Now, since those who sued for the privilege of a triumph must remain outside the city, while those who were candidates for the consulship must be present in the city, Caesar was in a great dilemma, and because he had reached home at the very time for the consular elections, he sent a request to the senate that he might be permitted to offer himself for the consulship in absentiâ
, through the agency of his friends. But since Cato began by insisting upon the law in opposition to Caesar's request, and then, when he saw that many senators had been won over by Caesar's attentions, staved the matter off by consuming the day in speaking, Caesar decided to give up the triumph and try for the consulship.
So as soon as he entered the city he assumed a policy which deceived everyone except Cato. This policy was to reconcile Pompey and Crassus, the most influential men in the city. These men Caesar brought together in friendship after their quarrel, and by concentrating their united strength upon himself, succeeded, before men were aware of it, and by an act which could be called one of kindness, in changing the form of government.
For it was not, as most men supposed, the quarrel between Caesar and Pompey that brought on the civil wars, but rather their friendship, since they worked together for the overthrow of the aristocracy in the first place, and then, when this had been accomplished, they quarrelled with one another. And Cato, who often foretold what was to come of their alliance, got the reputation of a morose and troublesome fellow at the time, but afterwards that of a wise, though unfortunate, counsellor.1