With joy the Italians heard that Drusus had carried his
first proposals with the consent of the great majority of the senate;
with still greater joy all the communities of Italy celebrated not long
afterwards the recovery of the tribune, who had been suddenly attacked
by severe illness.
But as the further designs of Drusus became
unveiled, a change took place; he could not venture to bring in
his chief law; he had to postpone, he had to delay, he had soon
to retire. It was reported that the majority of the senate were
vacillating and threatened to fall away from their leader; in rapid
succession the tidings ran through the communities of Italy, that the
law which had passed was annulled, that the capitalists ruled more
absolutely than ever, that the tribune had been struck by the hand
of an assassin, that he was dead (autumn of 663).