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Table of contents
THE VALLEY OF THE NILE.
THE PTOLEMIES.
ALEXANDRIA.
CLEOPATRA'S FATHER.
ACCESSION TO THE THRONE.
CLEOPATRA AND Caesar.
THE ALEXANDRINE WAR.
CLEOPATRA A QUEEN.
THE BATTLE OF PHILIPPI.
CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY.
THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM.
THE END OF CLEOPATRA.

CHAPTER X.

 

 

CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY.

 

 

Cleopatra espouses Antony's cause.--Her motives.--Antony's early 

life.--His character.--Personal habits of Antony.--His dress and 

manners.--Vicious indulgences of Antony.--Public condemnation.--Vices of 

the great.--Candidates for office.--Antony's excesses.--His luxury and 

extravagance.--Antony's energy.--His powers of endurance.--Antony's 

vicissitudes.--He inveighs away the troops of Lepidus.--Antony's 

marriage.--Fulvia's character.--Fulvia's influence over Antony.--The 

sudden return.--Change in Antony's character.--His generosity.--Funeral 

ceremonies of Brutus.--Antony's movements.--Antony's summons to 

Cleopatra.--The messenger Dellius.--Cleopatra resolves to go to 

Antony.--Her preparations.--Cleopatra enters the Cydnus.--Her splendid 

barge.--A scene of enchantment.--Antony's invitation refused. 

--Cleopatra's reception of Antony.--Antony outdone.--Murder of 

ArsinoŽ.--Cleopatra's manner of life at Tarsus.--Cleopatra's 

munificence.--Story of the pearls.--Position of Fulvia.--Her anxiety and 

distress.--Antony proposes to go to Rome.--His plans frustrated by 

Cleopatra.--Antony's infatuation.--Feasting and revelry.--Philotas.--The 

story of the eight boats.--Antony's son.--The garrulous guest.--The 

puzzle.--The gold and silver plate returned.--Debasing pleasures. 

--Antony and Cleopatra in disguise.--Fishing excursions.--Stratagems. 

--Fulvia's plans for compelling Antony to return.--Departure of 

Antony.--Chagrin of Cleopatra. 

 

How far Cleopatra was influenced, in her determination to espouse the 

cause of Antony rather than that of Brutus and Cassius, in the civil war 

described in the last chapter, by gratitude to Caesar, and how far, on 

the other hand, by personal interest in Antony, the reader must judge. 

Cleopatra had seen Antony, it will be recollected, some years before, 

during his visit to Egypt, when she was a young girl. She was doubtless 

well acquainted with his character. It was a character peculiarly 

fitted, in some respects, to captivate the imagination of a woman so 

ardent, and impulsive, and bold as Cleopatra was fast becoming. 

 

Antony had, in fact, made himself an object of universal interest 

throughout the world, by his wild and eccentric manners and reckless 

conduct, and by the very extraordinary vicissitudes which had marked his 

career. In moral character he was as utterly abandoned and depraved as 

it was possible to be. In early life, as has already been stated, he 

plunged into such a course of dissipation and extravagance that he 

became utterly and hopelessly ruined; or, rather, he would have been so, 

had he not, by the influence of that magic power of fascination which 

such characters often possess, succeeded in gaining a great ascendency 

over a young man of immense fortune, named Curio, who for a time upheld 

him by becoming surety for his debts. This resource, however, soon 

failed, and Antony was compelled to abandon Rome, and to live for some 

years as a fugitive and exile, in dissolute wretchedness and want. 

During all the subsequent vicissitudes through which he passed in the 

course of his career, the same habits of lavish expenditure continued, 

whenever he had funds at his command. This trait of character took the 

form sometimes of a noble generosity. In his campaigns, the plunder 

which he acquired he usually divided among his soldiers, reserving 

nothing for himself. This made his men enthusiastically devoted to him, 

and led them to consider his prodigality as a virtue, even when they did 

not themselves derive any direct advantage from it. A thousand stories 

were always in circulation in camp of acts on his part illustrating his 

reckless disregard of the value of money, some ludicrous, and all 

eccentric and strange. 

 

In his personal habits, too, he was as different as possible from other 

men. He prided himself on being descended from Hercules, and he affected 

a style of dress and a general air and manner in accordance with the 

savage character of this his pretended ancestor. His features were 

sharp, his nose was arched and prominent, and he wore his hair and beard 

very long--as long, in fact, as he could make them grow. These 

peculiarities imparted to his countenance a very wild and ferocious 

expression. He adopted a style of dress, too, which, judged of with 

reference to the prevailing fashions of the time, gave to his whole 

appearance a rough, savage, and reckless air. His manner and demeanor 


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