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Plutarch's Lives

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which he had, marched into Peloponnesus, and laid siege to the
city of Messena. In attacking which place, he was in danger of
death; for a missile from an engine struck him in the face, and
passed through the cheek into his mouth. He recovered, however,
and, as soon as he was in a condition to take the field, won
over divers cities which had revolted from him, and made an
incursion into Attica, where he took Eleusis and Rhamnus and
wasted the country thereabout. And that he might straighten the
Athenians by cutting off all manner of provision, a vessel laden
with corn bound thither falling into his hands, he ordered the
master and the supercargo to be immediately hanged, thereby to
strike a terror into others, that so they might not venture to
supply the city with provisions. By which means they were
reduced to such extremities, that a bushel of salt sold for
forty drachmas, and a peck of wheat for three hundred. Ptolemy
had sent to their relief a hundred and fifty galleys, which came
so near as to be seen off Aegina; but this brief hope was soon
extinguished by the arrival of three hundred ships, which came
to reinforce Demetrius from Cyprus, Peloponnesus, and other
places; upon which Ptolemy's fleet took to flight, and Lachares,
the tyrant, ran away, leaving the city to its fate.

And now the Athenians, who before had made it capital for any
person to propose a treaty or accommodation with Demetrius,
immediately opened the nearest gates to send ambassadors to him,
not so much out of hopes of obtaining any honorable conditions
from his clemency as out of necessity, to avoid death by famine.
For among many frightful instances of the distress they were
reduced to, it is said that a father and son were sitting in a
room together, having abandoned every hope, when a dead mouse
fell from the ceiling; and for this prize they leaped up and
came to blows. In this famine, it is also related, the
philosopher Epicurus saved his own life, and the lives of his
scholars, by a small quantity of beans, which he distributed to
them daily by number.

In this condition was the city when Demetrius made his entrance
and issued a proclamation that all the inhabitants should
assemble in the theater; which being done, he drew up his
soldiers at the back of the stage, occupied the stage itself
with his guards, and, presently coming in himself by the actor's
passages, when the people's consternation had risen to its
height, with his first words he put an end to it. Without any
harshness of tone or bitterness of words, he reprehended them in
a gentle and friendly way, and declared himself reconciled,
adding a present of a hundred thousand bushels of wheat, and
appointing as magistrates persons acceptable to the people. So
Dromoclides the orator, seeing the people at a loss how to
express their gratitude by any words or acclamations, and ready
for anything that would outdo the verbal encomiums of the
public speakers, came forward, and moved a decree for delivering
Piraeus and Munychia into the hands of king Demetrius. This was
passed accordingly, and Demetrius, of his own motion, added a
third garrison, which he placed in the Museum, as a precaution
against any new restiveness on the part of the people, which
might give him the trouble of quitting his other enterprises.

He had not long been master of Athens before he had formed
designs against Lacedaemon; of which Archidamus, the king, being
advertised, came out and met him, but he was overthrown in a
battle near Mantinea; after which Demetrius entered Laconia,
and, in a second battle near Sparta itself, defeated him again
with the loss of two hundred Lacedaemonians slain, and five
hundred taken prisoners. And now it was almost impossible for
the city, which hitherto had never been captured, to escape his
arms. But certainly there never was any king upon whom fortune
made such short turns, nor any other life or story so filled
with her swift and surprising changes, over and over again, from
small things to great, from splendor back to humiliation, and
from utter weakness once more to power and might. They say in
his sadder vicissitudes he used sometimes to apostrophize
fortune in the words of Aeschylus --

Thou liftest up, to cast us down again.

And so at this moment, when all things seemed to conspire
together to give him his heart's desire of dominion and power,
news arrived that Lysimachus had taken all his cities in Asia,
that Ptolemy had reduced all Cyprus with the exception of
Salamis, and that in Salamis his mother and children were shut
up and close besieged: and yet like the woman in Archilochus,

Water in one deceitful hand she shows,
While burning fire within her other glows.

The same fortune that drew him off with these disastrous tidings
from Sparta, in a moment after opened upon him a new and
wonderful prospect, of the following kind. Cassander, king of
Macedon, dying, and his eldest son, Philip, who succeeded him,
not long surviving his father, the two younger brothers fell at
variance concerning the succession. And Antipater having
murdered his mother Thessalonica, Alexander, the younger
brother, called in to his assistance Pyrrhus out of Epirus, and
Demetrius out of the Peloponnese. Pyrrhus arrived first, and,
taking in recompense for his succor a large slice of Macedonia,
had made Alexander begin to be aware that he had brought upon
himself a dangerous neighbor. And, that he might not run a yet
worse hazard from Demetrius, whose power and reputation were so
great, the young man hurried away to meet him at Dium, whither
he, who on receiving his letter had set out on his march, was
now come. And, offering his greetings and grateful
acknowledgments, he at the same time informed him that his
affairs no longer required the presence of his ally, and
thereupon he invited him to supper. There were not wanting some
feelings of suspicion on either side already; and when Demetrius
was now on his way to the banquet, someone came and told him
that in the midst of the drinking he would be killed. Demetrius
showed little concern, but, making only a little less haste, he
sent to the principal officers of his army, commanding them to
draw out the soldiers, and make them stand to their arms, and
ordered his retinue (more numerous a good deal than that of
Alexander) to attend him into the very room of the entertainment,
and not to stir from thence till they saw him rise from the table.
Thus Alexander's servants, finding themselves overpowered,
had not courage to attempt anything. And,
indeed, Demetrius gave them no opportunity, for he made a very
short visit, and, pretending to Alexander that he was not at
present in health for drinking wine, left early. And the next
day he occupied himself in preparations for departing, telling
Alexander he had received intelligence that obliged him to
leave, and begging him to excuse so sudden a parting; he would
hope to see him further when his affairs allowed him leisure.
Alexander was only too glad, not only that he was going, but
that he was doing so of his own motion, without any offense, and
proposed to accompany him into Thessaly. But when they came to
Larissa, new invitations passed between them, new professions of
good-will, covering new conspiracies; by which Alexander put
himself into the power of Demetrius. For as he did not like to
use precautions on his own part, for fear Demetrius should take
the hint to use them on his, the very thing he meant to do was
first done to him. He accepted an invitation, and came to
Demetrius's quarters; and when Demetrius, while they were still
supping, rose from the table and went forth, the young man rose
also, and followed him to the door, where Demetrius, as he
passed through, only said to the guards, "Kill him that follows
me," and went on; and Alexander was at once dispatched by them,
together with such of his friends as endeavored to come to his
rescue, one of whom, before he died, said, "You have been one
day too quick for us."

The night following was one, as may be supposed, of disorder and
confusion. And with the morning, the Macedonians, still in
alarm, and fearful of the forces of Demetrius, on finding no
violence offered, but only a message sent from Demetrius
desiring an interview and opportunity for explanation of his
actions, at last began to feel pretty confident again, and
prepared to receive him favorably. And when he came, there was
no need of much being said; their hatred of Antipater for his
murder of his mother, and the absence of anyone better to
govern them, soon decided them to proclaim Demetrius king of
Macedon. And into Macedonia they at once started and took him.
And the Macedonians at home, who had not forgotten or forgiven
the wicked deeds committed by Cassander on the family of
Alexander, were far from sorry at the change. Any kind
recollections that still might subsist, of the plain and simple
rule of the first Antipater, went also to the benefit of
Demetrius, whose wife was Phila, his daughter, and his son by
her, a boy already old enough to be serving in the army with his
father, was the natural successor to the government.

To add to this unexpected good fortune, news arrived that
Ptolemy had dismissed his mother and children, bestowing upon
them presents and honors; and also that his daughter Stratonice,
whom he had married to Seleucus, was remarried to Antiochus, the
son of Seleucus, and proclaimed queen of Upper Asia.

For Antiochus, it appears, had fallen passionately in love with
Stratonice, the young queen, who had already made Seleucus the
father of a son. He struggled very hard with the beginnings of
this passion, and at last, resolving with himself that his
desires were wholly unlawful, his malady past all cure, and his
powers of reason too feeble to act, he determined on death, and
thought to bring his life slowly to extinction by neglecting his
person and refusing nourishment, under the pretense of being
ill. Erasistratus, the physician who attended him, quickly
perceived that love was his distemper, but the difficulty was to
discover the object. He therefore waited continually in his
chamber, and when any of the beauties of the court made their
visits to the sick prince, he observed the emotions and
alterations in the countenance of Antiochus, and watched for the
changes which he knew to be indicative of the inward passions
and inclinations of the soul. He took notice that the presence
of other women produced no effect upon him; but when Stratonice
came, as she often did, alone, or in company with Seleucus, to
see him, he observed in him all Sappho's famous symptoms, his
voice faltered, his face flushed up, his eyes glanced
stealthily, a sudden sweat broke out on his skin, the beatings
of his heart were irregular and violent, and, unable to support
the excess of his passion, he would sink into a state of
faintness, prostration, and pallor.

Erasistratus, reasoning upon these symptoms, and, upon the
probability of things, considering that the king's son would
hardly, if the object of his passion had been any other, have
persisted to death rather than reveal it, felt, however, the
difficulty of making a discovery of this nature to Seleucus.
But, trusting to the tenderness of Seleucus for the young man,
he put on all the assurance he could, and at last, on some
opportunity, spoke out, and told him the malady was love, a love
impossible to gratify or relieve. The king was extremely
surprised, and asked, "Why impossible to relieve?" "The fact
is," replied Erasistratus, "he is in love with my wife."
"How!" said Seleucus, "and will our friend Erasistratus refuse to
bestow his wife upon my son and only successor, when there is no
other way to save his life?" "You," replied Erasistratus, "who
are his father, would not do so, if he were in love with
Stratonice." "Ah, my friend," answered Seleucus, "would to
heaven any means, human or divine, could but convert his present
passion to that; it would be well for me to part not only with
Stratonice, but with my empire, to save Antiochus." This he
said with the greatest passion, shedding tears as he spoke; upon
which Erasistratus, taking him by the hand, replied, "In that
case, you have no need of Erasistratus; for you, who are the
husband, the father, and the king, are the proper physician for
your own family." Seleucus, accordingly, summoning a general
assembly of his people, declared to them, that he had resolved
to make Antiochus king, and Stratonice queen, of all the
provinces of Upper Asia, uniting them in marriage; telling them,
that he thought he had sufficient power over the prince's will,
that he should find in him no repugnance to obey his commands;
and for Stratonice, he hoped all his friends would endeavor to
make her sensible, if she should manifest any reluctance to such
a marriage, that she ought to esteem those things just and
honorable which had been determined upon by the king as
necessary to the general good. In this manner, we are told, was
brought about the marriage of Antiochus and Stratonice.

To return to the affairs of Demetrius. Having obtained the
crown of Macedon, he presently became master of Thessaly also.
And, holding the greatest part of Peloponnesus, and, on this
side the Isthmus, the cities of Megara and Athens, he now turned
his arms against the Boeotians. They at first made overtures
for an accommodation; but Cleonymus of Sparta having ventured
with some troops to their assistance, and having made his way
into Thebes, and Pisis, the Thespian, who was their first man in
power and reputation, animating them to make a brave resistance,
they broke off the treaty. No sooner, however, had Demetrius
begun to approach the walls with his engines, but Cleonymus in
affright secretly withdrew; and the Boeotians, finding
themselves abandoned, made their submission. Demetrius placed a
garrison in charge of their towns, and, having raised a large
sum of money from them, he placed Hieronymus, the historian, in
the office of governor and military commander over them, and was
thought on the whole to have shown great clemency, more
particularly to Pisis, to whom he did no hurt, but spoke with
him courteously and kindly, and made him chief magistrate of
Thespiae. Not long after, Lysimachus was taken prisoner by
Dromichaetes, and Demetrius went off instantly in the hopes of
possessing himself of Thrace, thus left without a king. Upon
this, the Boeotians revolted again, and news also came that
Lysimachus had regained his liberty. So Demetrius, turning back
quickly and in anger, found on coming up that his son Antigonus
had already defeated the Boeotians in battle, and therefore
proceeded to lay siege again to Thebes.

