Antony
By Plutarch

(died 30 B.C.E.)
Translated by John Dryden

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-humour, 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 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 travelled 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 Acregma 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
honour. 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 valour 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 honours.
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-humour. And his generous ways, his
open and lavish hand in gifts and favours 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; 'tis 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 few 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 pretence 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 proposed 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 to 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 encouragement.

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 now 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 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 cancelling 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, 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 favour 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 theatres, 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 favour 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 licence 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-humour. 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 rumour being spread that Caesar was killed
and the enemy marching into Italy, he returned 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 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 unfavourable, 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 some one 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 every one 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 was 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 passed
got up from his seat, and, laying bare his neck, said he was ready
to receive a 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 travelled 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 defence 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 any one,
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 favour 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
statesmanlike way, questions of the greatest difficulty and embarrassment.
But these temperate counsels were soon swept away by the tide of popular
applause, and the prospect, 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 every one, 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 behaviour 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 of 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 uneasy 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 accommodation.

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 the 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 honour usually given to proctors,
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 using 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 coloured 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 honour 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 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 hands, cried out several times. "You shall not kill
Lucius Caesar till you first despatch me who gave your general his
birth;" and in this manner she succeeded in getting her brother out
of the way, and saving his life. 

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 turned to his luxurious and dissolute way of living.
Besides the ill reputation he gained by his general behaviour, 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 honour 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, purposing 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 rivalling 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 licence and buffoonery
the pests that had followed him 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 psalteries, 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 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 favour 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-humour
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 equalled 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 savoured 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 all
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 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; every one 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 get 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-humouredly and kindly in
his frolic and play, saying they were much obliged to Antony for acting
his tragic parts at Rome, and keeping 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 boy's play,
two despatches 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 they 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, honour, 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 Rome. 

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 Sicily. 

After the treaty was completed, Antony despatched 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 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
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 aims 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 honours 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 unfavourable stories, taking offence
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 every one'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 the up by the
shore, and as great a fleet in the harbour, all without the occurrence
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 honours 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 colour 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 honour 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 to 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 power of control over his faculties, who, under
the effect 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 having 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 labour 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 advantages were 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 defied 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 defence 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 orders to those of his
men who had made most acquaintance among the Roman soldiers, not to
pursue too close when they met them foraging, but to suffer them to
carry off some provision; moreover, that they should praise their
valour, and declare that it was not without just reason that their
king looked upon the Romans as the bravest men in the world. This
done, upon further opportunity, they rode nearer in, and, drawing
up their horses by the men, began to revile for his obstinacy; that
whereas Phraates desired nothing more than peace, and an occasion
to show how ready he was to save the lives of so many brave soldiers,
he, on the contrary, gave no opening to any friendly offers, but sat
awaiting the arrival of the two fiercest and worst enemies, winter
and famine, from whom it would be hard for them to make their escape,
even with all the good-will of the Parthians to help them. Antony,
having these reports from many hands, began to indulge the hope; nevertheless,
he would not send any message to the Parthian till he had put the
question to these friendly talkers, whether what they said was said
by order of their king. Receiving answer that it was, together with
new encouragement to believe them, he sent some of his friends to
demand once more the standards and prisoners, lest if he should ask
nothing, he might be supposed to be too thankful to have leave to
retreat in quiet. The Parthian king made answer that, as for the standards
and prisoners, he need not trouble himself: but if he thought fit
to retreat, he might do it when he pleased, in peace and safety. Some
few days, therefore, being spent in collecting the baggage he set
out upon his march. On which occasion, though there was no man of
his time like him for addressing a multitude, or for carrying soldiers
with him by the force of words, out of shame and sadness he could
not find in his heart to speak himself but employed Domitius Aenobarbus.
And some of the soldiers resented it, as an undervaluing of them;
but the greater number saw the true cause, and pitied it, and thought
it rather a reason why they on their side should treat their general
with more respect and obedience than ordinary. 

