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This circumstance produced, of course, a great excitement within the palace, for Pothinus had been for many years the great ruling minister of state,–the king, in fact, in all but in name. His execution alarmed a great many others, who, though in Caesar’s power, were secretly wishing that Achillas might prevail. Among those most disturbed by these fears was a man named Ganymede. He was the officer who had charge of Arsinoe, Cleopatra’s sister. The arrangement which Caesar had proposed for establishing her in conjunction with her brother Ptolemy over the island of Cyprus had not gone into effect; for, immediately after the decision of Caesar, the attention of all concerned had been wholly engrossed by the tidings of the advance of the army, and by the busy preparations which were required on all hands for the impending contest. Arsinoe, therefore, with her governor Ganymede, remained in the palace. Ganymede had joined Pothinus in his plots; and when Pothinus was beheaded, he concluded that it would be safest for him to fly.

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It resulted, in the first instance, as she had anticipated. Achillas and his army received her with acclamations. Under Ganymede’s influence they decided that, as all the other members of the royal family were in durance, being held captive by a foreign general, who had by chance obtained possession of the capital, and were thus incapacitated for exercising the royal power, the crown devolved upon Arsinoe; and they accordingly proclaimed her queen.

Every thing was now prepared for a desperate and determined contest for the crown between Cleopatra, with Caesar for her minister and general, on the one side, and Arsinoe, with Ganymede and Achillas for her chief officers on the other. The young Ptolemy in the mean time, remained Caesar’s prisoner, confused with the intricacies in which the quarrel had become involved, and scarcely knowing now what to wish in respect to the issue of the contest. It was very difficult to foresee whether it would be best for him that Cleopatra or that Arsinoe should succeed.

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At length Alexander died suddenly, after a night of drinking and carousal at Babylon. He had no son old enough to succeed him, and his immense empire was divided among his generals. Ptolemy obtained Egypt for his share. He repaired immediately to Alexandria, with a great army, and a great number of Greek attendants and followers, and there commenced a reign which continued, in great prosperity and splendor, for forty years. The native Egyptians were reduced, of course, to subjection and bondage. All the offices in the army, and all stations of trust and responsibility in civil life, were filled by Greeks. Alexandria was a Greek city, and it became at once one of the most important commercial centers in all those seas. Greek and Roman travelers found now a language spoken in Egypt which they could understand, and philosophers and scholars could gratify the curiosity which they had so long felt, in respect to the institutions, and monuments, and wonderful physical characteristics of the country, with safety and pleasure. In a word, the organization of a Greek government over the ancient kingdom, and the establishment of the great commercial relations of the city of Alexandria, conspired to bring Egypt out from its concealment and seclusion, and to open it in some measure to the intercourse, as well as to bring it more fully under the observation, of the rest of mankind.

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Ptolemy, in fact, made it a special object of his policy to accomplish these ends. He invited Greek scholars, philosophers, poets, and artists, in great numbers, to come to Alexandria, and to make his capital their abode. He collected an immense library, which subsequently, under the name of the Alexandrian library, became one of the most celebrated collections of books and manuscripts that was ever made. We shall have occasion to refer more particularly to this library in the next chapter.

Besides prosecuting these splendid schemes for the aggrandizement of Egypt, King Ptolemy was engaged, during almost the whole period of his reign, in waging incessant wars with the surrounding nations. He engaged in these wars, in part, for the purpose of extending the boundaries of his empire, and in part for self-defense against the aggressions and encroachments of other powers. He finally succeeded in establishing his kingdom on the most stable and permanent basis, and then, when he was drawing toward the close of his life, being in fact over eighty years of age, he abdicated his throne in favor of his youngest son, whose name was also Ptolemy, Ptolemy the father, the founder of the dynasty, is known commonly in history by the name of Ptolemy Soter. His son is called Ptolemy Philadelphia.

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What could he say? What would you have said, you being a man? It is easy, sitting there in your chair, with no Mrs. Alice Challice in front of you, to invent diplomatic replies; but conceive yourself in Priam’s place! Besides, he did think she would suit him. And most positively he could not bear the prospect of seeing her pass out of his life. He had been through that experience once, when his hat blew off in the Tube; and he did not wish to repeat it.

