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class was diminished by twenty thousand asses, so that the fifth class embraced

only those whose property was valued at less than twenty- five thousand asses. It

was, however, arranged that those who were possessed of less than eleven thousand

asses should not be included in the fifth division, but should themselves

constitute a class called the Proletarians, and these the king exempted from all

military service.

The complete organization was thus made to consist of one hundred and seventy

centuries of infantry, the six double centuries of cavalry which Tarquin had

organized, and twelve new centuries of horse created by the law of Servius. The

cavalry wing consisted wholly of younger men, chosen from the richest families.

Their service was the active duty of the field. By their name of Equites, or

Knights, they soon came to be regarded as the most honored soldiery of Rome.

When an assembly was called for the purpose of making laws or holding an

election, the voting was done by centuries. Each century cast one vote. The

eighty votes belonging to the first class were generally decisive of the result,

especially when backed by the eighteen centuries of knights. The commons were in

the aggregate the most numerous, "but, counted by centuries, their preponderance

disappeared. Their influence in the assembly was comparatively small; but the

discrimination against them was less Unjust than would at first sight appear. The

burdens of the government were laid upon the rich, and the exemption of the poor

was regarded as the complement of their exclusion from political influence. In

one particular King Servius showed especial wisdom in the distribution of power.

Although the younger men greatly outnumbered the older in the assembly, the votes

of the latter were made equal to those of the former, thus giving to age and

experience their proper weight as a counterpoise to what the rashness of youth

might propose. By such checks as these was the political society of Rome

restrained within proper limits and made to contribute its wealth of power to the

maintenance of the state,

In furtherance of the conservative policy of his reign, Servius gave his two

daughters in marriage to the sons of Tarquinius Priscus. The lay of ancient Rome

has given to one of the princesses, Tullia, a wicked disposition, and to the

other a character of gentleness. The two young Tarquins were likewise different

in life and morality. Lucius, the elder, was so quarrelsome and proud that the

people gave him the name of Superbus, the Haughty. To make all things balance,

the aged Servius gave the good daughter to the bad youth, while the bad was

assigned to the good. This arrangement, however, proved exceedingly displeasing

to the parties most concerned. In a short time the wicked Tarquin murdered his

wife and his good-natured brother Aruns, in order to make way for his marriage to

that Tullia whose character was in accord with his own. As soon as this union was

effected the twain conspired against the king. Tarquinius, having prepared the

enemies of Servius for the intended usurpation, clad himself in royal garments,

went into the market-place, and began to harangue the populace. When the old king

heard the tumult he hastened to the scene, and an altercation ensued between him

and his maddened son-in-law. The latter seized the aged Servius and hurled him

down the steps of the Senate House. He then ordered his adherents to follow the

old man on his way home and slay him; and the bloody deed was done. The body of

the gray-haired king was left in the street. As soon as Tullia heard of what was

done she drove in her carriage to the market-place and hailed her husband as

king. On her way home she forbade the driver to turn aside, and the vehicle was

driven over her father's corpse. She returned to the palace spattered with the

blood of him who had given her being.

Thus without the consent of the Senate or the people did Lucius Tarquinius obtain

the kingdom. The Romans repaid him with disgust and hatred. His usurpation, which

could not well be resisted-so sudden and audacious had been his course-was borne

in a spirit of sullen disloyalty. His government was arbitrary and severe. All

classes were oppressed without much regard to the forms of law. The king

surrounded himself with a body-guard, thus exhibiting in Rome a style of