Antony had resolved to return by the same way he came, which was through
a level country clear of all trees; but a certain Mardian came to
him (one that was very conversant with the manners of the Parthians,
and whose fidelity to the Romans had been tried at the battle where
the machines were lost), and advised him to keep the mountains close
on his right hand, and not to expose his men, heavily armed, in a
broad, open, riding country, to the attacks of a numerous army of
light horse and archers; that Phraates with fair promises had persuaded
him from the siege on purpose that he might with more ease cut him
off in his retreat; but if so he pleased, he would conduct him by
a nearer route, on which moreover he should find the necessaries for
his army in greater abundance. Antony upon this began to consider
what was best to be done; he was unwilling to seem to have any mistrust
of the Parthians after their treaty; but, holding it to be really
best to march his army the shorter and more inhabited way, he demanded
of the Mardian some assurance of his faith, who offered himself to
be bound until the army came safe into Armenia. Two days he conducted
the army bound, and, on the third, when Antony had given up all thought
of the enemy, and was marching at his ease in no very good order,
the Mardian, perceiving the bank of the river broken down, and the
water let out and overflowing the road by which they were to pass,
saw at once that this was the handiwork of the Parthians, done out
of mischief, and to hinder their march: so he advised Antony to be
upon his guard, for that the enemy was nigh at hand. And sooner had
he begun to put his men in order, disposing the slingers and dart-men
in convenient intervals for sallying out, but the Parthians came pouring
in on all sides, fully expecting to encompass them, and throw the
whole army into disorder. They were at once attacked by the light
troops, whom they galled a good deal with their arrows; but being
themselves as warmly entertained with the slings and darts, and many
wounded, they made their retreat. Soon after, rallying up afresh,
they were beat back by a battalion of Gallic horse, and appeared no
more that day. 

By their manner of attack Antony, seeing what to do, not only placed
the slings and darts as a rear guard, but also lined both flanks with
them, and so marched in a square battle, giving order to the horse
to charge and beat off the enemy, but not to follow them far as they
retired. So that the Parthians, not doing more mischief for the four
ensuing days than they received, began to abate in their zeal, and,
complaining that the winter season was much advanced, pressed for
returning home. 

But, on the fifth day, Flavius Gallus, a brave and active officer,
who had a considerable command in the army, came to Antony, desiring
of him some light infantry out of the rear, and some horse out of
the front, with which he would undertake to do some considerable service.
Which when he had obtained, he beat the enemy back, not withdrawing,
as was usual, at the same time, and retreating upon the mass of the
heavy infantry, but maintaining his own ground, and engaging boldly.
The officers who commanded in the rear, perceiving how far he was
getting from the body of the army, sent to warn him back, but he took
no notice of them. It is said that Titius the quaestor snatched the
standards and turned them round, upbraiding Gallus with thus leading
so many brave men to destruction. But when he on the other side reviled
him again, and commanded the men that were about him to stand firm,
Titius made his retreat, and Gallus, charging the enemies in the front,
was encompassed by a party that fell upon his rear, which at length
perceiving, he sent a messenger to demand succour. But the commanders
of the heavy infantry, Canidius amongst others, a particular favourite
of Antony's, seem here to have committed a great oversight. For, instead
of facing about with the whole body, they sent small parties, and,
when they were defeated, they still sent out small parties, so that
by their bad management the rout would have spread through the whole
army, if Antony himself had not marched from the van at the head of
the third legion, and, passing this through among the fugitives, faced
the enemies, and hindered them from any further pursuit.

In this engagement were killed three thousand, five thousand were
carried back to the camp wounded, amongst the rest Gallus, shot through
the body with four arrows, of which wounds he died. Antony went from
tent to tent to visit and comfort the rest of them, and was not able
to see his men without tears and a passion of grief. They, however,
seized his hand with joyful faces, bidding him go and see to himself
and not be concerned about them, calling him their emperor and their
general, and saying that if he did well they were safe. For, in short,
never in all these times can history make mention of a general at
the head of a more splendid army; whether you consider strength and
youth, or patience and sufferance in labours and fatigues; but as
for the obedience and affectionate respect they bore their general,
and the unanimous feeling amongst small and great alike, officers
and common soldiers, to prefer his good opinion of them to their very
lives and being, in this part of military excellence it was not possible
that they could have been surpassed by the very Romans of old. For
this devotion, as I have said before, there were many reasons, as
the nobility of his family, his eloquence, his frank and open manners,
his liberal and magnificent habits, his familiarity in talking with
everybody, and, at this time particularly, his kindness in visiting
and pitying the sick, joining in all their pains, and furnishing them
with all things necessary, so that the sick and wounded were even
more eager to serve than those that were whole and strong.

