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Antony. The anticipation, in fact, of the glory of surmounting them was 

one of the main inducements which led him to embark in the enterprise. 

The perils of the desert constituted one of the charms which made the 

expedition so attractive. He placed himself, therefore, at the head of 

his troop of cavalry, and set off across the sands in advance of 

Gabinius, to take Pelusium, in order thus to open a way for the main 

body of the army into Egypt. Ptolemy accompanied Antony. Gabinius was to 



With all his faults, to call them by no severer name, Mark Antony 

possessed certain great excellences of character. He was ardent, but 

then he was cool, collected, and sagacious; and there was a certain 

frank and manly generosity continually evincing itself in his conduct 

and character which made him a great favorite among his men. He was at 

this time about twenty-eight years old, of a tall and manly form, and of 

an expressive and intellectual cast of countenance. His forehead was 

high, his nose aquiline, and his eyes full of vivacity and life. He was 

accustomed to dress in a very plain and careless manner, and he assumed 

an air of the utmost familiarity and freedom in his intercourse with his 

soldiers. He would join them in their sports, joke with them, and 

good-naturedly receive their jokes in return; and take his meals, 

standing with them around their rude tables, in the open field. Such 

habits of intercourse with his men in a commander of ordinary character 

would have been fatal to his ascendency over them; but in Mark Antony's 

case, these frank and familiar manners seemed only to make the military 

genius and the intellectual power which he possessed the more 

conspicuous and the more universally admired. 


Antony conducted his troop of horsemen across the desert in a very safe 

and speedy manner, and arrived before Pelusium. The city was not 

prepared to resist him. It surrendered at once, and the whole garrison 

fell into his hands as prisoners of war. Ptolemy demanded that they 

should all be immediately killed. They were rebels, he said, and, as 

such, ought to be put to death. Antony, however, as might have been 

expected from his character, absolutely refused to allow of any such 

barbarity. Ptolemy, since the power was not yet in his hands, was 

compelled to submit, and to postpone gratifying the spirit of vengeance 

which had so long been slumbering in his breast to a future day. He 

could the more patiently submit to this necessity, since it appeared 

that the day of his complete and final triumph over his daughter and all 

her adherents was now very nigh at hand. 


In fact, Berenice and her government, when they heard of the arrival of 

Antony and Ptolemy at Pelusium, of the fall of that city, and of the 

approach of Gabinius with an overwhelming force of Roman soldiers, were 

struck with dismay. Archelaus, the husband of Berenice, had been, in 

former years, a personal friend of Antony's. Antony considered, in fact, 

that they were friends still, though required by what the historian 

calls their duty to fight each other for the possession of the kingdom. 

The government of Berenice raised an army. Archelaus took command of it, 

and advanced to meet the enemy. In the mean time, Gabinius arrived with 

the main body of the Roman troops, and commenced his march, in 

conjunction with Antony, toward the capital. As they were obliged to 

make a circuit to the southward, in order to avoid the inlets and 

lagoons which, on the northern coast of Egypt, penetrate for some 

distance into the land, their course led them through the heart of the 

Delta. Many battles were fought, the Romans every where gaining the 

victory. The Egyptian soldiers were, in fact, discontented and mutinous, 

perhaps, in part, because they considered the government on the side of 

which they were compelled to engage as, after all a usurpation. At 

length a great final battle was fought, which settled the controversy. 

Archelaus was slain upon the field, and Berenice was taken prisoner; 

their government was wholly overthrown, and the way was opened for the 

march of the Roman armies to Alexandria. 


Mark Antony, when judged by our standards, was certainly, as well as 

Ptolemy, a depraved and vicious man; but his depravity was of a very 

different type from that of Cleopatra's father. The difference in the 

men, in one respect, was very clearly evinced by the objects toward 

which their interest and attention were respectively turned after this 

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