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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.

money, provided clothes, and tents, and military stores for the army; 

and when all was ready, she left Italy and put to sea, having previously 

dispatched a messenger to her husband to inform him that she was coming. 

 

Cleopatra began now to be afraid that she was to lose Antony again, and 

she at once began to resort to the usual artifices employed in such 

cases, in order to retain her power over him. She said nothing, but 

assumed the appearance of one pining under the influence of some secret 

suffering or sorrow. She contrived to be often surprised in tears. In 

such cases she would hastily brush her tears away, and assume a 

countenance of smiles and good humor, as if making every effort to be 

happy, though really oppressed with a heavy burden of anxiety and grief. 

When Antony was near her she would seem overjoyed at his presence, and 

gaze upon him with an expression of the most devoted fondness. When 

absent from him, she spent her time alone, always silent and dejected, 

and often in tears; and she took care that the secret sorrows and 

sufferings that she endured should be duly made known to Antony, and 

that he should understand that they were all occasioned by her love for 

him, and by the danger which she apprehended that he was about to leave 

her. 

 

The friends and secret agents of Cleopatra, who reported these things to 

Antony, made, moreover, direct representations to him, for the purpose 

of inclining his mind in her favor. They had, in fact, the astonishing 

audacity to argue that Cleopatra's claims upon Antony for a continuance 

of his love were paramount to those of Octavia. She, that is, Octavia, 

had been his wife, they said, only for a very short time. Cleopatra had 

been most devotedly attached to him for many years. Octavia was married 

to him, they alleged, not under the impulse of love, but from political 

considerations alone, to please her brother, and to ratify and confirm a 

political league made with him. Cleopatra, on the other hand, had given 

herself up to him in the most absolute and unconditional manner, under 

the influence solely of a personal affection which she could not 

control. She had surrendered and sacrificed every thing to him. For him 

she had lost her good name, alienated the affections of her subjects, 

made herself the object of reproach and censure to all mankind, and now 

she had left her native land to come and join him in his adverse 

fortunes. Considering how much she had done, and suffered, and 

sacrificed for his sake, it would be extreme and unjustifiable cruelty 

in him to forsake her now. She never would survive such an abandonment. 

Her whole soul was so wrapped up in him, that she would pine away and 

die if he were now to forsake her. 

 

Antony was distressed and agitated beyond measure by the entanglements 

in which he found that he was involved. His duty, his inclination 

perhaps, certainly his ambition, and every dictate of prudence and 

policy required that he should break away from these snares at once and 

go to meet Octavia. But the spell that bound him was too mighty to be 

dissolved. He yielded to Cleopatra's sorrows and tears. He dispatched a 

messenger to Octavia, who had by this time reached Athens, in Greece, 

directing her not to come any farther. Octavia, who seemed incapable of 

resentment or anger against her husband, sent back to ask what she 

should do with the troops, and money, and the military stores which she 

was bringing. Antony directed her to leave them in Greece. Octavia did 

so, and mournfully returned to her home. 

 

As soon as she arrived at Rome, Octavius, her brother, whose indignation 

was now thoroughly aroused at the baseness of Antony, sent to his sister 

to say that she must leave Antony's house and come to him. A proper 

self-respect, he said, forbade her remaining any longer under the roof 

of such a man. Octavia replied that she would not leave her husband's 

house. That house was her post of duty, whatever her husband might do, 

and there she would remain. She accordingly retired within the precincts 

of her old home, and devoted herself in patient and uncomplaining sorrow 

to the care of the family and the children. Among these children was one 

young son of Antony's, born during his marriage with her predecessor 

Fulvia. In the mean time, while Octavia was thus faithfully though 

mournfully fulfilling her duties as wife and mother, in her husband's 

house at Rome, Antony himself had gone with Cleopatra to Alexandria, and 


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