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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.

CHAPTER VI.

 

 

CLEOPATRA AND Caesar.

 

 

Cleopatra's perplexity.--She resolves To go to Alexandria.--Cleopatra's 

message to Caesar.--Caesar's reply.--Apollodorus's stratagem.--Cleopatra 

and Caesar--First impressions.--Caesar's attachment.--Caesar's wife.--His 

fondness for Cleopatra.--Cleopatra's foes.--She commits her cause to 

Caesar.--Caesar's pretensions.--He sends for Ptolemy.--Ptolemy's 

indignation.--His complaints against Caesar.--Great tumult in the 

city.--Excitement of the populace.--Caesar's forces--Ptolemy made 

prisoner.--Caesar's address to the people.--Its effects.--The mob 

dispersed.--Caesar convenes an assembly.--Caesar's decision. 

--Satisfaction of the assembly.--Festivals and rejoicings. 

--Pothinus and Achillas.--Plot of Pothinus and Achillas.--Escape 

of Achillas.--March of the Egyptian army.--Measures of Caesar. 

--Murder of the messengers.--Intentions of Achillas--Cold-blooded 

assassination.--Advance of Achillas--Caesar's arrangements for 

defense.--Cleopatra and Ptolemy.--Double dealing of Pothinus.--He is 

detected.--Pothinus beheaded--ArsinoŽ and Ganymede--Flight of 

ArsinoŽ--She is proclaimed queen by the army.--Perplexity of the young 

Ptolemy. 

 

In the mean time, while the events related in the last chapter were 

taking place at Alexandria, Cleopatra remained anxious and uneasy in her 

camp, quite uncertain, for a time, what it was best for her to do. She 

wished to be at Alexandria. She knew very well that Caesar's power in 

controlling the course of affairs in Egypt would necessarily be supreme. 

She was, of course, very earnest in her desire to be able to present her 

cause before him. As it was, Ptolemy and Pothinus were in communication 

with the arbiter, and, for aught she knew, assiduously cultivating his 

favor, while she was far away, her cause unheard, her wrongs unknown, 

and perhaps even her existence forgotten. Of course, under such 

circumstances, she was very earnest to get to Alexandria. 

 

But how to accomplish this purpose was a source of great perplexity. She 

could not march thither at the head of an army, for the army of the king 

was strongly intrenched at Pelusium, and effectually barred the way. She 

could not attempt to pass alone, or with few attendants, through the 

country, for every town and village was occupied with garrisons and 

officers under the orders of Pothinus, and she would be certainly 

intercepted. She had no fleet, and could not, therefore, make the 

passage by sea. Besides, even if she could by any means reach the gates 

of Alexandria, how was she to pass safely through the streets of the 

city to the palace where Caesar resided, since the city, except in 

Caesar's quarters, was wholly in the hands of Pothinus's government? The 

difficulties in the way of accomplishing her object seemed thus almost 

insurmountable. 

 

She was, however, resolved to make the attempt. She sent a message to 

Caesar, asking permission to appear before him and plead her own cause. 

Caesar replied, urging her by all means to come. She took a single boat, 

and with the smallest number of attendants possible, made her way along 

the coast to Alexandria. The man on whom she principally relied in this 

hazardous expedition was a domestic named Apollodorus. She had, however, 

some other attendants besides. When the party reached Alexandria, they 

waited until night, and then advanced to the foot of the walls of the 

citadel. Here Apollodorus rolled the queen up in a piece of carpeting, 

and, covering the whole package with a cloth, he tied it with a thong, 

so as to give it the appearance of a bale of ordinary merchandise, and 

then throwing the load across his shoulder, he advanced into the city. 

Cleopatra was at this time about twenty-one years of age, but she was of 

a slender and graceful form, and the burden was, consequently, not very 

heavy. Apollodorus came to the gates of the palace where Caesar was 

residing. The guards at the gates asked him what it was that he was 

carrying. He said that it was a present for Caesar. So they allowed him 

to pass, and the pretended porter carried his package safely in. 

 

When it was unrolled, and Cleopatra came out to view, Caesar was 

perfectly charmed with the spectacle. In fact, the various conflicting 

emotions which she could not but feel under such circumstances as these, 

imparted a double interest to her beautiful and expressive face, and to 

her naturally bewitching manners. She was excited by the adventure 


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