Cleopatra — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 510 pages of information about Cleopatra — Complete.

Cleopatra — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 510 pages of information about Cleopatra — Complete.
and yesterday you averred that Eros had no part in your visits to the much-admired young woman, that you joined her guests merely because the society you found at her house afforded a pleasant stimulus to the mind.  I have ceased to believe in many things, but not in you and your words, and if hearing that you had taken sides with the grandfather, I fancied that you were secretly seeking the thanks and gratitude of the granddaughter, why—­surely the atrocious maxim that Zeus does not hear the vows of lovers comes from you men—­why, suspicion again reared its head.  Now you seem to share my opinion—­”

“Like you,” Dion interrupted, “I believe that Barine ought to be withdrawn from the boy’s pursuit, which cannot be more unpleasant to you than to her.  As Caesarion neither can nor ought to leave Alexandria while affairs are so threatening, nothing is left except to remove the young woman—­but, of course, in all kindness.”

“In a golden chariot, garlanded with roses, if you so desire,” cried Iras eagerly.

“That might attract attention,” answered Dion, smiling and raising his hand as if to enjoin moderation.  “Your mode of action does not please me, even now that I know its purpose, but I will gladly aid you to attain your object.  Your crooked paths also lead to the goal, and perhaps one is less likely to stumble in them; but straight ways suit me better, and I think I have already found the right one.  A friend will invite Barine to an estate far away from here, perhaps in the lake regions.”

“You?” cried Iras, her narrow eyebrows suddenly contracting.

“Do you imagine that she would go with me?” he asked, in a faintly reproachful tone.  “No.  Fortunately, we have older friends, and at their head is one who happens to be your uncle and at the same time is wax in the hands of the Queen.”

“Archibius?” exclaimed Iras.  “Ah! if he could persuade her to do so!”

“He will try.  He, too, is anxious about the lad.  While we are talking here, he is inviting Barine to his estate.  The country air will benefit her.”

“May she bloom there like a young shepherdess!”

“You are right to wish her the best fortune; for if the Queen does not return victorious, the irritability of our Alexandrians will be doubled.  When you laid hands on Didymus’s garden, you were so busily engaged in building the triumphal arch that you forgot—­”

“Who would have doubted the successful issue of this war?” cried Iras.  “And they will, they will conquer.  The Rhodian said that the fleet was scattered.  The disaster happened on the Acharnanian coast.  How positive it sounded!  But he had it only at second and third hand.  And what are mere rumours?  The source of the false tidings is discovered later.  Besides, even if the naval battle were really lost, the powerful army, which is far superior to Octavianus’s forces, still remains.  Which of the enemy’s generals could cope with Antony on the land?  How he will

Project Gutenberg
Cleopatra — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.