But, understanding that Pyrrhus had made an incursion into
Thessaly, and that he was advanced as far as Thermopylae,
leaving Antigonus to continue the siege, he marched with the
rest of his army to oppose this enemy. Pyrrhus, however, made a
quick retreat. So, leaving ten thousand foot and a thousand
horse for the protection of Thessaly, he returned to the siege
of Thebes, and there brought up his famous City-taker to the
attack, which, however, was so laboriously and so slowly moved
on account of its bulk and heaviness, that in two months it did
not advance two furlongs. In the meantime the citizens made a
stout defense, and Demetrius, out of heat and contentiousness
very often, more than upon any necessity, sent his soldiers into
danger; until at last Antigonus, observing how many men were
losing their lives, said to him, "Why, my father, do we go on
letting the men be wasted in this way, without any need of it?"
But Demetrius, in a great passion, interrupted him: "And you,
good sir, why do you afflict yourself for the matter? will dead
men come to you for rations?" But that the soldiers might see
he valued his own life at no dearer rate than theirs, he exposed
himself freely, and was wounded with a javelin through his neck,
which put him into great hazard of his life. But,
notwithstanding, he continued the siege, and in conclusion took
the town again. And after his entrance, when the citizens were
in fear and trembling, and expected all the severities which an
incensed conqueror could indict, he only put to death thirteen,
and banished some few others, pardoning all the rest. Thus the
city of Thebes, which had not yet been ten years restored, in
that short space was twice besieged and taken.

Shortly after, the festival of the Pythian Apollo was to be
celebrated, and the Aetolians having blocked up all the passages
to Delphi, Demetrius held the games and celebrated the feast at
Athens, alleging it was great reason those honors should be paid
in that place, Apollo being the paternal god of the Athenian
people, and the reputed first founder of their race.

From thence Demetrius returned to Macedon, and as he not only
was of a restless temper himself, but saw also that the
Macedonians were ever the best subjects when employed in
military expeditions, but turbulent and desirous of change in
the idleness of peace, he led them against the Aetolians, and,
having wasted their country, he left Pantauchus with a great
part of his army to complete the conquest, and with the rest he
marched in person to find out Pyrrhus, who in like manner was
advancing to encounter him. But so it fell out, that by taking
different ways the two armies did not meet; but whilst Demetrius
entered Epirus, and laid all waste before him, Pyrrhus fell upon
Pantauchus, and, in a battle in which the two commanders met in
person and wounded each other, he gained the victory, and took
five thousand prisoners, besides great numbers slain on the
field. The worst thing, however, for Demetrius was that Pyrrhus
had excited less animosity as an enemy than admiration as a
brave man. His taking so large a part with his own hand in the
battle had gained him the greatest name and glory among the
Macedonians. Many among them began to say that this was the
only king in whom there was any likeness to be seen of the great
Alexander's courage; the other kings, and particularly
Demetrius, did nothing but personate him, like actors on a
stage, in his pomp and outward majesty. And Demetrius truly was
a perfect play and pageant, with his robes and diadems, his
gold-edged purple and his hats with double streamers, his very
shoes being of the richest purple felt, embroidered over in
gold. One robe in particular, a most superb piece of work, was
long in the loom in preparation for him, in which was to be
wrought the representation of the universe and the celestial
bodies. This, left unfinished when his reverses overtook him,
not any one of the kings of Macedon, his successors, though
divers of them haughty enough, ever presumed to use.

But it was not this theatric pomp alone which disgusted the
Macedonians, but his profuse and luxurious way of living; and,
above all, the difficulty of speaking with him or of obtaining
access to his presence. For either he would not be seen at all,
or, if he did give audience, he was violent and overbearing.
Thus he made the envoys of the Athenians, to whom yet he was
more attentive than to all the other Grecians, wait two whole
years before they could obtain a hearing. And when the
Lacedaemonians sent a single person on an embassy to him, he
held himself insulted, and asked angrily whether it was the fact
that the Lacedaemonians had sent but one ambassador. "Yes," was
the happy reply he received, "one ambassador to one king."

Once when in some apparent fit of a more popular and acceptable
temper he was riding abroad, a number of people came up and
presented their written petitions. He courteously received all
these, and put them up in the skirt of his cloak, while the poor
people were overjoyed, and followed him close. But when he came
upon the bridge of the river Axius, shaking out his cloak, he
threw all into the river. This excited very bitter resentment
among the Macedonians, who felt themselves to be not governed,
but insulted. They called to mind what some of them had seen,
and others had heard related of King Philip's unambitious and
open, accessible manners. One day when an old woman had
assailed him several times in the road and importuned him to
hear her, after he had told her he had no time, "If so," cried
she, "you have no time to be a king." And this reprimand so
stung the king that after thinking of it a while he went back
into the house, and, setting all other matters apart, for
several days together he did nothing else but receive, beginning
with the old woman, the complaints of all that would come. And
to do justice, truly enough, might well be called a king's first
business. "Mars," as says Timotheus, "is the tyrant;" but Law,
in Pindar's words, the king of all. Homer does not say that
kings received at the hands of Jove besieging engines or ships
of war, but sentences of justice, to keep and observe; nor is it
the most warlike, unjust, and murderous, but the most righteous
of kings, that has from him the name of Jupiter's "familiar
friend" and scholar. Demetrius's delight was the title most
unlike the choices of the king of gods. The divine names were
those of the Defender and Keeper, his was that of the Besieger
of Cities. The place of virtue was given by him to that which,
had he not been as ignorant as he was powerful, he would have
known to be vice, and honor by his act was associated with
crime. While he lay dangerously ill at Pella, Pyrrhus pretty
nearly overran all Macedon, and advanced as far as the city of
Edessa. On recovering his health, he quickly drove him out, and
came to terms with him, being desirous not to employ his time in
a string of petty local conflicts with a neighbor, when all his
thoughts were fixed upon another design. This was no less than
to endeavor the recovery of the whole empire which his father
had possessed; and his preparations were suitable to his hopes,
and the greatness of the enterprise. He had arranged for the
levying of ninety-eight thousand foot, and nearly twelve
thousand horse; and he had a fleet of five hundred galleys on
the stocks, some building at Athens, others at Corinth and
Chalcis, and in the neighborhood of Pella. And he himself was
passing evermore from one to another of these places, to give
his directions and his assistance to the plans, while all that
saw were amazed, not so much at the number, as at the magnitude
of the works. Hitherto, there had never been seen a galley with
fifteen or sixteen ranges of oars. At a later time, Ptolemy
Philopator built one of forty rows, which was two hundred and
eighty cubits in length, and the height of her to the top of her
stern forty eight cubits; she had four hundred sailors and four
thousand rowers, and afforded room besides for very near three
thousand soldiers to fight on her decks. But this, after all,
was for show, and not for service, scarcely differing from a
fixed edifice ashore, and was not to be moved without extreme
toil and peril; whereas these galleys of Demetrius were meant
quite as much for fighting as for looking at, were not the less
serviceable for their magnificence, and were as wonderful for
their speed and general performance as for their size.

These mighty preparations against Asia, the like of which had
not been made since Alexander first invaded it, united Seleucus,
Ptolemy, and Lysimachus in a confederacy for their defense.
They also dispatched ambassadors to Pyrrhus, to persuade him to
make a diversion by attacking Macedonia; he need not think there
was any validity in a treaty which Demetrius had concluded, not
as an engagement to be at peace with him, but as a means for
enabling himself to make war first upon the enemy of his choice.
So when Pyrrhus accepted their proposals, Demetrius, still in
the midst of his preparations, was encompassed with war on all
sides. Ptolemy, with a mighty navy, invaded Greece; Lysimachus
entered Macedonia upon the side of Thrace, and Pyrrhus, from the
Epirot border, both of them spoiling and wasting the country.
Demetrius, leaving his son to look after Greece, marched to the
relief of Macedon, and first of all to oppose Lysimachus. On
his way, he received the news that Pyrrhus had taken the city
Beroea; and the report quickly getting out among the soldiers,
all discipline at once was lost, and the camp was filled with
lamentations and tears, anger and execrations on Demetrius; they
would stay no longer, they would march off, as they said, to
take care of their country, friends, and families; but in
reality the intention was to revolt to Lysimachus. Demetrius,
therefore, thought it his business to keep them as far away as
he could from Lysimachus, who was their own countryman, and for
Alexander's sake kindly looked upon by many; they would be ready
to fight with Pyrrhus, a new-comer and a foreigner, whom they
could hardly prefer to himself. But he found himself under a
great mistake in these conjectures. For when he advanced and
pitched his camp near, the old admiration for Pyrrhus's
gallantry in arms revived again; and as they had been used from
time immemorial to suppose that the best king was he that was
the bravest soldier, so now they were also told of his generous
usage of his prisoners, and, in short, they were eager to have
anyone in the place of Demetrius, and well pleased that the man
should be Pyrrhus. At first, some straggling parties only
deserted, but in a little time the whole army broke out into an
universal mutiny, insomuch that at last some of them went up,
and told him openly that if he consulted his own safety he were
best to make haste to be gone, for that the Macedonians were
resolved no longer to hazard their lives for the satisfaction of
his luxury and pleasure. And this was thought fair and moderate
language, compared with the fierceness of the rest. So,
withdrawing into his tent, and, like an actor rather than a real
king, laying aside his stage-robes of royalty, he put on some
common clothes and stole away. He was no sooner gone but the
mutinous army were fighting and quarreling for the plunder of
his tent, but Pyrrhus, coming immediately, took possession of
the camp without a blow, after which he, with Lysimachus, parted
the realm of Macedon betwixt them, after Demetrius had securely
held it just seven years.

As for Demetrius, being thus suddenly despoiled of everything,
he retired to Cassandrea. His wife Phila, in the passion of her
grief, could not endure to see her hapless husband reduced to
the condition of a private and banished man. She refused to
entertain any further hope, and, resolving to quit a fortune
which was never permanent except for calamity, took poison and
died. Demetrius, determining still to hold on by the wreck,
went off to Greece, and collected his friends and officers
there. Menelaus, in the play of Sophocles, to give an image of
his vicissitudes of estate, says, --

For me, my destiny, alas, is found
Whirling upon the gods' swift wheel around,
And changing still, and as the moon's fair frame
Cannot continue for two nights the same,
But out of shadow first a crescent shows,
Thence into beauty and perfection grows,
And when the form of plenitude it wears,
Dwindles again, and wholly disappears.

The simile is yet truer of Demetrius and the phases of his
fortunes, now on the increase, presently on the wane, now
filling up and now falling away. And so, at this time of
apparent entire obscuration and extinction, his light again
shone out, and accessions of strength, little by little, came in
to fulfill once more the measure of his hope. At first he
showed himself in the garb of a private man, and went about the
cities without any of the badges of a king. One who saw him
thus at Thebes applied to him not inaptly, the lines of

Humbled to man, laid by the godhead's pride,
He comes to Dirce and Ismenus' side.

