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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.

we violate that sanctuary, we shall incur, by such an act of sacrilege, 

the implacable displeasure of Heaven. Consider, too, that she is your 

sister, and for you to kill her would be to commit an unnatural and 

wholly inexcusable crime." 

 

So saying, he commanded Tryphena to say no more upon the subject, for he 

would on no account consent that Cleopatra should suffer any injury 

whatever. 

 

This refusal on the part of her husband to comply with her request only 

inflamed Tryphena's insane resentment and anger the more. In fact, the 

earnestness with which he espoused her sister's cause, and the interest 

which he seemed to feel in her fate, aroused Tryphena's jealousy. She 

believed, or pretended to believe, that her husband was influenced by a 

sentiment of love in so warmly defending her. The object of her hate, 

from being simply an enemy, became now, in her view, a rival, and she 

resolved that, at all hazards, she should be destroyed. She accordingly 

ordered a body of desperate soldiers to break into the temple and seize 

her. Cleopatra fled in terror to the altar, and clung to it with such 

convulsive force that the soldiers cut her hands off before they could 

tear her away, and then, maddened by her resistance and the sight of 

blood, they stabbed her again and again upon the floor of the temple, 

where she fell. The appalling shrieks with which the wretched victim 

filled the air in the first moments of her flight and her terror, 

subsided, as her life ebbed away, into the most awful imprecations of 

the judgments of Heaven upon the head of the unnatural sister whose 

implacable hate had destroyed her. 

 

Notwithstanding the specimens that we have thus given of the character 

and action of this extraordinary family, the government of this dynasty, 

extending, as it did, through the reigns of thirteen sovereigns and over 

a period of nearly three hundred years, has always been considered one 

of the most liberal, enlightened, and prosperous of all the governments 

of ancient times. We shall have something to say in the next chapter in 

respect to the internal condition of the country while these violent men 

were upon the throne. In the mean time, we will here only add, that 

whoever is inclined, in observing the ambition, the selfishness, the 

party spirit, the unworthy intrigues, and the irregularities of moral 

conduct, which modern rulers and statesmen sometimes exhibit to mankind 

in their personal and political career, to believe in a retrogression 

and degeneracy of national character as the world advances in age, will 

be very effectually undeceived by reading attentively a full history of 

this celebrated dynasty, and reflecting, as he reads, that the narrative 

presents, on the whole, a fair and honest exhibition of the general 

character of the men by whom, in ancient times, the world was governed. 

 


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