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In other words, which rulers were best for Rome. All of which meant that Dellius held out scant hope that he would achieve his goal of moving closer to Antony in Nicomedia. Then Fortuna entered the picture, commencing with Antony’s command that dinner would not be in the afternoon, but later. And as Antony’s gaze roved across the sixty Romans strolling into the dining room, for some obscure reason it lit upon Quintus Dellius. There was something about him that the Great Man liked, though he wasn’t sure what; perhaps a soothing quality that Dellius could smear over even the most unpalatable subjects like a balm.

All I have is a huge lump of grief that never goes away. Even when I manage to sleep, it is there to haunt my dreams. Even when I look at our son, it is there to mock my aspirations. Why do I never think of the happy times? Is that the pattern of loss, to dwell upon the emptiness of today? Since those self-righteous Romans murdered you, my world is ashes doomed never to mingle with yours. Think on it, Cleopatra, and weep. The sorrows were many. First and worst, river Nilus failed to inundate. For three years in a row the life-giving water had not spread across the fields to wet them, soak in, and soften the seeds.

Cluttering up the halls the moment the steward opened the doors? All here to steal a march on Rome—and me. Well, I don’t intend to let that happen. I didn’t choose the East as my bailiwick to be diddled out of the goodies the East possesses in such abundance. ” He giggled. ” Another giggle, a shrug. ” he apostrophized himself. ” The red-brown eyes, too small and close together to please a portrait sculptor, twinkled. “The new Dionysus! God of wine and pleasure—I must say I rather like the comparison.

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Antony and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome 07) by Colleen McCullough

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