FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FIRST EMPEROR, AUGUSTUS.--U.C. 706.
When our ear is pierced With the sad notes which mournful beauty yields, Our manhood melts in sympathizing tears.--Fenton.
1. Cæsar has been much celebrated for his good fortune, but his abilities seem equal to the highest success. He possessed shining qualities, tarnished by ambition only. His talents were such as would have rendered him victorious at the head of any army; and he would have governed in any republic that had given him birth. 2. Having now gained a most complete victory, his success seemed only to increase his activity, and inspire him with fresh resolution to face new dangers. He determined, therefore, to pursue his last advantage, and follow Pompey to whatever country he had retired; convinced that, though he might gain new triumphs, he should never enjoy security until his rival was in his power.
3. Accordingly, losing no time, he set sail for Egypt, and arrived at Alexandria with about four thousand men: a very inconsiderable force to keep so powerful a kingdom under subjection. 4. The first accounts he received were of Pompey's miserable end; and soon after, one of the murderers came with his head and his ring, as a most grateful present to the conqueror. 5. But Cæsar had too much humanity to be pleased with so horrid a spectacle--with the sad remains of the man he once loved; his partner in power. He turned from it with disgust; and, after a short pause, gave vent to his pity in a flood of tears. He ordered the head to be burned with the most costly perfumes, and placed the ashes in a temple, which he built and dedicated to the goddess Nem'esis, the avenger of cruel and inhuman deeds.
6. It should seem that the Egyptians, by this time, had some hopes of breaking off all alliance with the Romans, which they considered, as in fact it was, only another name for subjection. They first took offence at Cæsar's carrying the ensigns of Roman power before him as he entered the city. Photi'nus also treated him with great disrespect, and even attempted his life. 7. Cæsar, however, concealed his resentment till he had a force sufficient to punish his treachery; sending, therefore, privately, for the legions which he had formerly enrolled for Pompey's service, as being the nearest to Egypt, he, in the mean time, pretended to repose an entire confidence in the king's ministers, making great entertainments, and assisting at the conferences of the philosophers, who were numerous at Alexandria. 8. However, he soon changed his manner, when he found himself in no danger from the ministers' attempts: and declared, that, being a Roman consul, it was his duty to settle the succession of the Egyptian crown.
9. There were at that time two pretenders to the crown of Egypt; Ptol'emy, the acknowledged king, and the celebrated Cleopa'tra, his sister, to whom, by the custom of the country, he was married; and who, by his father's will, shared jointly in the succession. 10. Not contented with the participation of power, Cleopa'tra aimed at governing alone; but being opposed in her views by the Roman senate, who confirmed her brother's title to the crown, she was banished into Sy'ria, with Arsin'oe, her younger sister. 11. Cæsar gave her new hopes of aspiring to the kingdom, and sent both to her and her brother to plead their cause before him. But Photi'nus, the young king's guardian, disdaining to accept this proposal, backed his refusal by sending an army of twenty thousand men to besiege him in Alexandria. 12. Cæsar bravely repulsed the enemy; but finding the city of too great extent to be defended by so small an army as his, he retired to the palace, which commanded the harbour, and there purposed to make his stand. 13. Achil'las, who commanded the Egyptians, attacked him with great vigour, and aimed at making himself master of the fleet that lay before the palace. 14. Cæsar, however, too well knew the importance of those ships in the hands of an enemy; and therefore burnt them all, in spite of every effort to prevent him. He next possessed himself of the isle of Pha'ros, by which he was enabled to receive supplies; and, in this situation, determined to withstand the united force of the Egyptians.
15. In the mean time, Cleopa'tra, having heard of the present turn in her favour, resolved to depend on Cæsar's patronage for gaining the government, rather than on her own forces. But no arts, as she justly conceived, were so likely to influence Cæsar as the charms of her person, which were irresistible. 16. She was now in the bloom of youth and beauty, while every feature borrowed grace from the lively turn of her temper. To the most enchanting address she joined the most harmonious voice. With all these accomplishments, she possessed a great share of the learning of the times, and could give audience to the ambassadors of seven different nations without an interpreter. 17. The difficulty was, how to gain admission to Cæsar, as her enemies were in possession of all the avenues that led to the palace. For this purpose she went on board a small vessel, and, in the evening, landed near the palace; where, being wrapt up in a coverlet, she was carried as a bundle of clothes into the very presence of Cæsar. 18. Her address instantly struck him; her wit and understanding fanned the flame; but her affability entirely brought him over to second her claims.
19. While Cleopa'tra was thus employed in forwarding her own views, her sister, Arsin'oe was also strenuously engaged in the camp, in pursuing a separate interest. She had found means, by the assistance of one Gan'ymede, her confidant, to make a large division in the Egyptian army in her favour; and, soon after, by one of those sudden revolutions which are common in barbarian camps to this day, she caused Achil'las to be murdered, and Gan'ymede to take the command in his stead, and to carry on the siege with greater vigour than before. 20. Gan'ymede's principal effort was by letting in the sea upon those canals which supplied the palace with fresh water; but this inconvenience Cæsar remedied by digging a great number of wells. His next endeavour was to prevent the junction of Cæsar's twenty-fourth legion, which he twice attempted in vain. He soon after made himself master of a bridge which joined the isle of Pha'ros to the continent, from which post Cæsar was resolved to dislodge him. 21. In the heat of the action, some mariners, partly through curiosity, and partly through ambition, came and joined the combatants; but, being seized with a panic, instantly fled, and spread a general terror through the army. All Cæesar's endeavours to rally his forces were in vain, the confusion was past remedy, and numbers were drowned or put to the sword in attempting to escape. 22. Now, therefore, seeing the irremediable disorder of his troops, he fled to a ship, in order to get to the palace that was just opposite; but he was no sooner on board, than such crowds entered after him, that being apprehensive of the ship's sinking, he jumped into the sea, and swam two hundred paces to the fleet which lay before the palace, all the time holding his Commentaries in his left hand above the water, and his coat of mail in his teeth.
23. The Alexandrians, finding their efforts to take the palace ineffectual, endeavoured at least to get their king out of Cæsar's power, as he had seized upon his person in the beginning of their disputes. For this purpose they made use of their customary arts of dissimulation, professing the utmost desire of peace, and only wanting the presence of their lawful prince to give a sanction to the treaty. 24. Cæsar was sensible of their perfidy, but concealed his suspicions, and gave them their king, as he was under no apprehensions from the abilities of a boy. Ptol'emy, however, the instant he was set at liberty, instead of promoting the peace, made every effort to give vigour to his hostilities.
25. In this manner was Cæsar hemmed in for some time by an artful and insidious enemy, and surrounded with almost insurmountable difficulties; but he was at last relieved from this mortifying situation by Mithrida'tes Pergame'nus, one of his most faithful partizans, who came with an army to his assistance. This general marched into Egypt, took the city of Pelu'sium, repulsed the Egyptian army with loss, and, at last, joining with Cæsar, attacked their camp with a great slaughter of the Egyptians. Ptol'emy himself, attempting to escape on board a vessel, was drowned by the ship's sinking. 26. Cæsar thus became master of all Egypt, without any farther opposition. He appointed Cleopa'tra, with her younger brother, who was then an infant, joint governors, according to the intent of their father's will, and drove out Arsin'oe, with Gan'ymede, to banishment.
27. Having thus given away kingdoms, he now, for a while, seemed to relax from the usual activity of his conduct, being captivated with the charms of Cleopa'tra. Instead of quitting Egypt to go and quell the remains of Pompey's party, he abandoned himself to his pleasures, passing whole nights in feasting with the young queen. He even resolved on attending her up the Nile, into Ethiopia; but the brave veterans, who had long followed his fortune, boldly reprehended his conduct, and refused to be partners in so infamous an expedition. 23. Thus at length roused from his lethargy, he resolved to prefer the call of ambition to that of love; and to leave Cleopa'tra, in order to oppose Pharna'ces, the king of Bosphorus, who had made some inroads upon the dominions of Rome in the East.
29. This prince, who had cruelly deposed his father, the great Mithrida'tes, being ambitious of conquering those dominions, seized upon Arme'nia and Col'chis, and overcame Domit'ius, who had been sent against him. 30. Upon Cæsar's march to oppose him, Pharna'ces, who was as much terrified at the name of the general as at the strength of his army, laboured, by all the arts of negociation, to avert the impending danger. 31. Cæsar, exasperated at his crimes and ingratitude, at first dissembled with the ambassadors; and using all expedition, fell upon the enemy unexpectedly, and, in a few hours, obtained an easy and complete victory. Pharna'ces attempting to take refuge in his capital, was slain by one of his own commanders--a just punishment for his former parricide. Cæsar achieved this conquest with so much ease, that in writing to a friend at Rome, he expressed the rapidity of his victory in three words, "VENI, VIDI, VICI." A man so accustomed to conquest might, perhaps, think a slight battle scarcely worth a long letter; though it is more probable that these memorable words were dictated rather by vanity than indifference.
Questions for Examination.
1. What were the abilities and character of Cæsar?
2. Did he rest satisfied with his present successes?
3. Whither did he steer his course?
4. What occurred on his arrival?
5. Was Cæsar pleased with this spectacle?
6. What was the conduct of the Egyptians towards Cæsar?
7. Did Cæsar resent this conduct?
8. Did he continue this appearance of confidence?
9. Who were at this time the sovereigns of Egypt?
10. What rendered Cæsar's interference necessary?
11. Was this interference agreeable to the Egyptians?
12. How did Cæsar conduct himself on this occasion?
13. Was the attack formidable?
14. How did Cæsar prevent the designs of the enemy?
15. What was the conduct of Cleopatra?
16. What attractions did she possess?
17. What obstacles presented themselves, and how were they overcome?
18. Was Cæsar captivated by her charms?
19. What measures did Arsinoe pursue?
20. What attempts did the enemy make to annoy Cæsar, and how were they frustrated?
21. What unlucky accident occasioned the miscarriage of Cæsar's design?
22. How did Cæsar escape?
23. What did the Alexandrians next attempt?
24. Did Cæsar comply with their wishes?
25. How was Cæsar delivered from this dangerous situation?
26. What was the consequence of this victory?
27. Did Cæsar pursue his career of victory?
28. What was the consequence of this boldness?
29. What farther cause of offence had Pharnaces given?
30. Did Pharnaces boldly oppose the invader?
31. Did he succeed?
Oh, my friends, How is the toil of fate, the work of ages, The Roman empire fallen! Oh, cursed ambition! Fallen into Cæsar's hand: our great forefathers Had left him nought to conquer but his country.--Addison's Cato.