Nevertheless, this last victory had so encouraged the enemy that,
instead of their former impatience and weariness, they began soon
to feel contempt for the Romans, staying all night near the camp,
in expectation of plundering their tents and baggage, which they concluded
they must abandon; and in the morning new forces arrived in large
masses, so that their number was grown to be not less, it is said,
than forty thousand horse; and the king had sent the very guards that
attended upon his own person, as to a sure and unquestioned victory,
for he himself was never present in any fight. Antony, designing to
harangue the soldiers, called for a mourning habit that he might move
them the more, but was dissuaded by his friends; so he came forward
in the general's scarlet cloak, and addressed them, praising those
that had gained the victory, and reproaching those that had fled,
the former answering him with promises of success, and the latter
excusing themselves, and telling him they were ready to undergo decimation,
or any other punishment he should please to inflict upon them, only
entreating that he would forget and not discompose himself with their
faults. At which he lifted up his hands to heaven, and prayed the
gods that, if to balance the great favours he had received of them
any judgment lay in store, they would pour it upon his head alone,
and grant his soldiers victory. 

The next day they took better order for their march, and the Parthians,
who thought they were marching rather to plunder than to fight, were
much taken aback, when they came up and were received with a shower
of missiles, to find the enemy not disheartened, but fresh and resolute.
So that they themselves began to lose courage. But at the descent
of a bill where the Romans were obliged to pass, they got together,
and let fly their arrows upon them as they moved slowly down. But
the full-armed infantry, facing round, received the light troops within;
and those in the first rank knelt on one knee, holding their shields
before them, the next rank holding theirs over the first, and so again
others over these, much like the tiling of a house, or the rows of
seats in a theatre, the whole affording sure defence against arrows,
which glanced upon them without doing any harm. The Parthians, seeing
the Romans down upon their knees, could not imagine but that it must
proceed from weariness; so that they laid down their bows, and, taking
their spears, made a fierce onset, when the Romans, with a great cry,
leaped upon their feet, striking hand to hand with their javelins,
slew the foremost, and put the rest to flight. After this rate it
was every day, and the trouble they gave made the marches short; in
addition to which famine began to be felt in the camp, for they could
get but little corn, and that which they got they were forced to fight
for; and, besides this, they were in want of implements to grind it
and make bread. For they had left almost all behind, the baggage horses
being dead or otherwise employed in carrying the sick and wounded.
Provision was so scarce in the army that an Attic quart of wheat sold
for fifty drachmas, and barley loaves for their weight in silver.
And when they tried vegetables and roots, they found such as are commonly
eaten very scarce, so that they were constrained to venture upon any
they could get, and, among others, they chanced upon an herb that
was mortal, first taking away all sense an understanding. He that
had eaten of it remembered nothing in the world, and employed himself
only in moving great stones from one place to another, which he did
with as much earnestness and industry as if it had been a business
of the greatest consequence. Through all the camp there was nothing
to be seen but men grubbing upon the ground at stones, which they
carried from place to place. But in the end they threw up bile and
died, as wine, moreover, which was the one antidote, failed. When
Antony saw them die so fast, and the Parthians still in pursuit, he
was heard to exclaim several times over, "O, the Ten Thousand!" as
if in admiration of the retreat of the Greeks, with Xenophon, who,
when they had a longer journey to make from Babylonia, and a more
powerful enemy to deal with, nevertheless came home safe.

The Parthians, finding that they could not divide the Roman army,
nor break the order of their battle, and that withal they had been
so often worsted, once more began to treat the foragers with professions
of humanity; they came up to them with their bows unbent, telling
them that they were going home to their houses; that this was the
end of their retaliation, and that only some Median troops would follow
for two or three days, not with any design to annoy them, but for
the defence of some of the villages further on. And, saying this,
they saluted them and embraced them with a great show of friendship.
This made the Romans full of confidence again, and Antony, on hearing
of it, was more disposed to take the road through the level country,
being told that no water was to be hoped for on that through the mountains.
But while he was preparing thus to do, Mithridates came into the camp,
a cousin to Monaeses, of whom we related that he sought refuge with
the Romans, and received in gift from Antony three cities. Upon his
arrival, he desired somebody might be brought to him that could speak
Syriac or Parthian. One Alexander, of Antioch, a friend of Antony's,
was brought to him, to whom the stranger, giving his name, and mentioning
Monaeses as the person who desired to do the kindness, put the question,
did he see that high range of hills pointing at some distance. He
told him, yes. "It is there," said he, "the whole Parthian army lie
in wait for your passage; for the great plains come immediately up
to them, and they expect that, confiding in their promises, you will
leave the way of the mountains, and take the level route. It is true
that in passing over the mountains you will suffer the want of water,
and the fatigue to which you have become familiar, but if you pass
through the plains, Antony must expect the fortune of Crassus."

