In the mean time, while Antony was thus spending his time in low and ignoble pursuits and in guilty pleasures at Alexandria, his wife Fulvia, after exhausting all other means of inducing her husband to return to her, became desperate, and took measures for fomenting an open war, which she thought would compel him to return. The extraordinary energy, influence, and talent which Fulvia possessed, enabled her to do this in an effectual manner. She organized an army, formed a camp, placed herself at the head of the troops, and sent such tidings to Antony of the dangers which threatened his cause as greatly alarmed him. At the same time news came of great disasters in Asia Minor, and of alarming insurrections among the provinces which had been committed to his charge there. Antony saw that he must arouse himself from the spell which had enchanted him and break away from Cleopatra, or that he would be wholly and irretrievably ruined. He made, accordingly, a desperate effort to get free. He bade the queen farewell, embarked hastily in a fleet of galleys, and sailed away to Tyre, leaving Cleopatra in her palace, vexed, disappointed, and chagrined.
THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM.
Perplexity of Antony.—His meeting with Fulvia.—Meeting of Antony and Fulvia.—Reconciliation of Antony and Octavius.—Octavia.—Her marriage to Antony.—Octavia’s influence over her husband and her brother.—Octavia pleads for Antony.—Difficulties settled.—Antony tired of his wife.—He goes to Egypt.—Antony again with Cleopatra.—Effect on his character.—The march to Sidon.—Suffering of the troops.—Arrival of Cleopatra.—She brings supplies for the army.—Octavia intercedes for Antony.—She brings him re-enforcements. —Cleopatra’s alarm.—Her arts.—Cleopatra’s secret agents.—Their representations to Antony.—Cleopatra’s success.—Antony’s message to Octavia.—Devotion of Octavia.—Indignation against Antony.—Measures of Antony.—Accusations against him.—Antony’s preparations.—Assistance of Cleopatra.—Canidius bribed.—His advice in regard to Cleopatra.—The fleet at Samos.—Antony’s infatuation.—Riot and revelry.—Antony and Cleopatra at Athens.—Ostentation of Cleopatra.—Honors bestowed on her.—Baseness of Antony.—Approach of Octavius.—Antony’s will.—Charges against him.—Antony’s neglect of his duties.—Meeting of the fleets. —Opinions of the council.—Cleopatra’s wishes.—Battle of Actium.—Flight of Cleopatra.—Antony follows Cleopatra.—He gains her galley.—Antony pursued.—A severe conflict.—The avenger of a father.—Antony’s anguish—Antony and Cleopatra shun each other.—Arrival at Tsenarus.—Antony and Cleopatra fly together to Egypt.