Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Pompeius, in despair of mastering the persistent and spiteful opposition of the senate, turned to the burgesses. But he understood still less how to conduct his movements on this field. The democratic leaders, although they did not openly oppose him, had no cause at all to make his interests their own, and so kept aloof. Pompeius' own instruments--such as the consuls elected by his influence and partly by his money, Marcus Pupius Piso for 693 and Lucius Afranius for 694--showed themselves unskilful and useless. When at length the assignation of land for the veterans of Pompeius was submitted to the burgesses by the tribune of the people Lucius Flavius in the form of a general agrarian law, the proposal, not supported by the democrats, openly combated by the aristocrats, was left in a minority (beg. of 694).
The exalted general now sued almost humbly for the favour of the masses, for it was on his instigation that the Italian tolls were abolished by a law introduced by the praetor Metellus Nepos (694). But he played the demagogue without skill and without success; his reputation suffered from it, and he did not obtain what he desired. He had completely run himself into a noose. One of his opponents summed up his political position at that time by saying that he had endeavoured "to conserve by silence his embroidered triumphal mantle." In fact nothing was left for him but to fret.
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