Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Want of Results from the Democratic Agitation
But with all this no progress was made. There was scandal and outcry enough, but no real result was attained by this exposure of the government according to and beyond its deserts. The material power still lay, so long as there was no military interference, in the hands of the burgesses of the capital; and the "people" that thronged the streets of Rome and made magistrates and laws in the Forum, was in fact nowise better than the governing senate. The government no doubt had to come to terms with the multitude, where its own immediate interest was at stake; this was the reason for the renewal of the Sempronian corn-law. But it was not to be imagined that this populace would have displayed earnestness on behalf of an idea or even of a judicious reform.
What Demosthenes said of his Athenians was justly applied to the Romans of this period--the people were very zealous for action, so long as they stood round the platform and listened to proposals of reforms; but when they went home, no one thought further of what he had heard in the market-place. However those democratic agitators might stir the fire, it was to no purpose, for the inflammable material was wanting. The government knew this, and allowed no sort of concession to be wrung from it on important questions of principle; at the utmost it consented (about 682) to grant amnesty to a portion of those who had become exiles with Lepidus.
Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them
Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/rome/5-03-fall-oligarchy-pompeius.asp?pg=5