But erelong his expectations had reentered the royal track, and
he began once more to have about him the body and form of
empire. The Thebans received back, as his gift, their ancient
constitution. The Athenians had deserted him. They displaced
Diphilus, who was that year the priest of the two Tutelar
Deities, and restored the archons, as of old, to mark the year;
and on hearing that Demetrius was not so weak as they had
expected, they sent into Macedonia to beg the protection of
Pyrrhus. Demetrius, in anger, marched to Athens, and laid close
siege to the city. In this distress, they sent out to him
Crates the philosopher, a person of authority and reputation,
who succeeded so far, that what with his entreaties and the
solid reasons which he offered, Demetrius was persuaded to raise
the siege; and, collecting all his ships, he embarked a force of
eleven thousand men with cavalry, and sailed away to Asia, to
Caria and Lydia, to take those provinces from Lysimachus.
Arriving at Miletus, he was met there by Eurydice, the sister of
Phila, who brought along with her Ptolemais, one of her
daughters by king Ptolemy, who had before been affianced to
Demetrius, and with whom he now consummated his marriage.
Immediately after, he proceeded to carry out his project, and
was so fortunate in the beginning, that many cities revolted to
him; others, as particularly Sardis, he took by force; and some
generals of Lysimachus, also, came over to him with troops and
money. But when Agathocles, the son of Lysimachus, arrived with
an army, he retreated into Phrygia, with an intention to pass
into Armenia, believing that, if he could once plant his foot in
Armenia, he might set Media in revolt, and gain a position in
Upper Asia, where a fugitive commander might find a hundred ways
of evasion and escape. Agathocles pressed hard upon him, and
many skirmishes and conflicts occurred, in which Demetrius had
still the advantage; but Agathocles straitened him much in his
forage, and his men showed a great dislike to his purpose, which
they suspected, of carrying them far away into Armenia and
Media. Famine also pressed upon them, and some mistake occurred
in their passage of the river Lycus, in consequence of which a
large number were swept away and drowned. Still, however, they
could pass their jests, and one of them fixed upon Demetrius's
tent-door a paper with the first verse, slightly altered of the
Oedipus; --

Child of the blind old man, Antigonus,
Into what country are you bringing us?

But at last, pestilence, as is usual, when armies are driven to
such necessities as to subsist upon any food they can get, began
to assail them as well as famine. So that, having lost eight
thousand of his men, with the rest he retreated and came to
Tarsus, and because that city was within the dominions of
Seleucus, he was anxious to prevent any plundering, and wished
to give no sort of offense to Seleucus. But when he perceived
it was impossible to restrain the soldiers in their extreme
necessity, Agathocles also having blocked up all the avenues of
Mount Taurus, he wrote a letter to Seleucus, bewailing first all
his own sad fortunes, and proceeding with entreaties and
supplications for some compassion on his part towards one
nearly connected with him, who was fallen into such calamities
as might extort tenderness and
pity from his very enemies.

These letters so far moved Seleucus, that he gave orders to the
governors of those provinces that they should furnish Demetrius
with all things suitable to his royal rank, and with sufficient
provisions for his troops. But Patrocles, a person whose
judgment was greatly valued, and who was a friend highly trusted
by Seleucus, pointed out to him, that the expense of maintaining
such a body of soldiers was the least important consideration,
but that it was contrary to all policy to let Demetrius stay in
the country, since he, of all the kings of his time, was the
most violent, and most addicted to daring enterprises; and he
was now in a condition which might tempt persons of the greatest
temper and moderation to unlawful and desperate attempts.
Seleucus, excited by this advice, moved with a powerful army
towards Cilicia; and Demetrius, astonished at this sudden
alteration, betook himself for safety to the most inaccessible
places of Mount Taurus; from whence he sent envoys to Seleucus,
to request from him that he would permit him the liberty to
settle with his army somewhere among the independent barbarian
tribes, where he might be able to make himself a petty king, and
end his life without further travel and hardship; or, if he
refused him this, at any rate to give his troops food during the
winter, and not expose him in this distressed and naked
condition to the fury of his enemies.

But Seleucus, whose jealousy made him put an ill construction on
all he said, sent him answer, that he would permit him to stay
two months and no longer in Cataonia, provided he presently sent
him the principal of his friends as hostages for his departure
then; and, in the meantime, he fortified all the passages into
Syria. So that Demetrius, who saw himself thus, like a wild
beast, in the way to be encompassed on all sides in the toils,
was driven in desperation to his defense, overran the country,
and in several engagements in which Seleucus attacked him, had
the advantage of him. Particularly, when he was once assailed
by the scythed chariots, he successfully avoided the charge and
routed his assailants, and then, expelling the troops that were
in guard of the passes, made himself master of the roads leading
into Syria. And now, elated himself, and finding his soldiers
also animated by these successes, he was resolved to push at
all, and to have one deciding blow for the empire with Seleucus;
who, indeed, was in considerable anxiety and distress, being
averse to any assistance from Lysimachus, whom he both
mistrusted and feared, and shrinking from a battle with
Demetrius, whose desperation he knew, and whose fortune he had
so often seen suddenly pass from the lowest to the highest.

But Demetrius, in the meanwhile, was taken with a violent
sickness, from which he suffered extremely himself, and which
ruined all his prospects. His men deserted to the enemy, or
dispersed. At last, after forty days, he began to be so far
recovered as to be able to rally his remaining forces, and
marched as if he directly designed for Cilicia; but in the
night, raising his camp without sound of trumpet, he took a
countermarch, and, passing the mountain Amanus, he ravaged an
the lower country as far as Cyrrhestica.

Upon this, Seleucus advancing towards him and encamping at no
great distance, Demetrius set his troops in motion to surprise
him by night. And almost to the last moment Seleucus knew
nothing, and was lying asleep. Some deserter came with the
tidings just so soon that he had time to leap, in great
consternation, out of bed, and give the alarm to his men. And
as he was putting on his boots to mount his horse, he bade the
officers about him look well to it, for they had to meet a
furious and terrible wild beast. But Demetrius, by the noise he
heard in the camp, finding they had taken the alarm, drew off
his troops in haste. With the morning's return he found
Seleucus pressing hard upon him; so, sending one of his officers
against the other wing, he defeated those that were opposed to
himself. But Seleucus, lighting from his horse, pulling off his
helmet, and taking a target, advanced to the foremost ranks of
the mercenary soldiers, and, showing them who he was, bade them
come over and join him, telling them that it was for their sakes
only that he had so long forborne coming to extremities. And
thereupon, without a blow more, they saluted Seleucus as their
king, and passed over.

Demetrius, who felt that this was his last change of fortune,
and that he had no more vicissitudes to expect, fled to the
passes of Amanus, where, with a very few friends and followers,
he threw himself into a dense forest, and there waited for the
night, purposing, if possible, to make his escape towards
Caunus, where he hoped to find his shipping ready to transport
him. But upon inquiry, finding that they had not provisions
even for that one day, he began to think of some other project.
Whilst he was yet in doubt, his friend Sosigenes arrived, who
had four hundred pieces of gold about him, and, with this
relief, he again entertained hopes of being able to reach the
coast, and, as soon as it began to be dark, set forward towards
the passes. But, perceiving by the fires that the enemies had
occupied them, he gave up all thought of that road, and
retreated to his old station in the wood, but not with all his
men; for some had deserted, nor were those that remained as
willing as they had been. One of them, in fine, ventured to
speak out, and say that Demetrius had better give himself up to
Seleucus; which Demetrius overhearing, drew out his sword, and
would have passed it through his body, but that some of his
friends interposed and prevented the attempt, persuading him to
do as had been said. So at last he gave way, and sent to
Seleucus, to surrender himself at discretion.

Seleucus, when he was told of it, said it was not Demetrius's
good fortune that had found out this means for his safety, but
his own, which had added to his other honors the opportunity of
showing his clemency and generosity. And forthwith he gave
order to his domestic officers to prepare a royal pavilion, and
all things suitable to give him a splendid reception and
entertainment. There was in the attendance of Seleucus one
Apollonides, who formerly had been intimate with Demetrius. He
was, therefore, as the fittest person, dispatched from the king
to meet Demetrius, that he might feel himself more at his ease,
and might come with the confidence of being received as a friend
and relative. No sooner was this message known, but the
courtiers and officers, some few at first, and afterwards almost
the whole of them, thinking, Demetrius would presently become
of great power with the king, hurried off, vying who should be
foremost to pay him their respects. The effect of which was
that compassion was converted into jealousy, and ill-natured,
malicious people could the more easily insinuate to Seleucus
that he was giving way to an unwise humanity, the very first
sight of Demetrius having been the occasion of a dangerous
excitement in the army. So, whilst Apollonides, in great
delight, and after him many others, were relating to Demetrius
the kind expressions of Seleucus, and he, after so many troubles
and calamities, if indeed he had still any sense of his
surrender of himself being a disgrace, had now, in confidence on
the good hopes held out to him, entirely forgotten all such
thoughts, Pausanias, with a guard of a thousand horse and foot,
came and surrounded him; and, dispersing the rest that were with
him, carried him, not to the presence of Seleucus, but to the
Syrian Chersonese, where he was committed to the safe custody
of a strong guard. Sufficient attendance and liberal provision
were here allowed him, space for riding and walking, a park with
game for hunting, those of his friends and companions in exile
who wished it had permission to see him, and messages of
kindness, also, from time to time, were brought him from
Seleucus, bidding him fear nothing, and intimating, that, so
soon as Antiochus and Stratonice should arrive, he would receive
his liberty.

Demetrius, however, finding himself in this condition, sent
letters to those who were with his son, and to his captains and
friends at Athens and Corinth, that they should give no manner
of credit to any letters written to them in his name, though
they were sealed with his own signet, but that, looking upon him
as if he were already dead, they should maintain the cities and
whatever was left of his power, for Antigonus, as his successor.
Antigonus received the news of his father's captivity with great
sorrow; he put himself into mourning, and wrote letters to the
rest of the kings, and to Seleucus himself, making entreaties,
and offering not only to surrender whatever they had left, but
himself to be a hostage for his father. Many cities, also, and
princes joined in interceding for him; only Lysimachus sent and
offered a large sum of money to Seleucus to take away his life.
But he, who had always shown his aversion to Lysimachus before,
thought him only the greater barbarian and monster for it.
Nevertheless, he still protracted the time, reserving the favor,
as he professed, for the intercession of Antiochus and

Demetrius, who had sustained the first stroke of his misfortune,
in time grew so familiar with it, that, by continuance, it
became easy. At first he persevered one way or other in taking
exercise, in hunting, so far as he had means, and in riding.
Little by little, however, after a while, he let himself grow
indolent and indisposed for them, and took to dice and drinking,
in which he passed most of his time, whether it were to escape
the thoughts of his present condition, with which he was haunted
when sober, and to drown reflection in drunkenness, or that he
acknowledged to himself that this was the real happy life he had
long desired and wished for, and had foolishly let himself be
seduced away from it by a senseless and vain ambition, which had
only brought trouble to himself and others; that highest good
which he had thought to obtain by arms and fleets and soldiers,
he had now discovered unexpectedly in idleness, leisure, and
repose. As, indeed, what other end or period is there of all
the wars and dangers which hapless princes run into, whose
misery and folly it is, not merely that they make luxury and
pleasure, instead of virtue and excellence, the object of their
lives, but that they do not so much as know where this luxury
and pleasure are to be found?

Having thus continued three years a prisoner in Chersonesus, for
want of exercise, and by indulging himself in eating and
drinking, he fell into a disease, of which he died at the age of
fifty-four. Seleucus was ill-spoken of, and was himself greatly
grieved, that he had yielded so far to his suspicions, and had
let himself be so much outdone by the barbarian Dromichaetes of
Thrace, who had shown so much humanity and such a kingly temper
in his treatment of his prisoner Lysimachus.

There was something dramatic and theatrical in the very funeral
ceremonies with which Demetrius was honored. For his son
Antigonus, understanding that his remains were coming over from
Syria, went with all his fleet to the islands to meet them.
They were there presented to him in a golden urn, which he
placed in his largest admiral galley. All the cities where they
touched in their passage sent chaplets to adorn the urn, and
deputed certain of their citizens to follow in mourning, to
assist at the funeral solemnity. When the fleet approached the
harbor of Corinth, the urn, covered with purple, and a royal
diadem upon it, was visible upon the poop, and a troop of young
men attended in arms to receive it at landing Xenophantus, the
most famous musician of the day, played on the flute his most
solemn measure, to which the rowers, as the ship came in, made
loud response, their oars, like the funeral beating of the
breast, keeping time with the cadences of the music. But
Antigonus, in tears and mourning attire, excited among the
spectators gathered on the shore the greatest sorrow and
compassion. After crowns and other honors had been offered at
Corinth, the remains were conveyed to Demetrias, a city to which
Demetrius had given his name, peopled from the inhabitants of
the small villages of Iolcus.

