Now, Caesar had long ago decided to put down Pompey, just as, of course, Pompey also had decided to put Caesar down. For now that Crassus, who was only waiting for the issue of their struggle to engage the victor,1
had perished among the Parthians, it remained for him who would be greatest to put down him who was, and for him who was greatest, if he would not be put down, to take off in time the man he feared.
This fear had only recently come upon Pompey, who till then despised Caesar, feeling that it was no hard task to put down again the man whom he himself had raised on high. But Caesar had from the outset formed this design, and like an athlete had removed himself to a great distance from his antagonists, and by exercising himself in the Gallic wars had practised his troops and increased his fame,
lifting himself by his achievements to a height where he could vie with the successes of Pompey. He laid hold of pretexts which were furnished partly by Pompey himself, and partly by the times and the evil state of government at Rome,2
by reason of which candidates for office set up counting-tables in public and shamelessly bribed the multitudes, while the people went down into the forum under pay, contending in behalf of their paymaster, not with votes, but with bows and arrows, swords, and slings.
Often, too, they would defile the rostra with blood and corpses before they separated, leaving the city to anarchy like a ship drifting about without a steersman, so that men of understanding were content if matters issued in nothing worse for them than monarchy, after such madness and so great a tempest. And there were many who actually dared to say in public that nothing but monarchy could now cure the diseases of the state, and that this remedy might to be adopted when offered by the gentlest of physicians, hinting at Pompey.
And when even Pompey, although in words he affected to decline the honour, in fact did more than any one else to effect his appointment as dictator, Cato saw through his design and persuaded the senate to appoint him sole consul, solacing him with a more legal monarchy that he might not force his way to the dictatorship. They also voted him additional time in which to hold his provinces; and he had two, Spain and all Africa, which he managed by sending legates thither and maintaining armies there, for which he received from the public treasury a thousand talents annually.3