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men and arms as he might make arrangements for obtaining beyond the sea; 

nor could he curtail his supply of food, as the granaries and magazines 

within Caesar's quarter of the city contained almost inexhaustible stores 

of corn. There was one remaining point essential to the subsistence of 

an army besieged, and that was an abundant supply of water. The palaces 

and citadels which Caesar occupied were supplied with water by means of 

numerous subterranean aqueducts, which conveyed the water from the Nile 

to vast cisterns built under ground, whence it was raised by buckets and 

hydraulic engines for use. In reflecting upon this circumstance, 

Ganymede conceived the design of secretly digging a canal, so as to turn 

the waters of the sea by means of it into these aqueducts. This plan he 

carried into effect. The consequence was, that the water in the cisterns 

was gradually changed. It became first brackish, then more and more salt 

and bitter, until, at length, it was wholly impossible to use it. For 

some time the army within could not understand these changes; and when, 

at length, they discovered the cause the soldiers were panic-stricken at 

the thought, that they were now apparently wholly at the mercy of their 

enemies, since, without supplies of water, they must all immediately 

perish. They considered it hopeless to attempt any longer to hold out, 

and urged Caesar to evacuate the city, embark on board his galleys, and 

proceed to sea. 


Instead of doing this, however, Caesar, ordering all other operations to 

be suspended, employed the whole laboring force of his command, under 

the direction of the captains of the several companies, in digging wells 

in every part of his quarter of the city. Fresh water, he said, was 

almost invariably found, at a moderate depth, upon sea-coasts, even upon 

ground lying in very close proximity to the sea. The digging was 

successful. Fresh water, in great abundance, was found. Thus this danger 

was passed, and the men's fears effectually relieved. 


A short time after these transactions occurred, there came into the 

harbor one day, from along the shore west of the city, a small sloop, 

bringing the intelligence that a squadron of transports had arrived upon 

the coast to the westward of Alexandria, and had anchored there, being 

unable to come up to the city on account of an easterly wind which 

prevailed at that season of the year. This squadron was one which had 

been sent across the Mediterranean with arms, ammunition, and military 

stores for Caesar, in answer to requisitions which he had made 

immediately after he had landed. The transports being thus windbound on 

the coast, and having nearly exhausted their supplies of water, were in 

distress; and they accordingly sent forward the sloop, which was 

probably propelled by oars, to make known their situation to Caesar, and 

to ask for succor. Caesar immediately went, himself, on board of one of 

his galleys, and ordering the remainder of his little fleet to follow 

him, he set sail out of the harbor, and then turned to the westward, 

with a view of proceeding along the coast to the place where the 

transports were lying. 


All this was done secretly. The land is so low in the vicinity of 

Alexandria that boats or galleys are out of sight from it at a very 

short distance from the shore. In fact, travelers say that, in coming 

upon the coast, the illusion produced by the spherical form of the 

surface of the water and the low and level character of the coast is 

such that one seems actually to descend from the sea to the land. Caesar 

might therefore have easily kept his expedition a secret, had it not 

been that, in order to be provided with a supply of water for the 

transports immediately on reaching them, he stopped at a solitary part 

of the coast, at some distance from Alexandria, and sent a party a 

little way into the interior in search for water. This party were 

discovered by the country people, and were intercepted by a troop of 

horse and made prisoners. From these prisoners the Egyptians learned 

that Caesar himself was on the coast with a small squadron of galleys. 

The tidings spread in all directions. The people flocked together from 

every quarter. They hastily collected all the boats and vessels which 

could be obtained at the villages in that region and from the various 

branches of the Nile. In the mean time, Caesar had gone on to the 

anchorage ground of the squadron, and had taken the transports in tow to 

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