Demetrius left no other children by his wife Phila but Antigonus
and Stratonice, but he had two other sons, both of his own name,
one surnamed the Thin, by an Illyrian mother, and one who ruled
in Cyrene, by Ptolemais. He had also, by Deidamia, a son,
Alexander, who lived and died in Egypt; and there are some who
say that he had a son by Eurydice, named Corrhabus. His family
was continued in a succession of kings down to Perseus, the
last, from whom the Romans took Macedonia.

And now, the Macedonian drama being ended, let us prepare to see
the Roman.


The grandfather of Antony was the famous pleader, whom Marius
put to death for having taken part with Sylla. His father was
Antony, surnamed of Crete, not very famous or distinguished in
public life, but a worthy, good man, and particularly remarkable
for his liberality, as may appear from a single example. He was
not very rich, and was for that reason checked in the exercise
of his good-nature by his wife. A friend that stood in need of
money came to borrow of him. Money he had none, but he bade a
servant bring him water in a silver basin, with which, when it
was brought, he wetted his face, as if he meant to shave; and,
sending away the servant upon another errand, gave his friend
the basin, desiring him to turn it to his purpose. And when
there was, afterwards, a great inquiry for it in the house, and
his wife was in a very ill humor, and was going to put the
servants one by one to the search, he acknowledged what he had
done, and begged her pardon.

His wife was Julia, of the family of the Caesars, who, for her
discretion and fair behavior, was not inferior to any of her
time. Under her, Antony received his education, she being,
after the death of his father, remarried to Cornelius Lentulus.
who was put to death by Cicero for having been of Catiline's
conspiracy. This, probably, was the first ground and occasion
of that mortal grudge that Antony bore Cicero. He says, even,
that the body of Lentulus was denied burial, till, by
application made to Cicero's wife, it was granted to Julia. But
this seems to be a manifest error, for none of those that
suffered in the consulate of Cicero had the right of burial
denied them. Antony grew up a very beautiful youth, but, by the
worst of misfortunes, he fell into the acquaintance and
friendship of Curio, a man abandoned to his pleasures; who, to
make Antony's dependence upon him a matter of greater necessity,
plunged him into a life of drinking and dissipation, and led him
through a course of such extravagance, that he ran, at that
early age, into debt to the amount of two hundred and fifty
talents. For this sum, Curio became his surety; on hearing
which, the elder Curio, his father, drove Antony out of his
house. After this, for some short time, he took part with
Clodius, the most insolent and outrageous demagogue of the time,
in his course of violence and disorder; but, getting weary,
before long, of his madness, and apprehensive of the powerful
party forming against him, he left Italy, and traveled into
Greece, where he spent his time in military exercises and in the
study of eloquence. He took most to what was called the Asiatic
taste in speaking, which was then at its height, and was, in
many ways, suitable to his ostentatious, vaunting temper, full
of empty flourishes and unsteady efforts for glory.

After some stay in Greece, he was invited by Gabinius, who had
been consul, to make a campaign with him in Syria, which at
first he refused, not being willing to serve in a private
character, but, receiving a commission to command the horse, he
went along with him. His first service was against Aristobulus,
who had prevailed with the Jews to rebel. Here he was himself
the first man to scale the largest of the works, and beat
Aristobulus out of all of them; after which he routed, in a
pitched battle, an army many times over the number of his,
killed almost all of them, and took Aristobulus and his son
prisoners. This war ended, Gabinius was solicited by Ptolemy to
restore him to his kingdom of Egypt, and a promise made of ten
thousand talents reward. Most of the officers were against this
enterprise, and Gabinius himself did not much like it, though
sorely tempted by the ten thousand talents. But Antony,
desirous of brave actions, and willing to please Ptolemy, joined
in persuading Gabinius to go. And whereas all were of opinion
that the most dangerous thing before them was the march to
Pelusium, in which they would have to pass over a deep sand,
where no fresh water was to be hoped for, along the Ecregma and
the Serbonian marsh (which the Egyptians call Typhon's
breathing-hole, and which is, in probability, water left behind
by, or making its way through from, the Red Sea, which is here
divided from the Mediterranean by a narrow isthmus), Antony,
being ordered thither with the horse, not only made himself
master of the passes, but won Pelusium itself, a great city,
took the garrison prisoners, and, by this means, rendered the
march secure to the army, and the way to victory not difficult
for the general to pursue. The enemy, also, reaped some benefit
of his eagerness for honor. For when Ptolemy, after he had
entered Pelusium, in his rage and spite against the Egyptians,
designed to put them to the sword, Antony withstood him, and
hindered the execution. In all the great and frequent
skirmishes and battles, he gave continual proofs of his
personal valor and military conduct; and once in particular, by
wheeling about and attacking the rear of the enemy, he gave the
victory to the assailants in the front, and received for this
service signal marks of distinction. Nor was his humanity
towards the deceased Archelaus less taken notice of. He had
been formerly his guest and acquaintance, and, as he was now
compelled, he fought him bravely while alive, but, on his death,
sought out his body and buried it with royal honors. The
consequence was that he left behind him a great name among the
Alexandrians, and all who were serving in the Roman army looked
upon him as a most gallant soldier.

He had also a very good and noble appearance; his beard was well
grown, his forehead large, and his nose aquiline, giving him
altogether a bold, masculine look, that reminded people of the
faces of Hercules in paintings and sculptures. It was,
moreover, an ancient tradition, that the Antonys were descended
from Hercules, by a son of his called Anton; and this opinion he
thought to give credit to, by the similarity of his person just
mentioned, and also by the fashion of his dress. For, whenever
he had to appear before large numbers, he wore his tunic girt
low about the hips, a broadsword on his side, and over all a
large, coarse mantle. What might seem to some very
insupportable, his vaunting, his raillery, his drinking in
public, sitting down by the men as they were taking their food,
and eating, as he stood, off the common soldiers' tables, made
him the delight and pleasure of the army. In love affairs,
also, he was very agreeable; he gained many friends by the
assistance he gave them in theirs, and took other people's
raillery upon his own with good-humor. And his generous ways,
his open and lavish hand in gifts and favors to his friends and
fellow-soldiers, did a great deal for him in his first advance
to power, and, after he had become great, long maintained his
fortunes, when a thousand follies were hastening their
overthrow. One instance of his liberality I must relate. He
had ordered payment to one of his friends of twenty-five myriads
of money, or decies, as the Romans call it, and his steward,
wondering at the extravagance of the sum, laid all the silver in
a heap, as he should pass by. Antony, seeing the heap, asked
what it meant; his steward replied, "The money you have ordered
to be given to your friend." So, perceiving the man's malice,
said he, "I thought the decies had been much more; 't is too
little; let it be doubled." This, however, was at a later time.

When the Roman state finally broke up into two hostile factions,
the aristocratical party joining Pompey, who was in the city,
and the popular side seeking help from Caesar, who was at the
head of an army in Gaul, Curio, the friend of Antony, having
changed his party and devoted himself to Caesar, brought over
Antony also to his service. And the influence which he gained
with the people by his eloquence and by the money which was
supplied by Caesar enabled him to make Antony, first, tribune of
the people, and then, augur. And Antony's accession to office
was at once of the greatest advantage to Caesar. In the first
place, he resisted the consul Marcellus, who was putting under
Pompey's orders the troops who were already collected, and was
giving him power to raise new levies; he, on the other hand,
making an order that they should be sent into Syria to reinforce
Bibulus, who was making war with the Parthians, and that no one
should give in his name to serve under Pompey. Next, when the
senators would not suffer Caesar's letters to be received or
read in the senate, by virtue of his office he read them
publicly, and succeeded so well, that many were brought to
change their mind; Caesar's demands, as they appeared in what he
wrote, being but just and reasonable. At length, two questions
being put in the senate, the one, whether Pompey should dismiss
his army, the other, if Caesar his, some were for the former,
for the latter all, except some few, when Antony stood up and
put the question, if it would be agreeable to them that both
Pompey and Caesar should dismiss their armies. This proposal
met with the greatest approval, they gave him loud acclamations,
and called for it to be put to the vote. But when the consuls
would not have it so, Caesar's friends again made some new
offers, very fair and equitable, but were strongly opposed by
Cato, and Antony himself was commanded to leave the senate by
the consul Lentulus. So, leaving them with execrations, and
disguising himself in a servant's dress, hiring a carriage with
Quintus Cassius, he went straight away to Caesar, declaring at
once, when they reached the camp, that affairs at Rome were
conducted without any order or justice, that the privilege of
speaking in the senate was denied the tribunes, and that he who
spoke for common fair dealing was driven out and in danger of
his life.

Upon this, Caesar set his army in motion, and marched into
Italy; and for this reason it is that Cicero writes in his
Philippics, that Antony was as much the cause of the civil war,
as Helen was of the Trojan. But this is but a calumny. For
Caesar was not of so slight or weak a temper as to suffer
himself to be carried away, by the indignation of the moment,
into a civil war with his country, upon the sight of Antony and
Cassius seeking refuge in his camp, meanly dressed and in a
hired carriage, without ever having thought of it or taken any
such resolution long before. This was to him, who wanted a
pretense of declaring war, a fair and plausible occasion; but
the true motive that led him was the same that formerly led
Alexander and Cyrus against all mankind, the unquenchable thirst
of empire, and the distracted ambition of being the greatest man
in the world, which was impracticable for him, unless Pompey
were put down. So soon, then, as he had advanced and occupied
Rome, and driven Pompey out of Italy, he purposed first to go
against the legions that Pompey had in Spain, and then cross
over and follow him with the fleet that should be prepared
during his absence, in the meantime leaving the government of
Rome to Lepidus, as praetor, and the command of the troops and
of Italy to Antony, as tribune of the people. Antony was not
long in getting the hearts of the soldiers, joining with them in
their exercises, and for the most part living amongst them, and
making them presents to the utmost of his abilities; but with
all others he was unpopular enough. He was too lazy to pay
attention to the complaints of persons who were injured; he
listened impatiently to petitions; and he had an ill name for
familiarity with other people's wives. In short, the government
of Caesar (which, so far as he was concerned himself, had the
appearance of anything rather than a tyranny), got a bad repute
through his friends. And of these friends, Antony, as he had
the largest trust, and committed the greatest errors, was
thought the most deeply in fault.

Caesar, however, at his return from Spain, overlooked the
charges against him, and had no reason ever to complain, in the
employments he gave him in the war, of any want of courage,
energy, or military skill. He himself, going aboard at
Brundusium, sailed over the Ionian Sea with a few troops, and
sent back the vessels with orders to Antony and Gabinius to
embark the army, and come over with all speed into Macedonia.
Gabinius, having no mind to put to sea in the rough, dangerous
weather of the winter season, was for marching the army round by
the long land route; but Antony, being more afraid lest Caesar
might suffer from the number of his enemies, who pressed him
hard, beat back Libo, who was watching with a fleet at the mouth
of the haven of Brundusium, by attacking his galleys with a
number of small boats, and, gaining thus an opportunity, put on
board twenty thousand foot and eight hundred horse, and so set
out to sea. And, being espied by the enemy and pursued, from
this danger he was rescued by a strong south wind, which sprang
up and raised so high a sea, that the enemy's galleys could make
little way. But his own ships were driving before it upon a lee
shore of cliffs and rocks running sheer to the water, where
there was no hope of escape, when all of a sudden the wind
turned about to south-west, and blew from land to the main sea,
where Antony, now sailing in security, saw the coast all covered
with the wreck of the enemy's fleet. For hither the galleys in
pursuit had been carried by the gale, and not a few of them
dashed to pieces. Many men and much property fell into Antony's
hands; he took also the town of Lissus, and, by the seasonable
arrival of so large a reinforcement, gave Caesar great

There was not one of the many engagements that now took place
one after another in which he did not signalize himself; twice
he stopped the army in its full flight, led them back to a
charge, and gained the victory. So that not without reason his
reputation, next to Caesar's, was greatest in the army. And what
opinion Caesar himself had of him well appeared when for the
final battle in Pharsalia, which was to determine everything,
he himself chose to lead the right wing, committing the
charge of the left to Antony, as to the best officer of all that
served under him. After the battle, Caesar, being created
dictator, went in pursuit of Pompey, and sent Antony to Rome,
with the character of Master of the Horse, who is in office and
power next to the dictator, when present, and in his absence is
the first, and pretty nearly indeed the sole magistrate. For on
the appointment of a dictator, with the one exception of the
tribunes, all other magistrates cease to exercise any authority
in Rome.

