But notwithstanding these vexatious disabilities the privileges of the
clans, so far as they had a political value, were legally superseded
by the new institution; and, had the Roman nobility been worthy of its
name, it must now have given up the struggle. But it did not.
a rational and legal resistance was thenceforth impossible, spiteful
opposition still found a wide field of petty expedients, of chicanery
and intrigue; and, far from honourable or politically prudent as such
resistance was, it was still in a certain sense fruitful of results.
It certainly procured at length for the commons concessions which
could not easily have been wrung from the united Roman aristocracy;
but it also prolonged civil war for another century and enabled
the nobility, in defiance of those laws, practically to retain the
government in their exclusive possession for several generations