By Albert I. Baumgarten
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Tarquin was now sorry he had not taken the books, and he hoped the woman would come again. She did come on the following day, but she had only three books instead of six. She had burned the other three the day before. The king was very glad to see her, and he bought the remaining three books, but he had to pay just as much for them as the old woman had asked at first for the nine. Then the Sibyl disappeared, and was never seen again. The ordinary books the Romans had were not like the Sibylline Books.
Shortly after King Numa began his reign he divided some of the public lands into small farms and gave one of these farms to every poor Roman. The public lands were lands that belonged to the nation and not to private persons. It was rather hard at first for the new-made farmers to be contented on their farms and to do good work. They were mostly soldiers and had very little knowledge of anything except marching and fighting. But it was not long before they began to understand what a blessing it is to be self-supporting and independent.
Suddenly the Latins shouted in intense excitement. Lo! one of the Horatii, after a fierce struggle with one of the Curiatii, was stricken down dead! The Romans groaned, hung their heads, and looked in anxious doubt at their remaining two champions. Bravely the Horatii stood—two to three—and fought with all their might. Step by step they drove the Curiatii back across the field. Cheers rang out from the Romans at this heroic effort. The victory might yet be theirs! But alas! one of the Curiatii, with a swift, sly sword-thrust, killed another of the Horatii.