Dolabella, however, who was tribune, being a young man and eager
for change, was now for bringing in a general measure for
canceling debts, and wanted Antony, who was his friend, and
forward enough to promote any popular project, to take part with
him in this step. Asinius and Trebellius were of the contrary
opinion, and it so happened, at the same time, Antony was
crossed by a terrible suspicion that Dolabella was too familiar
with his wife; and in great trouble at this, he parted with her
(she being his cousin, and daughter to Caius Antonius, the
colleague of Cicero), and, taking part with Asinius, came to
open hostilities with Dolabella, who had seized on the forum,
intending to pass his law by force. Antony, backed by a vote of
the senate that Dolabella should be put down by force of arms,
went down and attacked him, killing some of his, and losing some
of his own men; and by this action lost his favor with the
commonalty, while with the better class and with all well
conducted people his general course of life made him, as Cicero
says, absolutely odious, utter disgust being excited by his
drinking bouts at all hours, his wild expenses, his gross
amours, the day spent in sleeping or walking off his debauches,
and the night in banquets and at theaters, and in celebrating
the nuptials of some comedian or buffoon. It is related that,
drinking all night at the wedding of Hippias, the comedian, on
the morning, having to harangue the people, he came forward,
overcharged as he was, and vomited before them all, one of his
friends holding his gown for him. Sergius, the player, was one
of the friends who could do most with him; also Cytheris, a
woman of the same trade, whom he made much of, and who, when he
went his progress, accompanied him in a litter, and had her
equipage, not in anything inferior to his mother's; while every
one, moreover, was scandalized at the sight of the golden cups
that he took with him, fitter for the ornaments of a procession
than the uses of a journey, at his having pavilions set up, and
sumptuous morning repasts laid out by river-sides and in groves,
at his having chariots drawn by lions, and common women and
singing girls quartered upon the houses of serious fathers and
mothers of families. And it seemed very unreasonable that
Caesar, out of Italy, should lodge in the open field, and, with
great fatigue and danger, pursue the remainder of a hazardous
war, whilst others, by favor of his authority, should insult the
citizens with their impudent luxury.

All this appears to have aggravated party quarrels in Rome, and
to have encouraged the soldiers in acts of license and rapacity.
And, accordingly, when Caesar came home, he acquitted Dolabella,
and, being created the third time consul, took, not Antony, but
Lepidus, for his colleague. Pompey's house being offered for
sale, Antony bought it, and, when the price was demanded of him,
loudly complained. This, he tells us himself, and because he
thought his former services had not been recompensed as they
deserved, made him not follow Caesar with the army into Libya.
However, Caesar, by dealing gently with his errors, seems to
have succeeded in curing him of a good deal of his folly and
extravagance. He gave up his former courses, and took a wife,
Fulvia, the widow of Clodius the demagogue, a woman not born for
spinning or housewifery, nor one that could be content with
ruling a private husband, but prepared to govern a first
magistrate, or give orders to a commander-in-chief. So that
Cleopatra had great obligations to her for having taught Antony
to be so good a servant, he coming to her hands tame and broken
into entire obedience to the commands of a mistress. He used to
play all sorts of sportive, boyish tricks, to keep Fulvia in
good-humor. As, for example, when Caesar, after his victory in
Spain, was on his return, Antony, among the rest, went out to
meet him; and, a rumor being spread that Caesar was killed and
the enemy marching into Italy, he resumed to Rome, and,
disguising himself, came to her by night muffled up as a servant
that brought letters from Antony. She, with great impatience,
before she received the letter, asks if Antony were well, and
instead of an answer he gives her the letter; and, as she was
opening it, took her about the neck and kissed her. This little
story of many of the same nature, I give as a specimen.

There was nobody of any rank in Rome that did not go some days'
journey to meet Caesar on his return from Spain; but Antony was
the best received of any, admitted to ride the whole journey
with him in his carriage, while behind came Brutus Albinus, and
Octavian, his niece's son, who afterwards bore his name and
reigned so long over the Romans. Caesar being created, the
fifth time, consul, without delay chose Antony for his
colleague, but, designing himself to give up his own consulate
to Dolabella, he acquainted the senate with his resolution. But
Antony opposed it with all his might, saying much that was bad
against Dolabella, and receiving the like language in return,
till Caesar could bear with the indecency no longer, and
deferred the matter to another time. Afterwards, when he came
before the people to proclaim Dolabella, Antony cried out that
the auspices were unfavorable, so that at last Caesar, much to
Dolabella's vexation, yielded and gave it up. And it is
credible that Caesar was about as much disgusted with the one as
the other. When someone was accusing them both to him, "It is
not," said he, "these well fed, long-haired men that I fear, but
the pale and the hungry looking;" meaning Brutus and Cassius, by
whose conspiracy he afterwards fell.

And the fairest pretext for that conspiracy was furnished,
without his meaning it, by Antony himself. The Romans were
celebrating their festival, called the Lupercalia, when Caesar,
in his triumphal habit, and seated above the Rostra in the
market-place, was a spectator of the sports. The custom is,
that many young noblemen and of the magistracy, anointed with
oil and having straps of hide in their hands, run about and
strike, in sport, at everyone they meet. Antony was running
with the rest; but, omitting the old ceremony, twining a garland
of bay round a diadem, he ran up to the Rostra, and, being
lifted up by his companions, would have put it upon the head of
Caesar, as if by that ceremony he were declared king. Caesar
seemingly refused, and drew aside to avoid it, and was applauded
by the people with great shouts. Again Antony pressed it, and
again he declined its acceptance. And so the dispute between
them went on for some time, Antony's solicitations receiving but
little encouragement from the shouts of a few friends, and
Caesar's refusal being accompanied with the general applause of
the people; a curious thing enough, that they should submit with
patience to the fact, and yet at the same time dread the name as
the destruction of their liberty. Caesar, very much discomposed
at what had past, got up from his seat, and, laying bare his
neck, said, he was ready to receive the stroke, if any one of
them desired to give it. The crown was at last put on one of
his statues, but was taken down by some of the tribunes, who
were followed home by the people with shouts of applause.
Caesar, however, resented it, and deposed them.

These passages gave great encouragement to Brutus and Cassius,
who, in making choice of trusty friends for such an enterprise,
were thinking to engage Antony. The rest approved, except
Trebonius, who told them that Antony and he had lodged and
traveled together in the last journey they took to meet Caesar,
and that he had
let fall several words, in a cautious way, on purpose to sound
him; that Antony very well understood him, but did not encourage
it; however, he had said nothing of it to Caesar, but had kept
the secret faithfully. The conspirators then proposed that
Antony should die with him, which Brutus would not consent to,
insisting that an action undertaken in defense of right and the
laws must be maintained unsullied, and pure of injustice. It
was settled that Antony, whose bodily strength and high office
made him formidable, should, at Caesar's entrance into the
senate, when the deed was to be done, be amused outside by some
of the party in a conversation about some pretended business.

So when all was proceeded with, according to their plan, and
Caesar had fallen in the senate-house, Antony, at the first
moment, took a servant's dress, and hid himself. But,
understanding that the conspirators had assembled in the
Capitol, and had no further design upon anyone, he persuaded
them to come down, giving them his son as a hostage. That night
Cassius supped at Antony's house, and Brutus with Lepidus.
Antony then convened the senate, and spoke in favor of an act of
oblivion, and the appointment of Brutus and Cassius to
provinces. These measures the senate passed; and resolved that
all Caesar's acts should remain in force. Thus Antony went out
of the senate with the highest possible reputation and esteem;
for it was apparent that he had prevented a civil war, and had
composed, in the wisest and most statesman-like way, questions
of the greatest difficulty and embarrassment. But these
temperate counsels were soon swept away by the tide of popular
applause, and the prospects, if Brutus were overthrown, of being
without doubt the ruler-in-chief. As Caesar's body was
conveying to the tomb, Antony, according to the custom, was
making his funeral oration in the market; place, and, perceiving
the people to be infinitely affected with what he had said, he
began to mingle with his praises language of commiseration, and
horror at what had happened, and, as he was ending his speech,
he took the under-clothes of the dead, and held them up,
showing them stains of blood and the holes of the many stabs,
calling those that had done this act villains and bloody
murderers. All which excited the people to such indignation,
that they would not defer the funeral, but, making a pile of
tables and forms in the very market-place, set fire to it; and
everyone, taking a brand, ran to the conspirators' houses, to
attack them.

Upon this, Brutus and his whole party left the city, and
Caesar's friends joined themselves to Antony. Calpurnia,
Caesar's wife, lodged with him the best part of the property, to
the value of four thousand talents; he got also into his hands
all Caesar's papers, wherein were contained journals of all he
had done, and draughts of what he designed to do, which Antony
made good use of; for by this means he appointed what
magistrates he pleased, brought whom he would into the senate,
recalled some from exile, freed others out of prison, and all
this as ordered so by Caesar. The Romans, in mockery, gave
those who were thus benefited the name of Charonites, since, if
put to prove their patents, they must have recourse to the
papers of the dead. In short, Antony's behavior in Rome was
very absolute, he himself being consul, and his two brothers in
great place; Caius, the one, being praetor, and Lucius, the
other, tribune of the people.

While matters went thus in Rome, the young Caesar, Caesar's
niece's son, and by testament left his heir, arrived at Rome
from Apollonia, where he was when his uncle was killed. The
first thing he did was to visit Antony, as his father's friend.
He spoke to him concerning the money that was in his hands, and
reminded him of the legacy Caesar had made of seventy-five
drachmas to every Roman citizen. Antony, at first, laughing at
such discourse from so young a man, told him he wished he were
in his health, and that he wanted good counsel and good friends,
to tell him the burden of being executor to Caesar would sit
very uneasily upon his young shoulders. This was no answer to
him; and, when he persisted in demanding the property, Antony
went on treating him injuriously both in word and deed, opposed
him when he stood for the tribune's office, and, when he was
taking steps for the dedication of his father's golden chair, as
had been enacted, he threatened to send him to prison if he did
not give over soliciting the people. This made the young Caesar
apply himself to Cicero, and all those that hated Antony; by
them he was recommended to the senate, while he himself courted
the people, and drew together the soldiers from their
settlements, till Antony got alarmed, and gave him a meeting in
the Capitol, where, after some words, they came to an

That night Antony had a very unlucky dream, fancying that his
right hand was thunderstruck. And, some few days after, he was
informed that Caesar was plotting to take his life. Caesar
explained, but was not believed, so that the breach was now made
as wide as ever; each of them hurried about all through Italy to
engage, by great offers, the old soldiers that lay scattered in
their settlements, and to be the first to secure the troops that
still remained undischarged. Cicero was at this time the man of
greatest influence in Rome. He made use of all his art to
exasperate people against Antony, and at length persuaded the
senate to declare him a public enemy, to send Caesar the rods
and axes and other marks of honor usually given to praetors, and
to issue orders to Hirtius and Pansa, who were the consuls, to
drive Antony out of Italy. The armies engaged near Modena, and
Caesar himself was present and took part in the battle. Antony
was defeated, but both the consuls were slain. Antony, in his
flight, was overtaken by distresses of every kind, and the worst
of all of them was famine. But it was his character in
calamities to be better than at any other time. Antony, in
misfortune, was most nearly a virtuous man. It is common enough
for people, when they fall into great disasters, to discern what
is right, and what they ought to do; but there are but few who
in such extremities have the strength to obey their judgment,
either in doing what it approves or avoiding what it condemns;
and a good many are so weak as to give way to their habits all
the more, and are incapable of using their minds. Antony, on
this occasion, was a most wonderful example to his soldiers.
He, who had just quitted so much luxury and sumptuous living,
made no difficulty now of drinking foul water and feeding on
wild fruits and roots. Nay, it is related they ate the very
bark of trees, and, in passing over the Alps, lived upon
creatures that no one before had ever been willing to touch.

