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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.

herself within the tomb. 

 

The tidings of her death were borne to Antony. It changed his anger to 

grief and despair. His mind, in fact, was now wholly lost to all balance 

and control, and it passed from the dominion of one stormy passion to 

another with the most capricious facility. He cried out with the most 

bitter expressions of sorrow, mourning, he said, not so much Cleopatra's 

death, for he should soon follow and join her, as the fact that she had 

proved herself so superior to him in courage at last, in having thus 

anticipated him in the work of self-destruction. 

 

He was at this time in one of the chambers of the palace, whither he had 

fled in despair, and was standing by a fire, for the morning was cold. 

He had a favorite servant named Eros, whom he greatly trusted, and whom 

he had made to take an oath long before, that whenever it should become 

necessary for him to die, Eros should kill him. This Eros he now called 

to him, and telling him that the time was come, ordered him to take the 

sword and strike the blow. 

 

Eros took the sword while Antony stood up before him. Eros turned his 

head aside as if wishing that his eyes should not see the deed which his 

hands were about to perform. Instead, however, of piercing his master 

with it, he plunged it into his own breast, fell down at Antony's feet, 

and died. 

 

Antony gazed a moment at the shocking spectacle, and then said, "I thank 

thee for this, noble Eros. Thou hast set me an example. I must do for 

myself what thou couldst not do for me." So saying, he took the sword 

from his servant's hands, plunged it into his body, and staggering to a 

little bed that was near, fell over upon it in a swoon. He had received 

a mortal wound. 

 

The pressure, however, which was produced by the position in which he 

lay upon the bed, stanched the wound a little, and stopped the flow of 

blood. Antony came presently to himself again, and then began to beg and 

implore those around him to take the sword and put him out of his 

misery. But no one would do it. He lay for a time suffering great pain, 

and moaning incessantly, until, at length, an officer came into the 

apartment and told him that the story which he had heard of Cleopatra's 

death was not true; that she was still alive, shut up in her monument, 

and that she desired to see him there. This intelligence was the source 

of new excitement and agitation. Antony implored the by-standers to 

carry him to Cleopatra, that he might see her once more before he died. 

They shrank from the attempt; but, after some hesitation and delay, they 

concluded to undertake to remove him. So, taking him in their arms, they 

bore him along, faint and dying, and marking their track with his blood, 

toward the tomb. 

 

Cleopatra would not open the gates to let the party in. The city was all 

in uproar and confusion through the terror of the assault which Octavius 

was making upon it, and she did not know what treachery might be 

intended. She therefore went up to a window above, and letting down 

ropes and chains, she directed those below to fasten the dying body to 

them, that she and the two women with her might draw it up. This was 

done. Those who witnessed it said that it was a most piteous sight to 

behold,--Cleopatra and her women above exhausting their strength in 

drawing the wounded and bleeding sufferer up the wall, while he, when he 

approached the window, feebly raised his arms to them, that they might 

lift him in. The women had hardly strength sufficient to draw the body 

up. At one time it seemed that the attempt would have to be abandoned; 

but Cleopatra reached down from the window as far as she could to get 

hold of Antony's arms, and thus, by dint of great effort, they succeeded 

at last in taking him in. They bore him to a couch which was in the 

upper room from which the window opened, and laid him down, while 

Cleopatra wrung her hands and tore her hair, and uttered the most 

piercing lamentations and cries. She leaned over the dying Antony, 

crying out incessantly with the most piteous exclamations of grief. She 

bathed his face, which was covered with blood, and vainly endeavored to 

stanch his wound. 

 

Antony urged her to be calm, and not to mourn his fate. He asked for 

some wine. They brought it to him and he drank it. He then entreated 

Cleopatra to save her life, if she possibly could do so, and to make 

some terms or other with Octavius, so as to continue to live. Very soon 


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