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14 POLITICAL SCIENCE.
under the kings plebeians had been received on the propfK.it
of the king, by consent of the patrician tuntf9 into their num-
ber, it might naturally be an object <»f hope th.it tin: sunc
thing should take place after the Servian omsiilnlmit, ami
after the expulsion.*
The consuls had nearly the power of kinj;-. and s|»«nl as
heads of the aristocracy, which naturally wuuJd Ix'cutm' ami
seems to have become more jealous of iu pri\ il* ^rs, ami Iti
have acted more on the defensive a};*ttii**t the +»»«!< r hdmv
them, as their common subjection to the kii^; ciMM-d, as well
as more conscious of power to resist an atimuHy circlet!
magistrate, than one appointed for life* The pIMl points to
be reached by the plebeian* were restriction *»f tin* power of
the consuls* and abolition of the exclusive ri^ht of p ilricunn
to the offices and control of the state. There WMS tif course.
stout resistance in both of these particulars, ami it (ills the
history of Rome for several centuries until they t;,tiii«'d their
points. On the whole, the internal contest was u-.i^rd with
more patience and less violence on tin? part of the popular
leaders than is usual in similar struggles fjeuvcm order*.
The absence of sedition and of extreme measures, where self-
defence did not make them necessary* docs hiyh homir to the
loyal spirit of the Romans; and the conflict must, in the
course of the ages during which it was going on, have called
forth an amount of political thought which wan the best edu-
cation for the citizen. At length, all patrician privileges
were abrogated, the state from two became one, plebeian*
filled the highest offices of state, were at the head of armies,
founded families that became illustrious. But now another
division arose, between the eptiuiatcs and the people or plcbft,
the former of which was composed of families of great wealth,
most of whom had had consular members, or, at least, such a*
* It has not been an object in this sketch to give an account of the
constitution of Rome, but only of the changes by which it patted
out of its aristocratical form. Hence, nothing has been said of the
dictatorship and little of other offices as such, The dictatorship had
no marked influence on the development of the Roman constitution.