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other arrangements. Antony, as if becoming more and more infatuated as 

he approached the brink of his ruin, spent his time while the expedition 

remained at Samos, not in maturing his plans and perfecting his 

arrangements for the tremendous conflict which was approaching, but in 

festivities, games, revelings, and every species of riot and dissolute 

excess. This, however, is not surprising. Men almost always, when in a 

situation analogous to his, fly to similar means of protecting 

themselves, in some small degree, from the pangs of remorse, and from 

the forebodings which stand ready to terrify and torment them at every 

instant in which these gloomy specters are not driven away by 

intoxication and revelry. At least Antony found it so. Accordingly, an 

immense company of players, tumblers, fools, jesters, and mountebanks 

were ordered to assemble at Samos, and to devote themselves with all 

zeal to the amusement of Antony's court. The island was one universal 

scene of riot and revelry. People were astonished at such celebrations 

and displays, wholly unsuitable, as they considered them, to the 

occasion. If such are the rejoicings, said they, which Antony celebrates 

before going into the battle, what festivities will he contrive on his 

return, joyous enough to express his pleasure if he shall gain the 



After a time, Antony and Cleopatra, with a magnificent train of 

attendants, left Samos, and, passing across the Aegean Sea, landed in 

Greece, and advanced to Athens, while the fleet, proceeding westward 

from Samos, passed around Taenarus, the southern promontory of Greece, 

and then moved northward along the western coast of the peninsula. 

Cleopatra wished to go to Athens for a special reason. It was there that 

Octavia had stopped on her journey toward her husband with 

re-enforcements and aid; and while she was there, the people of Athens, 

pitying her sad condition, and admiring the noble spirit of mind which 

she displayed in her misfortunes, had paid her great attention, and 

during her stay among them had bestowed upon her many honors. Cleopatra 

now wished to go to the same place, and to triumph over her rival there, 

by making so great a display of her wealth and magnificence, and of her 

ascendency over the mind of Antony, as should entirely transcend and 

outshine the more unassuming pretensions of Octavia. She was not 

willing, it seems, to leave to the unhappy wife whom she had so cruelly 

wronged even the possession of a place in the hearts of the people of 

this foreign city, but must go and enviously strive to efface the 

impression which injured innocence had made, by an ostentatious 

exhibition of the triumphant prosperity of her own shameless wickedness. 

She succeeded well in her plans. The people of Athens were amazed and 

bewildered at the immense magnificence that Cleopatra exhibited before 

them. She distributed vast sums of money among the people. The city, in 

return, decreed to her the most exalted honors. They sent a solemn 

embassy to her to present her with these decrees. Antony himself, in the 

character of a citizen of Athens, was one of the embassadors. Cleopatra 

received the deputation at her palace. The reception was attended with 

the most splendid and imposing ceremonies. 


One would have supposed that Cleopatra's cruel and unnatural hostility 

to Octavia might now have been satisfied; but it was not. Antony, while 

he was at Athens, and doubtless at Cleopatra's instigation, sent a 

messenger to Rome with a notice of divorcement to Octavia, and with an 

order that she should leave his house. Octavia obeyed. She went forth 

from her home, taking the children with her, and bitterly lamenting her 

cruel destiny. 


In the mean time, while all these events had been transpiring in the 

East, Octavius had been making his preparations for the coming crisis, 

and was now advancing with a powerful fleet across the sea. He was armed 

with authority from the Roman Senate and people, for he had obtained 

from them a decree deposing Antony from his power. The charges made 

against him all related to misdemeanors and offenses arising out of his 

connection with Cleopatra. Octavius contrived to get possession of a 

will which Antony had written before leaving Rome, and which he had 

placed there in what he supposed a very sacred place of deposit. The 

custodians who had it in charge replied to Octavius, when he demanded 

it, that they would not give it to him, but if he wished to take it they 

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