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get him to declare it either by lightning or by the flight of birds.
7. When men doubted whether a Nymph had really given him her counsel, she gave him a sign by which he might prove it to them. He called many of the Romans
supper, and set before them a homely meal in earthen dishes, and then on a sudden he said that now the Nymph was come to visit him; and straightway the dishes and the cups became of gold or precious stones, and the couches were covered with rare and costly coverings, and the meats and drinks were abundant and most delicious.
8. But though Numa took so much care for the service of the gods, yet he forbade all costly sacrifices; neither did he suffer blood to be shed on the altars, nor any images of the gods to be made. But he taught the people to offer in sacrifice nothing but the fruits of the earth, meal, and cakes of flour, and roasted corn.
9. He loved husbandry, and he wished his people to live every man on his own inheritance in peace and in happiness. So the lands which Romulus had won in war he divided out amongst the people, and gave a certain portion to each man. He then ordered landmarks to be set on every portion, and Terminus, the god of landmarks, had them in his keeping, and he who moved a landmark was accursed. The craftsmen of the city who had no land, were divided according to their callings, and there were made of them nine companies. So all was peaceful and prosperous throughout the reign of Numa: the gates of the temple of Janus were never opened, for the Romans had no wars and no enemies; and Numa built a temple to Faith, and appointed a solemn worship for her, that men might learn not to lie or to deceive, but to speak and act in honesty. And when he had lived to the age of fourscore years, he died at last by a gentle decay, and he was buried under a hill on the other side of the Tiber; and the books of his sacred laws and ordinances were buried near him in a separate tomb.—Dr. Arnold.
Questions on the lesson:-Character of Romulus? Circumstances in which Romulus disappeared? Arrangement after Romulus's death? From whom was the new king chosen? How did he show his fear of the gods? How did he snare the gods? What did he learn from them? What kind of employments did he encourage?
EARLY LEGENDS OF ROME.
IX. — BRUTUS THE DULLARD.
1. Rome had only seven kings.
The last of them was Tarquin. While this king was at the height of his greatness, it chanced upon a time, that from the altar in the court of his palace there crawled out a snake which devoured the offerings laid on the altar. So the king thought it not enough to consult the soothsayers whom he had with him, but he sent two of his own sons to ask counsel of the oracle of the Greeks, which was famous in all lands.
2. So his sons went to the oracle and they took with them their cousin whom men called Brutus, that is, the Dullard; for he seemed to be wholly without wit and he would eat wild figs with honey. This Brutus was not really dull but very subtle, and it was for fear of his uncle's cruelty that he made himself as one without sense: for he was very rich and he feared lest the king should kill him for the sake of his inheritance.
3. So when he went to the oracle he carried with him a staff of horn, and the staff was hollow, and it was filled within with gold, and he gave the staff to the oracle as a likeness of himself, for though he seemed dull and of no account to look upon, yet he had a golden wit within.
4. When the three young men had performed the king's bidding, they asked the oracle for themselves, and they said, “Tell us, O god, which of us shall be king in Rome.” Then there came a voice from the sanctuary and said, “Whichever of you shall first kiss his mother.” So the sons of Tarquin agreed to draw lots between themselves which of them should first kiss their mother when they should have returned to Rome; and they said they would keep the oracle secret from one of their brothers who had not accompanied them, lest he should be king rather than they
5. But Brutus understood the mind of the oracle better: so as they all went down from the temple he stumbled as if by chance, and fell with his face to the earth and kissed the earth, for he said, “The earth is the true mother of us all.”
X.—"HE LOVED JUSTICE MORE THAN HIS OWN BLOOD."
6. For his own tyranny and that of his sons, Tarquin and all his family were banished from Rome. After this two magistrates were chosen by the people year by year to govern them. Brutus, who had been foremost in procuring the people's deliverance, was one of the two who were first chosen.
7. Then Tarquin sent to Rome to ask for all the goods that had belonged to him; and after a while it was agreed that the goods should be given back. But those whom the king had sent to Rome to ask for his goods had meetings with many young men of noble birth, and a plot was laid to bring back the royal house. So the young men wrote letters to Tarquin, pledging to him their faith,
them were the two sons of Brutus. 8. But a slave happened to overhear them talking together, and when he knew that the letters were to be given to the messengers of Tarquin, he went and told all that he had heard to Brutus and the other magistrate. They then came and seized the young men and their letters and so the plot was broken up.
9. After this there was a strange and piteous sight to behold. Brutus and his colleague sat on their judgmentseats and the young men were brought before them. Then Brutus bade the lictors to bind his own two sons together with the others, and to scourge them with rods according to the law.
10. After they had been scourged, the lictors struck off their heads with their axes before the eyes of their father; and Brutus neither stirred from his seat, nor turned away his eyes from the sight, yet men saw they looked on him that his heart was grieving inwardly over his children. Then they marvelled at him, because
he had loved justice more than his own blood, and had not spared his own CHILDREN when they had been false to their country, and had offended against the law.-Dr. Arnold.
Questions on the lesson :—How many kings had Rome? The last was? What omen alarmed him? Who went to consult the oracle? Why was Brutus called the Dullard? What was his real character? What did he take with him to Delphi? What was the meaning of the hollow staff filled with gold? What answer was given to the question who should be king? How did Brutus make the omen his own? What was the fate of Tarquin and his family? Who were chosen now to govern? Tell of the plot. How was it discovered? In what unhappy position was Brutus placed? What became of his sons? Of what was their execution a conspicuous evidence?
The oracle of the Greeks: the temple of the god Apollo at Delphi. This was the most famous oracle in the ancient world. Here a priestess was believed to receive from the god a knowledge of future events which she communicated to those who consulted the oracle.