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so strong a desire that no obstacle should be allowed to prevent this 

proposed union, or even to occasion delay, that the law was altered 

expressly for this case, and Antony and Octavia were married. The empire 

was divided between Octavius and Antony, Octavius receiving the western 

portion as his share, while the eastern was assigned to Antony. 


It is not probable that Antony felt any very strong affection for his 

new wife, beautiful and gentle as she was. A man, in fact, who had led 

such a life as his had been, must have become by this time incapable of 

any strong and pure attachment. He, however, was pleased with the 

novelty of his acquisition, and seemed to forget for a time the loss of 

Cleopatra. He remained with Octavia a year. After that he went away on 

certain military enterprises which kept him some time from her. He 

returned again, and again he went away. All this time Octavia's 

influence over him and over her brother was of the most salutary and 

excellent character. She soothed their animosities, quieted their 

suspicions and jealousies, and at one time, when they were on the brink 

of open war, she effected a reconciliation between them by the most 

courageous and energetic, and at the same time, gentle and unassuming 

efforts. At the time of this danger she was with her husband in Greece; 

but she persuaded him to send her to her brother at Rome, saying that 

she was confident that she could arrange a settlement of the 

difficulties impending. Antony allowed her to go. She proceeded to Rome, 

and procured an interview with her brother in the presence of his two 

principal officers of state. Here she pleaded her husband's cause with 

tears in her eyes; she defended his conduct, explained what seemed to be 

against him, and entreated her brother not to take such a course as 

should cast her down from being the happiest of women to being the most 

miserable. "Consider the circumstances of my case," said she. "The eyes 

of the world are upon me. Of the two most powerful men in the world, I 

am the wife of one and the sister of another. If you allow rash counsels 

to go on and war to ensue, I am hopelessly ruined; for, whichever is 

conquered, my husband or my brother, my own happiness will be for ever 



Octavius sincerely loved his sister, and he was so far softened by her 

entreaties that he consented to appoint an interview with Antony in 

order to see if their difficulties could be settled. This interview was 

accordingly held. The two generals came to a river, where, at the 

opposite banks, each embarked in a boat, and, being rowed out toward 

each other, they met in the middle of the stream. A conference ensued, 

at which all the questions at issue were, for a time at least, very 

happily arranged. 


Antony, however, after a time, began to become tired of his wife, and to 

sigh for Cleopatra once more. He left Octavia at Rome and proceeded to 

the eastward, under pretense of attending to the affairs of that portion 

of the empire; but, instead of doing this, he went to Alexandria, and 

there renewed again his former intimacy with the Egyptian queen. 


Octavius was very indignant at this. His former hostility to Antony, 

which had been in a measure appeased by the kind influence of Octavia, 

now broke forth anew, and was heightened by the feeling of resentment 

naturally awakened by his sister's wrongs Public sentiment in Rome, too, 

was setting very strongly against Antony. Lampoons were written, against 

him to ridicule him and Cleopatra, and the most decided censures were 

passed upon his conduct. Octavia was universally beloved, and the 

sympathy which was every where felt for her increased and heightened 

very much the popular indignation which was felt against the man who 

could wrong so deeply such sweetness, and gentleness, and affectionate 

fidelity as hers. 


After remaining for some time in Alexandria, and renewing his connection 

and intimacy with Cleopatra, Antony went away again, crossing the sea 

into Asia, with the intention of prosecuting certain military 

undertakings there which imperiously demanded his attention. His plan 

was to return as soon as possible to Egypt after the object of his 

expedition should be accomplished. He found, however, that he could not 

bear even a temporary absence from Cleopatra. His mind dwelled so much 

upon her, and upon the pleasures which he had enjoyed with her in Egypt, 

and he longed so much to see her again, that he was wholly unfit for the 

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