1. Cæsar, having settled affairs in this part of the empire, embarked for Italy, where he arrived sooner than his enemies could expect, but not before his presence there was absolutely required. 2. During his absence, he had been created consul for five years, dictator for one year, and tribune of the people for life. 3. But Antony, who in the mean time governed for him in Rome, had filled the city with riot and debauchery, and many commotions ensued, which nothing but the arrival of Cæsar could appease. 4. By his moderation and humanity he soon restored tranquillity to the city, scarcely making any distinction between those of his own and the opposite party. 5. Having, by gentle means, restored his authority at home, he prepared to march into Africa, where Pompey's party had found time to rally under Scipio and Cato, assisted by Juba, king of Maurita'nia; and, with his usual diligence, landed with a small party in Africa, while the rest of his army followed him. 6. Scipio coming to a battle soon after, received a complete and final overthrow, with little, or no loss on the side of the victor. Juba, and Petrei'us his general, killed each other in despair. Scipio, attempting to escape by sea into Spain, fell in among the enemy, and was slain; so that of all the generals of that undone party, Cato was now the only one that remained.
7. This extraordinary man, whom prosperity could not elate, nor misfortunes depress, having retired into Africa, after the battle of Pharsa'lia, had led the wretched remains of Pompey's army through burning deserts, and tracts infested with serpents of various malignity, and was now in the city of Utica, which he had been left to defend. 8. In love, however, with the show of Roman government, Cato had formed the principal citizens into a senate, and conceived a resolution of holding out the town. But the enthusiasm for liberty subsiding among his followers, he was resolved no longer to force men to be free, who seemed naturally prone to slavery. 9. He now, therefore, desired some of his friends to save themselves by sea, and bade others submit to Cæsar's clemency; observing, that, as to himself, he was at last victorious. After this, supping cheerfully among his friends, he retired to his apartment, where he behaved with unusual tenderness to his son, and to all his friends. When he came into his bed-chamber, laying himself down, he took up Plato's Dialogue on the Immortality of the Soul, and read for some time. Casting his eyes to the head of his bed, he wondered much not to see his sword there, which had been conveyed away by his son's order while they were at supper. Calling to one of his domestics to know what was become of it, and receiving no answer, he resumed his studies; and some time after asked again for his sword. When he had done reading, and perceived that nobody obeyed him, he called for his domestics one after the other, and with a peremptory air again demanded his sword. 10. His son, with tears, besought him to change his resolution; but, receiving a stern reprimand, desisted from his persuasions. His sword being at length brought to him, he seemed satisfied, and cried out, "Now, again, I am master of myself." He took up the book again, which having pursued, he fell into a sound sleep. Upon awaking, he called to one of his freedmen to know if his friends were embarked, or if any thing yet remained that could be done to serve them. The freedman, assuring him that all was quiet, was ordered to leave the room. Cato no sooner found himself alone, than, seizing his sword, he stabbed himself below his chest. The blow not despatching him, he fell from his bed and overturned a table, on which he had been drawing some geometrical figures. At the noise of the fall, his servants shrieked, and his son and friends immediately flew to the room. They found him weltering in his blood, with his bowels appearing through the wound. 11. The surgeon, perceiving that his intestines were not wounded, was replacing them; but Cato recovering himself, and understanding their intention was to preserve his life, forced the surgeon from him, and, with a fierce resolution, tore out his bowels and expired.
12. Upon the death of Cato, the war in Africa being completed, Cæsar returned in such triumph to Rome, as if he had abridged all his former triumphs only to increase the splendour of this. The citizens were astonished at the magnificence of the procession, and at the number of the countries he had subdued. 13. It lasted four days: the first was for Gaul, the second for Egypt, the third for his victories in Asia, and the fourth for that over Juba in Africa. His veteran soldiers, scarred with wounds, and now laid up for life, followed their triumphant general, crowned with laurels, and conducted him to the Capitol. 14. To every one of those he gave a sum equivalent to about a hundred and fifty pounds sterling, double that sum to the centurions, and four times as much to the superior officers. The citizens also shared his bounty: to every one he distributed ten bushels of corn, ten pounds of oil, and a sum of money equal to about two pounds sterling. After this he entertained the people at above twenty thousand tables, treated them with combats of gladiators, and filled Rome with a concourse of spectators from every part of Italy.
15. The people, intoxicated with pleasure, thought their freedom too small a return for such benefits. They seemed eager only to find out new modes of homage, and unusual epithets of adulation for their great enslaver. He was created, by a new title, _Magis'ter Mo'rum_, or Master of the Morals of the People. He received the title of Emperor and father of his country. His person was declared sacred; and, in short, upon him alone were devolved for life all the great dignities of the state. 16. It must be owned, that so much power could never have been entrusted to better keeping. He immediately began his empire by repressing vice and encouraging virtue. He committed the power of judicature to the senators and knights alone; and by many sumptuary laws restrained the scandalous luxuries of the rich. He proposed rewards to all such as had many children, and took the most prudent method of re-peopling the city, which had been exhausted in the late commotions.
17. Having thus restored prosperity once more to Rome, he again found himself under a necessity of going into Spain to oppose an army which had been raised there under the two sons of Pompey, and Labie'nus his former general. 18. He proceeded in this expedition with his usual celerity, and arrived in Spain before the enemy thought him yet departed from Rome. Cne'ius Pompey, and Sextus, Pompey's sons, profiting by their unhappy father's example, resolved, as much as possible, to protract the war; so that the first operations of the two armies were spent in sieges and fruitless attempts to surprise each other. 19. However, Cæsar, after taking many cities from the enemy, and pursuing his adversary with unwearied perseverance, at last compelled him to come to a battle upon the plain of Munda. 20. Pompey drew up his men, by break of day, upon the declivity of a hill, with great exactness and order. Cæsar drew up likewise in the plains below; and after advancing a little way from his trenches, ordered his men to make a halt, expecting the enemy to come down from the hill. This delay made Cæsar's soldiers begin to murmur; while Pompey's with full vigour poured down upon them, and a dreadful conflict ensued. 21. The first shock was so dreadful, that Cæsar's men, who had hitherto been used to conquer, now began to waver. Cæsar was never in so much danger as now; he threw himself several times into the very thickest of the battle. "What," cried he, "are you going to give up to a parcel of boys your general, who is grown grey in fighting at your head?" 22. Upon this, his tenth legion exerted themselves with more than usual bravery; and a party of horse being detached by Labie'nus from the camp in pursuit of a body of Numid'ian cavalry, Cæsar cried aloud that they were flying. This cry instantly spread itself through both armies, exciting the one as much as it depressed the other. 23. Now, therefore, the tenth legion pressed forward, and a total rout soon ensued. Thirty thousand men were killed on Cne'ius Pompey's side, and amongst them Labie'nus, whom Cæsar ordered to be buried with the funeral honours of a general officer. Cne'ius Pompey escaped with a few horsemen to the seaside; but finding his passage intercepted by Cæsar's lieutenant, he was obliged to seek for a retreat in an obscure cavern. He was quickly discovered by some of Cæsar's troops, who presently cut off his head, and brought it to the conqueror. His brother Sextus, however, concealed himself so well, that he escaped all pursuit; and afterwards, from his piracies, became noted and formidable to the people of Rome.
24. Cæsar, by this last blow, subdued all his avowed enemies; and the rest of his life was employed for the advantage of the state. He adorned the city with magnificent buildings; he rebuilt Carthage and Corinth, sending colonies to both cities: he undertook to level several mountains in Italy, to drain the Pontine marshes near Rome; and he designed to cut through the Isthmus of Peloponne'sus. 25. Thus, with a mind that could never remain inactive, he pondered mighty projects and schemes, beyond the limits of the longest life; but the greatest of all was his intended expedition against the Parthians, by which he designed to revenge the death of Crassus, who having penetrated too far into their country, was overthrown, taken prisoner, and put to a cruel death, by having molten gold poured down his throat, as a punishment for his former avarice. From Parthia, Cæsar intended to pass through Hyrca'nia, and enter Scyth'ia, along the banks of the Caspian sea; then to open a way through the immeasurable forests of Germany into Gaul, and so to return to Rome. These were the aims of ambition; but the jealousy of a few individuals put an end to them all.
Questions for Examination.
1. What was Cæsar's next step?
2. What honours were awarded him in his absence?
3. What was the conduct of his deputy?
4. How did he put an end to these disturbances?
5. What was his next enterprise?
6. What was the success of the campaign?
7. How was Cato situated?
8. What measure had he pursued?
9. When all hope had forsaken him, what was his conduct?
10. Was no effort made to change his resolution, and what followed?
11. Was the wound mortal?
12. What happened after the death of Cato?
13. Describe the triumph.
14. Was not Cæsar extremely liberal?
15. What returns were made for this extraordinary liberality?
16. Was he deserving of these honours?
17. Was he destined to pass the rest of his life in tranquillity?
18. Describe the opening of the campaign?
19. Were the sons of Pompey successful in their attempts?
20. What were the dispositions of the two armies?
21. What memorable expression did the danger of the conflict draw from Cæsar?
22. What was the consequence of this exclamation?
23. What was the result of the battle?
24. In what manner did Cæsar employ himself at this time?
25. What were his most important resolutions?
O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure?--Shakspeare.
1. Cæsar having been made perpetual dictator, and received from the senate accumulated honours, it began to be rumoured that he intended to make himself king. In fact, he was possessed of the power; but the people, who had an aversion to the name, could not bear his assuming the title. 2. Whether he really designed to assume that empty honour, must for ever remain a secret; but certain it is, that the unsuspecting openness of his conduct created something like confidence in the innocence of his intentions. 3. When informed by those about him of the jealousies of many who envied his power, he was heard to say, that he would rather die once by treason, than live continually in the apprehension of it. When advised by some to beware of Brutus, in whom he had for some time reposed the greatest confidence, he opened his breast, all scarred with wounds, saying, "Do you think Brutus cares for such poor pillage as this?" and, being one night at supper, as his friends disputed among themselves what death was easiest, he replied, "That which is most sudden and least foreseen." But, to convince the world how little he apprehended from his enemies, he disbanded his Spanish guards, and thus facilitated the enterprise against his life.