Except that there was marrying and giving in marriage, it was just as though he had died and gone to heaven. Heaven is the absence of worry and of ambition. Heaven is where you want nothing you haven’t got. Heaven is finality. And this was finality. On the September morning, after the honeymoon and the settling down, he arose leisurely, long after his wife, and, putting on the puce dressing-gown (which Alice much admired), he opened the window wider and surveyed that part of the universe which was comprised in Werter Road and the buy steroids in uk sky above. A sturdy old woman was coming down the street with a great basket of assorted flowers; he took an immense pleasure in the sight of the old woman; the sight of the old woman thrilled him. Why? Well, there was no reason, except that she was vigorously alive, a part of the magnificent earth. All life gave him joy; all life was beautiful to him. He had his warm bath; the bath-room was not of the latest convenience, but Alice could have made a four-wheeler convenient. As he passed to and fro on the first-floor he heard the calm, efficient activities below stairs. She was busy in the mornings; her eyes would seem to say to him, “Now, between my uprising and lunch-time please don’t depend on me for intellectual or moral support. I am on the spot, but I am also at the wheel and must not be disturbed.”

Then he descended, fresh as a boy, although the promontory which prevented a direct vision of his toes showed accretions. The front-room was a shrine for his breakfast. She served it herself, in her-white apron, promptly on his arrival! Eggs! Toast! Coffee! It was nothing, that breakfast; and yet it was everything. No breakfast could have been better. He had probably eaten about fifteen thousand hotel breakfasts before Alice taught him what a real breakfast was. After serving it she lingered for a moment, and then handed him the _Daily Telegraph_, which had been lying on a chair.

“Here’s your _Telegraph_,” she said cheerfully, tacitly disowning any property or interest in the _Telegraph_. For her, newspapers were men’s toys. She never opened a paper, never wanted to know what was going on in the world. She was always intent upon her own affairs. Politics–and all that business of the mere machinery of living: she perfectly ignored it! She lived. She did nothing but live. She lived every hour. Priam felt truly that he had at last got down to the bed-rock of life.

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Having put the letters in his book of fate and girdled it up again, he unlocks the door just in time to admit his dinner, which is brought upon a goodly tray with a decanter of sherry. Mr. Bucket frequently observes, in friendly circles where there is no restraint, that he likes a toothful of your fine old brown East Inder sherry better than anything you can offer him. Consequently he fills and empties his glass with a smack of his lips and is proceeding with his refreshment when an idea enters his mind.

Mr. Bucket softly opens the door of communication between that room and the next and looks in. The library is deserted, and the fire is sinking low. Mr. Bucket’s eye, after taking a pigeon-flight round the room, alights upon a table where letters are usually put as they arrive. Several letters for Sir Leicester are upon it. Mr. Bucket draws near and examines the directions. “No,” he says, “there’s none in that hand. It’s only me as is written to. I can break it to Sir Leicester citizen automatic Dedlock, Baronet, to-morrow.”

With that he returns to finish his dinner with a good appetite, and after a light nap, is summoned into the drawing-room. Sir Leicester has received him there these several evenings past to know whether he has anything to report. The debilitated cousin (much exhausted by the funeral) and Volumnia are in attendance.

Mr. Bucket makes three distinctly different bows to these three people. A bow of homage to Sir Leicester, a bow of gallantry to Volumnia, and a bow of recognition to the debilitated Cousin, to whom it airily says, “You are a swell about town, and you know me, and I know you.” Having distributed these little specimens of his tact, Mr. Bucket rubs his hands.

Mr. Bucket coughs and glances at Volumnia, rouged and necklaced, as though he would respectfully observe, “I do assure you, you’re a pretty creetur. I’ve seen hundreds worse looking at your time of life, I have indeed.”

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But there is nothing to be done in opposition to the Smallweed interest. Mr. Tulkinghorn’s clerk comes down from his official pew in the chambers to mention to the police that Mr. Tulkinghorn is answerable for its being all correct about the next of kin and that the papers and effects will be formally taken possession of in due time and course. Mr. Smallweed is at once permitted so far to assert his supremacy as to be carried on a visit of sentiment into the next house and upstairs into Miss Flite’s deserted room, where he looks like a hideous bird of prey newly added to her aviary.

The arrival of this unexpected heir soon taking wind in the court still makes good for the Sol and keeps the court upon its mettle. Mrs. Piper and Mrs. Perkins think it hard upon the young man if there really is no will, and consider that a handsome present ought to be made him out of the estate. Young Piper and young Perkins, as members of that restless juvenile circle which is the terror of the foot-passengers in Chancery Lane, crumble into ashes behind the pump and under the archway all day long, where wild yells and hootings take place over their remains. Little Swills and Miss M. Melvilleson enter into affable conversation with their patrons, feeling that these unusual occurrences level the barriers between professionals and non-professionals. Mr. Bogsby puts up “The popular song of King Death, with chorus by the whole strength of the company,” as the great Harmonic feature of the week and announces in the bill that “J. G. B. is induced to do so at a considerable extra expense in consequence of a wish which has been very generally expressed at the bar by a large body of respectable individuals and in homage to a late melancholy event which has aroused so much sensation.” There is one point connected with the deceased upon which the court is particularly anxious, namely, that the fiction of a full-sized coffin should be preserved, though there is so little to put in it. Upon the undertaker’s stating in the Sol’s bar in the course of the day that he has received orders to construct “a six-footer,” the general solicitude is much relieved, and it is considered that Mr. Smallweed’s conduct does him great honour.

