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imaginable deed of atrocity and crime. Alexander, the youngest son was 

so afraid of his terrible mother, that he did not dare to remain in 

Alexandria with her, but went into a sort of banishment of his own 

accord. He, however, finally returned to Egypt. His mother immediately 

supposed that he was intending to disturb her possession of power, and 

resolved to destroy him. He became acquainted with her designs, and, 

grown desperate by the long-continued pressure of her intolerable 

tyranny, he resolved to bring the anxiety and terror in which he lived 

to an end by killing her. This he did, and then fled the country. 

Lathyrus, his brother, then returned, and reigned for the rest of his 

days in a tolerable degree of quietness and peace. At length Lathyrus 

died, and left the kingdom to his son, Ptolemy Auletes, who was the 

great Cleopatra's father. 


We can not soften the picture which is exhibited to our view in the 

history of this celebrated family, by regarding the mother of Auletes, 

in the masculine and merciless trails and principles which she displayed 

so energetically throughout her terrible career, as an exception to the 

general character of the princesses who appeared from time to time in 

the line. In ambition, selfishness, unnatural and reckless cruelty, and 

utter disregard of every virtuous principle and of every domestic tie, 

she was but the type and representative of all the rest. 


She had two daughters, for example, who were the consistent and worthy 

followers of such a mother. A passage in the lives of these sisters 

illustrates very forcibly the kind of sisterly affection which prevailed 

in the family of the Ptolemies. The case was this: 


There were two princes of Syria, a country lying northeast of the 

Mediterranean Sea, and so not very far from Egypt, who, though they were 

brothers, were in a state of most deadly hostility to each other. One 

had attempted to poison the other, and afterward a war had broken out 

between them, and all Syria was suffering from the ravages of their 

armies. One of the sisters, of whom we have been speaking, married one 

of these princes. Her name was Tryphena. After some time, but yet while 

the unnatural war was still raging between the two brothers, Cleopatra, 

the other sister--the same Cleopatra, in fact, that had been divorced 

from Lathyrus at the instance of his mother--espoused the other brother. 

Tryphena was exceedingly incensed against Cleopatra for marrying her 

husband's mortal foe, and the implacable hostility and hate of the 

sisters was thenceforth added to that which the brothers had before 

exhibited, to complete the display of unnatural and parricidal passion 

which this shameful contest presented to the world. 


In fact, Tryphena from this time seemed to feel a new and highly-excited 

interest in the contest, from her eager desire to revenge herself on her 

sister. She watched the progress of it, and took an active part in 

pressing forward the active prosecution of the war. The party of her 

husband, either from this or some other causes, seemed to be gaining the 

day. The husband of Cleopatra was driven from one part of the country to 

another, and at length, in order to provide for the security of his 

wife, he left her in Antioch, a large and strongly-fortified city, where 

he supposed that she would be safe, while he himself was engaged in 

prosecuting the war in other quarters where his presence seemed to be 



On learning that her sister was at Antioch, Tryphena urged her husband 

to attack the place. He accordingly advanced with a strong detachment of 

the army, and besieged and took the city. Cleopatra would, of course, 

have fallen into his hands as a captive; but, to escape this fate, she 

fled to a temple for refuge. A temple was considered, in those days, an 

inviolable sanctuary. The soldiers accordingly left her there. Tryphena, 

however, made a request that her husband would deliver the unhappy 

fugitive into her hands. She was determined, she said, to kill her. Her 

husband remonstrated with her against this atrocious proposal. "It would 

be a wholly useless act of cruelty," said he, "to destroy her life. She 

can do us no possible harm in the future progress of the war, while to 

murder her under these circumstances will only exasperate her husband 

and her friends, and nerve them with new strength for the remainder of 

the contest. And then, besides, she has taken refuge in a temple; and if 

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