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precious stones, garments of the highest cost, and weapons, and vessels 

of exquisite workmanship and great value, the hereditary possessions of 

the Egyptian kings. She also sent to the mausoleum an immense quantity 

of flax, tow, torches, and other combustibles. These she stored in the 

lower apartments of the monument, with the desperate determination of 

burning herself and her treasures together rather than to fall into the 

hands of the Romans. 


In the mean time, the army of Octavius steadily continued its march 

across the desert from Pelusium to Alexandria. On the way, Octavius 

learned, through the agents in communication with him from within the 

city what were the arrangements which Cleopatra had made for the 

destruction of her treasure whenever the danger should become imminent 

of its falling into his hands. He was extremely unwilling that this 

treasure should be lost. Besides its intrinsic value, it was an object 

of immense importance to him to get possession of it for the purpose of 

carrying it to Rome as a trophy of his triumph. He accordingly sent 

secret messengers to Cleopatra, endeavoring to separate her from Antony, 

and to infuse her mind with the profession that he felt only friendship 

for her, and did not mean to do her any injury, being in pursuit of 

Antony only. These negotiations were continued from day to day while 

Octavius was advancing. At last the Roman army reached Alexandria, and 

invested it on every side. 


As soon as Octavius was established in his camp under the walls of the 

city, Antony planned a sally, and he executed it, in fact, with 

considerable energy and success. He issued suddenly from the gates, at 

the head of as strong a force as he could command, and attacked a body 

of Octavius's horsemen. He succeeded in driving these horsemen away from 

their position, but he was soon driven back in his turn, and compelled 

to retreat to the city, fighting as he fled, to beat back his pursuers. 

He was extremely elated at the success of this skirmish. He came to 

Cleopatra with a countenance full of animation and pleasure, took her in 

his arms and kissed her, all accoutered for battle as he was, and 

boasted greatly of the exploit which he had performed. He praised, too, 

in the highest terms, the valor of one of the officers who had gone out 

with him to the fight, and whom he had now brought to the palace to 

present to Cleopatra. Cleopatra rewarded the faithful captain's prowess 

with a magnificent suit of armor made of gold. Notwithstanding this 

reward, however, the man deserted Antony that very night, and went over 

to the enemy. Almost all of Antony's adherents were in the same state of 

mind. They would have gladly gone over to the camp of Octavius, if they 

could have found an opportunity to do so. 


In fact, when the final battle was fought, the fate of it was decided by 

a grand defection in the fleet, which went over in a body to the side of 

Octavius. Antony was planning the operations of the day, and 

reconnoitering the movements of the enemy from an eminence which he 

occupied at the head of a body of foot soldiers--all the land forces 

that now remained to him--and looking off, from the eminence on which he 

stood, toward the harbor, he observed a movement among the galleys. They 

were going out to meet the ships of Octavius, which were lying at anchor 

not very far from them. Antony supposed that his vessels were going to 

attack those of the enemy, and he looked to see what exploits they would 

perform. They advanced toward Octavius's ships, and when they met them, 

Antony observed, to his utter amazement, that, instead of the furious 

combat that he had expected to see, the ships only exchanged friendly 

salutations, by the use of the customary naval signals; and then his 

ships, passing quietly round, took their positions in the lines of the 

other fleet. The two fleets had thus become merged and mingled into one. 


Antony immediately decided that this was Cleopatra's treason. She had 

made peace with Octavius, he thought, and surrendered the fleet to him 

as one of the conditions of it. Antony ran through the city, crying out 

that he was betrayed, and in a frensy of rage sought the palace. 

Cleopatra fled to her tomb. She took in with her one or two attendants, 

and bolted and barred the doors, securing the fastenings with the heavy 

catches and springs that she had previously made ready. She then 

directed her women to call out through the door that she had killed 

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