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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.

and beautiful girl. Her name was also Cleopatra. She was, of course, the 

niece, as her mother was the sister, of Physcon. 

 

The plan of Cleopatra the mother, after her husband's death, was to make 

her son the king of Egypt, and to govern herself, as regent, until he 

should become of age. The friends and adherents of Physcon, however, 

formed a strong party in _his_ favor. They sent for him to come to 

Alexandria to assert his claims to the throne. He came, and a new civil 

war was on the point of breaking out between the brother and sister, 

when at length the dispute was settled by a treaty, in which it was 

stipulated that Physcon should marry Cleopatra, and be king; but that he 

should make the son of Cleopatra by her former husband his heir. This 

treaty was carried into effect so far as the celebration of the marriage 

with the mother was concerned, and the establishment of Physcon upon the 

throne. But the perfidious monster, instead of keeping his faith in 

respect to the boy, determined to murder him; and so open and brutal 

were his habits of violence and cruelty, that he undertook to perpetrate 

the deed himself, in open day. The boy fled shrieking to the mother's 

arms for protection, and Physcon stabbed and killed him there, 

exhibiting the spectacle of a newly-married husband murdering the son of 

his wife in her very arms! 

 

It is easy to conceive what sort of affection would exist between a 

husband and a wife after such transactions as these. In fact, there had 

been no love between them from the beginning. The marriage had been 

solely a political arrangement. Physcon hated his wife, and had murdered 

her son, and then, as if to complete the exhibition of the brutal 

lawlessness and capriciousness of his passions, he ended with falling in 

love with her daughter. The beautiful girl looked upon this heartless 

monster, as ugly and deformed in body as he was in mind, with absolute 

horror. But she was wholly in his power. He compelled her, by violence, 

to submit to his will. He repudiated the mother, and forced the daughter 

to become his wife. 

 

Physcon displayed the same qualities of brutal tyranny and cruelty in 

the treatment of his subjects that he manifested in his own domestic 

relations. The particulars we can not here give, but can only say that 

his atrocities became at length absolutely intolerable, and a revolt so 

formidable broke out, that he fled from the country. In fact he barely 

escaped with his life, as the mob had surrounded the palace and were 

setting it on fire, intending to burn the tyrant himself and all the 

accomplices of his crimes together. Physcon, however, contrived to make 

his escape. He fled to the island of Cyprus, taking with him a certain 

beautiful boy, his son by the Cleopatra whom he had divorced; for they 

had been married long enough before the divorce, to have a son. The name 

of this boy was Memphitis. His mother was very tenderly attached to him, 

and Physcon took him away on this very account, to keep him as a hostage 

for his mother's good behavior. He fancied that, when he was gone, she 

might possibly attempt to resume possession of the throne. 

 

His expectations in this respect were realized. The people of Alexandria 

rallied around Cleopatra, and called upon her to take the crown. She did 

so, feeling, perhaps, some misgivings in respect to the danger which 

such a step might possibly bring upon her absent boy. She quieted 

herself, however, by the thought that he was in the hands of his own 

father, and that he could not possibly come to harm. 

 

After some little time had elapsed, and Cleopatra was beginning to be 

well established in her possession of the supreme power at Alexandria, 

her birth-day approached, and arrangements were made for celebrating it 

in the most magnificent manner. When the day arrived, the whole city was 

given up to festivities and rejoicing. Grand entertainments were given 

in the palace, and games, spectacles, and plays in every variety, were 

exhibited and performed in all quarters of the city. Cleopatra herself 

was enjoying a magnificent entertainment, given to the lords and ladies 

of the court and the officers of her army, in one of the royal palaces. 

 

In the midst of this scene of festivity and pleasure, it was announced 

to the queen that a large box had arrived for her. The box was brought 

into the apartment. It had the appearance of containing some magnificent 


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