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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.

very obstinate conflict. Cleopatra, however, did not wait to see how it 

was to be finally decided. As Antony's forces did not immediately gain 

the victory, she soon began to yield to her fears in respect to the 

result, and, finally, fell into a panic and resolved to fly. She ordered 

the oars to be manned and the sails to be hoisted, and then forcing her 

way through a portion of the fleet that was engaged in the contest, and 

throwing the vessels into confusion as she passed, she succeeded in 

getting to sea, and then pressed on, under full sail, down the coast to 

the southward. Antony, as soon as he perceived that she was going, 

abandoning every other thought, and impelled by his insane devotedness 

to her, hastily called up a galley of five banks of oarsmen to pull with 

all their force after Cleopatra's flying squadron. 

 

Cleopatra, looking back from the deck of her vessel, saw this swift 

galley pressing on toward her. She raised a signal at the stern of the 

vessel which she was in, that Antony might know for which of the fifty 

flying ships he was to steer. Guided by the signal, Antony came up to 

the vessel, and the sailors hoisted him up the side and helped him in. 

Cleopatra had, however, disappeared. Overcome with shame and confusion, 

she did not dare, it seems, to meet the look of the wretched victim of 

her arts whom she had now irretrievably ruined. Antony did not seek her. 

He did not speak a word. He went forward to the prow of the ship, and, 

throwing himself down there alone, pressed his head between his hands, 

and seemed stunned and stupefied, and utterly overwhelmed with horror 

and despair. 

 

He was, however, soon aroused from his stupor by an alarm raised on 

board his galley that they were pursued. He rose from his seat, seized a 

spear, and, on ascending to the quarter-deck, saw that there were a 

number of small light boats, full of men and of arms, coming up behind 

them, and gaining rapidly upon his galley. Antony, now free for a moment 

from his enchantress's sway, and acting under the impulse of his own 

indomitable boldness and decision, instead of urging the oarsmen to 

press forward more rapidly in order to make good their escape, ordered 

the helm to be put about, and thus, turning the galley around, he faced 

his pursuers, and drove his ship into the midst of them. A violent 

conflict ensued, the din and confusion of which was increased by the 

shocks and collisions between the boats and the galley. In the end, the 

boats were beaten off, all excepting one: that one kept still hovering 

near, and the commander of it, who stood upon the deck, poising his 

spear with an aim at Antony, and seeking eagerly an opportunity to throw 

it, seemed by his attitude and the expression of his countenance to be 

animated by some peculiarly bitter feeling of hostility and hate. Antony 

asked him who he was, that dared so fiercely to threaten _him_. The man 

replied by giving his name, and saying that he came to avenge the death 

of his father. It proved that he was the son of a man whom Antony had at 

a previous time, on some account or other, caused to be beheaded. 

 

There followed an obstinate contest between Antony and this fierce 

assailant, in the end of which the latter was beaten off. The boats 

then, having succeeded in making some prizes from Antony's fleet, though 

they had failed in capturing Antony himself, gave up the pursuit and 

returned. Antony then went back to his place, sat down in the prow, 

buried his face in his hands, and sank into the same condition of 

hopeless distress and anguish as before. 

 

When husband and wife are overwhelmed with misfortune and suffering, 

each instinctively seeks a refuge in the sympathy and support of the 

other. It is, however, far otherwise with such connections as that of 

Antony and Cleopatra. Conscience, which remains calm and quiet in 

prosperity and sunshine, rises up with sudden and unexpected violence as 

soon as the hour of calamity comes; and thus, instead of mutual comfort 

and help, each finds in the thoughts of the other only the means of 

adding the horrors of remorse to the anguish of disappointment and 

despair. So extreme was Antony's distress, that for three days he and 

Cleopatra neither saw nor spoke to each other. She was overwhelmed with 

confusion and chagrin, and he was in such a condition of mental 

excitement that she did not dare to approach him. In a word, reason 

seemed to have wholly lost its sway--his mind, in the alternations of 


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