4. A deep conspiracy was now laid against him, into which no less than sixty senators entered. They were still the more formidable, as the generality of them were of his own party; and, having been raised above other citizens, felt more strongly the weight of a single superior.
At the head of this conspiracy were Brutus, whose life Cæsar had spared after the battle of Pharsalia, and Cassius, who was pardoned soon after; both prætors for the present year. 5. Brutus made it his chief glory to have descended from that Brutus who first gave liberty to Rome. The passion for freedom seemed to have been transmitted to him with the blood of his ancestors. But, though he detested tyranny, yet could he not forbear loving the tyrant from whom he had received the most signal benefits.
6. The conspirators, to give a colour of justice to their proceedings, put off the execution of their design to the ides of March, the day on which Cæsar was to be offered the crown. 7. The augurs had foretold that this day would be fatal to him. The night preceding he heard his wife, Calphur'nia, lamenting in her sleep. Being awakened, she confessed to him, that she dreamt of his being assassinated in her arms. 8. These omens, in some measure, began to change his intention of going to the senate; but one of the conspirators coming in, prevailed upon him to keep his resolution, telling him of the reproach that would attend his staying at home till his wife should have lucky dreams, and of the preparations that were made for his appearance. 9. As he went along to the senate, a slave who hastened to him with information of the conspiracy, attempted to come near him, but was prevented by the crowd. Artemido'rus, a Greek philosopher, who had discovered the whole plot, delivered him a memorial, containing the heads of his information; but Cæsar gave it, with other papers, to one of his secretaries, without reading, as was visual in matters of this nature. Having at length entered the senate-house, where the conspirators were prepared to receive him, he met one Spuri'na, an augur, who had foretold his danger, to whom he said smiling, "Well, Spuri'na, the ides of March are come."--"Yes," replied the augur, "but they are not yet gone." 10. No sooner had he taken his place, than the conspirators approached, under pretence of saluting him: Cimber, who was one of them, in a suppliant posture, pretended to sue for his brother's pardon, who had been banished by Cæsar's order. The conspirators seconded him with great earnestness; and Cimber, seeming to sue with still greater submission, took hold of the bottom of his robe; holding him, so as to prevent his rising. 11. This was the signal agreed on; when Casca, who was behind, instantly stabbed him in the shoulder, Cæsar sprung around, and, with the steel of his tablet, wounded him in the arm. The conspirators were all alarmed; when, being inclosed round, he received a second stab, from an unseen hand, in the breast; while Cassius wounded him in the face. He still defended himself with great vigour, rushing among them, and throwing down such as opposed him, till he saw Brutus among the conspirators, who, coming up, struck his dagger into his thigh. 12. Cæsar, from that moment, thought no more of defending himself; but, looking upon Brutus, cried out, "_Et tu Brute!_"--And you too, O Brutus! Then covering his head, and spreading his robe before him, in order to fall with decency, he sunk down at the base of Pompey's statue: after having received three and twenty wounds, from those whom he vainly supposed he had disarmed by his benefits.
[Sidenote: U.C. 709.]
13. Cæsar was killed in his fifty-sixth year, and about fourteen years after he had begun the conquest of the world.
14. If we examine his history, we shall be at a loss whether most to admire his great abilities, or his wonderful fortune. To pretend to say, that from the beginning he planned the subjection of his native country, is doing no great credit to his well-known penetration, as a thousand obstacles lay in his way, which fortune, rather than conduct, was to surmount; no man, therefore, of his sagacity, would have begun a scheme in which the chances of succeeding were so many against him. It is most probable that, like all very successful men, he made the best of every occurrence; and his ambition rising with his good fortune, from at first being content with humbler aims, he at last began to think of governing the world, when he found scarcely any obstacle to oppose his designs. Such is the disposition of man, whose cravings after power are then most insatiable when he enjoys the greatest share.
16. As soon as the conspirators had despatched Cæsar, they retired to the Capitol, and guarded its accesses by a body of gladiators which Brutus had in pay.
17. The friends of the late dictator now began to find that this was the time for coming into greater power than before, and for satisfying their ambition under the pretence of promoting justice: of this number was Antony. 18. He was a man of moderate abilities, of excessive vices, ambitious of power only because it gave his pleasures a wider range to riot in; but skilled in war, to which he had been trained from his youth. He was consul for this year, and resolved, with Lep'idus, who like himself was fond of commotions, to seize this opportunity of gaining a power which Cæsar had died for usurping. Lep'idus, therefore, took possession of the Forum, with a band of soldiers at his devotion; and Antony, being consul, was permitted to command them. 19. Their first step was to possess themselves of Cæsar's papers and money, and the next to assemble the senate. 20. Never had this august assembly been convened upon so delicate an occasion, as to determine whether Cæsar had been a legal magistrate, or a tyrannical usurper; and whether those who killed him merited rewards or punishments. Many of them had received all their promotions from Cæsar, and had acquired large fortunes in consequence of his appointments: to vote him an usurper, therefore, would be to endanger their property; and yet, to vote him innocent, might endanger the state. In this dilemma they seemed willing to reconcile extremes; they approved all the acts of Cæsar, and yet granted a general pardon to the conspirators.
21. This decree was very far from giving Antony satisfaction, as it granted security to a number of men who were the avowed enemies of tyranny, and who would be foremost in opposing his schemes of restoring absolute power. As, therefore, the senate had ratified all Cæsar's acts without distinction, he formed a plan of making him rule when dead as imperiously as he had done when living. 22. Being possessed of Cæsar's books of accounts, he so far gained over his secretary as to make him insert whatever he thought proper. By these means, great sums of money, which Cæsar would never have bestowed, were distributed among the people; and every man who had any seditious designs against the government was there sure to find a gratuity. 23. Things being in this situation, Antony demanded of the senate that Cæsar's funeral obsequies should be performed. This they could not decently forbid, as they had never declared him a tyrant: accordingly, the body was brought forth into the Forum with the utmost solemnity; and Antony, who charged himself with these last duties of friendship, began his operations upon the passions of the people by the prevailing motives of private interest. 24. He first read to them Cæsar's will, in which he made Octavius, his sister's grandson, his heir, permitting him to take the name of Cæsar, and bequeathed him three parts of his private fortune; which, in case of his death, Brutus was to have inherited. To the Roman people were left the gardens which he possessed on the other side of the Tiber; and to every citizen three hundred sesterces. Unfolding Cæsar's bloody robe, pierced by the daggers of the conspirators, he observed to them the number of stabs in it. He also displayed a waxen image, representing the body of Cæsar, all covered with wounds. 25. The people could no longer retain their indignation, but unanimously cried out for revenge, and ran, with flaming brands from the pile, to set fire to the houses of the conspirators. In this rage of resentment, meeting with one Cinna, whom they mistook for another of the same name that was in the conspiracy, they tore him in pieces. 26. The conspirators themselves, however, being well guarded, repulsed the multitude with no great trouble; but perceiving the general rage of the people, they thought it safest to retire from the city.
27. In the mean time, Antony, who had excited this flame, resolved to make the most of the occasion. But an obstacle to his ambition seemed to arise from a quarter in which he least expected it, namely, from Octa'vius, afterwards called Augus'tus, who was the grand-nephew and adopted son of Cæsar. A third competitor also for power appeared in Lep'idus, a man of some authority and great riches. 28. At first, the ambition of these three seemed to threaten fatal consequences to each other; but, uniting in the common cause, they resolved to revenge the death of Cæsar, and dividing their power, they formed what is called the Second Triumvirate.
Questions for Examination.
1. What design was Cæsar supposed to entertain?
2. Was this rumour well founded?
3. When hints of danger were given him, what was his conduct?
4. What was the consequence of this imprudence?
5. What was the character of Brutus?
6. What time was fixed for the conspiracy to take place?
7. Had Cæsar any intimations of his danger?
8. Was he at all influenced by them?
9. Were no other attempts made to warn him of his approaching fate?
10. In what way did the conspirators commence their attempt?
11. What followed?
12. What was the consequence of this?
13. What was Cæsar's age?
14. Did Cæsar plan the conquest of his country from the first?
15. By what means did he accomplish it?
16. How did the conspirators escape the vengeance of the people?
17. What advantage was taken of this event?
18. What was the character of Antony, and what resolution did he form?
19. What were his first acts?
20. How were the seriate situated on this occasion?
21. Was Antony satisfied with this decree?
22. How did he accomplish this?
23. What was his next measure?
24. By what means did he effect his purpose?
25. What was the consequence of this artful conduct?
26. Did the conspirators fall victims to their fury?
27. Had Antony no rivals in his attempts to acquire power?
28. What was the result of this rivalship?
Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, Revenge yourself alone on Cassius, For Cassius is aweary of the world.--Shakspeare.
1. The meeting of these three usurpers of their country's freedom, was upon a little island of the river Rhenus. Their mutual suspicions were the cause of their meeting in a place where they had no fear of treachery; for, even in their union, they could not divest themselves of mutual diffidence. 2. Lep'idus first entered; and, finding all things safe, made the signal for the other two to approach. At their first meeting, after saluting each other, Augustus began the conference, by thanking Antony for putting Dec'imus Brutus to death; who, being abandoned by his army, had been taken, as he was endeavouring to escape into Macedo'nia, and was beheaded by Antony's soldiers. 3. They then entered upon the business that lay before them, without any retrospection to the past.
Their conference lasted three days; and, in this period, they settled a division of the government, and determined the fate of thousands. 4. The result of this conference was, that the supreme authority should be lodged in their hands, under the title of the Trium'virate, for the space of five years; that Antony should have Gaul; Lep'idus, Spain, and Augustus, Africa and the Mediterranean islands. As for Italy, and the eastern provinces, they were to remain in common, until their general enemy should be subdued; and, among other articles of union, it was agreed that all their enemies should be destroyed, of which each presented a list. 5. In these were comprised, not only the enemies but the friends of the Trium'virate, since the partisans of the one were found among the opposers of the other. Thus Lep'idus gave up his brother Æmil'ius Paulus to the vengeance of his colleague; Antony permitted the proscription of his uncle Lucius; and Augustus delivered up the great Ci'cero, who was assassinated shortly after by Antony's command.
