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Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about Cleopatra Complete.

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     From Epicurus to Aristippus, is but a short step
     Preferred a winding path to a straight one

CLEOPATRA

By Georg Ebers

Volume 4.

CHAPTER IX.

Gorgias went to his work without delay.  When the twin statues were only waiting to be erected in front of the Theatre of Dionysus, Dion sought him.  Some impulse urged him to talk to his old friend before leaving the city with his betrothed bride.  Since they parted the latter had accomplished the impossible; for the building of the wall on the Choma, ordered by Antony, was commenced, the restoration of the little palace at the point, and many other things connected with the decoration of the triumphal arches, were arranged.  His able and alert foreman found it difficult to follow him as he dictated order after order in his writing-tablet.

The conversation with his friend was not a long one, for Dion had promised Barine and her mother to accompany them to the country.  Notwithstanding the betrothal, they were to start that very day; for Caesarion had called upon Barine twice that morning.  She had not received him, but the unfortunate youth’s conduct induced her to hasten the preparations for her departure.

To avoid attracting attention, they were to use Archibius’s large travelling chariot and Nile boat, although Dion’s were no less comfortable.

The marriage was to take place in the “abode of peace.”  The young Alexandrian’s own ship, which was to convey the newly wedded pair to Alexandria, bore the name of Peitho, the goddess of persuasion, for Dion liked to be reminded of his oratorical powers in the council.  Henceforward it would be called the Barine, and was to receive many an embellishment.

Dion confided to his friend what he had learned in relation to the fate of the Queen and the fleet, and, notwithstanding the urgency of the claims upon Gorgias’s time, he lingered to discuss the future destiny of the city and her threatened liberty; for these things lay nearest to his heart.

“Fortunately,” cried Dion, “I followed my inclination; now it seems to me that duty commands every true man to make his own house a nursery for the cultivation of the sentiments which he inherited from his forefathers and which must not die, so long as there are Macedonian citizens in Alexandria.  We must submit if the superior might of Rome renders Egypt a province of the republic, but we can preserve to our city and her council the lion’s share of their freedom.  Whatever may be the development of affairs, we are and shall remain the source whence Rome draws the largest share of the knowledge which enriches her brain.”

“And the art which adorns her rude life,” replied Gorgias.  “If she is free to crush us without pity, she will fare, I think, like the maiden who raises her foot to trample on a beautiful, rare flower, and then withdraws it because it would be a crime to destroy so exquisite a work of the Creator.”

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