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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.

procession. He accordingly sent her orders, requiring that she should 

submit to the treatment prescribed by the physician, and take her food, 

enforcing these his commands with a certain threat which he imagined 

might have some influence over her. And what threat does the reader 

imagine could possibly be devised to reach a mind so sunk, so desperate, 

so wretched as hers? Every thing seemed already lost but life, and life 

was only an insupportable burden. What interests, then, had she still 

remaining upon which a threat could take hold? 

 

Octavius, in looking for some avenue by which he could reach her, 

reflected that she was a mother. Caesarion, the son of Julius Caesar, and 

Alexander, Cleopatra, and Ptolemy, Antony's children, were still alive. 

Octavius imagined that in the secret recesses of her wrecked and ruined 

soul there might be some lingering principle of maternal affection 

remaining which he could goad into life and action. He accordingly sent 

word to her that, if she did not yield to the physician and take her 

food, he would kill every one of her children. 

 

The threat produced its effect. The crazed and frantic patient became 

calm. She received her food. She submitted to the physician. Under his 

treatment her wounds began to heal, the fever was allayed, and at length 

she appeared to be gradually recovering. 

 

When Octavius learned that Cleopatra had become composed, and seemed to 

be in some sense convalescent, he resolved to pay her a visit. As he 

entered the room where she was confined, which seems to have been still 

the upper chamber of her tomb, he found her lying on a low and miserable 

bed, in a most wretched condition, and exhibiting such a spectacle of 

disease and wretchedness that he was shocked at beholding her. She 

appeared, in fact, almost wholly bereft of reason. When Octavius came 

in, she suddenly leaped out of the bed, half naked as she was, and 

covered with bruises and wounds, and crawled miserably along to her 

conqueror's feet in the attitude of a suppliant. Her hair was torn from 

her head, her limbs were swollen and disfigured, and great bandages 

appeared here and there, indicating that there were still worse injuries 

than these concealed. From the midst of all this squalidness and misery 

there still beamed from her sunken eyes a great portion of their former 

beauty, and her voice still possessed the same inexpressible charm that 

had characterized it so strongly in the days of her prime. Octavius made 

her go back to her bed again and lie down. 

 

Cleopatra then began to talk and excuse herself for what she had done, 

attributing all the blame of her conduct to Antony. Octavius, however, 

interrupted her, and defended Antony from her criminations, saying to 

her that it was not his fault so much as hers. She then suddenly changed 

her tone, and acknowledging her sins, piteously implored mercy. She 

begged Octavius to pardon and spare her, as if now she were afraid of 

death and dreaded it, instead of desiring it as a boon. In a word, her 

mind, the victim and the prey alternately of the most dissimilar and 

inconsistent passions, was now overcome by fear. To propitiate Octavius, 

she brought out a list of all her private treasures, and delivered it to 

him as a complete inventory of all that she had. One of her treasurers, 

however, named Zeleucus, who was standing by, said to Octavius that that 

list was not complete. Cleopatra had, he alleged, reserved several 

things of great value, which she had not put down upon it. 

 

This assertion, thus suddenly exposing her duplicity, threw Cleopatra 

into a violent rage. She sprang from her bed and assaulted her secretary 

in a most furious manner. Octavius and the others who were here 

interposed, and compelled Cleopatra to lie down again, which she did, 

uttering all the time the most grievous complaints at the wretched 

degradation to which she was reduced, to be insulted thus by her own 

servant at such a time. If she had reserved any thing, she said, of her 

private treasures, it was only for presents to some of her faithful 

friends, to induce them the more zealously to intercede with Octavius in 

her behalf. Octavius replied by urging her to feel no concern on the 

subject whatever. He freely gave her, he said, all that she had 

reserved, and he promised in other respects to treat her in the most 

honorable and courteous manner. 

 

Octavius was much pleased at the result of this interview. It was 


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