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Out of the court, and a long way out of it, there is considerable excitement too, for men of science and philosophy come to look, and carriages set down doctors at the corner who arrive with the same intent, and there is more learned talk about inflammable gases and phosphuretted hydrogen than the court has ever imagined. Some of these authorities (of course the wisest) hold with indignation that the deceased had no business to die in the alleged manner; and being reminded by other authorities of a certain inquiry into the evidence for such deaths reprinted in the sixth volume of the Philosophical Transactions; and also of a book not quite unknown on English medical jurisprudence; and likewise of the Italian case of the Countess Cornelia Baudi as set forth in detail by one Bianchini, prebendary of Verona, who wrote a scholarly work or so and was occasionally heard of in his time as having gleams of reason in him; and also of the testimony of Messrs.

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For that the poor child thanked me with her whole heart. “And in the morning, when you hear Miss Ada in the garden, if I should not be quite able to go to the window-curtain as usual, do you go, Charley, and say I am asleep–that I have rather tired myself, and am asleep. At all times keep the room as I have kept it, Charley, and let no one come.”

Charley promised, and I lay down, for I was very heavy. I saw the doctor that night and asked the favour of him that I wished to ask relative to his saying nothing of my illness in the house as yet. I have a very indistinct remembrance of that night melting into day, and of day melting into night again; but I was just able on the first morning to get to the window and speak to my darling.

On the second morning I heard her dear voice–Oh, how dear now!– outside; and I asked Charley, with some difficulty (speech being painful to me), to go and say I was asleep. I heard her answer softly, “Don’t disturb her, Charley, for the world!”

It is night in Lincoln’s Inn–perplexed and troublous valley of the shadow of the law, where suitors generally find but little day–and fat candles are snuffed out in offices, and clerks have rattled down the crazy wooden stairs and dispersed. The bell that rings at nine o’clock has ceased its doleful clangour about nothing; the gates are shut; and the night-porter, a solemn warder with a mighty power of sleep, keeps guard in his lodge. From tiers of staircase windows clogged lamps like the eyes of Equity, bleared Argus with a fathomless pocket for every eye and an eye upon it, dimly blink at the stars. In dirty upper casements, here and there, hazy little patches of candlelight reveal where some wise draughtsman and conveyancer yet toils for the entanglement of real estate in meshes of sheep-skin, in the average ratio of about a dozen of sheep to an acre of land. Over which bee-like industry these benefactors of their species linger yet, though office-hours be past, that they may give, for every day, some good account at last.

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In the neighbouring court, where the Lord Chancellor of the rag and bottle shop dwells, there is a general tendency towards beer and supper. Mrs. Piper and Mrs. Perkins, whose respective sons, engaged with a circle of acquaintance in the game of hide and seek, have been lying in ambush about the by-ways of Chancery Lane for some hours and scouring the plain of the same thoroughfare to the confusion of passengers–Mrs. Piper and Mrs. Perkins have but now exchanged congratulations on the children being abed, and they still linger on a door-step over a few parting words. Mr. Krook and his lodger, and the fact of Mr. Krook’s being “continually in liquor,” and the testamentary prospects of the young man are, as usual, the staple of their conversation.

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pheasant ridge golf course What is curious about him is that he sits forward on his chair as if he were, from long habit, allowing space for some dress or accoutrements that he has altogether laid aside. His step too is measured and heavy and would go well with a weighty clash and jingle of spurs. He is close-shaved now, but his mouth is set as if his upper lip had been for years familiar with a great moustache; and his manner of occasionally laying the open palm of his broad brown hand upon it is to the same effect. Altogether one might guess Mr. George to have been a trooper once upon a time.

A special contrast Mr. George makes to the Smallweed family. Trooper was never yet billeted upon a household more unlike him. It is a broadsword to an oyster-knife. His developed figure and their stunted forms, his large manner filling any amount of room and their little narrow pinched ways, his sounding voice and their sharp spare tones, are in the strongest and the strangest opposition. As he sits in the middle of the grim parlour, leaning a little forward, with his hands upon his thighs and his elbows squared, he looks as though, if he remained there long, he would absorb into himself the whole family and the whole four-roomed house, extra little back-kitchen and all.

Unlucky old soul!” says Mr. George, turning his head in that direction. “Don’t scold the old lady. Look at her here, with her poor cap half off her head and her poor hair all in a muddle. Hold up, ma’am. That’s better. There we are! Think of your mother, Mr. Smallweed,” says Mr. George, coming back to his seat from assisting her, “if your wife an’t enough.