6. In the mean time Brutus and Cassius, the principal of the conspirators against Cæsar, being compelled to quit Rome, went into Greece, where they persuaded the Roman students at Athens to declare in the cause of freedom; then parting, the former raised a powerful army in Macedonia, while the latter went into Syria, where he soon became master of twelve legions, and reduced his opponent, Dolabella, to such straits as to force him to lay violent hands on himself. 7. Both armies joined at Smyr'na: the sight of such a formidable force began to revive the declining spirits of the party, and to reunite the two generals still more closely, between whom there had been, some time before, a slight misunderstanding. In short, having quitted Italy like distressed exiles, without having one soldier or one town that owned their command, they now found themselves at the head of a flourishing army, furnished with every necessary for carrying on the war, and in a condition to support a contest on which the empire of the world depended.
8. It was in this flourishing state of their affairs that the conspirators formed a resolution of marching against Cleopatra, who had made great preparations to assist their opponents. 9. However, they were diverted from this purpose by information that Augustus and Antony were now upon their march, with forty legions, to oppose them. Brutus, therefore, moved to have their army pass over into Greece and Macedonia, and there meet the enemy: but Cassius so far prevailed as to have the Rho'dians and Ly'cians first reduced, who had refused their usual contributions. 10. This expedition was immediately put in execution, and extraordinary contributions were thus raised, the Rho'dians having scarcely anything left them but their lives. The Ly'cians suffered still more severely; for having shut themselves up in their capital town Nanthus, they defended the place against Brutus with so much fury, that neither his arts nor entreaties could prevail upon them to surrender. . At length, the town being set on fire by their attempting to burn the works of the Romans, Brutus, instead of laying hold of this opportunity to storm the place, made every effort to preserve it, entreating his soldiers to try all means of extinguishing the fire; but the desperate frenzy of the citizens was not to be mollified. 12. Far from thinking themselves obliged to the generous enemy for the efforts which they made to save them, they resolved to perish in the flames. Instead of extinguishing, therefore, they did all in their power to augment the fire, by throwing in wood, dry reeds, and all kinds of fuel. 13. Nothing could exceed the distress of Brutus upon seeing the townsmen thus resolutely bent on destroying themselves. He rode about the fortifications, stretching out his hands to the Xan'thians, and conjuring them to have pity on themselves and their city; but, insensible to his expostulations, they rushed into the flames with desperate obstinacy, and the whole soon became a heap of undistinguishable ruin. 14. At this horrid spectacle Brutus melted into tears, offering a reward to every soldier who should bring him a Ly'cian alive. The number of those whom it was possible to save from their own fury amounted to no more than one hundred and fifty. 15. Some writers, however, affirm that the town was burnt to the ground, and the inhabitants destroyed, by the command of Brutus; and that those who surrendered at discretion, he deprived of all their public and private property.
16. Brutus and Cassius met once more at Sardis where they resolved to have a private conference together. They shut themselves up in the first convenient house, with express orders to their servants to give admission to no one. 17. Brutus began by reprimanding Cassius for having disposed of offices for money, which should ever be the reward of merit, and for having overtaxed the tributary states. Cassius repelled the imputation of avarice with the more bitterness, as he knew the charge to be groundless. The debate grew warm; till, from loud speaking, they burst into tears. 18. Their friends, who were standing at the door, overheard the increasing vehemence of their voices, and began to tremble for the consequences, till Favo'nius, who valued himself upon a cynical boldness, that knew no restraint, entering the room with a jest, calmed their mutual animosity. 19. Cassius was ready enough to forego his anger, being a man of great abilities, but of an uneven disposition; not averse to pleasure in private company, and, upon the whole, of morals not quite correct. But the conduct of Brutus was perfectly steady. An even gentleness, a noble elevation of sentiment, a strength of mind over which neither vice nor pleasure could have an influence, and an inflexible firmness in the cause of justice, composed the character of this great man. 20. After their conference night coming on, Cassius invited Brutus and his friends to an entertainment, where freedom and cheerfulness, for a while, took place of political anxiety, and softened the severity of wisdom. Upon retiring home it was that Brutus thought he saw a spectre in his tent. 21. He naturally slept but little, and was capable of bearing want of rest by long habit and great sobriety. He never allowed himself to sleep in the daytime, as was common in Rome; and only gave so much of the night to repose as could barely renew the functions of nature. But now, oppressed with various cares, he allowed himself a still shorter time after his nightly repast; and, waking about midnight, generally read or studied till morning. 22. It was in the dead of night, says Plutarch, when the whole camp was perfectly quiet, that Brutus was thus employed; reading by a lamp that was just expiring. On a sudden he thought he heard a noise, as if somebody was approaching, and looking towards the door, perceived it open. A gigantic figure of frightful aspect stood before him, and continued to gaze upon him with silent severity. 23. Brutus is reported to have asked, "Art thou a dæmon or a mortal? and why comest thou to me?" "Brutus," answered the phantom, "I am thy evil genius--thou shalt see me again at Philippi." "Well, then," replied Brutus, without being discomposed, "we shall meet again." Upon this the phantom vanished; when Brutus, calling to his servants, asked if they had seen anything; to which they answering in the negative, he resumed his studies. 24. Struck with so strange an occurrence, he mentioned it to Cassius, who rightly considered it as the effect of an imagination disordered by vigilance and anxiety. 25. Brutus appeared satisfied with this solution; and as Antony and Augustus were now advanced into Macedonia, he and his colleague passed over into Thrace, and drew near to Philippi, where the forces of the Trium'viri were posted to receive them.
Questions for Examination.
1. Where was the first meeting of the Triumvirate, and why was it chosen?
2. What precautions did they take?
3. What farther was done?
4. What was the result of the conference?
5. Who were the proscribed?
6. What became of Brutus and Cassius?
7. What effect had this success on the minds of their party?
8. What was their first resolution?
9. Did they put it in execution?
10. What was the consequence to the Rhodians and Lycians?
11. What unfortunate accident hastened the fate of the town?
12. Did they not second the efforts of Brutus?
13. By what means did Brutus attempt to divert them from their purpose?
14, 15. By what method did he endeavour to save some of the Lycians?
16. Where did Brutus and Cassius meet, and what ensued?
17. Was their interview an amicable one?
18. Did no one interpose?
19. What were the characters of these great men?
20. What happened after the conference?
21. What were the peculiar habits of Brutus?
22. What happened to him while thus employed?
23. What conversation passed between them?
24. Did he mention the circumstance to any one?
25. Did Brutus assent to this opinion, and what followed?
I dare assure you that no enemy Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus.--Shakspeare.
1. Mankind now began to regard the approaching armies with terror and suspense. The empire of the world depended upon the fate of a battle. From victory, on the one side, they had to expect freedom; on the other, a sovereign with absolute command. 2. Brutus was the only man who looked upon these great events with calmness and tranquillity. Indifferent as to success, and satisfied with having done his duty, he said to one of his friends, "If I am victorious, I shall restore liberty to my country: if not, by dying, I shall myself be delivered from slavery. My condition is fixed; I run no hazards." 3. The republican army consisted of fourscore thousand foot, and twenty thousand horse. The army of the Trium'viri amounted to a hundred thousand foot and thirteen thousand horse. 4. Thus complete on both sides, they met and encamped near each other upon the plains of Philip'pi. Near the town were two little hills, about a mile distant from each other; upon these hills, Brutus and Cassius fixed their camps, and kept up a free communication, which mutually defended each other. 5. In this commodious situation they could act as they thought proper, and give battle just when it was thought to their advantage to engage. Behind was the sea, which furnished them with all kinds of provisions; and, at twelve miles distance, the island of Thasos, which served them for a general magazine. 6. The Trium'viri, on the other hand, were encamped on the plain below, and were obliged to bring provisions from fifteen leagues' distance; so that their scheme and interest were to forward a battle as soon as possible. This they offered several times, drawing out their men from the camp, and provoking the enemy to engage. 7. On the contrary, the enemy contented themselves with drawing up their troops at the head of their camps, without descending to the plain. This resolution of postponing the battle, was the chance that the republican army had for victory; and Cassius, sensible of his advantage, resolved to harass rather than engage the enemy. 8. But Brutus, who began to suspect the fidelity of some of his officers, used all his influence to persuade Cassius to change his resolution. "I am impatient," said he, "to put an end to the miseries of mankind; and in this I hope to succeed whether I conquer or fall." 9. His wishes were soon gratified; for Antony's soldiers having, with great labour, made a road through the marsh which lay to the left of Cassius's camp, by that means opened a communication with the island of Thasos, which lay behind him. Both armies, after several attempts to possess themselves of this road, resolved at length to come to a general engagement. 10. This, however, was contrary to the advice of Cassius, who found himself forced, as Pompey had formerly been, to expose the liberty of Rome to the hazard of a battle. On the ensuing morning, the two generals gave the signal for engaging, and conferred together a little while before the battle began. 11. Cassius desired to be informed how Brutus intended to act in case they should be unsuccessful. To this Brutus replied, "Formerly, in my writings, I condemned the death of Cato, and maintained, that avoiding calamities by suicide is an insolent attempt against Heaven, that allotted them: but I have altered my opinion; I have given up my life to my country, and I think I have a right to my own way of ending it. I am resolved, therefore, to change a miserable being here for a better hereafter, if fortune turn against me." 12. "My friend," cried Cassius, embracing him, "now may we venture to face the enemy; for either we shall be conquerors, or we shall have no cause to fear those that be so." 13. Augustus being sick, the forces of the Triumviri were commanded by Antony alone, who began the engagement by a victorious attack upon the lines of Cassius. Brutus, on the other side, made a dreadful irruption on the army of Augustus, and drove forward with so much intrepidity, that he broke them upon the very first charge. Upon this, he penetrated as far as the camp, and slaughtering those that were left for its defence, his troops immediately began to plunder. 14. In the mean time, however, the lines of Cassius were forced, and his cavalry put to flight. There was no effort that this unfortunate general did not exert to make his infantry stand; stopping those that fled, and himself seizing the colours to rally them. But the valour of an individual was insufficient to inspire a timorous army. 15. At length, despairing of success, Cassius retired to his tent and killed himself. Brutus was soon informed of the defeat of Cassius, and in a little time after, of his death; scarcely able to restrain the excess of his grief for a man whom he lamented as the last of the Romans.
