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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.

corresponded with his dress and appearance. He lived in habits of the 

most unreserved familiarity with his soldiers. He associated freely with 

them, ate and drank with them in the open air, and joined in their noisy 

mirth and rude and boisterous hilarity. His commanding powers of mind, 

and the desperate recklessness of his courage, enabled him to do all 

this without danger. These qualities inspired in the minds of the 

soldiers a feeling of profound respect for their commander; and this 

good opinion he was enabled to retain, notwithstanding such habits of 

familiarity with his inferiors as would have been fatal to the influence 

of an ordinary man. 

 

In the most prosperous portion of Antony's career--for example, during 

the period immediately preceding the death of Caesar--he addicted himself 

to vicious indulgences of the most open, public, and shameless 

character. He had around him a sort of court, formed of jesters, 

tumblers, mountebanks, play-actors, and other similar characters of the 

lowest and most disreputable class. Many of these companions were 

singing and dancing girls, very beautiful, and very highly accomplished 

in the arts of their respective professions, but all totally corrupt and 

depraved. Public sentiment, even in that age and nation, strongly 

condemned this conduct. The people were pagans, it is true, but it is a 

mistake to suppose that the formation of a moral sentiment in the 

community against such vices as these is a work which Christianity alone 

can perform. There is a law of nature, in the form of an instinct 

universal in the race, imperiously enjoining that the connection of the 

sexes shall consist of the union of one man with one woman, and that 

woman his wife, and very sternly prohibiting every other. So that there 

has probably never been a community in the world so corrupt, that a man 

could practice in it such vices as those of Antony, without not only 

violating his own sense of right and wrong, but also bringing upon 

himself the general condemnation of those around him. 

 

Still, the world is prone to be very tolerant in respect to the vices of 

the great. Such exalted personages as Antony seem to be judged by a 

different standard from common men. Even in the countries where those 

who occupy high stations of trust or of power are actually selected, for 

the purpose of being placed there, by the voices of their fellow-men, 

all inquiry into the personal character of a candidate is often 

suppressed, such inquiry being condemned as wholly irrelevant and 

improper, and they who succeed in attaining to power enjoy immunities in 

their elevation which are denied to common men. 

 

But, notwithstanding the influence of Antony's rank and power in 

shielding him from public censure, he carried his excesses to such an 

extreme that his conduct was very loudly and very generally condemned. 

He would spend all the night in carousals, and then, the next day, would 

appear in public, staggering in the streets. Sometimes he would enter 

the tribunals for the transaction of business when he was so intoxicated 

that it would be necessary for friends to come to his assistance to 

conduct him away. In some of his journeys in the neighborhood of Rome, 

he would take a troop of companions with him of the worst possible 

character, and travel with them openly and without shame. There was a 

certain actress, named Cytheride, whom he made his companion on one such 

occasion. She was borne upon a litter in his train, and he carried about 

with him a vast collection of gold and silver plate, and of splendid 

table furniture, together with an endless supply of luxurious articles 

of food and of wine, to provide for the entertainments and banquets 

which he was to celebrate with her on the journey. He would sometimes 

stop by the road side, pitch his tents, establish his kitchens, set his 

cooks at work to prepare a feast, spread his tables, and make a 

sumptuous banquet of the most costly, complete, and ceremonious 

character--all to make men wonder at the abundance and perfection of the 

means of luxury which he could carry with him wherever he might go. In 

fact, he always seemed to feel a special pleasure in doing strange and 

extraordinary things in order to excite surprise. Once on a journey he 

had lions harnessed to his carts to draw his baggage, in order to create 

a sensation. 

 

Notwithstanding the heedlessness with which Antony abandoned himself to 

these luxurious pleasures when at Rome, no man could endure exposure and 


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