Mr. George sits, with his arms folded, consuming the family and the parlour while Grandfather Smallweed is assisted by Judy to two black leathern cases out of a locked bureau, in one of which he secures the document he has just received, and from the other takes another similar document which he hands to Mr. George, who twists it up for a pipelight. As the old man inspects, through his glasses, every up-stroke and down-stroke of both documents before he releases them from their leathern prison, and as he counts the money three times over and requires Judy to say every word she utters at least twice, and is as tremulously slow of speech and action as it is possible to be, this business is a long time in progress. When it is quite concluded, and not before, he disengages his ravenous eyes and fingers from it and answers Mr. George’s last remark by saying, “Afraid to order the pipe? We are not so mercenary as that, sir. Judy, see directly to the pipe and the glass of cold brandy-and-water for Mr. George.

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Public loses interest and undergoes reaction. Taunts the beadle in shrill youthful voices with having boiled a boy, choruses fragments of a popular song to that effect and importing that the boy was made into soup for the workhouse. Policeman at last finds it necessary to support the law and seize a vocalist, who is released upon the flight of the rest on condition of his getting out of this then, come, and cutting it–a condition he immediately observes. So the sensation dies off for the time; and the unmoved policeman (to whom a little opium, more or less, is nothing), with his shining hat, stiff stock, inflexible great-coat, stout belt and bracelet, and all things fitting, pursues his lounging way with a heavy tread, beating the palms of his white gloves one against the other and stopping now and then at a street-corner to look casually about for anything between a lost child and a murder.

Under cover of the night, the feeble-minded beadle comes flitting about Chancery Lane with his summonses, in which every juror’s name is wrongly spelt, and nothing rightly spelt but the beadle’s own name, which nobody can read or wants to know. The summonses served and his witnesses forewarned, the beadle goes to Mr. Krook’s to keep a small appointment he has made with certain paupers, who, presently arriving, are conducted upstairs, where they leave the great eyes in the shutter something new to stare at, in that last shape which earthly lodgings take for No one–and for Every one.

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And all that night the coffin stands ready by the old portmanteau; and the lonely figure on the bed, whose path in life has lain through five and forty years, lies there with no more track behind him that any one can trace than a deserted infant.

Next day the court is all alive–is like a fair, as Mrs. Perkins, more than reconciled to Mrs. Piper, says in amicable conversation with that excellent woman. The coroner is to sit in the first-floor room at the Sol’s Arms, where the Harmonic Meetings take place twice a week and where the chair is filled by a gentleman of professional celebrity, faced by Little Swills, the comic vocalist, who hopes (according to the bill in the window) that his friends will rally round him and support first-rate talent. The Sol’s Arms does a brisk stroke of business all the morning. Even children so require sustaining under the general excitement that a pieman who has established himself for the occasion at the corner of the court says his brandy-balls go off like smoke. What time the beadle, hovering between the door of Mr. Krook’s establishment and the door of the Sol’s Arms, shows the curiosity in his keeping to a few discreet spirits and accepts the compliment of a glass of ale or so in return.

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He is a man of iron, Admiral–a man without a heart. I should shock you if I were to tell you what I have endured from my brother. My father’s wealth was divided equally between us. His own share he ran through in five years, and he has tried since then by every trick of a cunning, low-minded man, by base cajolery, by legal quibbles, by brutal intimidation, to juggle me out of my share as well. There is no villainy of which the man is not capable. Oh, I know my brother Jeremiah. I know him and I am prepared for him.

This is all new to me, ma’am. ‘Pon my word, I hardly know what to say to it. I thank you for having spoken so plainly. From what you say, this is a poor sort of consort for a man to sail with. Perhaps Harold would do well to cut himself adrift.

Oh, it can easily be set right. You see Pearson invests all the spare capital and keeps as small a margin as possible at the bank. Still it was too bad for him to allow me even to run a risk of having a cheque returned. I have written to him and demanded his authority to sell out some stock, and I have written an explanation to these people. In the meantime, however, I have had to issue several cheques; so I had better transfer part of our private account to meet them.

Harold had turned a little pale as he heard Mrs. Westmacott’s opinion of his senior partner. It gave shape and substance to certain vague fears and suspicions of his own which had been pushed back as often as they obtruded themselves as being too monstrous and fantastic for belief.

Of course he is–of course he is. That is what I told her. They would have found him out there if anything had been amiss with him. Bless you, there’s nothing so bitter as a family quarrel. Still it is just as well that you have written about this affair, for we may as well have all fair and aboveboard.

But Harold’s letter to his partner was crossed by a letter from his partner to Harold. It lay awaiting him upon the breakfast table next morning, and it sent the heart into his mouth as he read it, and caused him to usa steroids spring up from his chair with a white face and staring eyes.