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it, the company enjoyed a temporary respite from his excessive 



Philotas adds, in his account of this affair, that he sent the gold and 

silver plate back to young Antony again, being afraid to keep them. 

Antony said that perhaps it was as well that this should be done, since 

many of the vessels were of great value on account of their rare and 

antique workmanship, and his father might possibly miss them and wish to 

know what had become of them. 


As there were no limits, on the one hand, to the loftiness and grandeur 

of the pleasures to which Antony and Cleopatra addicted themselves, so 

there were none to the low and debasing tendencies which characterized 

them on the other. Sometimes, at midnight, after having been spending 

many hours in mirth and revelry in the palace, Antony would disguise 

himself in the dress of a slave, and sally forth into the streets, 

excited with wine, in search of adventures. In many cases, Cleopatra 

herself, similarly disguised, would go out with him. On these excursions 

Antony would take pleasure in involving himself in all sorts of 

difficulties and dangers--in street riots, drunken brawls, and desperate 

quarrels with the populace--all for Cleopatra's amusement and his own. 

Stories of these adventures would circulate afterward among the people, 

some of whom would admire the free and jovial character of their 

eccentric visitor, and others would despise him as a prince degrading 

himself to the level of a brute. 


Some of the amusements and pleasures which Antony and Cleopatra pursued 

were innocent in themselves, though wholly unworthy to be made the 

serious business of life by personages on whom such exalted duties 

rightfully devolved. They made various excursions upon the Nile, and 

arranged parties of pleasure to go out on the water in the harbor, and 

to various rural retreats in the environs of the city. Once they went 

out on a fishing-party, in boats, in the port. Antony was unsuccessful; 

and feeling chagrined that Cleopatra should witness his ill-luck, he 

made a secret arrangement with some of the fishermen to dive down, where 

they could do so unobserved, and fasten fishes to his hook under the 

water. By this plan he caught very large and fine fish very fast. 

Cleopatra, however, was too wary to be easily deceived by such a 

stratagem as this. She observed the maneuver, but pretended not to 

observe it; she expressed, on the other hand, the greatest surprise and 

delight at Antony's good luck, and the extraordinary skill which it 



The next day she wished to go a fishing again, and a party was 

accordingly made as on the day before. She had, however, secretly 

instructed another fisherman to procure a dried and salted fish from the 

market, and, watching his opportunity, to get down into the water under 

the boats and attach it to the hook, before Antony's divers could get 

there. This plan succeeded, and Antony, in the midst of a large and gay 

party that were looking on, pulled out an excellent fish, cured and 

dried, such as was known to every one as an imported article, bought in 

the market. It was a fish of a kind that was brought originally from 

Asia Minor. The boats and the water all around them resounded with the 

shouts of merriment and laughter which this incident occasioned. 


In the mean time, while Antony was thus spending his time in low and 

ignoble pursuits and in guilty pleasures at Alexandria, his wife Fulvia, 

after exhausting all other means of inducing her husband to return to 

her, became desperate, and took measures for fomenting an open war, 

which she thought would compel him to return. The extraordinary energy, 

influence, and talent which Fulvia possessed, enabled her to do this in 

an effectual manner. She organized an army, formed a camp, placed 

herself at the head of the troops, and sent such tidings to Antony of 

the dangers which threatened his cause as greatly alarmed him. At the 

same time news came of great disasters in Asia Minor, and of alarming 

insurrections among the provinces which had been committed to his charge 

there. Antony saw that he must arouse himself from the spell which had 

enchanted him and break away from Cleopatra, or that he would be wholly 

and irretrievably ruined. He made, accordingly, a desperate effort to 

get free. He bade the queen farewell, embarked hastily in a fleet of 

galleys, and sailed away to Tyre, leaving Cleopatra in her palace, 

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