This said, he departed. Antony, in alarm calling his friends in council,
sent for the Mardian guide, who was of the same opinion. He told them
that, with or without enemies, the want of any certain track in the
plain, and the likelihood of their losing their way, were quite objection
enough; the other route was rough and without water, but then it was
but for a day. Antony, therefore, changing his mind, marched away
upon this road that night, commanding that every one should carry
water sufficient for his own use; but most of them being unprovided
with vessels, they made shift with their helmets, and some with skins.
As soon as they started, the news of it was carried to the Parthians,
who followed them, contrary to their custom, through the night, and
at sunrise attacked the rear, which was tired with marching and want
of sleep, and not in condition to make any considerable defence. For
they had got through two hundred and forty furlongs a night, and at
the end of such a march to find the enemy at their heels put them
out of heart. Besides, having to fight for every step of the way increased
their distress from thirst. Those that were in the van came up to
a river, the water of which was extremely cool and clear, but brackish
and medicinal, and, on being drunk, produced immediate pains in the
bowels and a renewed thirst. Of this the Mardian had forewarned them,
but they could not forbear, and, beating back those that opposed them,
they drank of it. Antony ran from one place to another, begging they
would have a little patience, that not far off there was a river of
wholesome water, and that the rest of the way was so difficult for
the horse that the enemy could pursue them no further; and, saying
this, he ordered to sound a retreat to call those back that were engaged,
and commanded the tents should be set up, that the soldiers might
at any rate refresh themselves in the shade. 

But the tents were scarce well put up, and the Parthians beginning,
according to their custom, to withdraw, when Mithridates came again
to them, and informed Alexander, with whom he had before spoken, that
he would do well to advise Antony to stay where he was no longer than
needs he must, that, after having refreshed his troops, he should
endeavour with all diligence to gain the next river, that the Parthians
would not cross it, but so far they were resolved to follow them.
Alexander made his report to Antony, who ordered a quantity of gold
plate to be carried to Mithridates, who, taking as much as he could
well hide under his clothes, went his way. And, upon this advice,
Antony, while it was yet day, broke up his camp, and the whole army
marched forward without receiving any molestation from the Parthians,
though that night by their own doing was in effect the most wretched
and terrible that they passed. For some of the men began to kill and
plunder those whom they suspected to have any money, ransacked the
baggage, and seized the money there. In the end, they laid hands on
Antony's own equipage, and broke all his rich tables and cups, dividing
the fragments amongst them. Antony, hearing such a noise and such
a stirring to and fro all through the army, the belief prevailing
that the enemy had routed and cut off a portion of the troops, called
for one of his freedmen, then serving as one of his guards, Rhamnus
by name, and made him take an oath that whenever he should give him
orders, he would run his sword through his body and cut off his head,
that he might not fall alive into the hands of the Parthians, nor,
when dead, be recognized as the general. While he was in this consternation,
and all his friends about him in tears, the Mardian came up and gave
them all new life. He convinced them, by the coolness and humidity
of the air, which they could feel in breathing it, that the river
which he had spoken of was now not far off, and the calculation of
the time that had been required to reach it came, he said, to the
same result, for the night was almost spent. And, at the same time,
others came with information that all the confusion in the camp proceeded
only from their own violence and robbery among themselves. To compose
this tumult, and bring them again into some order after their distraction,
he commanded the signal to be given for a halt. 

Day began to break, and quiet and regularity were just reappearing,
when the Parthian arrows began to fly among the rear, and the light-armed
troops were ordered out to battle. And, being seconded by the heavy
infantry, who covered one another as before described with their shields,
they bravely received the enemy, who did not think convenient to advance
any further, while the van of the army, marching forward leisurely
in this manner, came in sight of the river, and Antony, drawing up
the cavalry on the banks to confront the enemy, first passed over
the sick and wounded. And, by this time, even those who were engaged
with the enemy had opportunity to drink at their ease; for the Parthians,
on seeing the river, unbent their bows, and told the Romans they might
pass over freely, and made them great compliments in praise of their
valour. Having crossed without molestation, they rested themselves
awhile, and presently went forward, not giving perfect credit to the
fair words of their enemies. Six days after this last battle, they
arrived at the river Araxes, which divides Media and Armenia, and
seemed, both by its deepness and the violence of the current, to be
very dangerous to pass. A report, also, had crept in amongst them,
that the enemy was in ambush, ready to set upon them as soon as they
should be occupied with their passage. But when they were got over
on the other side, and found themselves in Armenia, just as if land
was now sighted after a storm at sea, they kissed the ground for joy,
shedding tears and embracing each other in their delight. But taking
their journey through a land that abounded in all sorts of plenty,
they ate, after their long want, with that excess of everything they
met with that they suffered from dropsies and dysenteries.