16. Brutus, now become sole general, assembled the dispersed troops of Cassius, and animated them with fresh hopes of victory. As they had lost their all from the plundering of their camp, he promised two thousand denarii to each man to make them amends. 17. Inspired with new ardour, they admired the liberality of their general, and, with loud shouts, proclaimed his intrepidity. Still, however, he wanted confidence to face the adversary, who offered him battle the ensuing day. His aim was to starve the enemy, who were in extreme want of provisions, from their fleet having been lately defeated. 18. But his single opinion was overruled by the army, who now grew every day more confident of their strength, and more arrogant to their general. At last, therefore, after a respite of twenty days, he was obliged to comply with their solicitations to try the fate of a battle. Both armies were drawn out, and they remained a long while opposite to each other without offering to engage. It is said, that he himself had lost much of his ardour by having again seen, or fancied that he saw, the spectre, in the night preceding. However, he encouraged his men, and gave the signal for battle. As usual, he had the advantage where he commanded in person; bearing down the enemy at the head of his infantry, and supported by his cavalry, making great slaughter. 19. But the forces which had belonged to Cassius were seized with a panic, and communicating their terror to the rest, the whole army at last gave way. Brutus, surrounded by the most valiant of his officers, fought long with amazing valour. The son of Cato, and the brother of Cassius, fell fighting by his side. At last, he was obliged to yield to necessity, and fled. 20. In the mean time, the two Triumviri, assured of victory, expressly ordered that the general should by no means be suffered to escape. Thus the whole body of the enemy being intent on the person of Brutus alone, his capture seemed inevitable. 21. In this deplorable exigence, Lucil'ius, his friend, resolved, by his own death, to effect his general's delivery. 22. Seeing a body of Thracian horse closely pursuing Brutus, and just upon the point of taking him, he boldly threw himself in their way, telling them that _he_ was Brutus. The Thra'cians overjoyed with so great a prize, immediately despatched some of their companions with the news of their success to the army. 23. Upon this, the ardour of the pursuit abating, Antony marched out to meet his prisoner, either to hasten his death, or insult his misfortunes. He was followed by a great number of officers and soldiers, some silently deploring the fate of so virtuous a man, others reproaching that mean desire of life far which he consented to undergo captivity. 24. Antony now seeing the Thracians approach, began to prepare himself for the interview; but the faithful Lucilius, advancing with a cheerful air--"It is _not_ Brutus," said he, "that is taken; fortune has not yet had the power of committing so great an outrage upon virtue. As for my life, it is well lost in preserving his honour; take it, for I have deceived you." Antony, struck with so much fidelity, pardoned him, loaded him with benefits, and honoured him with his friendship.
25. In the mean time, Brutus, with a small number of friends, passed over a rivulet; and night coming on, sat down under a rock, which concealed him from the pursuit of the enemy. After taking breath, and casting his eyes to heaven, he repeated a line from Eurip'ides, containing a wish to the gods, "That guilt should not pass in this life without punishment." To this he added another from the same poet: "O unhappy virtue! I have worshipped thee as a real good; but thou art a vain empty name, and the slave of fortune." He then called to mind, with great tenderness, those whom he had seen perish in battle. 26. He sent out one Statil'ius to give him information of those that remained; but Statil'ius never returned, being killed by a party of the enemy's horse. Brutus, judging rightly of his fate, now resolved to die likewise; and entreated those who stood round him to give him their last sad assistance: but they all refused so melancholy a service. 27. He then retired aside with his friend Strato, requesting him to perform the last office of friendship. Upon Strato's refusal, he ordered one of his slaves to execute what he so ardently desired; but Strato crying out, "that it never should be said that Brutus, in his last extremity, stood in need of a slave for want of a friend," turned aside his head, and presenting the sword's point, Brutus threw himself upon it, and immediately expired, in the forty-third year of his age. A.U. 711.
Questions for Examination.
1. What great event was now depending?
2. What were Brutus's feelings on this occasion?
3. What was the respective strength of the armies?
4. Where did they meet and encamp?
5. What were the advantages of this situation?
6. Were the Triumviri equally well situated?
7. Were the enemy equally ready to engage?
8. What induced Brutus to combat this resolution?
9. Did he obtain his wish?
10. Did Cassius wish to engage?
11. What passed between the generals on this occasion?
12. What was the reply of Cassius?
13. What happened at the commencement of the battle?
14. Was Cassius equally successful?
15. What did he do in his extremity, and what effect had it on Brutus?
16. Did Brutus attempt to recover the victory?
17. What followed?
18. Were his intentions agreeable to his troops, and what was the consequence?
19. What decided the victory against him?
20. What orders were issued by the Triumviri or this occasion?
21. By whom was his deliverance attempted?
22. How did he accomplish this?
23. What was the consequence?
24. Relate the circumstances of their interview?
25. What happened to Brutus in the mean time?
26. How did he attempt to gain intelligence, and what followed his disappointment?
27. Relate the manner of his death?
But anxious cares already seized the queen; She fed within her veins a flame unseen: The hero's valour, acts, and birth, inspire Her soul with love, and fan the secret fire.--Dryden.
1. From the moment of Brutus's death, the Trium'viri began to act as sovereigns, and to divide the Roman dominions among them as their own by right of conquest. 2. However, though there were apparently three who participated all power, yet, in fact, only two were actually possessed of it, since Lep'idus was admitted at first merely to curb the mutual jealousy of Antony and Augustus, and was possessed neither of interest in the army, nor authority among the people. 3. Their earliest care was to punish those whom they had formerly marked for vengeance. Horten'sius, Dru'sus, and Quintil'ius Va'rus, all men of the first rank in the commonwealth, either killed themselves or were slain. A senator and his son were ordered to cast lots for their lives, but both refused; the father voluntarily gave himself up to the executioner, and the son stabbed himself before his face. Another begged to have the rites of burial after his death: to which Augus'tus replied, "that he would soon find a grave in the vultures that would devour him." 4. But chiefly the people lamented to see the head of Brutus sent to Rome to be thrown at the foot of Cæsar's statue. His ashes, however, were sent to his wife Portia, Cato's daughter, who, following the examples of both her husband and father, killed herself, by swallowing coals. 5. It is observed, that of all those who had a hand in the death of Cæsar, not one died a natural death.
6. The power of the Triumviri being thus established upon the ruin of the commonwealth, they now began to think of enjoying that homage to which they had aspired. 7. Antony went into Greece to receive the flattery of that refined people, and spent some time at A'thens, conversing with the philosophers, and assisting at their disputes in person.
Thence he passed over into Asia, where all the monarchs of the east, who acknowledged the Roman power, came to pay him their obedience; while the fairest princesses strove to gain his favour by the greatness of their presents or the allurements of their beauty. 8. In this manner he proceeded from kingdom to kingdom, attended by a succession of sovereigns, exacting contributions, distributing favours, and giving away crowns with capricious insolence. He presented the kingdom of Cappado'cia to Sy'senes, in prejudice of Ariara'thes, only because he was pleased with the beauty of Glaph'yra, the mother of the former. He settled Herod in the kingdom of Judea, and supported him. But among all the sovereigns of the east, who depended upon Antony, Cleopatra, the celebrated queen of Egypt, was the most distinguished.
9. It happened that Sera'pion, her governor in the isle of Cyprus, had formerly furnished some succours to Cassius and the conspirators; and it was thought proper she should answer for his conduct. Accordingly, having received orders from Antony to clear herself of the imputation of infidelity, she readily complied, equally conscious of the goodness of her cause and the power of her beauty. 10. She was now in her twenty-seventh year, and consequently had improved those allurements by art, which in earlier age are seldom attended to Her address and wit were still farther heightened; and though there were some women in Rome that were her equals in beauty, none could rival her in the powers of conversation; 11. Antony was in Tarsus, a city of Cili'cia, when Cleopatra resolved to attend his court in person. She sailed down the river Cydnus to meet him, with the most sumptuous pageantry. The stern of her galley was covered with gold, its sails were purple silk, its oars silver, and they kept time to the sound of flutes and cymbals. She exhibited herself reclining on a couch spangled with stars of gold, and such other ornaments as poets and painters had usually ascribed to Venus. On each side were boys like cupids, fanning her by turns, while beautiful nymphs, dressed like Nereids and Graces, were placed at proper distances around her: the sweets that were burning on board her galley perfumed the banks of the river as she passed, while an infinite number of people gazed upon the exhibition with delight and admiration. 12. Antony soon became captivated with her beauty, and found himself unable to defend his heart against that passion which proved the cause of his future misfortunes. When Cleopa'tra had thus secured her power, she set out on her return to Egypt. Antony, quitting every other object, presently hastened after her, and there gave himself up to all that case and softness to which his vicious heart was prone, and which that luxurious people were able to supply.
13. While he remained thus idle in Egypt, Augustus, who took upon him to lead back the veteran troops, and settle them in Italy, was assiduously employed in providing for their subsistence. 14. He had promised them lands at home, as a recompense for their past services; but they could not receive their new grants without turning out the former inhabitants. 15. In consequence of this, multitudes of women, with their children in their arms, whose tender years and innocence excited compassion, daily filled the temples and the streets with their lamentations. Numbers of husbandmen and shepherds came to deprecate the conqueror's intention, or to obtain a habitation in some other part of the world. 16. Among this number was Virgil, the poet, to whom mankind owe more obligations than to a thousand conquerors, who, in an humble manner, begged permission to retain his patrimonial farm. 17. Virgil obtained his request; but the rest of his countrymen at Mantua, and Cremo'na, were turned out without mercy.