The design was to join the army on the other side the Alps,
commanded by Lepidus, who he imagined would stand his friend, he
having done him many good offices with Caesar. On coming up and
encamping near at hand, finding he had no sort of encouragement
offered him, he resolved to push his fortune and venture all.
His hair was long and disordered, nor had he shaved his beard
since his defeat; in this guise, and with a dark colored cloak
flung over him, he came into the trenches of Lepidus, and began
to address the army. Some were moved at his habit, others at
his words, so that Lepidus, not liking it, ordered the trumpets
to sound, that he might be heard no longer. This raised in the
soldiers yet a greater pity, so that they resolved to confer
secretly with him, and dressed Laelius and Clodius in women's
clothes, and sent them to see him. They advised him without
delay to attack Lepidus's trenches, assuring him that a strong
party would receive him, and, if he wished it, would kill
Lepidus. Antony, however, had no wish for this, but next
morning marched his army to pass over the river that parted the
two camps. He was himself the first man that stepped in, and,
as he went through towards the other bank, he saw Lepidus's
soldiers in great numbers reaching out their hands to help him,
and beating down the works to make him way. Being entered into
the camp, and finding himself absolute master, he nevertheless
treated Lepidus with the greatest civility, and gave him the title
of Father, when he spoke to him, and, though he had everything
at his own command, he left him the honor of being called
the general. This fair usage brought over to him Munatius
Plancus, who was not far off with a considerable force. Thus in
great strength he repassed the Alps, leading with him into Italy
seventeen legions and ten thousand horse, besides six legions
which he left in garrison under the command of Varius, one of
his familiar friends and boon companions, whom they used to call
by the nickname of Cotylon.

Caesar, perceiving that Cicero's wishes were for liberty, had
ceased to pay any further regard to him, and was now employing
the mediation of his friends to come to a good understanding
with Antony. They both met together with Lepidus in a small
island, where the conference lasted three days. The empire was
soon determined of, it being divided amongst them as if it had
been their paternal inheritance. That which gave them all the
trouble was to agree who should be put to death, each of them
desiring to destroy his enemies and to save his friends. But,
in the end, animosity to those they hated carried the day
against respect for relations and affection for friends; and
Caesar sacrificed Cicero to Antony, Antony gave up his uncle
Lucius Caesar, and Lepidus received permission to murder his
brother Paulus, or, as others say, yielded his brother to them.
I do not believe anything ever took place more truly savage or
barbarous than this composition, for, in this exchange of blood
for blood, they were equally guilty of the lives they
surrendered and of those they took; or, indeed, more guilty in
the case of their friends, for whose deaths they had not even
the justification of hatred. To complete the reconciliation,
the soldiery, coming about them, demanded that confirmation
should be given to it by some alliance of marriage; Caesar
should marry Clodia, the daughter of Fulvia, wife to Antony.
This also being agreed to, three hundred persons were put to
death by proscription. Antony gave orders to those that were to
kill Cicero, to cut off his head and right hand, with which he
had written his invectives against him; and, when they were
brought before him, he regarded them joyfully, actually bursting
out more than once into laughter, and when he had satiated
himself with the sight of them, ordered them to be hung up above
the speaker's place in the forum, thinking thus to insult the
dead, while in fact he only exposed his own wanton arrogance,
and his unworthiness to hold the power that fortune had given
him. His uncle Lucius Caesar, being closely pursued, took
refuge with his sister, who, when the murderers had broken into
her house and were pressing into her chamber, met them at the
door, and, spreading out her hands, cried out several times,
"You shall not kill Lucius Caesar till you first dispatch me,
who gave your general his birth;" and in this manner she
succeeded in getting her brother out of the way, and saving his

This triumvirate was very hateful to the Romans, and Antony most
of all bore the blame, because he was older than Caesar, and had
greater authority than Lepidus, and withal he was no sooner
settled in his affairs, but he returned to his luxurious and
dissolute way of living. Besides the ill reputation he gained
by his general behavior, it was some considerable disadvantage
to him his living in the house of Pompey the Great, who had been
as much admired for his temperance and his sober, citizen-like
habits of life, as ever he was for having triumphed three times.
They could not without anger see the doors of that house shut
against magistrates, officers, and envoys, who were shamefully
refused admittance, while it was filled inside with players,
jugglers, and drunken flatterers, upon whom were spent the
greatest part of the wealth which violence and cruelty procured.
For they did not limit themselves to the forfeiture of the
estates of such as were proscribed, defrauding the widows and
families, nor were they contented with laying on every possible
kind of tax and imposition; but, hearing that several sums of
money were, as well by strangers as citizens of Rome, deposited
in the hands of the vestal virgins, they went and took the money
away by force. When it was manifest that nothing would ever be
enough for Antony, Caesar at last called for a division of
property. The army was also divided between them, upon their
march into Macedonia to make war with Brutus and Cassius,
Lepidus being left with the command of the city.

However, after they had crossed the sea and engaged in
operations of war, encamping in front of the enemy, Antony
opposite Cassius, and Caesar opposite Brutus, Caesar did nothing
worth relating, and all the success and victory were Antony's.
In the first battle, Caesar was completely routed by Brutus, his
camp taken, he himself very narrowly escaping by flight. As he
himself writes in his Memoirs, he retired before the battle, on
account of a dream which one of his friends had. But Antony, on
the other hand, defeated Cassius; though some have written that
he was not actually present in the engagement, and only joined
afterwards in the pursuit. Cassius was killed, at his own
entreaty and order, by one of his most trusted freedmen,
Pindarus, not being aware of Brutus's victory. After a few
days' interval, they fought another battle, in which Brutus lost
the day, and slew himself; and Caesar being sick, Antony had
almost all the honor of the victory. Standing over Brutus's
dead body, he uttered a few words of reproach upon him for the
death of his brother Caius, who had been executed by Brutus's
order in Macedonia in revenge of Cicero; but, saying presently
that Hortensius was most to blame for it, he gave order for his
being slain upon his brother's tomb, and, throwing his own
scarlet mantle, which was of great value, upon the body of
Brutus, he gave charge to one of his own freedmen to take care
of his funeral. This man, as Antony came to understand, did not
leave the mantle with the corpse, but kept both it and a good
part of the money that should have been spent in the funeral for
himself; for which he had him put to death.

But Caesar was conveyed to Rome, no one expecting that he would
long survive. Antony, proposing to go to the eastern provinces
to lay them under contribution, entered Greece with a large
force. The promise had been made that every common soldier
should receive for his pay five thousand drachmas; so it was
likely there would be need of pretty severe taxing and levying
to raise money. However, to the Greeks he showed at first
reason and moderation enough; he gratified his love of amusement
by hearing the learned men dispute, by seeing the games, and
undergoing initiation; and in judicial matters he was equitable,
taking pleasure in being styled a lover of Greece, but, above
all, in being called a lover of Athens, to which city he made
very considerable presents. The people of Megara wished to let
him know that they also had something to show him, and invited
him to come and see their senate-house. So he went and examined
it, and on their asking him how he liked it, told them it was
"not very large, but extremely ruinous." At the same time, he
had a survey made of the temple of the Pythian Apollo, as if he
had designed to repair it, and indeed he had declared to the
senate his intention so to do.

However, leaving Lucius Censorinus in Greece, he crossed over
into Asia, and there laid his hands on the stores of accumulated
wealth, while kings waited at his door, and queens were rivaling
one another, who should make him the greatest presents or appear
most charming in his eyes. Thus, whilst Caesar in Rome was
wearing out his strength amidst seditions and wars, Antony, with
nothing to do amidst the enjoyments of peace, let his passions
carry him easily back to the old course of life that was
familiar to him. A set of harpers and pipers, Anaxenor and
Xuthus, the dancing-man Metrodorus, and a whole Bacchic rout of
the like Asiatic exhibitors, far outdoing in license and
buffoonery the pests that had followed out of Italy, came in and
possessed the court; the thing was past patience, wealth of all
kinds being wasted on objects like these. The whole of Asia was
like the city in Sophocles, loaded, at one time,

with incense in the air,
Jubilant songs, and outcries of despair.

When he made his entry into Ephesus, the women met him dressed
up like Bacchantes, and the men and boys like Satyrs and Fauns,
and throughout the town nothing was to be seen but spears
wreathed about with ivy, harps, flutes, and psaltries, while
Antony in their songs was Bacchus the Giver of Joy and the
Gentle. And so indeed he was to some, but to far more the
Devourer and the Savage; for he would deprive persons of worth
and quality of their fortunes to gratify villains and
flatterers, who would sometimes beg the estates of men yet
living, pretending they were dead, and, obtaining a grant, take
possession. He gave his cook the house of a Magnesian citizen,
as a reward for a single highly successful supper, and, at last,
when he was proceeding to lay a second whole tribute on Asia,
Hybreas, speaking on behalf of the cities, took courage, and
told him broadly, but aptly enough for Antony's taste, "If you
can take two yearly tributes, you can doubtless give us a couple
of summers, and a double harvest time;" and put it to him in the
plainest and boldest way, that Asia had raised two hundred
thousand talents for his service: "If this has not been paid to
you, ask your collectors for it; if it has, and is all gone, we
are ruined men." These words touched Antony to the quick, who
was simply ignorant of most things that were done in his name;
not that he was so indolent, as he was prone to trust frankly in
all about him. For there was much simplicity in his character;
he was slow to see his faults, but, when he did see them, was
extremely repentant, and ready to ask pardon of those he had
injured; prodigal in his acts of reparation, and severe in his
punishments, but his generosity was much more extravagant than
his severity; his raillery was sharp and insulting, but the edge
of it was taken off by his readiness to submit to any kind of
repartee; for he was as well contented to be rallied, as he was
pleased to rally others. And this freedom of speech was,
indeed, the cause of many of his disasters. He never imagined
that those who used so much liberty in their mirth would flatter
or deceive him in business of consequence, not knowing how
common it is with parasites to mix their flattery with boldness,
as confectioners do their sweetmeats with something biting, to
prevent the sense of satiety. Their freedoms and impertinences
at table were designed expressly to give to their obsequiousness
in council the air of being not complaisance, but conviction.

Such being his temper, the last and crowning mischief that could
befall him came in the love of Cleopatra, to awaken and kindle
to fury passions that as yet lay still and dormant in his
nature, and to stifle and finally corrupt any elements that yet
made resistance in him, of goodness and a sound judgment. He
fell into the snare thus. When making preparation for the
Parthian war, he sent to command her to make her personal
appearance in Cilicia, to answer an accusation, that she had
given great assistance, in the late wars, to Cassius. Dellius,
who was sent on this message, had no sooner seen her face, and
remarked her adroitness and subtlety in speech, but he felt
convinced that Antony would not so much as think of giving any
molestation to a woman like this; on the contrary, she would be
the first in favor with him. So he set himself at once to pay
his court to the Egyptian, and gave her his advice, "to go," in
the Homeric style, to Cilicia, "in her best attire," and bade
her fear nothing from Antony, the gentlest and kindest of
soldiers. She had some faith in the words of Dellius, but more
in her own attractions, which, having formerly recommended her
to Caesar and the young Cnaeus Pompey, she did not doubt might
prove yet more successful with Antony. Their acquaintance was
with her when a girl, young, and ignorant of the world, but she
was to meet Antony in the time of life when women's beauty is
most splendid, and their intellects are in full maturity. She
made great preparation for her journey, of money, gifts, and
ornaments of value, such as so wealthy a kingdom might afford,
but she brought with her her surest hopes in her own magic arts
and charms.

