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Very soon after Cleopatra had come to him, Caesar sent for the young 

Ptolemy, and urged upon him the duty and expediency of restoring 

Cleopatra. Ptolemy was beginning now to attain an age at which he might 

be supposed to have some opinion of his own on such a question. He 

declared himself utterly opposed to any such design. In the course of 

the conversation he learned that Cleopatra had arrived at Alexandria, 

and that she was then concealed in Caesar's palace. This intelligence 

awakened in his mind the greatest excitement and indignation. He went 

away from Caesar's presence in a rage. He tore the diadem which he was 

accustomed to wear in the streets, from his head, threw it down, and 

trampled it under his feet. He declared to the people that he was 

betrayed, and displayed the most violent indications of vexation and 

chagrin. The chief subject of his complaint, in the attempts which he 

made to awaken the popular indignation against Caesar and the Romans, was 

the disgraceful impropriety of the position which his sister had assumed 

in surrendering herself as she had done to Caesar. It is most probable, 

however, unless his character was very different from that of every 

other Ptolemy in the line, that what really awakened his jealousy and 

anger was fear of the commanding influence and power to which Cleopatra 

was likely to attain through the agency of so distinguished a protector, 

rather than any other consequences of his friendship, or any real 

considerations of delicacy in respect to his sister's good name or his 

own martial honor. 


However this may be, Ptolemy, together with Pothinus and Achillas, and 

all his other friends and adherents, who joined him in the terrible 

outcry that he made against the coalition which he had discovered 

between Cleopatra and Caesar, succeeded in producing a very general and 

violent tumult throughout the city. The populace were aroused, and began 

to assemble in great crowds, and full of indignation and anger. Some 

knew the facts, and acted under something like an understanding of the 

cause of their anger. Others only knew that the aim of this sudden 

outbreak was to assault the Romans, and were ready, on any pretext, 

known or unknown, to join in any deeds of violence directed against 

these foreign intruders. There were others still, and these, probably, 

far the larger portion, who knew nothing and understood nothing but that 

there was to be tumult and a riot in and around the palaces, and were, 

accordingly, eager to be there. 


Ptolemy and his officers had no large body of troops in Alexandria; for 

the events which had thus far occurred since Caesar's arrival had 

succeeded each other so rapidly, that a very short time had yet elapsed, 

and the main army remained still at Pelusium. The main force, therefore, 

by which Caesar was now attacked, consisted of the population of the 

city, headed, perhaps, by the few guards which the young king had at his 



Caesar, on his part, had but a small portion of his forces at the palace 

where he was attacked. The rest were scattered about the city. He, 

however, seems to have felt no alarm. He did not even confine himself to 

acting on the defensive. He sent out a detachment of his soldiers with 

orders to seize Ptolemy and bring him in a prisoner. Soldiers trained, 

disciplined, and armed as the Roman veterans were, and nerved by the 

ardor and enthusiasm which seemed always to animate troops which were 

under Caesar's personal command, could accomplish almost any undertaking 

against a mere populace, however numerous or however furiously excited 

they might be. The soldiers sallied out, seized Ptolemy, and brought him 



The populace were at first astounded at the daring presumption of this 

deed, and then exasperated at the indignity of it, considered as a 

violation of the person of their sovereign. The tumult would have 

greatly increased, had it not been that Caesar,--who had now attained all 

his ends in thus having brought Cleopatra and Ptolemy both within his 

power,--thought it most expedient to allay it. He accordingly ascended 

to the window of a tower, or of some other elevated portion of his 

palace, so high that missiles from the mob below could not reach him, 

and began to make signals expressive of his wish to address them. 


When silence was obtained, he made them a speech well calculated to 

quiet the excitement. He told them that he did not pretend to any right 

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