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through which she had passed, and yet pleased with her narrow escape 

from its dangers. The curiosity and interest which she felt on the one 

hand, in respect to the great personage into whose presence she had been 

thus strangely ushered, was very strong; but then, on the other hand, it 

was chastened and subdued by that feeling of timidity which, in new and 

unexpected situations like these, and under a consciousness of being the 

object of eager observation to the other sex, is inseparable from the 

nature of woman. 


The conversation which Caesar held with Cleopatra deepened the impression 

which her first appearance had made upon him. Her intelligence and 

animation, the originality of her ideas, and the point and pertinency of 

her mode of expressing them, made her, independently of her personal 

charms, an exceedingly entertaining and agreeable companion. She, in 

fact, completely won the great conqueror's heart; and, through the 

strong attachment to her which he immediately formed, he became wholly 

disqualified to act impartially between her and her brother in regard to 

their respective rights to the crown. We call Ptolemy Cleopatra's 

brother; for, though he was also, in fact, her husband, still, as he was 

only ten or twelve years of age at the time of Cleopatra's expulsion 

from Alexandria, the marriage had been probably regarded, thus far, only 

as a mere matter of form. Caesar was now about fifty-two. He had a wife, 

named Calpurnia, to whom he had been married about ten years. She was 

living, at this time in an unostentatious and quiet manner at Rome. She 

was a lady of an amiable and gentle character, devotedly attached to her 

husband, patient and forbearing in respect to his faults, and often 

anxious and unhappy at the thought of the difficulties and dangers in 

which his ardent and unbounded ambition so often involved him. 


Caesar immediately began to take a very strong interest in Cleopatra's 

cause. He treated her personally with the fondest attention, and it was 

impossible for her not to reciprocate in some degree the kind feeling 

with which he regarded her. It was, in fact, something altogether new to 

her to have a warm and devoted friend, espousing her cause, tendering 

her protection, and seeking in every way to promote her happiness. Her 

father had all his life neglected her. Her brother, of years and 

understanding totally inferior to hers, whom she had been compelled to 

make her husband, had become her mortal enemy. It is true that, in 

depriving her of her inheritance and expelling her from her native land, 

he had been only the tool and instrument of more designing men. This, 

however, far from improving the point of view from which she regarded 

him, made him appear not only hateful, but contemptible too. All the 

officers of government, also, in the Alexandrian court had turned 

against her, because they had supposed that they could control her 

brother more easily if she were away. Thus she had always been 

surrounded by selfish, mercenary, and implacable foes. Now, for the 

first time, she seemed to have a friend. A protector had suddenly arisen 

to support and defend her,--a man of very alluring person and manners, 

of a very noble and generous spirit, and of the very highest station. He 

loved her, and she could not refrain from loving him in return. She 

committed her cause entirely into his hands, confided to him all her 

interests, and gave herself up wholly into his power. 


Nor was the unbounded confidence which she reposed in him undeserved, so 

far as related to his efforts to restore her to her throne. The legions 

which Caesar had sent for into Syria had not yet arrived, and his 

situation in Alexandria was still very defenseless and very precarious. 

He did not, however, on this account, abate in the least degree the 

loftiness and self confidence of the position which he had assumed, but 

he commenced immediately the work of securing Cleopatra's restoration. 

This quiet assumption of the right and power to arbitrate and decide 

such a question as that of the claim to the throne, in a country where 

he had accidentally landed and found rival claimants disputing for the 

succession, while he was still wholly destitute of the means of 

enforcing the superiority which he so coolly assumed, marks the immense 

ascendency which the Roman power had attained at this time in the 

estimation of mankind, and is, besides, specially characteristic of the 

genius and disposition of Caesar. 

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