THE SCHOOL-TEACHER PUNISHED
THE war with Veii was soon followed by one against the
city of Falerii, and here too the Roman army found
it very hard to get possession of the town. One day,
however, a school-teacher came to Camillus, bringing
his pupils, who were the sons of the principal
Camillus was surprised to see the strange party coming
from the city, but his surprise was soon changed to
indignation, for the faithless schoolmaster offered to
give up the children confided to his care. He said that
their parents would be quite ready to make peace on any
terms, as soon as they found that their sons were
prisoners. Instead of accepting this proposal, Camillus
sent the children back to their parents; and he gave
each of them a whip with directions to whip the
dishonest schoolmaster back into the city.
The School-Teacher Punished.
When the parents heard that their children owed their
liberty to the generosity of the enemy, they were
 touched. Instead of continuing the war, they
offered to surrender; and Camillus not only accepted
their terms, but made them allies of Rome. Thus a
second war was ended by his efforts, and the Romans
were again victorious.
In spite of his successes abroad, Camillus was not a
favorite at home. Shortly after his return from this
last campaign, the Romans, who disliked him, accused
him of having kept part of the spoil which had been
taken at Veii.
This accusation was false; but, in spite of the
protests of Camillus, they persisted in repeating it,
and finally summoned him to appear before the
magistrates, where he would be tried. This was very
insulting, but Camillus would have complied had there
been any hope of having an honest trial.
As all those who were to judge him were his enemies, he
refused to appear before the court, and preferred to
leave his city and go off into exile. But when he
passed out of the gates, he could not restrain his
indignation. Raising his hands to heaven, he prayed
that his countrymen might be punished for their
This prayer was soon answered. Not long after Camillus
had left Rome, the Gauls, a barbarous people from the
north, came sweeping down into Italy, under the
leadership of their chief, Brennus.
These barbarians were tall and fierce; they robbed and
killed with ruthless energy wherever they went, and, in
spite of every obstacle, they swept onward like a
devastating torrent. Before the Romans could take any
steps to hinder it, they appeared before the city of
Clusium, and laid siege to it.
The Clusians were the friends and allies of the Romans,
and the latter sent three ambassadors of the Fabian
family to command the Gauls to retreat. Brennus
received them scornfully, and paid no heed to their
Now it was the duty of the Fabii, as ambassadors, to
return to Rome and remain neutral. Instead of this, the
men sent a message to Rome, joined the Clusians, and
began to fight against the Gauls.
Although he was only a barbarian, Brennus was furious
at this lack of fairness. In his anger he left the city
of Clusium, and started out for Rome, saying that he
would make the Romans pay the penalty for the mistake
of their ambassadors.