Here Antony, making a review of his army, found that he had lost twenty
thousand foot and four thousand horse, of which the better half not
by the enemy, but by diseases. Their march was of twenty-seven days
from Phraata, during which they had beaten the Parthians in eighteen
battles, though with little effect or lasting result, because of their
being so unable to pursue. By which it is manifest that it was Artavasdes
who lost Antony the benefit of the expedition. For had the sixteen
thousand horsemen whom he led away, out of Media, armed in the same
style as the Parthians, and accustomed to their manner of fight, been
there to follow the pursuit when the Romans put them to flight, it
is impossible they could have rallied so often after their defeats,
and reappeared again as they did to renew their attacks. For this
reason, the whole army was very earnest with Antony to march into
Armenia to take revenge. But he, with more reflection, forbore to
notice the desertion, and continued all his former courtesies, feeling
that the army was wearied out, and in want of all manner of necessaries.
Afterwards, however, entering Armenia, with invitations and fair promises
he prevailed upon Artavasdes to meet him, when he seized him, bound
him, and carried him to Alexandria, and there led him in a triumph;
one of the things which most offended the Romans, who felt as if all
the honours and solemn observances of their country were, for Cleopatra's
sake, handed over to the Egyptians. 

This, however, was at an after time. For the present, marching his
army in great haste in the depth of winter through continual storms
of snow, he lost eight thousand of his men, and came with much diminished
numbers to a place called the White Village, between Sidon and Berytus,
on the sea-coast, where he waited for the arrival of Cleopatra. And,
being impatient of the delay she made, he bethought himself of shortening
the time wine and drunkenness, and yet could not endure the tediousness
of a meal, but would start from table and run to see if she were coming.
Till at last she came into port, and brought with her clothes and
money for the soldiers. Though some say that Antony only received
the clothes from her and distributed his own money in her name.

A quarrel presently happened between the King of Media and Phraates
of Parthia, beginning, it is said, about the division of the booty
that was taken from the Romans, and creating great apprehension in
the Median lest he should lose his kingdom. He sent, therefore, ambassadors
to Antony, with offers of entering into a confederate war against
Phraates. And Antony, full of hopes at being thus asked, as a favour,
to accept that one thing, horse and archers, the want of which had
hindered his beating the Parthians before, began at once to prepare
for a return to Armenia, there to join the Medes on the Araxes, and
begin the war afresh. But Octavia, in Rome, being desirous to see
Antony, asked Caesar's leave to go to him; which he gave her, not
so much, say most authors, to gratify his sister, as to obtain a fair
pretence to begin the war upon her dishonourable reception. She no
sooner arrived at Athens, but by letters from Antony she was informed
of his new expedition, and his will that she should await him there.
And, though she were much displeased, not being ignorant of the real
reason of this usage, yet she wrote to him to know to what place he
would be pleased she should send the things she had brought with her
for his use; for she had brought clothes for his soldiers, baggage,
cattle, money, and presents for his friends and officers, and two
thousand chosen soldiers sumptuously armed, to form praetorian cohorts.
This message was brought from Octavia to Antony by Niger, one of his
friends, who added to it the praises she deserved so well. Cleopatra,
feeling her rival already, as it were, at hand, was seized with fear,
lest if to her noble life and her high alliance, she once could add
the charm of daily habit and affectionate intercourse, she should
become irresistible, and be his absolute mistress forever. So she
feigned to be dying for love of Antony, bringing her body down by
slender diet; when he entered the room, she fixed her eyes upon him
in a rapture, and when he left, seemed to languish and half faint
away. She took great pains that he should see her in tears, and, as
soon as he noticed it, hastily dried them up and turned away, as if
it were her wish that he should know nothing of it. All this was acting
while he prepared for Media; and Cleopatra's creatures were not slow
to forward the design, upbraiding Antony with his unfeeling, hard-hearted
temper, thus letting a woman perish whose soul depended upon him and
him alone. Octavia, it was true, was his wife, and had been married
to him because it was found convenient for the affairs of her brother
that it should be so, and she had the honour of the title; but Cleopatra,
the sovereign queen of many nations, had been contented with the name
of his mistress, nor did she shun or despise the character whilst
she might see him, might live with him, and enjoy him; if she were
bereaved of this, she would not survive the loss. In fine, they so
melted and unmanned him that, fully believing she would die if he
forsook her, he put off the war and returned to Alexandria, deferring
his Median expedition until next summer, though news came of the Parthians
being all in confusion with intestine disputes. Nevertheless, he did
some time after go into that country, and made an alliance with the
King of Media, by marriage of a son of his by Cleopatra to the king's
daughter, who was yet very young; and so returned, with his thoughts
taken up about the civil war. 

