And now Marius, who was forced, in return for this assistance, to look on quietly while Saturninus ran to extremes of daring and power, brought about unawares a mischief that was not to be cured, but made its way by arms and slaughter directly towards tyranny and subversion of the government. And since he stood in awe of the nobles, while he courted the favour of time multitude, he was led to commit an act of the utmost meanness and duplicity.
For when the leading men had come to him by night and were trying to incite him against Saturninus, without their knowledge he introduced Saturninus into the house by another door; then, pretending to both parties that he had a diarrhoea, he would run backwards and forwards in the house, now to the nobles and now to Saturninus, trying to irritate and bring them into collision.
However, when the senate and the knights began to combine and give utterance to their indignation, he led his soldiers into the forum, forced the insurgents to take refuge on the Capitol, and compelled them to surrender for lack of water. For he cut off the water-conduits; whereupon they gave up the struggle, called Marius, and surrendered themselves on what was called the public faith.
Marius did all he could to save the men, but it was of no avail, and when they came down into the forum they were put to death. This affair made Marius obnoxious alike to the nobles and to the people, and when the time for electing censors came he did not present himself as a candidate, although everyone expected that he would, but allowed other and inferior men to be elected, for fear that he would be defeated. However, he tried to put a good face upon his conduct by saying that he was unwilling to incur the hatred of many citizens by a severe examination into their lives and manners.