to act as he thought best for the good of the republic. By virtue of this power, Opimius ordered the senate to meet again the next day in arms, and each equcs was com­ manded to bring with him two armed slaves. Civil war was thus declared. These decrees, framed as they were with apparent calmness, for the purpose of clothing the spirit of party vengeance in the forms of legal proceedings, completely para­ lysed the mass of the people. That the equites, who as an order had been raised so much by Gracchus, deserted him in the hour of danger, is accountable only by the cowardice which is always displayed on such occasions by capitalists. On the second day Gracchus had been in the forum, but he had left the assembly, and as. he went home he was seen stopping before the statue of his father ; he did not utter a word, but at last he sighed deeply, burst into tears, and then returned home. A large multitude of people, who seemed to feel the silent reproach of their ingratitude and cowardice, followed him to his house, and kept watch there all night. . .

Fulvius Flaccus, who had been filled with rage and indignation at the decree of the senate and the conduct of Opimius, called on his friends to arm themsel-ves, and with . them he spent the night in drinking and rioting. On the morning he was with difficulty roused from his drunken sleep to give the necessary orders, and organise his men for resistance. Amid shouts he and his band seized on the Aventine, where they took up a strong position, in the hope of thus compelling the senate to yield. Caius refused to arm : he left his house

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