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death. So Cleopatra, while she is applying the venomous reptile to her
bosom, (as represented in the Frontispiece,) is supposed to use language
like the following,--
"Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?"
Thus, after having chained in her embrace the two greatest generals that
the Roman empire had produced, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, at the
periods when they were respectively arbiters of the world's fate,
perished Cleopatra by her own hand.
Cleopatra was a voluptuous and extravagant woman, and in one of the
feasts she gave to Antony at Alexandria, she melted pearls into her
drink to render the entertainment more sumptuous and expensive. She was
fond of appearing dressed as a goddess; and she advised Antony to make
war against the richest nations, to support her debaucheries. Her beauty
has been greatly commended, and her mental perfections so highly
celebrated, that she has been described as capable of giving audience to
the ambassadors of seven different nations, and of speaking their
various languages as fluently as her own.
How vain are the possessions of beauty, power, personal and mental
accomplishments, if to these are not united virtuous principles. All
history, as well as all experience, is full of examples calculated to
impress the great lesson that
"VIRTUE alone is HAPPINESS below."
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