Meanwhile, his Gallic wars raised Caesar to greatness; and though he was thought to be very far removed from Rome, and to be occupied with Belgae, Suevi, and Britanni, he secretly and cleverly contrived to thwart Pompey's designs in the heart of the city and in the most important matters.
For he himself, with his military force clothing him as the body does the soul, was carefully training it, not against the Barbarians merely, nay, he used its combats with these only to give it exercise, as if in hunting and the chase,—and was making it invincible and terrible; but all the while he was sending back to Rome gold and silver and the other spoils and the rest of the wealth which came to him in abundance from his numerous wars, and by tempting people with his bribes, and contributing to the expenses of aediles, praetors, consuls, and their wives, he was winning many to his side.
Therefore when he crossed the Alps and spent the winter in Luca, a great crowd of ordinary men and women gathered there in eager haste to see him, while two hundred men of senatorial rank, among whom were Pompey and Crassus, and a hundred and twenty fasces of proconsuls and praetors were seen at Caesar's door.1
Accordingly, he filled all the rest with hopes and loaded them with money, and sent them away; but between himself, Pompey, and Crassus the following compact was made: these two were to stand for the consulship, and Caesar was to assist their candidacy by sending large numbers of his soldiers home to vote for them; as soon as they were elected, they were to secure for themselves commands of provinces and armies, and to confirm Caesar's present provinces to him for another term of five years.
When all this was publicly known, it gave displeasure to the chief men of the state, and Marcellinus rose in the assembly and asked Pompey and Crassus to their faces whether they were going to be candidates for the consulship. As the majority of the people bade them answer, Pompey did so first, and said that perhaps he would be a candidate, and perhaps he would not; but Crassus gave a more politic answer, for he said he would take whichever course he thought would be for the advantage of the common wealth.2
And when Marcellinus persisted in his attack upon Pompey and was thought to be making a strong speech, Pompey remarked that Marcellinus was of all men most unjust, since he was not grateful to him for making him eloquent instead of speechless, and full to vomiting instead of famished.