18. Italy and Rome now felt the most extreme miseries. The insolent soldiers plundered at will; while Sextus Pompey, being master of the sea, cut off all foreign communication, and prevented the people from receiving their usual supplies of corn. To these mischiefs were added the commencement of another civil war. 19. Fulvia, the wife of Antony, whom he had left behind at Rome, felt for some time all the rage of jealousy, and resolved to try every method of bringing back her husband from Cleopa'tra. 20. She considered a breach with Augustus as the only probable means of rousing him from his lethargy; and, accordingly, with the assistance of Lucius, her brother-in-law, she began to sow the seeds of dissension. The pretext was, that Antony should have a share in the distribution of lands as well as Augustus. 21. This produced negotiations between them, and Augustus offered to make the veterans themselves umpires in this dispute. Lucius refused to acquiesce; and being at the head of more than six legions, mostly composed of such as were dispossessed of their lands, he resolved to compel Augustus to accept of whatever terms he should offer. Thus a new war was excited between Augustus and Antony; or, at least, the generals of Antony assumed the sanction of his name. 22. Augustus was victorious; Lucius was hemmed in between two armies, and constrained to retreat to Peru'sia, where he was closely besieged by the opposite party. He made many desperate sallies, and Fulvia did all in her power to relieve him, but without success, so that, being at last reduced to extremity by famine, he delivered himself up to the mercy of the conqueror. Augustus received him honourably, and generously pardoned him and all his followers.
23. Antony having heard of his brother's overthrow, and of his wife being compelled to leave Italy, was resolved to oppose Augustus. He accordingly sailed at the head of a considerable fleet, and had an interview with Fulvia at Athens. 24. He much blamed her for occasioning the late disorders, testified the utmost contempt for her person, and, leaving her upon her death-bed, hastened into Italy to fight Augustus. They both met at Brundu'sium, and it was now thought that the flames of civil war were going to blaze out once more. 25. The forces of Antony were numerous, but mostly newly raised; however, he was assisted by Sextus Pompei'us, who, in those oppositions of interest, was daily coming into power. Augustus was at the head of those veterans who had always been irresistible, but who seemed no way disposed to fight against Antony, their former general. 26. A negociation was therefore proposed, and a reconciliation was effected: all offences and affronts were mutually forgiven; and, to cement the union, a marriage was concluded between Antony and Octavia, the sister of Augustus. 27. A new division of the Roman empire was made between them; Augustus was to have command of the West--Antony of the East; while Lepidus was obliged to content himself with the provinces in Africa. As for Sextus Pompei'us, he was permitted to retain all the islands he already possessed, together with Peloponnesus; he was also granted the privilege of demanding the consulship, though absent, and of discharging that office by a friend. It was stipulated to leave the sea open, and to pay the people what corn was due out of Sicily. Thus a general peace was concluded, to the great satisfaction of the people, who now expected an end to all their calamities.
Questions for Examination.
1. What ensued on the death of Brutus?
2. Were the triumviri possessed of equal power?
3. What were their first measures?
4. By what were the people most affected?
5. What observation has been made on these events?
6. What was the consequence of the establishment of their power?
7. Whither did Antony betake himself for that purpose?
8. How was he employed?
9. By what means did Cleopatra incur his displeasure?
10. What personal advantages did she possess?
11. Did she appear before Antony as an humble suppliant?
12. What was the result of the interview?
13. How was Augustus employed in the mean time?
14. What recompense had he promised these troops?
15. What was the consequence of this tyranny?
16. What remarkable person was among the sufferers?
17. Was his request granted?
18. What was the state of Italy at this time?
19. What occasioned it?
20. What did she consider as the most probable means of reclaiming him?
21. Were terms of accommodation offered and accepted?
22. What was the event of the war?
23. What was Antony's conduct on the occasion?
24. Did he approve of his wife's proceedings?
25. Were the two armies of nearly equal strength?
26. What was the consequence?
27. What further measures were adopted?
- Octavia. --You have been his ruin. Who made him cheap at Rome, but Cleopatra? Who made him scorned abroad, but Cleopatra? At Actium who betrayed him? Cleopatra.--Dryden.
1. The only obstacle to the ambition of Augustus was Antony, whom he resolved to remove; and for that purpose rendered his character at Rome as contemptible as he possibly could. In fact, Antony's conduct did not a little contribute to promote the endeavours of his ambitious partner. 2. He had marched against the Parthians with a prodigious army, but was forced to return with the loss of the fourth part of his forces, and all his baggage.
3. However, Antony seemed quite regardless of contempt: alive only to pleasure, and totally disregarding the business of the state, he spent his whole time in the company of Cleopatra, who studied every art to increase his passion and vary his entertainments. 4. Few women have been so much celebrated for the art of giving novelty to pleasure, and making trifles important. Still ingenious in filling up the time with some new strokes of refinement, she was at one time a queen, then a _bac'chanal_, and sometimes a huntress. 5. Not contented with sharing with her all the delights which Egypt could afford, Antony was resolved to enlarge his sphere of luxury, by granting her some of those kingdoms which belonged to the Roman empire. He gave her all Pheni'cia, Celo-Syria, and Cy'prus, with a great part of Cili'cia, Ara'bia, and Jude'a, gifts which he had no right to bestow, but which he pretended to grant in imitation of Hercules. 6. This complication of vice and folly at last totally exasperated the Romans, and Augus'tus, willing to take the advantage of their resentment, took care to exaggerate all his defects. 7. At length, when he found the people sufficiently irritated against him, he resolved to send Octa'via, who was then at Rome, to Antony, as if with a view of reclaiming her husband; but, in fact, to furnish a sufficient pretext for declaring war against him, as he knew she would be dismissed with contempt.
8. Antony was now in the city of Leucop'olis, revelling with Cleopatra, when he heard that Octa'via was at Athens, upon her journey to visit him. This was very unwelcome news both to him and Cleopa'tra; the latter, fearing the charms of her rival, endeavoured to convince Antony of the strength of her passion, by her sighs, her looks, and well-feigned melancholy. He frequently caught her in tears, which she seemingly attempted to hide, and of which she appeared extremely reluctant to tell him the cause. 9. These artifices, together with the ceaseless flattery and importunity of her creatures, prevailed so much on Antony's weakness, that he commanded Octa'via to return home without seeing her; and still more to exasperate the people of Rome, he resolved to repudiate her, and take Cleopa'tra as his wife. 10. He accordingly assembled the people of Alexandria in the public theatre, where was raised an alcove of silver, under which were placed two thrones of gold, one for himself, and the other for Cleopa'tra. There he seated himself, dressed as Bacchus, while Cleopatra sat beside him, clothed in the ornaments and attributes of I'sis, the principal deity of the Egyptians. 11. On that occasion he declared her queen of all the countries which he had already bestowed upon her, while he associated Cæsa'rio, her son by Cæsar, as her partner in the government. To the two children of himself by her, he gave the title of King of Kings, with very extensive dominions; and, to crown his absurdities, he next sent a minute account of his proceedings to the two consuls at Rome.
12. In the mean time, Augustus had a sufficient pretext for declaring war, and informed the senate of his intentions. However, he deferred the execution of his design for a while, being then employed in quelling an insurrection of the Illy'rians. 13. The following year was chiefly taken up in preparations against Antony, who, perceiving his intentions, remonstrated to the senate, that he had many causes of complaint against his colleague, who had seized upon Sicily without affording him a share; alleging that he had also dispossessed Lep'idus, and kept to himself the province he had commanded; and that he had divided all Italy among his own soldiers, leaving nothing to recompense those in Asia. 14. To this complaint Augustus was content to make a sarcastic answer, implying that it was absurd to complain of his distribution of a few trifling districts in Italy, when Antony, having conquered Par'thia might now reward his soldiers with cities and provinces. 15. This sarcasm provoked him to send his army without delay into Europe, to meet Augustus, while he and Cleopa'tra followed to Sa'mos, in order to prepare for carrying on the war with vigour. 16. When arrived there, it was ridiculous enough to behold the odd mixture of preparations for pleasure and for war. On one side, all the kings and princes from Egypt to the Euxine Sea had orders to send him supplies of men, provisions, and arms; on the other, comedians, dancers, buffoons, and musicians, were ordered to attend him.
17. His delay at Sa'mos, and afterwards at A'thens, where he carried Cleopa'tra to receive new honours, proved extremely favourable to the arms of Augustus, who was at first scarcely in a situation to oppose him, had he gone into Italy; but he soon found time to put himself in a condition for carrying on the war, and shortly after declared it against him in form. At length both sides found themselves in readiness to begin, and their armies were suitable to the greatness of the empire for which they contended. 18. The one was followed by all the forces of the East; the other drew after him all the strength of the West. Antony's force composed a body of one hundred thousand foot, and twelve thousand horse, while his fleet amounted to five hundred ships of war. Augustus mustered but eighty thousand foot, but equalled his adversary in the number of cavalry; his fleet was but half as numerous as Antony's; however, his ships were better built, and manned with better soldiers.
19. The great decisive engagement, which was a naval one, was fought near Ac'tium, a city of Epi'rus, at the entrance of the gulf of Ambra'cia. Antony ranged his ships before the mouth of the gulf; and Augustus drew up his fleet in opposition. Neither general assumed any fixed station to command in, but went about from ship to ship, wherever his presence was necessary. In the mean time the two land armies, on the opposite sides of the gulf, were drawn up, only as spectators of the engagement, and couraged the fleets, by their shouts, to engage. 20. The battle began on both sides after a manner not practised upon former occasions. The prows of their vessels were armed with brazen beaks, with which it was usual to drive furiously against each other; but Antony's ships being large, unwieldy, and badly manned, were incapable of the necessary swiftness, while those of Augustus, from the lightness of their construction, were fearful of the rude encounter: the battle, therefore, rather resembled a land fight, the ships being brought alongside each other. They fought with great ardour, without advantage on either side, except from a small appearance of disorder in the centre of Antony's fleet. 21. But, all on a sudden, Cleopa'tra determined the fortune of the day. She was seen flying from the engagement with her sixty sail, struck, perhaps, with the terrors natural to her sex; and, to increase the general amazement, Antony himself precipitately followed, leaving his fleet at the mercy of the conquerors; while the army on land submitted, being thus abandoned by their general.
