Young Folks' History of Rome eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about Young Folks' History of Rome.

After this dreadful work, Antonius and Octavianus went across to Greece, where Marcus Brutus had collected the remains of the army that had fought under Pompeius.  He had been made much of at Athens, where his statue had been set up beside that of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the slayers of Pisistratus.  Cassius had plundered Asia Minor, and the two met at Sardis.  It is said that the night before they were to pass into Macedonia, Brutus was sitting alone in his tent, when he saw the figure of a man before him.  “Who art thou?” he asked, and the answer was, “I am thine evil genius, Brutus; I will meet thee again at Philippi.”

[Illustration:  MARCUS BRUTUS.]

And it was at Philippi that Brutus and Cassius found themselves face to face with Antonius and Octavianus.  Each army was divided into two, and Brutus, who fought against Octavianus, put his army to flight, but Cassius was driven back by Antonius; and seeing a troop of horsemen coming towards him, he thought all was lost, and threw himself upon a sword.  Brutus gathered the troops together, and after twenty days renewed the fight, when he was routed, fled, and hid himself, but after some hours put himself to death, as did his wife Porcia when she heard of his end.

After this, Octavianus went back to Italy, while Antonius stayed to pacify the East.  When he was at Tarsus, the lovely queen of Egypt came, resolved to win him over.  She sailed up the Cydnus in a beautiful galley, carved, gilded, and inlaid with ivory, with sails of purple silk and silvered oars, moving to the sound of flutes, while she lay on the deck under a star-spangled canopy arrayed as Venus, with her ladies as nymphs, and little boys as Cupids fanning her.  Antonius was perfectly fascinated, and she took him back to Alexandria with her, heeding nothing but her and the delights with which she entertained him, though his wife Fulvia and his brother were struggling to keep up his power at Rome.  He did come home, but only to make a fresh agreement with Octavianus, by which Fulvia was given up and he married Octavia, the widow of Marcellus and sister of Octavianus.  But he could not bear to stay long away from Cleopatra, and, deserting Octavia, he returned to Egypt, where the most wonderful revelries were kept up.  Stories are told of eight wild boars being roasted in one day, each being begun a little later than the last, that one might be in perfection when Antonius should call for his dinner.  Cleopatra vowed once that she would drink the most costly of draughts, and, taking off an earring of inestimable price, dissolved it in vinegar and swallowed it.

[Illustration:  ALEXANDRIA.]

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Young Folks' History of Rome from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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