When Octavia returned from Athens, Caesar, who considered she had
been injuriously treated, commanded her to live in a separate house;
but she refused to leave the house of her husband, and entreated him,
unless he had already resolved, upon other motives, to make war with
Antony, that he would on her account let it alone; it would be intolerable
to have it said of the two greatest commanders in the world that they
had involved the Roman people in a civil war, the one out of passion
for, the other out of resentment about, a woman. And her behaviour
proved her words to be sincere. She remained in Antony's house as
if he were at home in it, and took the noblest and most generous care,
not only of his children by her, but of those by Fulvia also. She
received all the friends of Antony that came to Rome to seek office
or upon any business, and did her utmost to prefer their requests
to Caesar; yet this her honourable deportment did but, without her
meaning it, damage the reputation of Antony; the wrong he did to such
a woman made him hated. Nor was the division he made among his sons
at Alexandria less unpopular; it seemed a theatrical piece of insolence
and contempt of his country. For assembling the people in the exercise
ground, and causing two golden thrones to be placed on a platform
of silver, the one for him and the other for Cleopatra, and at their
feet lower thrones for their children, he proclaimed Cleopatra Queen
of Egypt, Cyprus, Libya, and Coele-Syria, and with her conjointly
Caesarion, the reputed son of the former Caesar, who left Cleopatra
with child. His own sons by Cleopatra were to have the style of king
of kings; to Alexander he gave Armenia and Media, with Parthia, so
soon as it should be overcome; to Ptolemy, Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia.
Alexander was brought out before the people in Median costume, the
tiara and upright peak, and Ptolemy, in boots and mantle and Macedonian
cap done about with the diadem; for this was the habit of the successors
of Alexander, as the other was of the Medes and Armenians. And as
soon as they had saluted their parents, the one was received by a
guard of Macedonians, the other by one of Armenians. Cleopatra was
then, as at other times when she appeared in public, dressed in the
habit of the goddess Isis, and gave audience to the people under the
name of the New Isis. 

Caesar, relating these things in the senate, and often complaining
to the people, excited men's minds against Antony, and Antony also
sent messages of accusation against Caesar. The principal of his charges
were these: first, that he had not made any division with him of Sicily,
which was lately taken from Pompey; secondly, that he had retained
the ships he had lent him for the war; thirdly, that, after deposing
Lepidus, their colleague, he had taken for himself the army, governments,
and revenues formerly appropriated to him; and lastly, that he had
parcelled out almost all Italy amongst his own soldiers, and left
nothing for his. Caesar's answer was as follows: that he had put Lepidus
out of government because of his own misconduct; that what he had
got in war he would divide with Antony, so soon as Antony gave him
a share of Armenia; that Antony's soldiers had no claims in Italy,
being in possession of Media and Parthia, the acquisitions which their
brave actions under their general had added to the Roman empire.

Antony was in Armenia when this answer came to him, and immediately
sent Canidius with sixteen legions towards the sea; but he, in the
company of Cleopatra, went to Ephesus, whither ships were coming in
from all quarters to form the navy, consisting, vessels of burden
included, of eight hundred vessels, of which Cleopatra furnished two
hundred, together with twenty thousand talents, and provision for
the whole army during the war. Antony, on the advice of Domitius and
some others, bade Cleopatra return into Egypt, there to expect the
event of the war; but she, dreading some new reconciliation by Octavia's
means, prevailed with Canidius, by a large sum of money, to speak
in her favour with Antony, pointing out to him that it was not just
that one that bore so great a part in the charge of the war should
be robbed of her share of glory in the carrying it on; nor would it
be politic to disoblige the Egyptians, who were so considerable a
part of his naval