She received several letters, both from Antony and from his
friends, to summon her, but she took no account of these orders;
and at last, as if in mockery of them, she came sailing up the
river Cydnus, in a barge with gilded stern and outspread sails
of purple, while oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes
and fifes and harps. She herself lay all along, under a canopy
of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful
young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her.
Her maids were dressed like Sea Nymphs and Graces, some steering
at the rudder, some working at the ropes. The perfumes diffused
themselves from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with
multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either
bank, part running out of the city to see the sight. The
market-place was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left
alone sitting upon the tribunal; while the word went through all
the multitude, that Venus was come to feast with Bacchus, for
the common good of Asia. On her arrival, Antony sent to invite
her to supper. She thought it fitter he should come to her; so,
willing to show his good-humor and courtesy, he complied, and
went. He found the preparations to receive him magnificent
beyond expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number
of lights; for on a sudden there was let down altogether so
great a number of branches with lights in them so ingeniously
disposed, some in squares, and some in circles, that the whole
thing was a spectacle that has seldom been equaled for beauty.

The next day, Antony invited her to supper, and was very
desirous to outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance;
but he found he was altogether beaten in both, and was so well
convinced of it, that he was himself the first to jest and mock
at his poverty of wit, and his rustic awkwardness. She,
perceiving that his raillery was broad and gross, and savored
more of the soldier than the courtier, rejoined in the same
taste, and fell into it at once, without any sort of reluctance
or reserve. For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in
itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her, or
that no one could see her without being struck by it, but the
contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was
irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the
charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all
she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure
merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an
instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to
another; so that there were few of the barbarian nations that
she answered by an interpreter; to most of them she spoke
herself, as to the Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians,
Syrians, Medes, Parthians, and many others, whose language she
had learnt; which was all the more surprising, because most of
the kings her predecessors scarcely gave themselves the trouble
to acquire the Egyptian tongue, and several of them quite
abandoned the Macedonian.

Antony was so captivated by her, that, while Fulvia his wife
maintained his quarrels in Rome against Caesar by actual force
of arms, and the Parthian troops, commanded by Labienus (the
king's generals having made him commander-in-chief), were
assembled in Mesopotamia, and ready to enter Syria, he could yet
suffer himself to be carried away by her to Alexandria, there to
keep holiday, like a boy, in play and diversion, squandering and
fooling away in enjoyments that most costly, as Antiphon says,
of all valuables, time. They had a sort of company, to which
they gave a particular name, calling it that of the Inimitable
Livers. The members entertained one another daily in turn, with
an extravagance of expenditure beyond measure or belief.
Philotas, a physician of Amphissa, who was at that time a
student of medicine in Alexandria, used to tell my grandfather
Lamprias, that, having some acquaintance with one of the royal
cooks, he was invited by him, being a young man, to come and see
the sumptuous preparations for supper. So he was taken into the
kitchen, where he admired the prodigious variety of all things;
but particularly, seeing eight wild boars roasting whole, says
he, "Surely you have a great number of guests." The cook
laughed at his simplicity, and told him there were not above
twelve to sup, but that every dish was to be served up just
roasted to a turn, and if anything was but one minute ill-timed,
it was spoiled; "And," said he, "maybe Antony will sup just now,
maybe not this hour, maybe he will call for wine, or begin to
talk, and will put it off. So that," he continued, "it is not
one, but many suppers must be had in readiness, as it is
impossible to guess at his hour." This was Philotas's story;
who related besides, that he afterwards came to be one of the
medical attendants of Antony's eldest son by Fulvia, and used to
be invited pretty often, among other companions, to his table,
when he was not supping with his father. One day another
physician had talked loudly, and given great disturbance to the
company, whose mouth Philotas stopped with this sophistical
syllogism: "In some states of fever the patient should take cold
water; everyone who has a fever is in some state of fever;
therefore in a fever cold water should always be taken." The
man was quite struck dumb, and Antony's son, very much pleased,
laughed aloud, and said, Philotas, "I make you a present of all
you see there," pointing to a sideboard covered with plate.
Philotas thanked him much, but was far enough from ever
imagining that a boy of his age could dispose of things of that
value. Soon after, however, the plate was all brought to him,
and he was desired to set his mark upon it; and when he put it
away from him, and was afraid to accept the present, "What ails
the man?" said he that brought it; "do you know that he who
gives you this is Antony's son, who is free to give it, if it
were all gold? but if you will be advised by me, I would counsel
you to accept of the value in money from us; for there may be
amongst the rest some antique or famous piece of workmanship,
which Antony would be sorry to part with." These anecdotes my
grandfather told us Philotas used frequently to relate.

To return to Cleopatra; Plato admits four sorts of flattery,
but she had a thousand. Were Antony serious or disposed to
mirth, she had at any moment some new delight or charm to meet
his wishes; at every turn she was upon him, and let him escape
her neither by day nor by night. She played at dice with him,
drank with him, hunted with him; and when he exercised in arms,
she was there to see. At night she would go rambling with him
to disturb and torment people at their doors and windows,
dressed like a servant-woman, for Antony also went in servant's
disguise, and from these expeditions he often came home very
scurvily answered, and sometimes even beaten severely, though
most people guessed who it was. However, the Alexandrians in
general liked it all well enough, and joined good humoredly and
kindly in his frolic and play, saying they were much obliged to
Antony for acting his tragic parts at Rome, and keeping his
comedy for them. It would be trifling without end to be
particular in his follies, but his fishing must not be
forgotten. He went out one day to angle with Cleopatra, and,
being so unfortunate as to catch nothing in the presence of his
mistress, he gave secret orders to the fishermen to dive under
water, and put fishes that had been already taken upon his
hooks; and these he drew so fast that the Egyptian perceived it.
But, feigning great admiration, she told everybody how dexterous
Antony was, and invited them next day to come and see him again.
So, when a number of them had come on board the fishing boats,
as soon as he had let down his hook, one of her servants was
beforehand with his divers, and fixed upon his hook a salted
fish from Pontus. Antony, feeling his line give, drew up the
prey, and when, as may be imagined, great laughter ensued,
"Leave," said Cleopatra, "the fishing-rod, general, to us poor
sovereigns of Pharos and Canopus; your game is cities,
provinces, and kingdoms."

Whilst he was thus diverting himself and engaged in this boys'
play, two dispatches arrived; one from Rome, that his brother
Lucius and his wife Fulvia, after many quarrels among
themselves, had joined in war against Caesar, and, having lost
all, had fled out of Italy; the other bringing little better
news, that Labienus, at the head of the Parthians, was
overrunning Asia, from Euphrates and Syria as far as Lydia and
Ionia. So, scarcely at last rousing himself from sleep, and
shaking off the fumes of wine, he set out to attack the
Parthians, and went as far as Phoenicia; but, upon the receipt
of lamentable letters from Fulvia, turned his course with two
hundred ships to Italy. And, in his way, receiving, such of his
friends as fled from Italy, he was given to understand that
Fulvia was the sole cause of the war, a woman of a restless
spirit and very bold, and withal her hopes were that commotions
in Italy would force Antony from Cleopatra. But it happened
that Fulvia, as she was coming to meet her husband, fell sick by
the way, and died at Sicyon, so that an accommodation was the
more easily made. For when he reached Italy, and Caesar showed
no intention of laying anything to his charge, and he on his
part shifted the blame of everything on Fulvia, those that were
friends to them would not suffer that the time should be spent
in looking narrowly into the plea, but made a reconciliation
first, and then a partition of the empire between them, taking
as their boundary the Ionian Sea, the eastern provinces falling
to Antony, to Caesar the western, and Africa being left to
Lepidus. And an agreement was made, that everyone in their
turn, as he thought fit, should make their friends consuls,
when they did not choose to take the offices themselves.

These terms were well approved of, but yet it was thought some
closer tie would be desirable; and for this, fortune offered
occasion. Caesar had an elder sister, not of the whole blood,
for Attia was his mother's name, hers Ancharia. This sister,
Octavia, he was extremely attached to, as, indeed, she was, it
is said, quite a wonder of a woman. Her husband, Caius
Marcellus, had died not long before, and Antony was now a
widower by the death of Fulvia; for, though he did not disavow
the passion he had for Cleopatra, yet he disowned anything of
marriage, reason, as yet, upon this point, still maintaining the
debate against the charms of the Egyptian. Everybody concurred
in promoting this new alliance, fully expecting that with the
beauty, honor, and prudence of Octavia, when her company should,
as it was certain it would, have engaged his affections, all
would be kept in the safe and happy course of friendship. So,
both parties being agreed, they went to Rome to celebrate the
nuptials, the senate dispensing with the law by which a widow
was not permitted to marry till ten months after the death of
her husband.

Sextus Pompeius was in possession of Sicily, and with his ships,
under the command of Menas, the pirate, and Menecrates, so
infested the Italian coast, that no vessels durst venture into
those seas. Sextus had behaved with much humanity towards
Antony, having received his mother when she fled with Fulvia,
and it was therefore judged fit that he also should be received
into the peace. They met near the promontory of Misenum, by the
mole of the port, Pompey having his fleet at anchor close by,
and Antony and Caesar their troops drawn up all along the shore.
There it was concluded that Sextus should quietly enjoy the
government of Sicily and Sardinia, he conditioning to scour the
seas of all pirates, and to send so much corn every year to

This agreed on, they invited one another to supper, and by lot
it fell to Pompey's turn to give the first entertainment, and
Antony, asking where it was to be, "There," said he, pointing to
the admiral-galley, a ship of six banks of oars, "that is the
only house that Pompey is heir to of his father's." And this
he said, reflecting upon Antony, who was then in possession of
his father's house. Having fixed the ship on her anchors, and
formed a bridgeway from the promontory to conduct on board of
her, he gave them a cordial welcome. And when they began to
grow warm, and jests were passing freely on Antony and
Cleopatra's loves, Menas, the pirate, whispered Pompey in the
ear, "Shall I," said he, "cut the cables, and make you master
not of Sicily only and Sardinia, but of the whole Roman empire?"
Pompey, having considered a little while, returned him answer,
"Menas, this might have been done without acquainting me; now we
must rest content; I do not break my word." And so, having been
entertained by the other two in their turns, he set sail for

After the treaty was completed, Antony dispatched Ventidius into
Asia, to check the advance of the Parthians, while he, as a
compliment to Caesar, accepted the office of priest to the
deceased Caesar. And in any state affair and matter of
consequence, they both behaved themselves with much
consideration and friendliness for each other. But it annoyed
Antony, that in all their amusements, on any trial of skill
or fortune, Caesar should be constantly victorious. He had with
him an Egyptian diviner, one of those who calculate nativities,
who, either to make his court to Cleopatra, or that by the rules
of his art he found it to be so, openly declared to him, that
though the fortune that attended him was bright and glorious,
yet it was overshadowed by Caesar's; and advised him to keep
himself as far distant as he could from that young man; "for
your Genius," said he, "dreads his; when absent from him yours
is proud and brave, but in his presence unmanly and dejected;"
and incidents that occurred appeared to show that the Egyptian
spoke truth. For whenever they cast lots for any playful
purpose, or threw dice, Antony was still the loser; and
repeatedly, when they fought game-cocks or quails, Caesar's had
the victory. This gave Antony a secret displeasure, and made
him put the more confidence in the skill of his Egyptian. So,
leaving the management of his home affairs to Caesar, he left
Italy, and took Octavia, who had lately borne him a daughter,
along with him into Greece.