22. When Cleopa'tra fled, Antony pursued her in a quinquireme, and coming alongside her ship, entered it without any desire of seeing her. She was in the stern, and he went to the prow, where he remained silent and melancholy. In this manner he continued three whole days, during which, either through indignation or shame, he neither saw nor spoke to Cleopa'tra. The queen's female attendants, however, reconciled them, and every thing went on as before. 23. Still he had the consolation to suppose his army continued faithful to him, and accordingly despatched orders to conduct it into Asia. But he was soon undeceived when he arrived in Africa, where he was informed of their submission to his rival. 24. This so transported him with rage, that with difficulty he was prevented from killing him self. At length, at the entreaty of his friends, he returned to Alexandria. 25. Cleopa'tra seemed to retain that fortitude in her misfortunes, which had utterly abandoned her admirer. Having amassed considerable riches, by means of confiscations and other acts of violence, she formed a very singular and unheard of project.
26. This was to convey her whole fleet over the Isthmus of Su'ez into the Red Sea, and thereby save herself, with all her treasures, in another region beyond the power of Rome. 27. Some of her vessels were actually transported thither, pursuant to her orders; but the Arabians having burnt them, and Antony dissuading her from the design, she abandoned it for the more improbable scheme of defending Egypt against the conqueror. 28. She omitted nothing in her power to put this in practice, and made all kinds of preparations for war, hoping, at least, by these means to obtain better terms from Augustus. In fact, she had been more in love with Antony's fortune than his person; and if she could have fallen upon any method of saving herself, though even at his expense, there is little doubt but she would have embraced it with gladness. 29. She had still hopes from the power of her charms, though she was almost arrived at the age of forty: and was desirous of trying upon Augustus those arts which had already been so successful. Thus, in three embassies which were sent from Antony to Augustus in Asia, the queen had always her secret agents, charged with proposals in her name. Antony desired no more than that his life might be spared, and to have the liberty of passing the remainder of his days in obscurity. To these requests Augustus made no reply. 30. Cleopa'tra also sent him public proposals in favour of her children; but at the same time privately resigned to him her crown, with all the ensigns of royalty. To the queen's public proposal no answer was given; to her private offer he replied by giving her assurances of his favour, in case she would send away Antony, or put him to death. 31. These private negociations were not so concealed but they came to the knowledge of Antony, whose jealousy and rage every occurrence now contributed to heighten. He built a small solitary house upon a mole in the sea, and shut himself up, a prey to those passions that are the tormentors of unsuccessful tyranny. There he passed his time; shunning all commerce with man kind, and professing to imitate Timon, the man-hater. 32. However, his furious jealousy drove him from this retreat into society; for hearing that Cleopa'tra had secret conferences with one Thyrsus, an emissary from Augustus, he seized upon him, ordered him to be cruelly scourged, and sent him back to his patron. At the same time he sent letters by him importing that Thyrsus had been chastised for insulting a man in misfortunes; but withal he gave Augustus permission to revenge himself by scourging Hippar'chus, Antony's freedman, in the same manner. The revenge, in this case, would have been highly pleasing to Antony, as Hippar'chus had left him, to join the fortunes of his more successful rival.
Questions for Examination.
1. What obstacle remained to the ambition of Augustus, and how did he attempt its removal?
2. How was Antony at this time employed?
3. Did he keenly feel his misfortune?
4. Was she eminently skilled in the art of pleasing?
5. Was not Antony lavish in his favours to her?
6. What was the consequence of this folly?
7. By what means did he seek a quarrel?
8. How was this measure approved by Antony and Cleopatra?
9. What imprudent resolutions did he adopt?
10. Did he do this publicly?
11. What farther favours did he bestow on her?
12. Did Augustus immediately commence hostilities?
13. What complaints did Antony make of Augustus?
14. Did Augustus notice these accusations?
15. What effect had his reply on Antony?
16. Were these military preparations formidable?
17. What advantages did Antony offer Augustus?
18. What was the respective strength of the armies?
19. Describe the preparations for this great conflict?
20. Was the engagement well contested?
21. What extraordinary circumstance decided its fate?
22. Did he reproach Cleopatra for her timidity?
23. Had Antony any resources left?
24. How did he receive this news?
25. How did Cleopatra act in this exigence?
26. What was this project?
27. Was it put in execution?
28. How did she attempt this, and with what views?
29. What farther hopes had she of favour?
30. What proposals did she make, and how were they received?
31. Was Antony aware of these negociations?
32. Did he persist in thus secluding himself?
O sun, thy uprise I shall see no more: Fortune and Antony part here.--Shakspeare.
1. Augustus advanced with another army against Pellu'sium, which, by its strong situation, might have retarded his progress for some time. But the governor of the city, either wanting courage to defend it, or previously instructed by Cleopa'tra to give it up, permitted him to take possession; so that Augus'tus had now no obstacle in his way to Alexan'dria, whither he marched with all expedition. 2. Antony, upon his arrival, sallied out to oppose him, fighting with desperation, and putting the enemy's cavalry to flight. 3. This slight advantage once more revived his declining hopes; and, being naturally vain, he re-entered Alexan'dria in triumph. Then going, armed as he was, to the palace, and embracing Cleopa'tra, he presented to her a soldier who had distinguished himself in the engagement. 4. The queen rewarded him very magnificently, presenting him with a helmet and breastplate of gold. With these, however, the soldier deserted in the night to the other army, prudently resolving to secure his riches by keeping on the strongest side. 5. Antony, not able to bear this defection without fresh indignation, resolved to make a bold expiring effort by sea and land; but previously offered to fight his adversary in single combat. Augus'tus, however, too well knew the inequality of their situations to comply with this forlorn proposal; he, therefore, coolly replied, "Antony has ways enough to die besides in single combat."
6. The next day, he posted the few troops he had remaining upon a rising ground near the city, whence he sent orders to his galleys to engage the enemy. There he waited to be a spectator of the combat; and at first he had the satisfaction to see them advance in good order. 7. But his joy was soon turned into rage, when he beheld his ships only saluting those of Augus'tus, and both fleets uniting together and sailing back into the harbour, and at the same time his cavalry deserting him. He tried, however, to lead on his infantry; but these were easily vanquished, and he himself compelled to return into the town. 8. His fury was now ungovernable, crying out as he passed that he was betrayed by Cleopa'tra, and delivered up to those who, for her sake alone, were his enemies. In these suspicions he was not deceived; for it was by secret orders from the queen that the fleet passed over to the enemy.
9. Cleopa'tra had for a long while dreaded the effects of Antony's jealousy; and had some time before prepared a method of obviating the effects of any sudden sallies it might produce. 10. Near the temple of Isis she had erected a building, which was seemingly designed for a sepulchre. Hither she moved her treasure and most valuable effects, covering them with torches, fagots, and other combustible matter. 11. This sepulchre she designed to answer a double purpose, as well to screen her from the sudden resentments of Antony, as to make Augustus believe that she would burn all her treasure, in case he refused proper terms of capitulation. Here, therefore, she retired from Antony's fury--shutting the fortified gates, and giving orders to have it reported that she was dead. 12. This news soon reached Antony, and it recalled all his former love and tenderness. Subject to every gust of passion, and each of them in the extreme, he now lamented her death with the same violence that he had just before seemed to desire it. "Miserable man!" exclaimed he, "what is there now worth living for? since all that could soothe or soften my cares is departed! O Cleopa'tra! our separation does not so much afflict me, as the disgrace I suffer, in permitting a woman to instruct me in the ways of dying."
13. He now called to him one of his freedmen, named Eros, whom he had engaged, by oath, to kill him, whenever fortune should drive him to this last resource, and commanded him to perform his promise. This faithful follower drew his sword, as if going instantly to strike the blow, when, turning his face, he plunged it into his own bosom, and dropped at his master's feet. 14. Antony, for a while, hung over his faithful servant, charmed with his fidelity. Then snatching up the sword he stabbed himself in the belly, and fell backward upon a couch. 15. The wound was mortal; yet the blood stopping, he recovered his spirits, and earnestly conjured those who were come into the room to put an end to his life; but they all fled, seized with fright and horror. 16. He continued in this miserable condition till he was informed by one of the queen's secretaries, that his mistress was still alive, and begged that he would suffer himself to be transported to the monument where she was. He was accordingly brought to the sepulchre; but Cleopa'tra, attended by her two women only, durst by no means permit the gate to be opened, but from the window threw down cords, with which, with great difficulty, they drew him up. 17. Antony, bathed in his blood, held out his hands to Cleopa'tra, and faintly endeavoured to raise himself from the couch on which he had been laid. The queen gave way to sorrow, tore her clothes, beat her breast, and kissing the wound of which he was dying, called him her husband, her lord, her emperor. 18. Antony entreated her to moderate the transports of her grief, and to preserve her life, if she could be able to do it with honour. "As for me, lament not my misfortunes," he said; "but congratulate me upon the happiness which I have enjoyed; I have lived the greatest and most powerful of men; and though I fall, my fate is not ignominious; _a Roman myself, I am, at last, by a Roman overcome_" Having thus said, he expired.
19. Proculei'us now made his appearance by command of Augus'tus, who had been informed of Antony's desperate conduct. He was sent to try all means of getting Cleopa'tra into his power. 20. Augustus had a double motive for his solicitude on this occasion; one was--to prevent her destroying the treasures she had taken with her into the tomb; the other--to preserve her person, as an ornament to grace his triumph. 21. Cleopa'tra, however, was upon her guard, and rejected any conference with Proculei'us, except through the gate, which was well secured. At length, having procured a ladder, he, with two of Augustus's soldiers, entered by the same window through which Antony had been drawn up. Cleopa'tra, perceiving what had happened, drew a poinard, that hung at her girdle, to stab herself; but Proculei'us forced it from her. 22. Augustus, pleased to find her in his power, sent Epaphrodi'tus to bring her to his palace, and to watch her with the utmost circumspection. He was ordered to use her, in every respect, with that deference and submission which were due to her rank, and to do every thing in his power to render her captivity tolerable.
23. Though kings and generals made interest for Antony's body, in order to pay the last honours to it, this consolation was reserved for Cleopa'tra. She alone was permitted to have the honour of granting Antony the rites of burial, and was furnished with every thing becoming his dignity to receive, or her love to offer. 24. Yet still she languished under her new confinement. Her many losses, her frantic sorrow, the blows which she had given her bosom, produced a fever, which she wished to increase. She resolved, by abstaining from nourishment, to starve herself to death, under the pretence of a regimen necessary for her disorder. 25. But Augus'tus, being made acquainted with the real motive by her physicians, began to threaten her, with regard to the safety of her children, in case she should perish. The fear of being the cause of their death was a motive she could not resist. Cleopa'tra, therefore, allowed herself to be treated as was thought proper, and she recovered.
