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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.

and, in a word, made all the arrangements complete for an expedition of 

the most imposing and magnificent character. While these preparations 

were going forward, she received new and frequent communications from 

Antony, urging her to hasten her departure; but she paid very little 

attention to them. It was evident that she felt quite independent, and 

was intending to take her own time. 

 

At length, however, all was ready, and Cleopatra set sail. She crossed 

the Mediterranean Sea, and entered the mouth of the River Cydnus. Antony 

was at Tarsus, a city upon the Cydnus, a small distance above its mouth. 

When Cleopatra's fleet had entered the river, she embarked on board a 

most magnificent barge which she had constructed for the occasion, and 

had brought with her across the sea. This barge was the most magnificent 

and highly-ornamented vessel that had ever been built. It was adorned 

with carvings and decorations of the finest workmanship, and elaborately 

gilded. The sails were of purple, and the oars were inlaid and tipped 

with silver. Upon the deck of this barge Queen Cleopatra appeared, 

under a canopy of cloth of gold. She was dressed very magnificently in 

the costume in which Venus, the goddess of Beauty, was then generally 

represented. She was surrounded by a company of beautiful boys, who 

attended upon her in the form of Cupids, and fanned her with their 

wings, and by a group of young girls representing the Nymphs and the 

Graces. There was a band of musicians stationed upon the deck. This 

music guided the oarsmen, as they kept time to it in their rowing; and, 

soft as the melody was, the strains were heard far and wide over the 

water and along the shores, as the beautiful vessel advanced on its way. 

The performers were provided with flutes, lyres, viols, and all the 

other instruments customarily used in those times to produce music of a 

gentle and voluptuous kind. 

 

[Illustration: MEETING OF CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY.] 

 

In fact, the whole spectacle seemed like a vision of enchantment. 

Tidings of the approach of the barge spread rapidly around, and the 

people of the country came down in crowds to the shores of the river to 

gaze upon it in admiration as it glided slowly along. At the time of its 

arrival at Tarsus, Antony was engaged in giving a public audience at 

some tribunal in his palace, but everybody ran to see Cleopatra and the 

barge, and the great triumvir was left consequently alone, or, at least, 

with only a few official attendants near him. Cleopatra, on arriving at 

the city, landed, and began to pitch her tents on the shores. Antony 

sent a messenger to bid her welcome, and to invite her to come and sup 

with him. She declined the invitation, saying that it was more proper 

that he should come and sup with her. She would accordingly expect him 

to come, she said, and her tents would be ready at the proper hour. 

Antony complied with her proposal, and came to her entertainment. He was 

received with a magnificence and splendor which amazed him. The tents 

and pavilions where the entertainment was made were illuminated with an 

immense number of lamps. These lamps were arranged in a very ingenious 

and beautiful manner, so as to produce an illumination of the most 

surprising brilliancy and beauty. The immense number and variety, too, 

of the meats and wines, and of the vessels of gold and silver, with 

which the tables were loaded, and the magnificence and splendor of the 

dresses worn by Cleopatra and her attendants, combined to render the 

whole scene one of bewildering enchantment. 

 

The next day, Antony invited Cleopatra to come and return his visit; 

but, though he made every possible effort to provide a banquet as 

sumptuous and as sumptuously served as hers, he failed entirely in this 

attempt, and acknowledged himself completely outdone. Antony was, 

moreover, at these interviews, perfectly fascinated with Cleopatra's 

charms. Her beauty, her wit, her thousand accomplishments, and, above 

all, the tact, and adroitness, and self-possession which she displayed 

in assuming at once so boldly, and carrying out so adroitly, the idea of 

her social superiority over him, that he yielded his heart almost 

immediately to her undisputed sway. 

 

The first use which Cleopatra made of her power was to ask Antony, for 

her sake, to order her sister ArsinoŽ to be slain. ArsinoŽ had gone, it 

will be recollected, to Rome, to grace Caesar's triumph there, and had 


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