Here, whilst he wintered in Athens, he received the first news
of Ventidius's successes over the Parthians, of his having
defeated them in a battle, having slain Labienus and
Pharnapates, the best general their king, Hyrodes, possessed.
For the celebrating of which he made a public feast through
Greece, and for the prizes which were contested at Athens he
himself acted as steward, and, leaving at home the ensigns that
are carried before the general, he made his public appearance in
a gown and white shoes, with the steward's wands marching
before; and he performed his duty in taking the combatants by
the neck, to part them, when they had fought enough.

When the time came for him to set out for the war, he took a
garland from the sacred olive, and, in obedience to some oracle,
he filled a vessel with the water of the Clepsydra, to carry
along with him. In this interval, Pacorus, the Parthian king's
son, who was marching into Syria with a large army, was met by
Ventidius, who gave him battle in the country of Cyrrhestica,
slew a large number of his men, and Pacorus among the first.
This victory was one of the most renowned achievements of the
Romans, and fully avenged their defeats under Crassus, the
Parthians being obliged, after the loss of three battles
successively, to keep themselves within the bounds of Media and
Mesopotamia. Ventidius was not willing to push his good fortune
further, for fear of raising some jealousy in Antony, but,
turning his arms against those that had quitted the Roman
interest, he reduced them to their former obedience. Among the
rest, he besieged Antiochus, king of Commagene, in the city of
Samosata, who made an offer of a thousand talents for his
pardon, and a promise of submission to Antony's commands. But
Ventidius told him that he must send to Antony, who was already
on his march, and had sent word to Ventidius to make no terms
with Antiochus, wishing that at any rate this one exploit might
be ascribed to him, and that people might not think that all his
successes were won by his lieutenants. The siege, however, was
long protracted; for when those within found their offers
refused, they defended themselves stoutly, till, at last,
Antony, finding he was doing nothing, in shame and regret for
having refused the first offer, was glad to make an
accommodation with Antiochus for three hundred talents. And,
having given some orders for the affairs of Syria, he returned
to Athens; and, paying Ventidius the honors he well deserved,
dismissed him to receive his triumph. He is the only man that
has ever yet triumphed for victories obtained over the
Parthians; he was of obscure birth, but, by means of Antony's
friendship, obtained an opportunity of showing his capacity, and
doing great things; and his making such glorious use of it gave
new credit to the current observation about Caesar and Antony,
that they were more fortunate in what they did by their
lieutenants than in their own persons. For Sossius, also, had
great success, and Canidius, whom he left in Armenia, defeated
the people there, and also the kings of the Albanians and
Iberians, and marched victorious as far as Caucasus, by which
means the fame of Antony's arms had become great among the
barbarous nations.

He, however, once more, upon some unfavorable stories, taking
offense against Caesar, set sail with three hundred ships for
Italy, and, being refused admittance to the port of Brundusium,
made for Tarentum. There his wife Octavia, who came from Greece
with him, obtained leave to visit her brother, she being then
great with child, having already borne her husband a second
daughter; and as she was on her way, she met Caesar, with his
two friends Agrippa and Maecenas, and, taking these two aside,
with great entreaties and lamentations she told them, that of
the most fortunate woman upon earth, she was in danger of
becoming the most unhappy; for as yet everyone's eyes were fixed
upon her as the wife and sister of the two great commanders,
but, if rash counsels should prevail, and war ensue, "I shall be
miserable," said she, "without redress; for on what side soever
victory falls, I shall be sure to be a loser." Caesar was
overcome by these entreaties, and advanced in a peaceable temper
to Tarentum, where those that were present beheld a most stately
spectacle; a vast army drawn up by the shore, and as great a
fleet in the harbor, all without the occurrence of any act of
hostility; nothing but the salutations of friends, and other
expressions of joy and kindness, passing from one armament to
the other. Antony first entertained Caesar this also being a
concession on Caesar's part to his sister; and when at length an
agreement was made between them, that Caesar should give Antony
two of his legions to serve him in the Parthian war, and that
Antony should in return leave with him a hundred armed galleys,
Octavia further obtained of her husband, besides this, twenty
light ships for her brother, and of her brother, a thousand foot
for her husband. So, having parted good friends, Caesar went
immediately to make war with Pompey to conquer Sicily. And
Antony, leaving in Caesar's charge his wife and children, and
his children by his former wife Fulvia, set sail for Asia.

But the mischief that thus long had lain still, the passion for
Cleopatra, which better thoughts had seemed to have lulled and
charmed into oblivion, upon his approach to Syria, gathered
strength again, and broke out into a flame. And, in fine, like
Plato's restive and rebellious horse of the human soul, flinging
off all good and wholesome counsel, and breaking fairly loose,
he sends Fonteius Capito to bring Cleopatra into Syria. To whom
at her arrival he made no small or trifling present, Phoenicia,
Coele-Syria, Cyprus, great part of Cilicia, that side of Judaea
which produces balm, that part of Arabia where the Nabathaeans
extend to the outer sea; profuse gifts, which much displeased
the Romans. For, although he had invested several private
persons in great governments and kingdoms, and bereaved many
kings of theirs, as Antigonus of Judaea, whose head he caused to
be struck off (the first example of that punishment being
inflicted on a king), yet nothing stung the Romans like the
shame of these honors paid to Cleopatra. Their dissatisfaction
was augmented also by his acknowledging as his own the twin
children he had by her, giving them the name of Alexander and
Cleopatra, and adding, as their surnames, the titles of Sun and
Moon. But he, who knew how to put a good color on the most
dishonest action, would say, that the greatness of the Roman
empire consisted more in giving than in taking kingdoms, and
that the way to carry noble blood through the world was by
begetting in every place a new line and series of kings; his own
ancestor had thus been born of Hercules; Hercules had not
limited his hopes of progeny to a single womb, nor feared any
law like Solon's, or any audit of procreation, but had freely
let nature take her will in the foundation and first
commencement of many families.

After Phraates had killed his father Hyrodes, and taken
possession of his kingdom, many of the Parthians left their
country; among the rest, Monaeses, a man of great distinction
and authority, sought refuge with Antony, who, looking on his
case as similar to that of Themistocles, and likening his own
opulence and magnanimity to those of the former Persian kings,
gave him three cities, Larissa, Arethusa, and Hierapolis, which
was formerly called Bambyce. But when the king of Parthia soon
recalled him, giving him his word and honor for his safety,
Antony was not unwilling to give him leave to return, hoping
thereby to surprise Phraates, who would believe that peace would
continue; for he only made the demand of him, that he should
send back the Roman ensigns which were taken when Crassus was
slain, and the prisoners that remained yet alive. This done, he
sent Cleopatra into Egypt, and marched through Arabia and
Armenia; and, when his forces came together, and were joined by
those of his confederate kings (of whom there were very many,
and the most considerable, Artavasdes, king of Armenia, who came
at the head of six thousand horse and seven thousand foot), he
made a general muster. There appeared sixty thousand Roman
foot, ten thousand horse, Spaniards and Gauls, who counted as
Romans; and, of other nations, horse and foot, thirty thousand.
And these great preparations, that put the Indians beyond
Bactria into alarm, and made all Asia shake, were all, we are
told, rendered useless to him because of Cleopatra. For, in
order to pass the winter with her, the war was pushed on before
its due time; and all he did was done without perfect
consideration, as by a man who had no proper control over his
faculties, who, under the effects of some drug or magic, was
still looking back elsewhere, and whose object was much more to
hasten his return than to conquer his enemies.

For, first of all, when he should have taken up his
winter-quarters in Armenia, to refresh his men, who were tired
with long marches, having come at least eight thousand furlongs,
and then have taken the advantage in the beginning of the spring
to invade Media, before the Parthians were out of
winter-quarters, he had not patience to expect his time, but
marched into the province of Atropatene, leaving Armenia on the
left hand, and laid waste all that country. Secondly, his haste
was so great, that he left behind the engines absolutely
required for any siege, which followed the camp in three hundred
wagons, and, among the rest, a ram eighty feet long; none of
which was it possible, if lost or damaged, to repair or to make
the like, as the provinces of the upper Asia produce no trees
long or hard enough for such uses. Nevertheless, he left them
all behind, as a mere impediment to his speed, in the charge of
a detachment under the command of Statianus, the wagon-officer.
He himself laid siege to Phraata, a principal city of the king
of Media, wherein were that king's wife and children. And when
actual need proved the greatness of his error in leaving the
siege train behind him, he had nothing for it but to come up and
raise a mound against the walls, with infinite labor and great
loss of time. Meantime Phraates, coming down with a large army,
and hearing that the wagons were left behind with the battering
engines, sent a strong party of horse, by which Statianus was
surprised, he himself and ten thousand of his men slain, the
engines all broken in pieces, many taken prisoners, and, among
the rest, king Polemon.

This great miscarriage in the opening of the campaign much
discouraged Antony's army, and Artavasdes, king of Armenia,
deciding that the Roman prospects were bad, withdrew with all
his forces from the camp, although he had been the chief
promoter of the war. The Parthians, encouraged by their
success, came up to the Romans at the siege, and gave them many
affronts; upon which Antony, fearing that the despondency and
alarm of his soldiers would only grow worse if he let them lie
idle, taking all the horse, ten legions, and three praetorian
cohorts of heavy infantry, resolved to go out and forage,
designing by this means to draw the enemy with more advantage to
a battle. To effect this, he marched a day's journey from his
camp, and, finding the Parthians hovering about, in readiness to
attack him while he was in motion, he gave orders for the signal
of battle to be hung out in the encampment, but, at the same
time, pulled down the tents, as if he meant not to fight, but to
lead his men home again; and so he proceeded to lead them past
the enemy, who were drawn up in a half-moon, his orders being
that the horse should charge as soon as the legions were come up
near enough to second them. The Parthians, standing still while
the Romans marched by them, were in great admiration of their
army, and of the exact discipline it observed, rank after rank
passing on at equal distances in perfect order and silence,
their pikes all ready in their hands. But when the signal was
given, and the horse turned short upon the Parthians, and with
loud cries charged them, they bravely received them, though they
were at once too near for bowshot; but the legions, coming up
with loud shouts and rattling of their arms, so frightened their
horses and indeed the men themselves, that they kept their
ground no longer. Antony pressed them hard, in great hopes that
this victory should put an end to the war; the foot had them in
pursuit for fifty furlongs, and the horse for thrice that
distance, and yet, the advantage summed up, they had but thirty
prisoners, and there were but fourscore slain. So that they
were all filled with dejection and discouragement, to consider,
that when they were victorious, their advantage was so small,
and that when they were beaten, they lost so great a number of
men as they had done when the carriages were taken.

The next day, having put the baggage in order, they marched back
to the camp before Phraata, in the way meeting with some
scattering troops of the enemy, and, as they marched further,
with greater parties, at length with the body of the enemy's
army, fresh and in good order, who called them to battle, and
charged them on every side, and it was not without great
difficulty that they reached the camp. There Antony, finding
that his men had in a panic deserted the defense of the mound,
upon a sally of the Medes, resolved to proceed against them by
decimation, as it is called, which is done by dividing the
soldiers into tens, and, out of every ten, putting one to death,
as it happens by lot. The rest he gave orders should have,
instead of wheat, their rations of corn in barley.

The war was now become grievous to both parties, and the
prospect of its continuance yet more fearful to Antony, in
respect that he was threatened with famine; for he could no
longer forage without wounds and slaughter. And Phraates, on
the other side, was full of apprehension that, if the Romans
were to persist in carrying on the siege, the autumnal equinox
being past and the air already closing in for cold, he should be
deserted by his soldiers, who would suffer anything rather than
wintering in open field. To prevent which, he had recourse to
the following deceit: he gave order to those of his men who had
made most acquaintance among the Roman soldiers, not to pursue

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