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Of the two other competitors for the consulship, Lucius Luceius and Marcus Bibulus, he joined with the former, upon condition that Luceius, being a man of less interest, but greater affluence, should promise money to the electors, in their joint names. Upon which the party of the nobles, dreading how far he might carry matters in that high office, with a colleague disposed to concur in and second his measures, advised Bibulus to promise the voters as much as the other; and most of them contributed towards the expense, Cato himself admitting that bribery, under such circumstances, was for the public good.1 He was accordingly elected consul jointly with Bibulus. Actuated still by the same motives, the prevailing party took care to assign provinces of small importance to the new consuls, such as the care of the woods and roads. Caesar, incensed at this indignity, endeavoured by the most assiduous and flattering attentions to gain to his side Cneius Pompey, at that time dissatisfied with the senate for the backwardness they showed to confirm his acts, after his victories over Mithridates. He likewise brought about a reconciliation between Pompey and Marcus Crassus, who had been at variance from the time of their joint consulship. in which office they were continually clashing; and he entered into an agreement with both, that nothing should be transacted in the government, which was displeasing to any of the three.
1 Even the severe censor was biassed by political expediency to sanction a system, under which what little remained of public virtue, and the love of liberty at Rome, were fast decaying. The strict laws against bribery at elections were disregarded, and it was practised openly, and accepted without a blush. Sallust says that everything was venal, and that Rome itself might be bought, if one was rich enough to purchase it. Jugurth. viii. 20, 3.
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