According to Plutarch's The Life of Numa, after the death of Romulus (the first king of Rome), the feuding supporters of Romulus and Tatius eventually agreed to crown Numa king.
However, Numa initially turned down the offer of kingship for a few reasons:
1) He was happy living a quiet life.
2) He was greatly devoted to academic pursuits.
3) He appreciated a peaceful existence, one in which his acquaintances came together to worship deity or to engage in friendly conversation.
4) He reasoned that the people were much accustomed to having a war-like king, such as Romulus was. He argued that he would have a hard time living up to Romulus' strong reputation for war and conquest. Additionally, he felt that he would become a laughing-stock among his subjects if he were to preach against the violence and war that has accorded Rome all its manifest power.
5) He asserted that the fortunes of a king seem to be predicated on the political winds of change. Numa gives the example of Romulus, who was accused of plotting against his colleague, Tatius, king of the Sabines. Yet, Romulus was greatly believed to be a 'child of the gods.' Indeed, Numa believed a king's position and power to be tenuous at best.
Moreover, the very traits in my disposition which are to be commended, are far from marking a man destined to be a king, namely, my great love of retirement, my devotion to studies inconsistent with the usual activities of men, and my well-known strong and inveterate love of peace, of unwarlike occupations...
Besides, the people has become much accustomed to war, and eager for it because of their successes, and no one is blind to their desire for growth by conquest. I should therefore become a laughing-stock if I sought to serve the gods, and taught men to honour justice and hate violence and war, in a city which desires a leader of its armies rather than a king.