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Providing for an autocracy represented by a life President, it ran the gamut of aristocracy and democracy, all the way from "censors" for life, who were to watch over the due enforcement of the laws, down to senators and "tribunes" chosen by electors, who in turn were to be named by a select citizenry.

Among the most notable of the leaders was Gerritt Smith. He took active part in politics, and was for a time in Congress. He is finely characterized by Andrew D. White: "Of all tribunes of the people I have ever known he dwells in my memory as possessing the greatest variety of gifts.

For the present our one remaining hope is in the new tribunes, and that, too, in the first days of their office; if the matter is allowed to get stale, it is all over with us.

Consuls consulted the heavens falsely; Tribunes used their veto violently; judges accepted bribes openly; the votes of the people were manipulated fraudulently. In the trial and escape of Rabirius, the laws were despised by those who pretended to vindicate them. Clodius had now become a Tribune by the means of certain legal provision, but yet in opposition to all law.

In the seventy and third year after the driving out of the kings the strife between the nobles and the Commons grew to be fierce beyond measure; for on the one hand the Consuls would have levied an army to make war with the Volscians, and this the tribunes hindered; and on the other hand the tribunes sought to establish a law that should set bounds to the power of the Consuls, and this law the nobles hindered that it should not be passed.

'Let the consuls, prætors, tribunes of the plebs, and men of consular rank see to it that the Republic suffers no harm." Another shout of applause rolled along the seats, fiercer and fiercer, and through it all a shower of curses and abusive epithets upon the Cæsarians.

Sic. Help, ye citizens. Men. On both sides, more respect. Sic. There's HE that would Take from you all your power. Bru. Seize him, Aediles. Cit. Down with him. Down with him. Second Sen. Weapons! Weapons! Weapons! Tribunes, patricians: citizens: what ho: Sicinius, Brutus: Coriolanus: citizens: Cit. Peace! Peace! Peace! stay! hold! peace! Men. What is about to be?

That the tribunes might order arms to be taken up against Publius Valerius the consul, since they forbid it against Appius Herdonius; that he would venture to act in that manner in the case of the tribunes, in which the founder of his family had ventured to act in the case of kings."

On hearing this, the tribunes, conceiving that an opportunity was presented to them of extending their power, retire together, and declare for their college, that "it was their wish that the consuls should be obedient to the instruction of the senate; if they persisted further against the consent of that most illustrious order, that they would order them to be taken to prison."

In short, the empire at this period came under the government of a hateful aristocracy; the tribunes, who were formerly accounted protectors of the people, becoming rich themselves, and having no longer opposite interests from those of the senate, concurred in their oppressions; for the struggle was not now between patricians and plebeians, who only nominally differed, but between the rich and the poor. 21.