26. In the mean time Augustus made his entry into Alexandria, taking care to mitigate the fears of the inhabitants, by conversing familiarly with Ar'cus, a philosopher, and a native of the place. The citizens, however, trembled at his approach. And when he placed himself upon the tribunal, they prostrated themselves, with their faces to the ground, before him, like criminals who waited the sentence for their execution. 27. Augus'tus presently ordered them to rise, telling them that three motives induced him to pardon them: his respect for Alexander, who was the founder of their city; his admiration of its beauty; and his friendship for Ar'cus, their fellow citizen. 28. Two only of particular note were put to death upon this occasion; Antony's eldest son, Antyl'lus, and Cæsa'rio, the son of Julius Cæsar, both betrayed into his hands by their respective tutors, who themselves suffered for their perfidy shortly after. As for the rest of Cleopa'tra's children, he treated them with great gentleness, leaving them to the care of those who were intrusted with their education, to whom he gave orders to provide them with every thing suitable to their birth. 29. Cleopa'tra, being recovered, Augus'tus visited her in person: she received him lying on a couch; but, upon his entering the apartment, rose up, habited in a loose robe, and prostrated herself before him. Her misfortunes had given an air of severity to her features; her hair was dishevelled, her voice trembling, her complexion pale, and her eyes swollen with weeping; yet, still, her natural beauty seemed to gleam through the distresses that surrounded her; and the grace of her motions, and the alluring softness of her looks, still bore testimony to the former power of her charms. 30. Augus'tus raised her with his usual complaisance, and, desiring her to sit, placed himself beside her. 31. Cleopa'tra had been prepared for this interview, and made use of every art to propitiate the conqueror. She tried apologies, entreaties and allurements, to obtain his favour and soften his resentment. She began by attempting to justify her conduct; but when her skill failed against manifest proofs, she turned her defence into supplications. She reminded him of Cæsar's humanity to those in distress; she read some of his letters to her, full of tenderness, and expatiated upon the intimacy that subsisted between them. "But of what service," cried she, "are now all his benefits to me! Why did I not die with him! Yet, still he lives--methinks I see him still before me! he revives in you." 32. Augus'tus, who was no stranger to this method of address, remained firm against all attacks; answering with a cold indifference which obliged her to give her attempts a different turn. 33. She now addressed his avarice, presenting him with an inventory of her treasure and jewels. This gave occasion to a very singular scene, that may serve to show that the little decorums of breeding were then by no means attended to as in modern times. 34. One of her stewards having alleged, that the inventory was defective, and that she had secreted a part of her effects, she fell into the most extravagant passion, started from her couch, and snatching him by the hair, gave him repeated blows on the face. Augus'tus, smiling at her indignation, led her to the couch, and desired her to be pacified. To this she replied, that it was insufferable to be insulted in the presence of one whom she so highly esteemed. "And admitting," cried she, "that I have secreted a few ornaments, am I to blame, when they are reserved, not for myself, but for Liv'ia and Octa'via, whom I hope to make my intercessors with you?" 35. The apology, which intimated a desire of living, was not disagreeable to Augustus, who politely assured her she was at liberty to keep whatever she had reserved, and that in everything she should be indulged to the height of her expectations. He then took leave, and departed, imagining he had reconciled her to life, and to the indignity of being shown in the intended triumph, which he was preparing for his return to Rome; but in this he was deceived. 36. Cleopa'tra had all this time corresponded with Dolabel'la, a young Roman of high birth in the camp of Augustus, who, from compassion, or perhaps from stronger motives, was interested in her misfortunes. By him she was secretly informed that Augustus determined to send her and her children, within three days, to Rome, to grace his triumphant entry. 37. She, at length, therefore, determined upon dying; but first throwing herself upon Antony's coffin, bewailed her captivity, and renewed her protestations not to survive him. Having bathed, and ordered a sumptuous banquet, she attired herself in the most splendid manner. After partaking of the banquet, she commanded all, except her two women, to leave the apartment. She had contrived to have an asp secretly conveyed to her in a basket of fruit, and then wrote to Augustus, to inform him of her fatal purpose, desiring to be buried in the same tomb with Antony. 38. Augustus, upon receiving the letter, instantly despatched messengers in hopes to stop the fulfilment of her intentions; but they arrived too late.
Upon entering the chamber, they beheld Cleopa'tra lying dead upon her couch, arrayed in royal robes. Near her, I'ras, one of her faithful attendants, was stretched at the feet of her mistress; and Char'mion, the other, scarcely alive, was settling the diadem upon Cleopa'tra's head. "Alas!" cried one of the messengers, "is this well done, Charmion?" "Yes," replied she, "it is well done--such a death become a glorious queen, descended from a race of glorious ancestors." Pronouncing these words, she dropped and expired with her much loved mistress.
Questions for Examination.
1. What new conquest was achieved by Augustus?
2. What was Antony's conduct on his arrival?
3. Was he elated by this slight success?
4. How was he rewarded, and in what manner did he evince his gratitude?
5. What were Antony's feelings and conduct on the occasion?
6. Did he attempt farther hostilities?
7. Was this satisfaction well founded?
8. How was he affected by this ill success?
9. Was Cleopatra prepared for these misfortunes?
10. What precautions had she taken?
11 What was her design in building this sepulchre?
12. Was Antony affected by this news?
13. What followed?
14. Did Antony persist in his purpose?
15. Did he immediately expire?
16. Had he another interview with Cleopatra?
17, 18. Relate the particulars of this interview?
19. How did Augustus act on this occasion?
20. Why was Augustus anxious to preserve this life of Cleopatra?
21. Did he obtain ready admittance to her, and what was the consequence?
22. How was she treated?
23. By whom were the last honours paid to Antony?
24. Did this kindness reconcile her to her situation?
25. By what means did Augustus overcome her resolution?
26. What circumstance attended the entrance of Augustus into Alexandria?
27. Were their fears realized?
28. Who fell victims on the occasion?
29. Did Augustus visit Cleopatra, and how was he received?
30. What was his conduct towards her?
31. How did Cleopatra conduct herself at this interview?
32. Was Augustus moved by her artifices?
33. Mention her next attempt and its consequence.
34. Relate the particulars.
35. Was the apology accepted?
36. With whom did Cleopatra correspond, and what did she learn?
37. What resolution did she form, and how did she accomplish it?
38. Did not Augustus attempt to prevent her resolution, and was he successful?
 In this contest the famous Alexan'drian library, consisting, it is said, of 700,000 volumes, was accidentally burnt.
 I came, I saw, I conquered.
 The Romans divided their months into three parts; namely, Calends, Nones, and Ides; all which they reckoned backwards. The Ides were always eight in number. The Nones sometimes four, at others six. The Calends varied according to the length of the month, and also with the Nones, as they were four or six. The Calends always began on the first of every month, and were counted backwards to the Ides, which fell on the 15th of March, May, July, and October; and on the 13th of other months; so that the Nones began on the 5th of each month when four, and on the 7th when six in number. The Nones, therefore, always ended on the 2d day of the month.
 Though Cæsar's ambition led him to usurp a power to which the Romans were not willing to submit, it appears that he used it with unexampled moderation. He was beloved and revered by the people, honoured and almost adored by his friends, and esteemed and admired even by his enemies. Absolute power could not have been in better hands.
 It was the general opinion of the conspirators that Antony should be cut off with Cæsar; but Brutus pleaded for and obtained his safety. This kindness was ill repaid.
 The Forum was a public place at Rome, where lawyers and orators made their speeches in matters of property of the state, or in criminal cases.
 Now the Rheno, which runs through Bologna and falls into the Po.
 It is impossible to paint the horrors of this dreadful proscription. Nothing was to be seen but blood and slaughter; the streets were covered with dead bodies; the heads of the most illustrious senators were exposed on the rostra, and their bodies left to be devoured by dogs and birds of prey; three hundred senators, and above two thousand knights, besides a vast number of others of considerable rank, fell victims on this occasion. Many noble instances of fidelity were displayed by slaves at this terrible conjuncture, several chose rather to die on the rack, in the most exquisite torments, than betray the place where their masters were concealed.
 A city on the confines of Macedonia, noted for the battle between Brutus and Cassius, and Mark Antony and Augustus, B.C. 42; and also the Epistle of Paul to the people of Philip'pi.
 This is very erroneous reasoning: suicide is, no doubt a heinous crime: but Brutus appears to have been governed by his apprehension of danger, instead of being convinced by the sober dictates of his judgment.
 On showing the order for the restoration of his property, he was nearly killed by the centurion who was in possession, and escaped only by swimming across a river. To these melancholy events he alludes in his first Eclogue.
 Mantua was a very ancient town, supposed to be older than Rome. It is still called Mantua, and is the capital of a duchy of the same name.
 He, however, displayed his usual cruelty towards the inhabitants, causing three hundred senators to be sacrificed at an altar erected to the memory of Julius Cæsar, and delivering up the city to plunder and the flames.
 The severity of this sarcasm lay in its being directly contrary to truth, as Antony had been defeated by the Par'thians.
 Samos, a celebrated island in the Archipel'ago. It has been rendered famous for the worship and a temple of Juno, with a noted Asylum. Its capital was of the same name, and is memorable for the birth of Pythag'oras.
 Actium is famous for a temple of Apollo.
 A galley with five banks of oars.
 They continued unshaken in their fidelity for seven days after the battle of Actium, notwithstanding the advantageous offers made them by Augustus, in hopes Antony would return and put himself at their head, but finding themselves disappointed, and abandoned by their principal officers, they at length surrendered.
 Ti'mon, the misanthrope, was born near Athens, B.C. 420. He declared himself the enemy of the human race, and had a companion named Apeman'tus, who possessed a similar disposition. The latter asking him one day why he paid such respect to Alcibi'ades, "It is," said the churl, "because I foresee he will prove the ruin of the Athe'nians, my countrymen."(Plutarch.)
 A strong city of Egypt.
 Pronounced Kar'mion.
 Cleopatra was forty years old at the time of her death, and had wed twelve years with Antony.
Sorry, no summary available yet.